Thursday, December 13, 2012

I should be packing

The guest room is a mess, with various piles of clothing awaiting either packing or putting away, depending on what I decide to take.  My suitcase has to be at my folks' house on Saturday, so it can go overland to Orlando, while I work in the office next week and then fly to Orlando on Friday.

This week has been absolutely hellish at work, as Mom and I scramble to get everything done before she leaves.  Of course, there have been crises, most notably four Wards in three different hospitals in two counties.  I think Tuesday was the worst, because we expected Monday to be a Monday, and we both got a lot done yesterday, but the phone would NOT stop ringing on Tuesday.

I'm getting cautiously excited about the cruise.  I've just purchased and downloaded 7 e-books to take with me, along with the physical books I've been hoarding, and I do know which nail polishes, perfumes and bath and body products I want to take.  I do need to find my lavender sugar scrub, which appears to be in hiding,  and as I said, I should be packing.

Instead, I am faffing about on Goodreads and playing a silly little shareware game.

Sunday, December 09, 2012


If you didn't hear that in Annie Potts' voice, you're too young--go away!  I'm excited because five years after I first looked for it online and got directed back to this blog, I found a picture of the Terex reindeer!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday disgusts me

Thirty-plus years ago, my mom and my aunt used to go shopping the morning after Thanksgiving, because that was when the Christmas stuff was first sold and because it was a little time alone for them, with their families sleeping off turkey hangovers.  Now, we have people camping out for a week, with generators, to buy things that will wind up in a landfill; retailers making their staff work on Thanksgiving night, and herds of people who need nothing and want everything trampling each other for the latest plastic crap.

My mother taught consumer education for thirty years, so I grew up with Maslow's Heirarchy.  I may spend like a drunken monkey sometimes, but at least I always know that I'm buying stuff I want rather than stuff I need.  I don't have a problem with people out there buying Christmas presents that would otherwise be smaller or non-existent, and I don't have a problem with people out there buying clothing or home goods that they need.

But people like the jackass with the generator?  They're disgusting and they tarnish what Thanksgiving is supposed to mean.

Book review

The Painted Girls: A NovelThe Painted Girls: A Novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although this is a fictional account of the van Goethem sisters, it's realistic while being engaging.  While some of the supporting characters are rather flat, the main characters are fully realized and I came to care what happens to them.  Without descending too far into adolescent angst, the author nevertheless manages to convey the pains and joys of growing up.  Without delving too far into grossness, Ms. Buchanan manages to convey the dangers and fears of a life lived on the ragged edge of poverty.  And without crossing the line into erotica, the author manages to convey the joy of sex with a loved one and the shame of sex for money.

After reading this book, I am torn between wanting to know more about the van Goethem sisters, and wanting not to know, so I can imagine them in a happy old age, chortling together over cups of tea and surrounded by reminders of lives well lived.

This book was sent to me for review

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 22, 2012

...and then the princess turned back into a troll

Tuesday night was really lovely.  I got out, met new people, got my hair done and a goodie bag, ate lovely food and talked nail polish and techie toys, and just felt like a princess all evening.

Sadly, I woke up Wednesday morning at 3 a.m. with a migraine, too far advanced for me to keep anything down, including meds or coffee.   I relied on a hot shower followed by an ice pack until it was time to get dressed and go to work.  I had, I thought, brought home a bunch of documents that needed to be filed, so I headed for downtown Akron.  At the very end of my drive, a turnoff I needed to take was closed, so I wound up in an unfamiliar area and missed the detour.  Once I was done with a long trip the wrong way and back, I parked the car and went to put my wallet and car keys in the envelope folder where the documents were.  Ohshit.  I had picked up the wrong folder, and everything I needed to file was at Mom's house, 30 minutes away.

Head still hurting, I tried to do the rest of my errands.  I went to the bank, forgot to go to Office Max, went to drop off my vacuum at the repair shop only to find out that they didn't open until 10, and got lost trying to find the paper recycling dropoff.  So I went to the office, only to find myself in the middle of a shrill squabble between a nursing home and a ward's family.  By the time I left, driving home in the sunshine was miserable.

But at least after the Monday from Hell and before the Wednesday from Hell, I had a few hours of fun, and now I have a whole weekend under my bridge to nest and read and play before I have to go back out in the scary world, and I am thankful for that.

Of course, I am as always, thankful for my family, my friends, my dogs and my health, and I wish all of my US friends and family a very happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

From Hell to Heaven in 36 hours

Yesterday was Monday on steroids, a seriously horrible day full of angry clients, sobbing clients, drama-queen Wards, paperwork and even when I came home and called Mom in Dallas, she had to hang up immediately because Tinkerbell had fallen off her bike (Tink's okay, thankfully).  I wanted to hide under the bed, or yanno, in it, because when I'm depressed, I sleep.  However, I decided it was too late in the day to nap.

So I nuked a cup of coffee and turned on the computer, and checked my e-mail and found something that cheered me right the heck up--an invitation to a salon opening from Zoya Nail Polish!  I sent my HELL YES response immediately, told all my friends, and then spent the rest of the evening until bedtime fussing over what I was going to wear.

I will post details and pictures at Bubbles and Baubles soon, but I will say tonight started with a name tag, a shampoo and blow-dry that left my hair looking stunning, continued with gourmet food and a serious swag bag, meeting a ton of great new people, including several Zoya polish fairies, as they are known, and Zoya herself!   It really was the perfect antidote to Monday. :D

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The turkeys were an omen.

Gah, what a day.

My drive to work this morning was perfectly normal, right up until I had to brake for the flock of wild turkeys crossing the road.  That was when my brakes went almost completely out on me.  Fortunately, I didn't hit a turkey.  I drove carefully and slowly the rest of the way to work, and told Mom what had happened.  Oh, Mom and Dad were supposed to be en route to Dallas for Thanksgiving, but they didn't leave on Wednesday because of Mom's work schedule and they didn't leave this morning because Dad didn't feel well.  I will spare my readers a rant on the idiocy of people who do not take antibiotics that have been prescribed for them and who instead prefer to fix dental problems on their own.

At any rate, Mom was home, and she and I talked while she had her second cup of coffee, and then I checked the voice mail while she paid bills.  There was a message from the outside company we use to prepare QDROs (court documents dealing with the division of retirement accounts for divorcing clients) saying that they didn't want the form we'd sent to them for one of our clients, they wanted a different form, which, btw, we'd sent to them in April, at which time they rejected it.  So the first thing I did was call the client and tell him what we now needed.  Next, I tried the local tire & brake shop, and got a busy signal.  So Mom and I started work with a look at the payroll account and then doing a bunch of letters.  When I finally got through to the tire place, they said if I could bring my car in and leave it for the day, they'd try to fix the brakes for me.

With Mom ahead of me in her car, I drove very, very slowly down a main road until we got to the tire place. I dropped off the keys, gave them my information, signed the form and hopped in with Mom to go to the post office and then back to work.  Almost immediately the phone rang, and a semi-hysterical non-client tried to drag us into an estate dispute involving one of our incompetent clients.  I told her Mom was unavailable, took her name and number and wrote up my notes from the call.

Mom then decreed a short break, and we went to the Disney Cruise website to complete our pre-registration.  That's when we discovered that there is no record of transportation from our hotel the day of the cruise to the ship.  Mom was livid.  She sent an e-mail to the travel agent (who still hasn't replied) and then had to pick up all of the assorted paperwork all over the floor.  While she did that, I talked to a client in a divorce case where opposing counsel is ignoring us AND ignoring the judge's office.  Unfortunately, we can't send enforcers to his office to make him return our calls.

Then the phone rang again, and it was one of our clients who is involved with a nasty estate dispute.  Mom did her best to talk to the client and tell her what she needed to do so Mom could do her job, and when that phone call ended, it was time for lunch.  While we were getting lunch ready, the phone rang again and it was the semi-hysterical non-client again.  This time Mom talked to her, then we ate, then she wrote up her notes and I went downstairs to look for some paperwork.

While I was down there the phone rang again, and the tire place told Mom that my car wouldn't be ready today, that they had to replace two brake lines and that it would cost at least $300.

The rest of the day went downhill.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Dad's Road Trip

2 a.m.: Go to bed

4 a.m.: Get up, eat ice cream

4:30 a.m.: Go back to bed

6 a.m.: Get up, drink coffee, surf the web, chain-smoke

6:30 a.m.: Panic!  Load the car.  Repeatedly call your wife out to the garage to help you, only to let her stand there for 10 minutes before you say you're not ready for her.

7:30 a.m.: Ask for pillows, a blanket, sandwiches, coffee and snacks.  Get them because your wife is awesome and did everything but the coffee last night.

7:50 a.m.: Leave 

10:30 a.m.: Take first nap

12:00 p.m.: Call home, joke that the food Mom packed means he's travelling the Trans-Fat Highway.

12:30 p.m.:  Take second nap

Arrive somewhere around 4 p.m.

On Saturday, Dad and his friend were driving back from somewhere when Dad's phone rang.  It was his friend D, whose family has known our family since the late '60s.  D was in New Jersey too, helping out his daughter who lives there, and he knew Dad was in NJ because Jeeves posted it on Facebook.

Dad thinks it's funny, Mom thinks it's an invasion of privacy, and I think the world just gets smaller and smaller. :)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Another hero (although this one's not soggy)

An old friend of my uncle's lives in New Jersey, and is without power.  Because my father is smart and caring and thoughtful, he purchased a generator today, and tomorrow morning he is driving to New Jersey to get it hooked up.  He just says that it's something he knows how to do and something he has the time to do, but I'm pretty damn impressed.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A damp hero

Last night was mostly a typical Monday night at Casa de Jammies.  Work sucked on toast, it was cold, raining and horrendously windy, and I was glad to get home, shuck out of my work clothes and settle down to read a nice, spooky, vampire apocalypse novel.  The Twelve, by Justin Cronin, if you're curious.   The dogs were both fairly needy, thanks to the wind, and after the third time Little Miss Piggie Pie tried to climb into my lap, I gave up on reading and headed for the computer.

Around nine o'clock, I was sitting at my desk with four programs running on my desktop computer when the power went out.  I waited a minute until I was sure that the power wasn't coming back on immediately, and then I reached over and turned off the power bar for the computer and peripherals before pushing back my chair.  Because the study is at the back of the house, there was very little light coming into the room.  When my eyes adjusted, the first thing I saw was six glowing spots to my right.  After a blink or two, I realized it was my glow-in-the-dark nail polishes!

If you've never tried to navigate a pitch-black house with dogs pressed to your legs, I can't give you any advice, because once I got past the study door to the hallway, I could see the light from the streetlamps.  All the lights were on at the sub-station across the street, so I lit some candles and called my folks to request a wake-up call in the morning in case the power wasn't back on by 6.

Okay, technically, I called my mother, because the only time my dad sees 6 a.m. is from the wrong side.

Then I picked up my knitting and did four rows on The Scarf That Will Take Forever.

At about twenty to ten, Little Miss Piggie Pie started going crazy, running back and forth from the living room window to the breezeway door, barking her head off.  I tried telling her that nobody would be walking or bicycling past her turf on a night like this, but she persisted.  I finished my row, set the knitting aside and walked out to the breezeway and looked out the door.

There was in fact someone out there, a dark shape on foot, with a flashlight.  After a minute or so, I realized that it was the poor city electrical worker who was on call last night, walking between the substation building and the cage full of, um, transformers?  about a house lot away.  And he stayed out there, going back and forth between the two, for the rest of the evening.  Granted, by the time I went to bed at 11:30, he was no longer on foot but taking his truck back and forth, but he was still working to get my power back on.

I read a few more chapters in my scary book, thanks to the LED book light Sherri gave me, then set up the coffee, set the alarm on my cell phone, and went to bed.  When I woke up at 5:30, the power was on, but I thought it was only 3:30, so it's a good thing Mom called at 6.

So tonight I am raising my glass to all of the gas and electric workers, the damp heroes out there getting the power back on and keeping people warm and safe and well-lit.  Thank you all.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Serious Paypal Stupidity

(cross-posted from Bubbles & Baubles)

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab recently re-introduced single note scents, which change monthly.  This month, the scents are (or rather were) Iranian Galbanum and Rum-Soaked French Tonka.   If you're a reasonably internet-savvy person who doesn't happen to know that these are perfume components, you look them up.

If you're a drooling idiot who works for Paypal, however, you shut down the account of a perfume vendor who is selling a perfume with that name.  Really, Paypal, have you NO employees there with brains?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wonderful video

The adorable Jack Russell?  He's co-owned and trained by one of my Goodreads pals.  Yay Milo!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bits and pieces

Dad left for the lake house this afternoon, after staying up until 5:30 a.m., sleeping until 11 a.m. and packing the car/playing on the computer/drinking coffee until 1:30 p.m.  Mom's not going up until after her pre-trial on Friday, but my aunt and uncle arrive from Colorado tomorrow, so someone's got to be there.

Dad just e-mailed Mom and me a list of all the things he forgot to bring, which he wants Mom to bring with her, and closed the e-mail with "All is well here.  Buddy looks happy."  Buddy, of course, is the new golf cart.

Little Miss Piggie Pie just belched, and her breath is so incredibly stinky that the smell of my newly-polished nails is preferable.  That was disgusting.

I have a new floor steamer, a Haan FS20, and I love it!

That's pretty much the news from 'round here.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


The Crimson Petal and the WhiteThe Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Just ugh.  I give up.  The mention of Victorian perfumery sucked me in, but there's nothing of the art of perfume in this novel and not one likable character anywhere.  While I don't object to sex scenes in my reading, I do object to an abundance of dreary, joyless, sometimes disgusting sex scenes and overblown writing that gets the plot nowhere.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Jammies Family E-mail Exchange

Plaid Jammies:  I just bought a really fancy golf cart for the lake house.  It seats six!

Captain Crossword: Wow!

Jammies:  I bought a new coffeemaker for $20.

Jeeves:  SHOTGUN!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Of buying and books and boycotts and bastards

In February, one of my favorite contemporary authors was put through a miserable period of stress thanks to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Ms. Seanan McGuire tells her story much better than I would, so please go here to read it.

I stopped buying from Amazon years ago, when they said they'd continue to sell magazines about dog-fighting even though dog-fighting is illegal, and I was glad of that when they unfairly de-rated LGBT authors.  But I've been a Barnes & Noble customer for ten years, and continued to buy from them, reasoning that it was a one-time error and wouldn't happen again.

Well, it did.  In fact, they're doing it right now, and so I am done giving them any of my money.  I pre-ordered the book I want from Books-A-Million, and will happily wait until September 4th to read it.

My discretionary spending isn't much.  It's a drop in the ocean compared to what Bastards & Noble get daily, let alone yearly.  Still, it's my drop, and I will not put it in their ocean until they stop this tactic.  *sigh*  It's very discouraging that they feel the need to put profit ahead of author relationships, but I guess that's the way the world is going.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Quick update

1. I turned down a job in Columbus because I'm not ready to move, but it was nice to have the offer.

2. I ripped off half a toenail a week ago and it still hurts.

3. In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Mouse got distressingly and messily sick in my bedroom, leading to a 4 a.m. wakeup and much laundry, followed by an excruciating morning as Mom and I worked on an estate where the final balance had to be divided between 14 people in 3 generations.  Ack, fractions!

4. We got it done and out, yay!

5. Apparently, some people think it's okay to send 38 or 57 page faxes.  No, no it's not.

6. I am still alive. :)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Random pic spam!

The ice cream cone pi├▒ata that Mom and I made:

Sad Mouse with black eye:

Sad Mouse with ice pack:

Saturday, August 04, 2012


The family schedule for June and July:

June 16th: my parents' 50th wedding anniversary
June 17th: Father's Day
July 4th through the 9th: Jammiesfest
July 13th through the 22nd: My nephews staying with Mom and Dad
July 25th: My father's birthday
July 28th through August 4th: My nieces staying with Mom and Dad

August 4th through August 12th: Most of the whole famdamily staying at Lakeside.


Some highlights:

Jay, Sherri and Zeus the Wonder Poodle came for Jammiesfest and rearranged my living room, cleaned all the glassware and alphabetized the books.  Yes, I'm a little embarrassed by letting my friends see the cobwebby corners and work on their vacations, but I'm also thrilled at having a living room I can actually live in!  And I did take them out for Thai food and make yummy lemon pound cake...

On my birthday, I woke up to a dog who looked like a losing prizefighter.  Mr. Mouse had gotten stung or bitten and his right eye was swollen shut.  Two vet visits, two weeks in the Collar of Shame, two steroids, two antibiotics and close to two hundred dollars later and he is fine.

The Awesome Nacho remembered that I like lavender and got me a lovely lavender soap for my birthday, and SuperDoughnut got me an adorable birdhouse.

Thanks to the new working arrangements, I got to see my nephews every day they were here.

For his birthday, I took my retro Dad to RetroDog, which was fun.  My hot dog was good, Dad's onion rings looked superb and Dad liked it so much he and Mom took the girls there.

I got to see Bookworm Mathgeek for a couple of hours on the 28th, which was my only chance to spend some time with her before December, as she's not going up to the lake (and I'm only going for one day this year). 

The girls had a tea party and invited Vegan Lawyer, her granddaughter and her stepgranddaughter.  Cupcakes were decorated and frosted and eaten, fancy dresses were worn, t-shirts and hats and birdhouses were painted and a good time was had by all.

Mom took my nieces and I to the Natatorium, and Princess Mathgeek rode the water slide at least 10 times.  Tinkerbelle climbed all the way to the top of the stairs, only to be told she was too short. :(  So I went up with her and basically bullied the lifeguard into letting her go down once with me.  Then they both jumped off the diving board multiple times and swam with me in the current pool.  Mom took pictures and said the water was too cold.  The next day, Mom took the girls to the outdoor water park and Tinkerbelle was tall enough to ride two of the four waterslides.

My father was so excited about his new tablet that he backed into my car and tore the driver's side mirror loose. 

Despite all this, Mom and I managed to complete and send out three notary subpoenas, many letters, and 270 pages of responses to interrogatories.  Today I am doing laundry and making a half-hearted effort to clean, and then tomorrow I will drive up to the lake for a few hours, spend some time with Captain Crossword and Jeeves, and then drive home.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Google Chrome sucks

and Blogger sucks for making me use it in order to upload photos and add links.  I will not be using Google+ any more in protest.  Assholes.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Valiant Little Oxalis

Mom and Dad went to Dad's 50th college reunion last weekend, then spent a week up at the lake house with three other couples.  They had a good time, Aunt Sarah wore and got compliments on the nail polish necklace I made for her, and she and Mom did some wallet damage at a big nursery up there. 

Today, I went out to Mom and Dad's to drop off the tomato plants I've been coddling for Mom and to get drinking water (since Dad shuts off the house water when they're gone for more than 48 hours).  The house was quiet when I got there, and I figured Dad was still asleep and Mom was outside working, so I filled my water bottles, put them in the trunk, unloaded the tomato plants and then went looking for Mom.  She was doing cleanup in the side yard, but was happy to take a break and have a cup of coffee and talk with me. 

As we walked back to the house, Mom said, "Oh, look at that!" and pointed to the compost heap.  Growing out of the remains of a Boston fern that Mom had put on the compost early this spring was a big, beautiful burgundy oxalis!  Mom said it was a shame to leave it there, and I told her I'd be thrilled to take it.  We got a pot from the shed (which the plant was too big for!) and I put it in my car with the water bottles.  Then Mom told me that the gorgeous purple calla lilies in a matching pot on the porch table were for me!  So after Mom and I talked, Dad woke up and I said good morning to him and Mom had given me her opinion on the nail polish jewelry I brought, I headed back home, short four tomato plants but ahead on callas and oxalis.

Now I have to go do laundry, bleah.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Once upon a time...

I had a job that became unbearable and I quit.  Before I did, though, I had three years of working in an office that looked like a ski lodge and had floor-to-ceiling windows all the way around the first floor.  In winter, it was like working inside a snow globe.

Driving to and from work, I passed a cute little mid-century ranch with a breezeway connecting the garage to the house and sighed over it.  Three years after quitting the job, I saw a for sale sign on the house and bought it.

The daughter of one of my co-workers at the apartment complex replaced me as Mom's assistant when I went to work for Hyphenated Corp.

So there were a lot of complex emotions roiling around inside me when I heard about this:

Fire rips through apartment complex.

And when I saw this:

I sent one of the property managers an e-mail telling her to let me know if I could help, but I don't know if the address is even still valid.  *sigh*

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beautiful day for a road trip

Mom and Dad picked me up at 6:30 yesterday morning for a quick trip to Columbus.  It was my first time riding in Dad's new GMC Acadia, and it's a nice car, but the leg room in the back is really minimal!  Anyway, we made it to Powell in time to see the younger of my nephews test for and get his orange belt in Taekwondo, and then go out for brunch.

My elder nephew has celiac, and because he didn't want to make his brother choose a different restaurant than his favorite, he ate at the house before we went.  This is pretty typical of The Awesome Nacho, who is very considerate of others.  This is in complete contrast to his grandfather, who pitched a hissy fit about how expensive cigarettes are when I bummed one from him and then said he'd like to spend $10/month for a cell phone that would live on Mom's bike just in case she needed it.  He also made us late leaving for brunch and late leaving to come home, because it's all about him.  He was a little surprised and offended when we stopped at Starbucks on the way back and I refused his offer of a coffee.  After the little display in the car earlier, I was not going to spend any of his money!

The important thing, though, is that SuperDoughnut did very well on his test, got his new belt, and got brunch with his family on a beautiful day.  :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why I spent every free minute of the last four days...

reading the same book twice.  That book was BlackoutBlackout by Mira Grant.
It's a sci-fi / horror / political thriller / love story / action movie novel all rolled into one, and it is intense.

Okay, thing one about this review--spoilers.  I'm not going to put them in individual spoiler tags, I'm going to spoil-code everything after thing two and if you keep reading, on your head be it.

Thing two--you need to read these books in order.  If you haven't read Feed and Deadline, stop reading this review, get your butt to the library or bookstore and read them.  Come back here in a week, when you've read both books and then had a meal, a shower and some sleep.  Trust me, you will only take time away from these books with great reluctance.

Spoilers ahoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


will be the three year anniversary of Stormdog's death. This morning, on the way into work, I heard about a couple who paid $155,000 to have their dog cloned. I said three years ago, that if cloning ever became inexpensive, maybe I'd do it. But now I know that I wouldn't, even if it was only $155 instead of a hundred times that. I miss Stormy, I miss him every single day. But he was the dog he was not only because of his genetic makeup, but because of the experiences he had in his life and where I was in my life and the roads we traveled together. I could not be the same person I was eighteen years ago when a half-grown, all-legs, sweet-natured and much too smart puppy came into my life, and I don't want to be that person. Stormy will never be equaled in my life or in my heart, but I cherish his memory and try to be the person he thought I was. Until such time as Stormy and I are reunited, if such time ever comes, I will give the dogs in my life all the love and care they deserve, and honor his memory that way. I would not cheapen what Stormy and I had by buying a replica.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Ouch on several levels

My feet, my calves and my wallet!  After a long week at work, Mom and I had nice dinner out and then went shopping.  We went to two shoe stores with no success, then Burlington Coat Factory, Big Lots and Gabriel Brothers with a great deal of success.  Mom got red, white and blue pillows for the lake house, several cute tops, a pair of capris and a pair of shoes.  I got light summer dresses for wearing around the house, a pair of cute oxfords, three shirts, two pairs of pants, a grapefruit-scented candle, three Godiva chocolate bars and three new cushions for the wicker chairs on the breezeway.

The best moment was probably when I had found the two pairs of pants at Gabe's--one light aqua and one medium purple, both linen-look, for $3 and $8.  Mom said "I need some tan capris" and I reached over, looked at a tag, said, "Size 10?" and Mom said yes, so I handed them to her--$3!  She was thrilled, and called me this morning to tell me they fit. :)  She also liked her early Mother's Day gift, a necklace and earrings I made with nail polish:

The set is based on a lovely spring jacket of Mom's, which is white with pink and orange flowers, but it would also go with the orange shirt she got last night!

On the way home, we discussed our bargains and what new clothing we were going to wear with clothing we already had.  Mom helped me bring in all my bags of loot and then headed home, and I took a quick bath and collapsed into bed.  This morning, I tried everything on and it all fits, and now I have leftover Mongolian beef to have for lunch.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Still boring, but still here.

Spring is definitely here, because mulch is now available at my grocery store!  I'll be getting some next weekend and for a number of weekends thereafter, which may mean that Bubbles & Baubles goes on hiatus, given what I tend to do to my nails during mulch time. :) 

Temptation Nursery is open now, and Mom and I have a date for May 12th to go shopping for tomatoes and to fight about letting me buy her at least one plant for Mother's Day.  I swear, fighting with her over buying her things is as much of a tradition as giving her a card.

I also need to invest in a good spray bottle so I can get my butt outside and deal with the nettles.  I don't mind like dandelions, plus Snoopy mows 'em down regularly, but I will not allow prickly things in my flower beds!

Doc and I also have a date for lunch on the 12th, so I'll have to coordinate that with Mom, but then I get Doc to myself for a couple of hours.  She's had a lot of changes in a short period of time, and while we had a long phone conversation on Friday, nothing beats face-to-face chat over a bowl of white chili con queso and chips.

May is probably my favorite month of spring.  There are seeds and seedlings to plant, weeds to kill, mulch to spread, flowers blooming, lots of sun and the heat isn't usually ridiculous.  I'm looking forward to the next month.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Most Boring Person on Earth

That would be me. I wake up, drink coffee, answer some want ads, go to work, come home, maybe go work out, eat dinner, read, play on the computer, play with nail polish, read some more, go to bed.

There are house finches nesting in the tree by the breezeway, which is fun.

There are nettles everywhere in my yard, which is not fun.

I have a ton of supplies to make nail polish jewelry, which is fun.

Other than that, there really isn't anything going on. The dogs are fine, I'm fine, the whole famdamily is fine. I just wish I could find a job for when Mom closes the office.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yet another book review

Death Comes to PemberleyDeath Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This didn't wow me--it's much better written than most of the Austen sequels/ripoffs/homages/reimaginings that have hit the market in the last few years, but it's by a professional writer, so that's not surprising. Most of the character have evolved in ways that fit with their original depictions, and the relationships have done the same. The mystery is decent if not innovative, and handled well, but overall, the book just didn't grab me or live up to the standard set by Ms. Austen.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another book review!

The Lost ConspiracyThe Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was with reluctance that I closed this book and left the world of Gullstruck. Ms. Hardinge combined splendid world-building with fascinating character-building. Learning about a society reliant on those of its members who can project their astral selves and what happens when that ability is gone was fascinating, but the story of Hathin, the central character, was even more so. Watching Hathin cope with her duties and responsibilities and then with her fears and hopes was a rich and rewarding experience.

I hope that sometime in the future Ms. Hardinge will revisit this world--I would love to read more about it.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Book review

The Hunchback AssignmentsThe Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A note for Brooke--don't read this, I'm sending the book to you.

While the world-building and character-building in this novel are good and the plot is interesting, I just couldn't get past the (view spoiler)[animal abuse in the first chapter and the large-scale child abuse in the main plot (hide spoiler)].

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

No more rubber ducks

A few years ago, I read and enjoyed A Year Without Made in China by Sara Bongiorni, and it made me realize how pervasive Chinese-made items were in the US. Then a good friend almost lost a cat due to tainted pet food made in China. Recently, I read Swindled, a very good and very scary book about how food has historically been adulterated and continues to be. The saddest and scariest parts were the New York swill milk scandals of the mid-1800s and the two Chinese milk scandals in the last ten years. Then came the revelation that MAC Cosmetics, which wants to sell to the growing Chinese middle class, will in fact be testing on animals, something which is required by Chinese law.

So the Chinese government does not care about food quality for either pets or babies, but requires makeup to be tested on animals? It won't make much, if any difference to the big picture, but unless it's something I need instead of something I want, I will not be buying anything Chinese-made.

I will be going through my cosmetics to see what has been made in China, and no, I won't discard anything I already have, but I won't buy more from that company. I already know that most, if not all, rubber ducks are made in China, so no more of those. For everything else, I'll look to see where it's made, and only buy it if A. I need it and B. I can't find an American-made alternative.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Mouse milestone!

Yesterday afternoon, I was trying to take a nap. Little Miss Piggie Pie was curled up on my bed and Mouse was curled up on his bed. Just as I was drifting off to sleep, Mouse got up and trotted out of the room. LMPP followed him, and about 30 seconds later I heard thumps and thuds. When the noise hadn't stopped in five minutes, I gave up on the nap and got up.

Mouse and Little Miss Piggie Pie were playing together, and he was participating with every aged bone and muscle. They were so cute that I didn't even think to grab the camera, just watched them and grinned. Of course, Mouse tired first and had to hide under the kitchen table until she finally got the idea that he was done, and he probably shouldn't have played with her on a full stomach (details omitted), but I feel as though he's finally truly happy to be here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I think I have recovered from Monday...

I should have taken the flock of wild turkeys crossing my path as I drove to work as a hint from the universe and turned around and gone home!

A good man and good friend of the family died of lung cancer.

There were crises upon crises at work, and I'm finding that I do not function well with Mom out of the office for extensive periods.

I forgot my lunch and the soup of the day downstairs was broccoli cheddar (ick).

I ran out of antidepressant on Saturday.

In the line at the drive-through pharmacy, I was stuck inbetween two cars for fifteen minutes. Then when I got to the window, the pharmacy tech was moving like a glacier. If someone was in her way, she didn't go around them, she waited. She searched everywhere twice for my prescription, went back to the computer in between each location, and finally had to ask for help. It had been another seven minutes by the time she found it and ten by the time I was out of there.

The dogs were so hyper they nearly broke my fingers as I was trying to take Mouse off the chain and put Little Miss Piggie Pie on it.

When I took off my brand new earrings, one of them fell apart.

I would say the week got better, but since I woke up at 5 this morning with my third migraine in ten days, I can't. It's not getting worse, that's all.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Book review

Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy Of Highclere CastleLady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy Of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book was interesting, although there were various grammar and spelling usages which threw me out of the narrative. These may just result from a difference between British and American English, so I didn't deduct any mental points. Almina, Countess Carnarvon, was certainly an interesting woman, but I did deduct a point for the marketing strategy of linking her life with a popular television show. The book could have stood on its own merits.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Pennsylvania House of Criminals

The bare bones:

A Pennsylvania legislator decides PA needs one of those trendy new transvaginal ultrasound laws.

A blogger reads the entire bill, then writes him a letter.

The legislator responds with condescension, obfuscation and the disclosure of his own daughter's medical information.

The long version

Monday, February 20, 2012


Grump ringing up my purchases at World Market,

If you don't like people, get a different job.

Opposing counsel,

We're in compliance, you're not. Straighten up!

Collection agency person,

No, I'm not going to prove to you that my boss is someone's guardian so you can serve the ward. Call the nursing home and see if you can get past the staff.

Mail order pharmacy,

You have the checking account information, STOP telling the nursing home staff they can't re-order without a credit card. Assholes.


Get your stanky butt off my brand-new pillows.

Other dog,

No people food for puppies in this house. Get used to it.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One good Valentine deserves another...

I had to stop at Petsmart tonight to pick up a tag for a client's dog, and there was a very long checkout line, and next to it a bin filled with dog toys for $1.47. So of course I succumbed--the toys were adorable, cheap, and they don't have faces. I brought home two toys, and Mouse went "Meh" and went back to sleep, and Little Miss Piggie Pie went nuts. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

After Little Miss Piggie Pie had gone crazy, she walked away. Poor Mouse got curious and was left red-pawed with the evidence of the crime. Fortunately, he's got me as a character witness. ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

She loves me, yeah, yeah, yeah, BLECH!

Valentine's Day is bad enough when it's a daylong reminder that I am a rejected spinster, but it didn't help that my first Valentine of the day was a dead mouse from the dog at oh-dark-hundred!

Oh, well, at least my nails looked pretty and we had a yummy lunch at work, complete with vegan strawberry cake and pitas and homemade snack mix. Of course afterwards, instead of napping my way out of a food coma, I had to help Mom with trial prep, but TANSTAAFL, right?

Happy Valentines to everyone!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Book Review

The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van MeegerenThe Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Han van Meegeren by Jonathan Lopez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An intriguing story, a compelling if not particularly likeable subject, crisp writing, elegant language and an author who explains details and concepts without talking down to his reader all made this a wonderful reading experience.

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Monday, February 06, 2012

Book review

The Night StrangersThe Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Bleah. For a so-called "ghost story," this was terribly boring. The writing is technically proficient, but the characters are two-dimensional placeholders, which makes for absolutely no tension in the scary plot developments. Those plot developments are telegraphed loudly in advance, and there's no leavening humor or humanity to make a reader care enough to be scared on behalf of any of the cardboard figures populating the novel. Throughout the read I was irritated by the use of second person singular for chapters involving the main character, then ticked when the cat was killed for no apparent reason except to demonstrate which "herbalist" was the Big Bad and finally just bored right out of my little fuzzy socks

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Happy Massacre!

When I bought the gingerbread trains for my nephews, I also picked up a gingerbread house for me. Unfortunately, the weekend was just too crazy for me to do anything with it, so it's been sitting in my cupboard for the last two months. When I found out Mom was giving a Valentine's Day talk, I knew what I was going to do with the gingerbread house!

And because Mom mentioned the Valentine's Day Massacre in her talk and I had some extra pieces in the gingerbread house kit, well...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sick and tired

of being sick and tired. I've had this cold for nine days now, and now when I cough I get a sharp pain in my right side and I can't sleep for more than two hours without coughing. Functioning at work is interesting.

Mouse is doing well, thank heavens. He's eating, he bounces when I come home from work, and he's putting up with Little Miss Piggie Pie's efforts to play with him.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My condolences to Sherri and Jay

who lost their beautiful black and white kitty Ophelia today. I had the pleasure of hosting Ophelia twice, and she was as sweet as she was pretty.

*hugs Sherri and Jay*

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Long week

Even with the holiday on Monday, it's been a very long week. I have a nasty sinus infection and a really messy house. Mouse is starting to settle in, although Little Miss is bummed that he's not really interested in playing with her. She's very good about not over-pestering him, though, so yay for that!

The rental company where I used to work put an ad in the paper on Sunday, and I did some soul-searching and some list-making to see if I wanted to apply for the job. Back when I quit, I was specifically told that if I ever wanted to come back, I'd be hired. In the end, though, I remembered how unhappy I was at the end of my time there and decided I'd keep looking.

Hopefully, I can manage to find enough energy to at least do laundry and run the vacuum this weekend.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mouse is here!

He's absolutely huge, incredibly sweet and pretty needy right now. He's in the spot that has been a refuge for Littlefoot and Little Miss, in the well of my desk. This means I am sitting back from the desk and typing from a very odd position, and I'm thinking this might be a good time to go sit in my recliner, watch "Downton Abbey" on the netbook and stop straining my back!

Mom and I took the boys to Kalahari, a water park in Sandusky, yesterday. It's about 90 minutes from my house, so between that and the seven hours we spent there, it was a long day. Snoopy stopped by in the late morning and let Little Miss outside, and he would have stopped in the evening, but Mom and the boys and I got back early. We discovered that McDonald's milkshakes have gluten, and The Awesome Nacho discovered that he prefers plain hot chocolate to hot chocolate with caramel in it. SuperDoughnut, on the other hand, adored the caramel hot chocolate. Both boys had a wonderful time at the waterpark, and I enjoyed myself, although I didn't feel as though I got much exercise. My biggest victory was not showing how dizzy and sick I felt after riding the big, enclosed waterslide in a 4-person innertube!

I don't know if it's stress, the long day in and out of dryness, heat, cold, etc. or if it's just been incubating for a while, but I have a nasty sinus infection kicking my butt today. Thankfully, Mom took the day off and gave me the day off, and I'm working half-days tomorrow and Thursday, so hopefully I can rest and recover. Mouse has an appointment with his old vet on Thursday, and after that I will take him to my vet for care in the future.

All in all, a good 3-day weekend.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Yes to the second dog!

Apparently, I am getting him if he takes to me, so I'll be meeting him tomorrow morning. I'm still slightly dizzy from all the reversals but pretty pleased!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

No second dog

He's fine, I just don't get him. Too upset to write much. :(

Sunday, January 08, 2012

New stuff all over the place!

I had asked for a new digital camera for Christmas, so yesterday Dad took me on an expedition to get one. He'd done all of his research and had it narrowed down to three cameras, but decided after we started shopping that only the Nikon CoolPix S9100 would do. So we went to a small chain of NE Ohio camera shops called Dodd Camera in Fairlawn, only to discover that while the website said they had a 9100 in stock, the store computer said they had one in stock, and they had the box, they didn't have the camera! The sales associate tried to interest us in a different Nikon, but Dad asked him to call the Medina store and see if they had one. The SA said he got the fax machine when he called, and told Dad there wasn't a map on the website. Dad asked for and got permission to come around the counter and found and printed a map, and took the Medina store's number.

I have to think that the SA didn't want us going to another store, because as soon as we were in the car, I called the number, got an associate there, and had him set aside their last red 9100. I also got excellent directions from him, and although I hate driving in Medina with all their damn one-way streets, we made it and got the camera. Dad also got the auxiliary kit, which included a spare battery and a mini tripod. After stops at Advanced Auto Parts and Office Max, we headed back to my house, but went to Arby's because Dad was hungry. He treated me to either a very late lunch or a very early dinner, which we ate sitting on the breezeway. Mom called while we were eating and was not pleased that Dad had forgotten she was cooking dinner!

After Dad was done, he set up my new Acer netbook he got for me, and then he talked my brother through some computer problems, then we played with the camera and then Dad left. Aside from the fact that I was a little peeved by his being half an hour late, we really had a great day.

So the new stuff so far is a new red camera and a new black netbook. However, there is one more new and important change coming for me, I hope, on Friday. No, it's not a new job, it's a second dog.

I debated whether I was going to mention this at all, because I'm so afraid I will jinx things, but I'm too excited to shut up. It looks as if I will be fostering an elderly yellow Lab whose current owner can't keep him. If all goes well, I will pick him up on Friday and bring him home. So everyone, please cross your fingers for us as you go through your week!