Tuesday, December 30, 2008

whiskers on kittens

christmas i had a terrible head cold, so the camera was missing in action, which is sooooo unlike me. it was gone in a flash and there was lots of driving, cough drops and not much sleep. i am thinking next christmas. . .a beach, calming waves, peacefulness and some sunshine. how does that sound??

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


i caught a moment with izzy in the car while her mom was in the grocery store. the light from the parking lot glowing on her little face. so innocent and peaceful. so beautiful.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

things are a little bit blurry. . .

Life is so so short and there is so much hate and ugliness in the world that we have to hold on to the perfection of a moment. Hold on to the rightness of a touch. Believe in the magic of love.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

fun with pomanders

pomander fun tip from Stacey: poke a hole with a toothpick before shoving a clove in it, saving fingertips from pain. I made the type that don't last too long, because if I wanted to make the real deal I would have had to start earlier to have them for Christmas. Since my time machine is not working right now, the fake pomander will have to do.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

a stop along the way. . .

There is an abandoned house that i love that I see on my drive between Ohio and Pennsylvania. I have stopped before and took pics of this house, there is something that draws me in. I was shivering from the cool wind, and my honey was sleeping in the passenger seat. I had to stop on Thanksgiving when it was a the perfect time of day, before dinner, when the lighting was just right, I had to stop again. I walked through the mushy mud and snow to get to the porch and take some quick photos. The soul of this place shines through the rubble and the wear of the years. The windows and the doors open to the world, accepting the light and the darkness. Open, with nothing to hide.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wow! That's Meaty Chili!

no picture available at this time
Wow! That's Meaty Chili!

two cans of diced tomatoes (Rotel is good or fire roasted)
1 1/2 lbs of lean ground beef
3 different types of beans
(chili beans, black beans, and kidney beans, for example)
Large bottle of Spicy V8
one large sweet onion chopped
one large green pepper chopped
Aleppo pepper and chili pepper to taste

Place large pot on stove. Start by pouring V8 into the pot. Brown and drain your beef and add to pot as well. Add all the other ingredients. Be sure to open the cans of beans before placing them into the pot. Otherwise, the flavor just won't be right. Cook on medium heat for a half an hour. Simmer on low for another half hour. Serve with dollop of fat-free sour cream and chipolte (or however you spell it) shredded cheddar and bake up some yummy crescent rolls. Makes about 10 servings.

it's the most ________ time of the year. (fill in the blank with the appropriate word)

I just experienced the loveliness of human kindness while racing though the isles of Costco. OK, not really. I had to do some deep breathing exercises to avoid ramming people with my monster cart. Rudeness. People are flat out rude. I don't care who they are, the woman in the motorized wheel chair thing, especially rude. She was parked sideways in the main isle, so that no one could go past her, and if you tried she would move up or back just a little bit so that she was sure to block you. She was like a goalie with that thing. I wanted to hit her, but I refrained. So, the human kindness was there, it was me, not pushing her out of her chair. Gosh, I'm nice.
This time of the year can be unbearable. The bright part of the day is spent inside at work, and when you can come out of your cave on the weekend, the crowds can cause this girl to get a little hostile. Planning, traveling, baking, family, fa la la la la and the stupid holiday shoppers fa la la, la la la. I think I am going to do most of my shopping on-line this year, fa la la, la la la, la la LA!

It is so easy to lose sight of what the holidays COULD be. Not that they are EVER the way that they are depicted on "It's a Wonderful Life", at least not that I have witnessed first hand. Would we even really want it to be like that? It's more like "Dysfunction Junction". It feels more normal with the drama. The Kodak moments last about as long as a shutter on a camera, CLICK, Done.
What I would like the holidays to be is a time to enjoy the company of the ones we love and to see people we rarely see and wish you could more often. I miss my Jersey girl, and my Izzybug.
It doesn't matter where we are or how it happens, just as long as we are all together. Cherish the precious time! THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL! The petty crap that people hold onto is asinine. If you kick the bucket tomorrow, who really cares that your aunt made a comment about your living in sin with your live-in LOV-A???
Here's another example of human kindness. . .yesterday, a minivan or some SUV type of vehicle backed right into my vehicle in the middle of Carson Street on the South Side of Pittsburgh yesterday evening. They hit my vehicle and stayed on the front end until the light changed and then. . .kept driving. They didn't even acknowledge that they had hit me. Well, have yourself a merry little Christmas, hit and run jerk. Have a jolly big mug of cat poo coffee.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

cozy cup of cocoa

Vanilla marshmallows make creamy hot chocolate even better. Mmmmm!
This fun purple mug was picked up at the Fiesta Outlet store in WV a few years ago, it is one of my favorites.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

i heart pumpkin

Embee is so funny. I caught her in mid-launch onto my lap. Look at that form.

Pumpkin scones that I made today.

Pumpkin smoothie

1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 tablespoons of Splenda
4 ice cubes

stick in blender and prepare to be happy

We made a pumpkin tart from a recipe that we found in Everyday Food.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

can't you read the sign?

How will the snowmobiles find their way through the forest?

Someone felt pretty strongly about this topic to make this compelling statement.

I admire the determination of the person(s) that this sign was made for, I don't even run, and I can see where I am going!

in a perfect world
there would be road signs to tell us where to go,
so that we know we are going the right way
there would be no war
dessert would be free of calories
we could live for today and not dwell on the hurt and guilt of the past
we would be honest with each other and not hide behind fear
there would be no road rage
you could trust people at their word
there would be enough love to fill us all
change and compromise wouldn't be so hard
we wouldn't have to worry about being vulnerable
because no one would ever try to hurt us
we could be two places at once
we could tear down the walls.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

capturing a clothespin

this is a clothespin and a sunset. good day.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

make a wish

We took a hike yesterday and it was a chilly beautiful morning. When the wind picked up a little bit, the leaves blasted from the trees and floated all around us. I had to catch a leaf in the air and make a wish on it. . .

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

a day in the country

A day to cherish, a chance to spend time with family, bask in the light of a mighty bonfire and the opportunity to take in a beautiful fall day. I bought a gallon of fresh apple cider that was so delicious. I also purchased Gala apples to make caramel apple bars. I will let you know how yummy they are once I make them. The roadside shop we where we stopped had closed for the day, but they kindly reopened to accommodate us. We walked through the orchard with our arms full, excited to enjoy the treasures we had just found.

When the sun went down I went for a walk in the cemetery behind my grandpa's house. There was a brilliant sunset, perfect photo opportunity.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

bliss and joy

After a stressful work day, it is nice to spend some quality time on the cross trainer with The Lemonheads, Mogwai, Norah Jones, Nickel Creek, The Cure, and Tori Amos (of course). That sounds like a half an hour worth of music. I don't get to the gym quite as often as I should. All right, almost never. But I have good intentions. Honest, I do. I actually made it to the gym tonight. It was a crap rainy day, my honey had to work late and I figured "what the hey". (Oh no, I am starting to talk like Sarah Palin!) Yikes!
When I got home I made a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with goat cheese, and some Spanish cheese I picked up at Whole Foods on my yumm-o rosemary bread. So much for the calories I burned on the cross trainer. (Waaaaa, waaaa.) If you have ever seen Debbie Downer on Saturday Night Live, that is the sound I was going for. . .
I took a wonderful bath with my Lush marshmallow melting moment bath melt. It looks like a cupcake. (www.lush.com) I lit a strawberry candle and got comfortable. Corny, maybe, but I listened to Enya, while soaking in my marshmallow heaven and had a moment of bliss.
You can't have a perfect bath without following it up with a cup of tea, so the tea is poured and I am about to enjoy hot apple cider tea. mmmmmmmmm!
I am going to take the time to pamper myself like this more often. I deserve it! So do you! Now I am ready for the rest of the work week.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Ah, the weekend passes by too quickly. The darkness comes so early, a sign that winter is approaching. Yuck!
The aromatic scent of rosemary bread drifts into the living room. The timing was off on the bread, so it will have to go with tomorrow's dinner.
The weekend was filled with fun shops, yummy food and good conversation with my visiting cousin.
My new favorite appetizer: Saganaki. Breaded and pan-fried Greek cheese flamed with Ouzo and extinguished with lemon. WOW! We experienced this wonderful treat at the Gypsy Cafe on the South Side. So so good!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

you're a dream to me

i am listening to pandora radio and the cranberries song "dreams" came on and it made me smile.

I spent the weekend at a cabin in the forest with my parents this past weekend and it was so good to get away. Life away from traffic and craziness. It is good to slow down and take in your surroundings. I always feel like my blood pressure drops to normal when I hear birds chirping and can inhale air that smells like Christmas with each breath. The chipmunk and the mushroom are my friends. When I get stressed out or overwhelmed, nature always centers me.

I even let my mom beat me three games of Scrabble because that is her favorite game and she likes to make up her own dictionary. :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This picture arrived in the mail today, folded in a white envelope addressed to me. There was no explanation or a note. Just this creepy fellow with a chainmail cloth thing on his head. How very odd. Anyone know anything about this? Huh???? Anyone, anyone?

***There is an update on this WTF. I discovered the guilty party shortly after this post. The city and state threw me off, but once my friend called me to chat. I knew instantly that it was she and her husband. When I saw her name pop up on my cell phone, I answered with "It was you, wasn't it? You sent me that creepy guy picture didn't you?" Silence followed. Then giggling. Uh huh. GUILTY!

Having a hamster on a wheel day

I am feeling a little bit down today. Just want a break from the monotony. I am feeling like a trained hamster. I wake, I shower, I rush around, I feed, I work, I go home. Hit the repeat button. I would be fretting if there was no routine to my life and yet. . . Just having one of those days, I guess. Luckily, when I come home, I have someone worth coming home to, and he is wonderful at cheering me up and making the sad leave. Even when he is having a bad day too. (Today was one of those days for him too.) Nothing like getting called into work, doing something mindless and boring for hours and when you are done, there is a nice parking ticket waiting for you. Grrrrr!

I was watching the news the other day and I was mortified by the report I saw. A woman a couple of years older than myself, dead. She was hit by her kid's school bus. She had just kissed little Bobby goodbye and was heading back to her car on the crosswalk. Just a normal day, just a trained hamster day, cut short, lives changed forever. The camera focused in on her glasses that were lying on the road. They had to include in their report that she was not only hit once but twice because the driver didn't know that he or she had hit a person. The glasses really bothered me. How cold and inconsiderate.

I noticed that I have been developing a horrible case of road rage while driving through the city streets. People think that they are invincible and that their cars are indestructible. They pull out without any knowledge of others driving skills or whether or not the other party's brakes work. It takes me almost forty minutes to drive 9 miles to work. That is nuts! There is gridlock, construction, school buses running over moms, and aggressive a-hole drivers that want to run me down.

I almost hit a man with my truck a few weeks ago. He walked right out in front of my truck while I was going 25 miles an hour. I slammed on my brakes and my vehicle skidded sideways a little bit. The man did not even glance in my direction. I almost ended his life and he did not even care.

I got angry at a vehicle that stopped in the middle of the road one day. I wanted to know why he was inconveniencing me by leaving his open his car door in my way. When I stopped because I had no choice, I looked over to see that the man was actually stopping to help a woman who had fallen down on the sidewalk. He was helping her gather the things that she dropped and pulling her to her feet. I felt like an ass.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

the flying monkey

My love decided that he wanted a tattoo for his birthday. I am here to tell you people, the chest is tender. Really really tender. Let's take a look at the progression of the tattoo.

Here's before the tattoo. I just included this pic because the lighting is so great and my honey is so handsome!

This is when the fun began. . .


Now let's add a little color!

Complete! Hooray!