Over the Fence Chat for December 2003

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I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We spent the day with Keith's family. It was my first time having a deep-fried turkey. It was OK but I think I still prefer the traditional oven method. I was in a bit of a panic Thursday morning. I was making a chocolate mousse/angel food cake dessert and my electric mixer started to die while I was making the whipped cream. So my chocolate mousse looked more like chocolate soup! I poured it into a bowl and put it in the fridge, thankfully by the time we had to leave it had firmed up. It didn't look as pretty as usual but it still tasted good. Keith's sister made a double layer pumpkin pie that was really yummy. The top layer was like a pumpkin pie, but it had a bottom layer with cream cheese and Cool Whip, and it had a graham cracker crust. I need to get the recipe from her.

I've started knitting again and I discovered that I've been doing it wrong! Instead of doing a knit stitch I've been doing what's called a twisted stitch. Seems pretty appropriate in my case. :) I finished up a scarf on Thursday night. The pattern said it should take 2 hours, it only took me a week! I bought two more skeins of yarn to make scarves for my sisters for Christmas, after that I'm going to try a baby afghan. The baby is due February 19th so I'd better hurry.

The majority of this long weekend was spent working on the basement. By Sunday afternoon I was to the point where I'd drive in a screw crooked and start to cry. All of the drywall is up, now I have to finish putting up the corner bead and finish putting up the joint compound. I got a big chunk of drywall dust in my eye last night. I thought that I got it out, but I woke up this morning at 4am in pain. My eye was red and teary and even the weight of my eyelid hurt. I grabbed my bottle of saline solution and rinsed my eye out good. My eye is still red but it doesn't hurt anymore. It just feels kind of wierd.

I finally mustered up my courage and set up the appointment to have my oldest cat euthanized. I'm going back to her usual vet to have it done, which now that we've moved means I'll have an hour drive to get there. The appointment is 11am on Saturday and Keith has to work so I'll be going by myself. I'm going to bring her body home and bury her rather than have her cremated. If anyone wants to send some positive thoughts my way on Saturday I'd appreciate it.

On a more positive note, I may have finally sold my other house. We've already settled on the money, all that's left is negotiating whether a few items stay or go. I should know by tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed!

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2003


Hey all! Hope this post finds everyone doing well. The flu bug is starting in at the hospital; but not too bad as yet. We're all trying to stay away from crowded places as much as possible to avoid the germs!

Thanksgiving was wonderful - so nice to see everyone, and cuddle the babies! I did miss having Jessie there, tho; as did her cousins. Tons and tons of food, and all of it homemade - even the infamous green bean cassarole was made with home canned beans! We made a big plateful of deviled eggs from banty eggs - one of the cousins said "What do they taste like?" Duh - eggs. They all disappeared during the "appetizer" feeding frenzy; well ahead of the regular deviled eggs!

Work - well, work is becoming a bit of a pain. New doc has everyone po'd, on top of everyone's "personal" problems: one co-worker is separating from her spouse, another would like to. One has a spouse who is terminall ill, one is getting ready to move to another state, one seems to be in need of some HRT, one has already started a new job - part time, so far - at another facility, three are in school and near the end of a semester...and the poor new guy is getting thrown into the middle of this quagmire! Hey, if HE quits, it won't be my fault this time! (They call me "Arnie" at work, because everyone who works with me quits, or goes to another shift - it's really not me, I swear it!)

Jes is doing well, but is planning to leave the school she is currently in after this semester, to go to a business college starting in March. It's only 2 blocks from her apartment! She's decided to take a medical transcription course; and then return to nursing school part time. I think she's just getting burned out - full time plus hours student, full time job, part time job, social life - gosh, but I'm glad I'm old!! The med trans course is VERY expensive, compared to her current course work, so I will again be piling on the hours to help pay for it. I don't think she's happy working on the psych ward - but then, it isn't a very happy place right now, so that may pass.

Pop is doing okay; still can't get his blood pressure under control, which of course causes organ damage, but there isn't much we can do. His poor old blood vessels are so stenosed (hard) that they just don't give like they ought to. About the only thing we can give him to bring the pressure down is Nitroglycerin, which gives him one heck of a headache. Slippery slope. Ah well.

Hubs is heading out to his second interview for a custodial services job at the hospital tomorrow - part time, weekends. Be nice if it was 12 hours every Friday and Saturday nights, like when I work, so I wouldn't have to drive myself!! Lazy! No, I just hate to drive! He's been slacking off on the vacuming, and I keep finding him in front of the computer when I want to use it, but other than that we've adjusted well to having him home. I sure am enjoying having a cook and dishwasher! He's still getting bike work now and again; but currently has my small tractor in pieces in his shop. Then, I think he and Unc have plans for the 1942 M that's been sitting in my way in the shed for a couple of years now! It needs some engine work done that requires splitting it, so that will be a job.

Critter wise, Hazard and Maraca are still enjoying the last deer season - they keep coming home stinky after rolling in deer guts, and carrying "prizes" - leg bones, etc... And we have another deer season coming up this weekend - oh joy! We lost one of the banties that Unc gave us; he somehow caught his head in the fence and broke his neck trying to get away, but the rest are doing good - putting themselves in the pen at night, roaming around the yard during the day. Hubs has a couple of the little brown hens that Unc gave us tame enough to take feed out of his hand - says he wants to tame them down enough so that he can get them to ride around on his had. I have no idea why; and I'm scared to ask!

Sherri, I know just how you feel about the knitting - I can never put a project down and come back to it and get it done the same way! I have to re-teach myself how to crochet each winter. I started a baby blanket one time and couldn't figure out what I was doing "wrong" - it was ribbed. Finally figured out that I was crocheting in the back loop instead of the front one, but it looked cool, so I just kept on the way I had been doing it. Sorry to hear about your kitty - my thoughts will be heading your way Saturday. Good luck on the house!

I've gotten 2 seed catalogs in the mail so far - one from each coast! Territorial from Oregon and Pinetree from Maine. I seem drawn to the beans again this year - a few years ago it was tomatoes that I wanted to order a zillion types of! Hubs found my old greenhouse frame while cleaning up behind the shed, and is talking about putting it together this year - says I can use it for a greenhouse in the spring and then use it for a chicken house in the summer - I think he's kind of getting in to this chicken thing! D'ya think if he puts wire most of the way up; and just a tarp over the top; I could grow something vining on it? Hmmm.... Back to the seed catalogs...I still can't seem to get enthused about planning the garden; tho I did tell Hubs that I think we need to enlarge it again! Maybe I'll get some work done on it tonight - I don't have anything to read, and I'm trying to avoid finishing up the uniform jumper that I've got half stitched together. Hey, I don't need it until 11pm tomorrow night; plenty of time! I'm working Skilled Nursing tomorrow, so I have to wear whites, and I don't think I have any white pants that I can squeeze into (or want to wear for 8 hours!), so I will have to buckle down tomorrow and get it done. I'm scheduled there several days this month; and may pick up a few days up on Med-Surg as well, so the uniform will get some use, anyway. And maybe it will get me back into sewing - I need some winter jumpers, I'm so tired of pants already. I found some thick, heavy cotton knit in a deep rose/plum color when I was cleaning in the store room that would make a nice cheery jumper for January, February and March when it's so grey and gloomy out!

I've got some other craft things set aside for this winter - a stack of old clothes that I've dismantled and plan to make table napkins out of the large pieces, and quilt squares out of the smaller bits. Maybe just squares, maybe "yo-yo's"; haven't decided! A friend from work gave me a dress that she bought for me at the Salvation Army - spent 50 whole cents on it! It needs a bit of re-working, but for 50 cents, I can spend some time. I'm STILL working on turning Jessie's old room into a sewing room, but not getting very far - she won't take her "stuff" home to her apartment! Hubs brought another shelf unit down to the family room for me, but doesn't have it fastened to the wall yet - I've got bags of books that need to be sorted and put on it. That ought to be enough to keep me occupied until seed starting time - especially since I know that when I start putting the books up, I'll find some that I want to re-read!

Well, I reckon I've procrastinated on that jumper long enough - I'll go get the bodice finished up and the pockets stitched on the skirt at least. Then, a nice cuppa orange spice tea, the seed catalogs, and a cat trying to crowd me out of the chair - sounds like a wonderful way to spend my evening! You folks all take care,

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2003

Whoo Hoo! The house is sold! We don't have a closing date yet but it should be before the end of the month. I lost more money than I would have liked, but at least this ordeal will soon be over.

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2003

Allright Sherri!! Aren't you glad that you're already moved?!

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2003

Excellent!! I remember all those months we wrung our hands waiting for the farm to sell, so I kinda felt your pain. Very happy for ya sherri!

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2003

Congrats to ya Sherri!!! I know your so glad to get that off your shoulders!!


-- Anonymous, December 04, 2003

Yea Sherri!

Well, we have that Nor'Eastener going on here. First real snow of the season and it has to be a big one. About a foot of snow and still coming down. At least Glenn doesn't have to work this weekend.

People are starting to get nasty now that it is getting closer to Christmas. If I see people on the street, I'll smile at them and they usually smile back but I'm talking about retail now. People come into the pet shop demanding stuff to be there. They want us to hold animals until Christmas (that's a long enough time for feeding and cleaning) One woman came in and explained what she was looking for. I told her we didn't have it. She said she didn't think I understood what she was looking for but I told her I did and we didn't have it. Then she said again that she didn't think I understood her because a friend thought we had it. I explained to her what she was looking for and she brightened up until I told her again WE DIDN'T HAVE IT!!! I sent her to Walmart and she kept asking if I felt that Walmart had what she was looking for. Pulling hair out, yes they did. I looked at another customer and said, "And that's the type of person who will call to compain about me..."

Hey, I'm gonna try to post a picture of Gary's lizard here.

If he came out, isn't he cute. If he didn't, all well

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2003

Well, life has had it's ups and downs this weekend, for sure. Friday, my cousin called to tell me that my Aunt Mabel and her friend had been walking his dog when she tripped and landed face down on the sidewalk Thursday afternoon. She was okay through the night; then complained of a headache the next morning. He went out to walk the dog and came back to find her comatose - brain bleed. They put her on a ventilator until family could gather; then shut it off Friday evening and she passed away about an hour later. Then my co- worker/friend's father passed away an hour or so after that; so I went from one visitation to another today; with my Aunt Mabel's funeral scheduled for tomorrow morning.

I worked 16-12-15 this weekend; so when I got home this morning, I fell in bed and was out in seconds. I woke to the sound of very loud chirping nearby - one of the banty eggs in the incubator had hatched out. Hubs got baby chickie set up in a brooder this evening; and when I came home from the visitation, I went over to see him; and heard an answer to his cheeps - another baby just unwinding from the shell. Now, I really do not know WHY we set eggs this time of year; but I do know that I am less sad, from seeing new life to balance the death. Yeah - even if it is just a chicken. Still gives me hope for the future.

I spent a bit of time today thinking about my Uncle Red. Uncle Red was in the Navy when Pearl Harbor was bombed; and December 7th was always a solemn day for him, rarely did a year pass that I did not see or call him on this day. I miss this gentle man.

On a brighter note - at work, we drew names to be a "Secret Santa" for the month of December - a small gift each week or so; then a larger gift the week of Christmas. So everyone has been ooohing and ahhing over the snowman socks, gummy trees, Santa napkins and other odd little gifts that have been turning up in our mailboxes or taped to our lockers. We aren't allowed to decorate on the unit (fire hazard) but we do have instrumental CD's of carols playing. I keep catching myself giggling however, as I also frequent the Soil, Compost and Mulch forum over on Gardenweb, and they have a current thread running with composting themes set to seasonal tunes. Okay, it sounds dumb, but even Jessie had to laugh at some of the words..."the eggshells, the hay; the old creme brulee..." sung to the tune of "Walking in a winter wonderland". She doesn't understand how anyone could ever end up with any old creme brulee, however; as it generally doesn't even last long enough to serve as dessert at our house; being eaten shortly after it is done! BTW, found a bunch of neat recipes for eggnog as I was wandering the web the other night; plus a recipe for making creme brulee from eggnog...now if I could just figure out where I put them after I printed them off... On another note r/t carols - Jessie made off with all of my "albums" and my record player here a while back. I stopped by her apartment the other day and found her and a friend, and the friends two small children putting up decorations. They had a Disney Christmas album playing - one that I had bought when Jessie was little - my, but that brought back some happy memories!

I'm trying to decide whether to make my Christmas cookies this week and freeze them; or to make the candies this week; and do the cookies next week. Decisions, decisions!! I will make Aunt Shady's Sour Cream Sugar cookies - Jes informs me that I will not be allowed to just cut them in circles and ice them white, and then try to pass them off as being decorated as snowballs again this year. Bummer. She got a set of graduated star shaped cutters and plans to make a tree by stacking them on top of each other. Hmmm - maybe I'd better make a quadrupal batch instead of my usual double one! I'll make peanut butter cookies as well; I bought both chocolate stars and non pariels that are decorated with red, green and white sprinkles to top them with. Then, I'm sure that I'll make Mama's chocolate and vanilla pinwheel cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies that I'll put a snowflake cutout over before I dust them with powdered sugar, snickerdoodles rolled in green and red sugar, and hopefully, if I can find the recipe, a fruitcake type bar cookies that is oh-so-yummy! Candywise, we'll be doing fudge, caramel and turtles; maybe some butter almond toffee if the weather is right - it is so picky about humidity!

I am really looking forward to the holiday season this year - after the past few years of it being so hectic; I will finally have time and feel good enough to do all the things that I want to do! I think that I am even feeling brave enough to go to the "big city" (Chamapaign) shopping with Jessie this week! (Maybe Hubs will go with us and drive!)

Sherri - can you tell us what you've got planned for Solstice this year? I so envy you your group of like minded celebrants!

Well, I suppose I should go check on my babies; and then head to bed to catch up on my rest. You folks all take care this week; stay safe, sane and happy!

-- Anonymous, December 07, 2003

I don't think I'm going to be comfortable celebrating the sale of the house until after the closing. I keep waiting for something to go wrong. I happened to be at the house yesterday when a fellow stopped by to do the mortgage survey so I guess the sale is progressing but I still haven't heard about a closing date.

Polly I'm sorry to hear about Aunt Mabel. This is such a sucky time to lose a family member.

I feel kind of silly feeling so bad about my cat when others have family members who are ill or passed away, but I can't help it. Saturday went really really badly. The vet was running behind schedule and Big ended up going into respiratory distress and dying while we were waiting in the exam room. I was there in the room by myself when she started to go into convulsions and I couldn't go get anyone because I was afraid that if I left her she would thrash her way off the table. She was gasping and choking and I saw the light go out of her eyes so I ran to the exam room door and screamed for help but it was too late and she was gone. I wanted her to die in my arms in a peacefull sleep, not the way that she did. I've never felt so frustrated and helpless. Anyway, it's over and done with now. Keith dug a grave between two pine trees in the yard and we had a little funeral for her. I set a black and white chunk of granite as a marker, and I noticed Sunday night the full moon in the sky right above the stone.

-- Anonymous, December 09, 2003

Sherri, I'm sorry things went so badly with kitty; and no, I don't think there's anything wrong with you being upset about the way her life ended. Family and friends are just that - no matter that some of them might be a bit more or less furry than the rest of us; they're still very important to us. I'm certain that Big was comforted by the fact that you were there with her. Now you have your very own spirit to watch over you at the new place; to me, that's a comforting thing. Hugs to you,

-- Anonymous, December 09, 2003

Warm hugs to all who have lost loved ones! And I agree with Polly, those we love are those we love, and critters can hold our hearts as well as people. (anyone want a great pyrenees who would rather live in the country?)

Polly, when you mentioned the songs reminding you of when Jes was little, it brought to mind something that happened last month. I opened a carton of eggs I had purchased from my new farmer family and found two green eggs among them.Course it brought a smile to my face since I haven't seen one in over two years now. Anyway, I asked both girls independently to open the carton and both had the exact same reaction when they saw the aracauna eggs: just went "AAWWWWW..........." and then smiled a sweet but kinda sad smile.

-- Anonymous, December 10, 2003

Life just keeps on going, doesn't it EM? Changes, changes - and the older I get, the more of them there are and the faster they seem to come! Seems your girls are like mine - they have some happy memories to look back on - and I think that's swell.

I have got to lay my hands on that 2003 almanac - I know I've got a couple of them around here somewhere! I feel like my whole family has been walking around under a cloud this year and I want to know when it's going to end!! Mercury could not have possibly been retrograde all year!

Jes and I headed out on our shopping trip yesterday - went to Decatur instead of Champaign because she wanted to go to a gallery up there and buy her Dad a Terry Redlin print (I really do not care for his paintings, but I seem to be in the minority.) Any-hoo, we're driving along, and everything is wonderful; we're chatting and happy....then this scroungy looking coyote runs across the road in front of us - in town, no less. I managed to slow down and miss it, as did the driver in the second lane; but the guy in the opposite lane hit it. Jes had turned her upper body around in her seat to see if it was okay (it got hit in the leg, and did get up and run off) while I slowed to a stop at a red light. Unfortunately, the little old lady in the great big Buick behind us was looking at the coyote too. WHAM! Damn good seat belts in those Neons, folks!! (No one was hurt; just some aches and pains today - probably due to the adrenaline rush more than the wham.) An hour and a half later (after comforting the LOL, who was in tears the whole time), the police report was filed and we were on our way to the gallery. Which is no longer open. I'm pretty sure I said more than one naughty word!

Today is Hub's 44th birthday - tho he claims he is no longer having them. He was quite happy with a bottle of good merlot, cashews, a new crossword puzzle calendar and underpants tho. He is so hard to buy for! It almost has to be something consumable! I am looking to find him an inexpensive chef's toque; but the way things are going, he may have to settle for a cap from Steak 'n Shake!!

The weather has turned nasty here today. It was nearly 60 when I went out to do the chores this morning - I had visions of finally getting the outside decorations up today, but by the time we got done dealing with the insurance people and dropping the car off, it had started raining. Now, it's still raining; temp has dropped 20 some degrees since noon and the wind is blowing like crazy - I keep hearing things moving across the porch. Typical Illinois weather!

I've been working on a notebook type calendar for next year - usually I buy one at Staples, but I decided to make my own this year. I bought a 1/2" binder and am printing up pages to suit my needs. I have a section of monthly calendars for my work schedule, weekly ones for my menus, phone list and important numbers, medical info, address section, envelope for bills and receipts, farm and garden section and a neat plastic sheet thing I found to hold business cards. I'm figuring that by the time I get everything I need in it, I'll probably have to go buy a larger binder and get a cart to haul it around on! Every time something chaotic happens in my life, I get this compulsive need to go organize something else. Looking around my room - I think I need more chaos!!

Well folks, I'm gonna go commune with my chickies for a while; you all take care,

-- Anonymous, December 10, 2003

The closing date on the house is set for December 19th. It will be so good to go into the holidays with the house gone. This weekend I'll go down there and clean out the last few things; I want to dig up my comfrey plants and take a few special rocks.

I had to go buy a some new clothes for my trip next week. I didn't think that my Goodwill fashions would go over very well at the FDA. I hate shopping for clothes! It's been so long since I've been to the mall that all the stores I used to shop at are now gone. I finally ended up at the old standby, Sears. I got a long plum-colored corduroy skirt, a white cable knit sweater, and some black boots. Fashionable, comfortable, and warm! :) All I need now is a book to read on the plane and I should be set.

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2003

Sherri, you can dig up your comfrey plants now? wow, here in minnesnowta, everything is already 'froze down', as they say in wisconsin! not to mention covered up with 6 to 10 inches of ice and snow!

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2003

Wow, seems like everyone has a lot going on. Some good and some bad. Sure hope the bad gets better and the good continues.

Happy belated birthday to EM. Fifty-five doesn't even count

We finally got snow last night. It's really our first real snow this year. We had a dusting earlier but I don't count that since the wind blew it away. Don't count it unless it stays a while. Only two or three inches but with all of our hills it's enough to keep us home. Wouldn't be too bad trying to get out during the day but I'd hate to be coming home at night and end up in a ditch. Not near as much fun as it is during the day time. At least we didn't get the sleet and freezing weather that was forecast.

My wine died on the vine. We had out of town company come up for a few days and we were so excited about having company that I forgot to take care of it. Didn't remember until after they left and it was too late to save it. Good thing I only start a gallon at a time.

Had a guy give me a 60 foot antenna tower a little while ago. All I had to do was take it down! Never took one down before but we took it down like felling a tree. Worked fine and nobody got hurt. The real problem is getting a three foot by three foot hole in this rock shelf that we're living on. I'd really like to have it erected before Winter's over.

Found our humidifier and started using it since we have the heater on. It sure feels warmer in here and the furnace doesn't seem to run as much. I'm thinking about adding more humidifiers and turning off the furnace.

Hate to think I've been off for a month and nothing more than that's happened in my life. Maybe I'll get more exciting as I get older. Wait, I did get excited the other day. We bought tickets for the Texas Mega Million lotto and someone won it so I checked our tickets and had the first two numbers. Scared me so bad that I had to put them aside a while and check them later. Was really afraid that we'd won the $44 million!

Wildman, (happy)

-- Anonymous, December 13, 2003

I just got the wonderful news that my house isn't sold after all. The buyer can't get his financing together and has asked to be released from the agreement. Apparently he just barely qualified for the principle and interest portion of the loan, and when taxes and insurance get added into the monthly payment his income doesn't qualify him anymore. I think I'm going to go bang my head against the wall....

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2003

Jeeze Sherri, that's really a bummer. Pick a soft wall; or go out and let go with a few screams. Hope something good happens soon!

-- Anonymous, December 18, 2003

Geeze...I hate not being up to date!!! I miss you folks a lot...hope to be back online and posting more in 2004. Best to y'all (I'll have to read again the above offline and later).

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2003

Happy Solstice, everyone! It's officially winter! And 40+ degrees out - wouldn't you know! What was it Saturday - 8* with a windchill of -5*? And warm today. Sheesh! I think we're supposed to get some snow today, maybe. My luck it will be rain! I've got Hubs talked into dragging out the fire ring for a fire/weenie roast tonight - if it rains, we'll probably end up in front of the wood stove in his shop instead - which isn't a bad thing!

I haven't done a darn thing lately! Unless you count sitting on my butt, eating bon-bons, and reading trash fiction 'til my eyes cross as doing something! Hubs has taken over the chores and the cooking; and most of the house type work as well, so I am basically just being a slug. He's going to town today to sign up with a temp agency for the winter months - guess his early retirement is getting to him! He's already put a new ceiling in his shop and is rebuilding my little tractor - I thought we were just talking muffler and radiator repair, but now he's rebuilding the water pump and a couple of other things as well. Since he's had time to look around, he's found several other things he wants to do around here, and doesn't want to dip into savings to do them, hence the temp work. Dang - I was kinda getting used to the "supper on the table when I get up at night" thing!

I'm still driving the rental car - bald tires and useless windshield wipers and all - as they found more damage than they expected when they started fixing my car. Hope I get mine back soon - I've been driving this one for over a week and I'm starting to "move in"! Got my cold weather emergency box, my can of de-icer, couple three water bottles, a broom, sack of papers for recycling.....gonna take me days to clean it out and clean it up!

The seed catalogs are still coming in - and I'm still waffling on my garden planning. I was propped up in bed last night, reading Jeff Ball's "60-Minute Garden" while Hubs was playing on the computer; kept bugging him to look at this trellis, or that tomato support - I think that he's more interested in the garden this year than I am! I need to figure out some other way to do my pole beans - this year's infatuation. The bean tee-pees that we used last year looked really nice, but weren't big enough and were a bit of a pain to harvest as well. I'm thinking maybe a screen type trellis between the last garden boxes and the clothesline - that'd give me 27-32 running feet of room; and beans don't have to be separated much to produce true. I gotta figure out something else to do with the tomatoes too - I was really lusting after Wildman's TV tower! I've got one piece of that stuff out here that they didn't use when they put ours up and I keep looking at it, thinking "maybe that's one thing the damn tomatoes wouldn't be able to outgrow/overwhelm". Maybe I should just learn to prune tomatoes, ya think?!

Well, sounds like Hubs is out of the shower so I'd better take my shot at it before Pop gets up and heads for his. Jessie has to work in the lab this morning until 10am, then we're going to go finish up the holiday shopping - gotta get Hubs some beer makings, and an "overendowed underdressed females perched on dirt bikes" calendar for his shop so he'll look authentic! Eyeball roll. Men! - they can be a lot of fun, but they're really weird sometimes!

You folks all take care, have a safe week!

-- Anonymous, December 22, 2003


Busy, busy, busy. And I'm not even celebrating the holidays! I hung a greenery bunch on the front door and threw some fairy light "nets" on the bushes by the front door, and that's IT.

Not in the market for "another cat", but I encountered a kitten that told me he belongs with me . . . urgh! I've resisted innumerable kittens, but not this one. So I made arrangement to adopt him, and then last Saturday, just hours before I was to pick him up, they called and said he has ringworm. Gak! So, he's staying in his foster care and being treated.

Probably all to the best, because in about 12 days, I am going away for a two-week vacation. My petsitter was willing to take care of a new kitten for me, but we decided ringworm was a bit much. Don't want everyone else to get it. Probably even birds can get it! {sigh}

Nothing much else is going on. I am spending all my time getting ready to go, including doing all those year end things that need to be tied up. I don't remember why I chose to go on January 4th -- probably because that is when I could use my frequent flyer miles. February would have been better, especially from my current perspective! ;)

I got myself a new vacuum cleaner, a Dyson. Merry Christmas to me? Only used it once so far, but so far I really, really like it. Took up all the pet hair that I used to have to rake up first, then vacuum over and over and over. It doesn't lose suction, even when full. And I just hold the bagless cannister over the garbage can and pop the bottom -- stuff falls in the garbage. Well, with the pet hair, static doesn't let it fall so easily, but a bamboo plant stake easily dislodged it. I'll let you know more in the future how it works. I wanted the purple "Animal" version, but Sears only had the yellow one in stock. I'll probably order the special tools separately, and then I can get the pet hair off the stairs too!

Now, isn't that a sad commentary on my life when a new vacuum cleaner is the most exciting thing? :-/

Oh, but I DID go to see Return of the King . . . BIG GRIN! Gotta figure out how to go see it once more before I go away on vacation.

Julie is very sick -- cold/flu -- and so is my mother, so they cancelled Christmas. Neither one cares. That's been my attitude for years! And I'm not sick. Trying to stay healthy too, don't want to be sick for vacation!

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2003


Stay well! And I just saw Return of the King on Sunday. WOW. I'm sad that the story is over....what a legend! I'm still reading the book again!

Hi to everyone! My boss is sick today (bad for him but good for me). Now I can get those presents wrapped and stuff. And cook, too. My sister-in-law is doing Christmas Eve dinner, and Mr. S. and I are bringing the Christmas Day feast to my mom's: smoked salmon, Dungeness crab, etc. I wish I had Boxing Day off (have to work), but today turned out to be a blessing anyway.

Hope you are all hanging in there...so much glum news these days...

-- Anonymous, December 23, 2003

Help!! What does one do when one's mother-out-law comes to visit from Canada bearing a gift of a simply hideous tablecloth she expects us to use for Christmas dinner? It's ghastly! Huge poinsettias and lotsa gold trim and just icky ! It will scream and CLASH with my dishes, which, incidentally, she bought us some years ago because she had the same pattern and was sure we would like them too. (They're ok, not what I would have chosen, but ok, and I'm used to them now). We could all get indigestion from the noise emanating from this tablecloth!

Usually I have a buffet, cuz I aint much for sitdown dinners, but this year I have a sit-down planned so I have no excuse about the tablecloth. I fear my little game hens will be terrified of the mutant poinsettias and get up off the plates and fly away.

I know what I have to do, but I just had to rant. It's kind of funny really I guess.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

-- Anonymous, December 24, 2003

EM, could you drape another one over it? I set my table at Christmas with a dark green cloth on bottom; and then a red plaid cloth turned so the points are ummm...pointing? toward the chairs. Maybe a nice table runner and placemats on top? And napkins? And a big centerpiece? And ....

-- Anonymous, December 24, 2003

Hi Everyone!! I hope you all had a happy and "enjoyable" Christmas :-)! Ours was okay....actually better than we'd expected considering that we have "the daughter-in-law from H***"!!!! Harry made his infamous party platter which included everything from hot peppers to shrimp. He even made tiny crabmeat sandwiches and a veggie platter. We don't have a big Christmas dinner. The big dinner "thing" is done at Thanksgiving. We didn't get each other gifts either, since our gift to ourselves this year was to get our wide pine board flooring down (thank goodness THAT job is done!). We also had a handmade corner hutch built for our livingroom. I can finally keep my bird music box collection and my blue spongeware behind glass cabinet doors!

Weather here has been weird to say the least. We had a couple of good snowfalls awhile back, but after several days of off and on rain and 40 plus degree temps...it's all gone :-(!! We sure got mud, though!

My mom spent Christmas back in the hospital. She fell a week ago at the nursing home and broke her OTHER hip! This is the one reason that I haven't been online at all over the past week or so. They put a bunch of pins and plates in and she returned to her nursing home room just today. I'm telling ya...when I get to be her age, I sure hope that I can be half as brave as she's been over the past year. She has been through so much pain and suffering!

I never did get my does bred this year. I just didn't seem to care about it. All I want is for this year to be over and done with. Maybe next year I'll be able to "focus" on our lives again! I don't know what I'm gonna tell my granddaughter when she asks me when the baby goats are going to be born!

Hey EM...is there anyway you could post a picture of that tablecloth?? Really love to see it :-)!!

If I don't get back here before then...have a SAFE and happy New Year's everyone!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, December 26, 2003

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