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My Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My surgery has occurred. It took longer than anticipated due to my uncompromising nose. Dr. ENT informed my waiting friend, Rain, that there "had been a complication." I just know that she turned all shades of white at hearing that phrase. Dr. ENT and Rain had a 15 minute conversation about the complication and its impact on my recovery. Rain shared about 5 minutes of it with me.
She claimed that she did not want to upset me. A portion of the conversation dealt with treating complications from the treatment of the complication. She felt no need to bother me with those gory details. It was strange knowing that she knew more about this "complication" than I did.
Dr. ENT placed these torture implements into my nose. Click here to see them after use. Don't judge. You clicked the link. There was discomfort when he removed them. Not sure that I would describe it as painpain. Hmm. Maybe a pain of 2 for 2 seconds. I had these splints removed about five days after the surgery.
They created a lot of discomfort for me. A lot of snot. A lot of fears that I would stop breathing in my sleep and my nose would be clogged. Unfounded fears it seemed. The splints remained clog free.
The first five days were horrible but not awful. I had pain in my throat and nose. I could not talk for longer than a few minutes without my throat seizing. The next five days have been uncomfortable. I have drainage and heartburn. My throat is still sore. I keep hitting my nose. That hurts.
I bet you never really thought about the number of times you rub against your nose in one day, have you? I have quite a few times since the surgery. I expect the next five days to be more the same. I still can't open my mouth wide.
(you are nasty)
I can't blow my nose. I have sour stomach because of the drainage and I have a horrible, gross taste in my mouth
(you are so nasty)
I am going to stay at home and limit activity with the sour tummy and the whole leaking nose issue.
I have been working on several projects. The ruana is almost complete. Just a few more rows! Will post pictures. I have no batteries in my camera. I am hoping to pick some up tomorrow when I seek out half priced holiday and winter cards. 
I do not like to purchase strictly Christmas cards because they must be mailed by a certain date. I have missed that date a few times. Holiday cards and winter themed cards can be mailed as late as the first of the new year. I am so clever.

Remember the clown pants?
Here is a brief history:
I bought this baby yarn. I made a blanket out of it and began a pair of pants. The doctor determined that the baby would be male and my friends informed that gender rules preclude all baby clothing with any amount of pink. I continued to work on the pants. More babies were conceived, more males. I then learned from my sister that the blanket I made for her out of the yarn had felted. It was a 70/30 blend of wool and acrylic. I didn't  know.......I unraveled the clown pants.
Finally another friend announced she would be having a daughter. I pulled out this yarn and decided to make for her a felted bag. Voila!

Cute isn't it. The straps refused to felt to the exact same length. Very frustrating but I worked with it.

I have also been reading. I completed the latest:

Argeneau Vampire series by Lynsay Sands
Esther Diamond series by Laura Resnick
Amanda Feral series by Mark Henry
I wrote a review of the first book of the series here 
I am reading my first Cal Leandros novel by Rob Thurman after Amazon's repeated recommendations.
I will start my next Parasol protectorate novel by Gail Carriger. I was turned on to this author by a swap partner in my Vampire Valentine group on Ravelry.
and Crimson Moon novel before I go back to work.
I would like to say, I really like unapologetic monster characters. I also love strong female characters that kick vampire butt.
I am still waiting for those new releases from Kelsey Cole and Karen Marie Moning.

Thank you to all who wished me a speedy recovery and
Happy Holidays!

Candy Canes!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spangler Candy Co. earns its stripes with candy canes

Archives: Minors

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I wrote this in 2006. I had had a busy year in babysitting. I hadn't realized that I had been writing about Lil' T and Trey for so long until I unearthed this entry.

Year in Review: Minors

Dec 31, '06 11:26 PM

I have written quite a bit this year about some of my younger relatives. I love being around other people’s children except when damage occurs.

I know that God has a sense of humor. I know each time I meet a child.


Babysitting toddlers/preschoolers is a challenge as I am sure you are aware. Toddlers want to explore everything. Usually with their mouths but by themselves. You don’t have to play with a toddler but you must watch the toddler play.

Preschoolers want you to play with them using their rules. The game could be anything. Perhaps the game is “let’s see what the kitty is doing?” or “Smash the Play-doh into the rug.” My favorite preschooler Lil T has very little patience for her toddler brother Trey. She bullies him and he torments her. Trey just wants to put things in his mouth, pull on hanging table cloths or follow his sister around. Lil T wants to pull out all of her toys and present from Christmas and “show and Tell.” Silly girl. Her game of Show and Tell is an open invitation to her brother to turn into Descructo-the Avenging Toddler. Descructo sees a perfectly good toy; probably one of his sisters, one that he must know is not his and will tear it apart.

You should have seen him disassemble the plastic microphone stand for Lil T’s guitar/microphone set. When he was done it resembled the thunder sticks that fans have at the football games. You know – hollow tubes that you bang together to make noise, which is what he was doing when Lil T started screaming at him.
No worries, while her attention was directed at putting together the microphone stand, Destructo had found the microphone. Wanting to be helpful, I plugged it in for him so that he could use the amplifier and express himself as Destructo. Of course, he tried to swallow the microphone while making the most interesting sounds and dancing. By now, Lil T is in a tizzy; she has reassembled the mic stand and is trying to retrieve the microphone from Desctructo. Silly girl, at that point Destructo had moved onto the guitar. Running his knuckles hands across the strings while Lil T is trying to figure out why the amplifier is no longer working. She didn’t know that I had turned it off when she wasn’t looking. By now the completely irritated Lil T has noticed Destructo is trying to pull out the guitar strings on her guitar. She quickly leaves to find his toddler appropriate guitar. At this point I am laughing my ass off. She returned 10 seconds later to find that Trey has moved onto her Dora the Explorer books. I guess she values her future as a singer with a guitar more than reading because she finally ignores him- just as he had been ignoring her for the last 30 minutes.

Pure Joy.

Teenagers that have only recently left their Tween years are very funny

One does not babysit a Teenageror a Tween. Tweens are merely observed from afar. Unfortunately, this hands-off approach always leads to property damage.

Girls leaving their Tween years and approaching adolescence have their own lives that are filled with Brats dolls, Hello Kitty and a love hate relationship with the color pink.

She wonders – shall I continue to embrace the Pink or do I move on without Pink.

She laments - Oh, how Pink comforted me in my youth but now I am a Tween. I must ready myself for adolescence

She ponders – Can I be me without being Pink?

She considers – I am Tween and Tween is Pink but teenagers are not pink

She reconciles – The inner me will always be Pink.

She declares – My new favorite color is (random color – not pink)

Then the little Princes asks her mother for a pink Hello Kitty cell phone.

Tween boys stop talking in order to avoid ridicule from their changing voices.

Younger kids want you to be involved in every sound, game or chore when you are watching them and they will tell on you or tell everything you did or said to their parents. Tweens want you to buy them things when you are babysitting and will report on you to their parents. New teenagers tell just look at you, download crap onto your computer and roll their eyes at you when you ask “whatcha playing?” You never really know what they are saying to their parents and you don’t really care. You just want to know how to remove the damn spyware that is now cemented into your harddrive.

I adore older teens they are easy. They will not destroy your home by playing with power tools left on the table. They will not explore goofy websites that install pervasive cookies on your computer. Teens are motivated by coolness and money. Juicy lip gloss and video games. Name belts and designer caps. They don’t want to be embarrassed when they are hanging out with you unless you are paying well. They gather gossip and tell funny stories about you to their parents. They might let you meet their friends.

Unfortunately, they listen to you when you are on the phone with the customer service agents while you are slowly losing your cool moving into Black Woman Vexed mode. The silly agent tried to defend the quality of the satellite dish receiver by informing me that the dish works perfectly at her house. LIKE I FREAKING CARE THAT THE SATELLITE DISH WORKS AT HER HOUSE WHEN IT DOESN’T WORK AT MINE. As if it would break the company to place a phone order for the pay-per-view movies that the Teens want to watch and waive the absolutely stupid fee for not doing it through the satellite receiver box. THE BOX THAT DOESN’T WORK CORRECTLY AT MY HOUSE BUT APPARENTLY WORKS JUST FINE AT HERS. Then the wench tells me that the reason is doesn’t work at my house is because my lines are faulty. I told her that keep her crazy ideas to herself and transfer me to the technical support so that I can have the Singapore made receiver box replaced for a Japanese model.

Teens think that stuff is incredibly funny and they seem to appreciate you better after watching you in Black Woman Vexed Mode. Hmm, i wonder if she was taking notes or was she frightened?

Lil' T is now 8 and her brother is now five. Both have not changed much. I will post an entry about my most recent babysitting adventure with them latter this month.The Tween mentioned in this post is my niece. She is now 17 years old and graduating from High School the upcoming Spring. The teen featured in this story is the other niece, in her fourth year of college. The tween who drilled a hole in my wall, is now 18 and admitted to me at Thanksgiving that he is interested in a career in construction. He told me that I got him interested in it. 

This is how it ends

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I have a new shawl/scarf, hood. I am excited. It is warm.
Now, I wait patiently for my surgery next week.
I can't believe that I started a baby blanket. Someone stop me.
I do have good news. I have turned the corner on the left flap of the ruana. Yeah me!

From the Archives: My Frizzy Notions

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Originally published November 26, 2007. For some reason, I decided to count off some of my beliefs. 

Rule by Fools: Kakistroacy

First, I Think Text Felicitations Are Dumb
I am, of course, referring to people who send text messages of "Happy - Insert Holiday-". Seriously, for the Love of a Simple Cellular Phone Plan stop it. I have to pay for out of network text messages after 50 and greetings are not worth an additional fee each month. Maybe you think that I am overreacting. So.... Send a card. Spend your money instead. Especially if you are not in my network. Or call me after 9 oçlock.
<< 2010 edit, I finally upgraded my cell plan to included unlimited texting. Despite this, I still think text felicitations are dumb >> 
Two, Hallmark is still the best place to go for the perfect card or gift.
If you have resorted to buying your cards from Wal-mart or Kroger's, remember that you can do better than that. I love visiting Hallmark during holiday seasons. There is always something worth buying or someone worth surprising. It is a lot more thoughtful than a text message.

ETA 2010: I have found that Hallmarks are difficult to find anymore. I still prefer Hallmark but anyplace will do

Three, this is a great time to catch up on movies that you missed at the theater.
Allow me to recommend one for you.
Imagine if you will that the Writer's Guild strike continues indefinitely. Reality TV shows flood the airwaves. Clown court TV shows and CS-Sci-Fi replace real justice. Law and Order begins to resemble Reno 911. Entertainment news and biased talk shows replace investigative report and the whole story. Imagine if the greatest economic, legal, political, military, scientific, academic and humanitarian minds stop having children or have less children. Just imagine another 500 years later.
I am not talking about a future influenced by wars and planetary expansion like that portrayed in Serenity and Star Trek. Nor a future shaped by viruses and conflict like Aeon Flux or Ultraviolet. Not a world dominated by a totalitarian government as in V is for Vendetta. No that that at all. I am referring to a world ruled by idiots. A movie by Mike Judge and well worth a movie rental. Good satire and a scary future.
Idiocracy Photos
It is called Idiocracy and feature Luke Wilson, Maya Rudolph and Mike Judge. This is a presidential parade of the future. Hmmmm
ETA 2010:  Eh, skip the movies. Just upgrade your cable package and watch TV ;
Four, buy a lap desk.
lap desk board
These big wooden desks are great. I can put my laptop in the middle, a book to the left and still have room for a writing tablet. I can use it while surfing the Internet on my PC, too. I love this little lap table. You should get one, too. Think of the possibilities.
ETA 2010:  Hmm, I love my lap desk. Still use it when I am actually sitting down and reading/surfing the Net
Five, Try new bread.
I must admit. Hazelnut, poppyseed wheat bread is the best bread on Earth. Just try it once. You will be hooked
ETA 2010:  Pull out some of that apple butter you purchased last month. It is amazing on this bread 
Idiocracy DVD: Standard EditionOkay, seriously I was just having fun. The real point of this blog was to get you to rent Idiocracy available right now at your local video store. Funniest movie of 2006 that noone saw!

The Hangover (R-Rated Single-Disc Edition)ETA 2010:  Rent The Hangover. I still can't believe how funny that movie was.  Another gem of a movie from 2009 is Pontypool Surprisingly good movie. Just watch it. You will agree

My original blog had a lot of my favorite secrets but that one is gone. Isn't it?
My night went from irritation to worse, too. After losing my blog entry, I went to bed. Around 4:30 am I found myself losing my dinner. I have been under the weather all day. And you know what? It would really be great if someone sent to me a text message that said, "I hope you are feeling better."
Just kidding........

Gonna be warm this winter

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here I am picking up the ruana. Not sure why Jim took this picture. He knew the batteries were charged on the camera. This is my office. That is me. I am so sexy. Those slacks did not fit me last month. I guess this dieting is finally working.

After some work, I stretched the ruana over the table. As you can see, I completed the one right tail. I know you think that I should have written the left tail. No. It will be the tailflap over my right side. The left side requires attention. I am so tired of this project. I want to chuck it out the window. I started it last year while I visited my sister for her birthday in Georgia. I cast on the project while riding in the car on December 26, 2009. The ruana hibernated during the late spring and summer. I picked it back up in late fall. And here it is.
The gals at the knitting group have watched it grow into this massive creation. The jokes have begun.

In my next post, I will upload a copy of the template/design that I created for this project.

Fattie Cat, the tuxedo long hair, likes to lie in the huge project bag that stores this WIP.
Bastard. I haven't worn it yet and it is covered in cat hair.

World AIDS Day

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My First Surgery

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Here I am. There are 32 more days of the year remaining and I have $200 left on my Flexible Spending Account. I can pay for expensive reading glasses at about $100. I can call my dentist and inquire about a mouth plate for possible night time clenching at about $150. I will renew every possible medication. I might buy some expensive OTC lotion for my dry skin. Some allergy medicines. Perhaps, I will see my PCP about my aching toes..... I swear if it is a bunion, I will freaking lose my mind. All my exercise is walking.

Anyway, I am boggled. I wonder if I should see if an air purifier would be covered under the FSA?

Since I am having a procedure in December for my condition, I had the bright idea of researching the out-of-pocket costs for it. I have something that left unresolved can become sleep apnea. The possible resolutions => lose weight or have UPPP. I have mentioned this in a previous post. I have lost no weight. Therefore, I am having Radio Frequency, Ablation Palatoplasty, Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction. A mouthful wasn't that?
The billing department will give me the costs, then I call my insurance company. This is all very complicated but it must be done in order to use up my FSA for 2010.

But here is the clincher. The Flexible Spending account rules change in 2011! And I didn't know this. I am hitting my head on the desk. I completely missed the rule changes. Therefore, I have a bunch of money set up for the FSA for 2011 that I will not be able to use on stuff I currently need.
On the bright side, if I have a bunion problem then treatment will be covered by the FSA.

I should mention that Trey lost his brand new handknit scarf this weekend.

If I could get you to view this

Monday, November 29, 2010


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If you will recall, I use a rebounder for exercise. I used it to teach myself to knit and walk at the same time. It made my walks at the park more enjoyable.
Now, I am able to knit and bounce for quite some time. I decided that watching TV while knitting poorly used my time.I pulled my old music stand out of the attic and propped a book onto it.
I am a reading, knitting, bouncing fool.
I purchased this rebounder ages ago.It is worth paying for an expensive model. While I have not always used it, I have had numerous memberships at gyms, it remains in good shape. This one is a Nordak Rebounder.

I enjoy bouncing after work for a half hour or so. The ENT doctor ordered me to lose 50 lbs in order to avoid the Uvula Palatoplasty surgery. I gave myself 3 months. I have lost absolutely nothing.  How can I lose weight if I do not sleep well at night. The time of day when the body burns calories? How can I lose weight if I am tired all the time. How can I exercise everyday after work and make my crochet, knitting and sorority meetings? Argh.
I do not eat that much in calories. I know this because I track my calories on Calorie Count. It is a vicious stupid cycle. I do not want this surgery, but I must get some sleep.
I work-out almost daily for at least 30 minutes. When I am not in the mood to bounce, I have a power yoga DVD.I am still overweight.
I have added Vitamin D to my diet. I read that women do not get enough of the vitamin and its link to weight loss in several magazines and blogs this month. Still, I expect to have the surgery.
In anticipation, I want my bedroom to be very warm when I am in recovery. In my search for the drafts coming into my room, I caught sight of my cat. As you can see, the spot in front of the radiator is the warmest spot in the room.

Conference a go go

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I attended a conference last week.
The conference itself is an annual event. I generally describe it as a conference of debauchery and business. For years, when I attended the conference, I would meet up with a friend and we would pretend to be a Conference Couple in order to avoid the aggressive advances from the opposite sex. In the past few years, I have not been able to find a fake conference boyfriend and instead behaved aloof and distant.
Last year, I took Dude with me. This year, I went solo.
You know how conferences go. Everyone gets together after the last workshop/plenary of the day and heads off to a restaurant. I missed the mass groupings for dinner. I walked to the lobby hoping to find someone as hungry as me. I found Old Guy. We ran into each other in the lobby and decided to head to the eatery together.During the walk he asked me repeatedly, "How are you," and "What is going on with you?" Normally, these polite questions would not be remarkable. In hindsight, because he began asking the two questions before we left the hotel and asked them several times more between the short romp to the eatery and before the waitress took our drink orders, I should have suspected early that something unusual was about to happen to me.
First, he reminded me that the 90s version of our professional conference was likened to going to Las Vegas. I agreed. I had been in my 20s. Attending the conference back then was a guaranteed fun time.
That is, until I began wearing long skirts, attending church regularly, and dating less frequently.During that period, I found my conference boyfriend and we would be a annual Conference Couple. I avoided passes by sexy philanderers and he avoided pinches by older, more aggressive, single women. After a few years of this, he moved onto a new job and I stopped socializing at the conference when I attended.
While I ate, he began a long story about how he has observed my personal and professional growth through our interactions at the conferences. I began to count the number of times OG poked me in the arm.
funny pictures of cats with captionsAfter I hit 15, I excused myself to find a co-worker from my department, who was at the conference and at the same restaurant.

I explained to my co-worker that OG was clearly drunk.I had had a whiff of his breath BEFORE our drinks had been delivered and realized that he was plastered. I asked the co-worker to find me before he left the restaurant to retrieve me.
funny pictures
Okay, it wasn't really this bad. I just thought the pic was freakin' hilarious see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I returned to OG and he finished his very long and painful story (I was up to 30 arm pokes) with "I am attracted to you." That took me out of my haze. I had heard him replay my accomplishments: starting as an adviser and being promoted to Director; being a grant employee and now having written a high scoring grant application; and renting to owning a house. I knew all of these things, of course, it was a little odd having him recount them to me. I thought he was going to suggest that I run for an elected position in the association. His admission deflated my ego, just a bit.
I casually retrieved my cell phone and sent a text message to my co-worker.

Find me, NOW!

I have known this colleague since I began in the association 14 years ago. I have worked with him on numerous committees, I believe he is at least 15 years my senior. I refer to him as Old Guy for that reason. Knowing that I am approaching 40, I am in no way indicating that I am not old to some of the newer members of the association. I am not hitting on them either.
Later my co-worker would tell me that he could not find me at the restaurant.He did not get my text until after he had left. He asked me how did I end the dinner. I told him that I simply stood up and announced that I was ready to go. Try it next time you are on an awkward date. It works.

GAWD I hate being single

All at once

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chilly Willy's Electric Blanket Pictures, Images and PhotosLast week the frost hit my cannas, tomatoes and collard greens. I turned on the heat. I pulled the plants out of my yard.
I pulled out my 2 piece puppy pajamas.   The electric blanket. The hot cocoa.  The radiant heater for the drafts. 
I have lived in my house for five winters.  This winter, I am determined to find the explanation for the severe COLD in my bedroom.  My bedroom has more draft than the basement. I feel like a forensic detective trying to solve a murder when I am walking around with burning incense to find drafts.
I discovered one draft emanating from the closet.  Yes, the closet.  I have placed a towel under the door.
Another draft seems to come from the new windows.  I still cannot determine the exact place. I am sure shoddy workmanship is the problem.  Never select your window company based on seeing a label at a Habitat for Humanity house.  Willingness provide energy saving windows for a homeless family does not equal superb installation for your home. 
A third draft begins in the craft/computer room which houses the upstairs kitty litter.  I had the balcony door draft proofed last year.  I can't figure out where the air originates now that the door is sealed. Probably the closet or the new window. 
The final draft that slaps me in my face comes from the attic.  I purchased this handy tool called an attic insulator from Owens Corning.  I place it atop the stairs. Yes, the attic opening is located in my bedroom. I didn't build my home.  I just live there.
This winter, I hope to stay warm.  

And now,the Indian Summer.
Which means the beginnings of a sinus infection.  Nice.
Sadly, I am at a conference located 3.5 hours from home. I have missed half the conference in bed.  I have missed three meals.  I feel like crap.

All I have been able to do is work on the projects that I brought with me and read.  As you can see I have finally turned the corner on the ruana. The wrap should keep me warm this winter once I get it completed. 

chilly willy the penguin Pictures, Images and Photos  
Yes this warm. I used to love Chilly Willy as a kid. I didn't think that I would become him when I became a homeowner.
 BTW the socks that I mentioned here  from Elizabeth  have been keeping me warm.  

Ta Da!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween: a shot of adrenaline

Monday, November 1, 2010 that the new Black Friday is the weekend of Halloween. I received an email on Friday for Sears advertising their holiday savings sale. I guess the economy has revved up holiday shopping.  No surprise there.  We need it.  Enjoy this post about history the Halloween before it changes into the herald of the Xmas shopping season.    Also, get your candy at half off today.

Online Schooling - Halloween

Source: Guide to Online Schools

The patience of wool

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I purchased some Ella Rae yarn in 2008.  I finally found a pattern for it in my 2009 Winter
Interweave Crochet 

for the Sunset Ruana.

This is how far I got before it became too warm to work on it.
 I picked it back up earlier this fall.  I finally turned the corner and added the second color.
 This is a picture of my inspiration.

 Interweave Crochet Winter 2009

The berry color is discontinued. Trying to find it online has been very difficult.  This is the heather mauve.

I took these pictures on the floor rug.  
My design is having some geometric troubles.  As you can see the neck opening is not centered. I have a solution for that.
I am thinking the right arm will have an edging on it. When I wrap it around me, I will allow the side with the edging to be on top.  I should be at 86 inches on the right edge but I am 6 inches
short. I will continue to work with the mauve color.  I want the next color to be heather pink Ella Rae Classic Wool Yarn - Lt. Pink Heather
 I am have another wool project in hibernation. I think that I will need it next week when I attend a dance.   I am using the Delta Stitch from
This is Knitpicks yarn.

You will need to turn your head on its side to understand these photos

My 4ft double ended Tunisian hook helps me create amazing articles of clothing. I used to have a book for using it. Now I just wing it.  
I completed the hat and scarf for Trey.  He loved it.  When his father told him that I would be arriving to bring something I made. He shouted "not fair"  still thinking that I only made items for his sister. 

Office Shenanigans and such

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I received my Vampire Swap package at work. We have Halloween and Fall decorations around the office. The table was the perfect place for opening my box of goodies.

I am excited about the tea and the Care Bears shirt. Getting the shirt was the best part of the swap. The lavender scented, candycorn sachets were made just for me. I have placed them in my sock drawer.
One of my co-workers and I have been having an ongoing battle of wills for the past 12 months. I am winning and not because I am the boss. I am wining because I have been using his coffee mug and leaving lipstick stains on it. And it has been driving him crazy. He will not wait for me to clean the mug either, he takes it off of my desk when I walk away. Can you believe that?
Today, I found a brand new royal blue mug on my desk. A gift from him. Funny thing is that I can barely see my lipstick marks on the new mug. I wonder if that means something.....

I work with a great group of people in my office, department and the larger university. I have made some great friends, friends with whom I can have a beer, glass of wine or a shot of tequila while discussing the latest novel, news or movie.

Blog Anniversary

I have been doing this since before October 2005 The original blog is lost forever, thanks Yahoo!

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