Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas and the Door To Hell

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving, courtesy of our friends Russ and Roe. I made mac&cheese, chess pie cake, pecan pie...and Roe made everything else (including a 30 lb turkey - well, she didn't make it...she prepared it, I guess...). A lovely time was had with our NY friends, and (Roe's) Cousin Richard from Jersey (boo-yah, my Scene-It partner!)

Friday, we did what any sane person should do after Thanksgiving...we slept late. Saturday and Sunday...well, we got busy.

We needed to clean up the attic for the heating folks to come out and redo the ducts. Joe had already spent a good deal of time reorganizing, trashing, and shifting various boxes. Saturday we thought we'd do some final touches.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure - this is our attic. Or, about 1/3 of it. It's basically a 3rd floor of our house with walk-up access. It's also where we thought we'd work out with the weight machine. Didn't happen.

Our attic has been the source of many cool discoveries. Doors were removed from the first floor, stacked against the attic wall - we're grateful the bunghole didn't destroy them. One "treasure" we recently unearthed was the slew of bed frames that were stored in another part of the attic - we were going to pay the heating guys just to take them away, but there was a headboard/footboard combo that looked promising, so Joe & I went to town.

Here are the items, removed from the corner they were in for about 7 years. That little orange-ish square in the middle of the picture is actually a DO NOT REMOVE UNDER PENALTY OF LAW tag attached to a metal box spring - with a 1913 date. It's safe to say the previous owners didn't remove the tag.

We had also noticed that there was a mattress behind all the box springs. Yes, a mattress. Ew. I suggested we should at least take a look behind it, because I didn't want the heater guys to be exposed to something horrid...

The mattress wasn't bad, actually. Thin and a bit damp, but no critters. What intrigued us was the door.

Here's the part where we had to take a break, and I wasn't about to take pictures of inside that door without someone else with me. As a beloved friend once said, "I’ve seen this movie and it does NOT turn out well." All I need is for this to be a portal to hell, the awakening of some evil spirit, or at the very least a very pissed off school-teacher ghost. Am NOT going back up there alone.

So I waited until Joe got back from the hardware store (again), and we opened the door... a bunch of wood scraps. Less exciting - yet much better - than unleashing hell on earth, don't you agree?

We spent the rest of the weekend decorating the house for the holidays. I took charge of the interior lights while Joe took the exterior. It must be noted that while Joe had to be outdoors for his, mine took much longer, what with the hammering and extension-cord-logistics and all. Ptoooey.

Here are some non-flash shots that - while showing the lights - kinda look creepy...

Here's the front, from the street

And the side, further down the street. Moon an added bonus.

From the side yard - note the mini-trees...and the moon again :)

Same shot, with flash. Less scary.

That's about it for tonight - hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Day Before

I've always loved the day before Thanksgiving.

Whether I'm hosting or just bringing a few dishes to someone's house, I love taking a day to cook and bake.

Tonight I'm making a special dinner for Joe, as well as Mac & Cheese, Chess Pie Cake and Pecan Pie for tomorrow's festivities. The kitchen smells savory, sweet, and scrumptious.

Here's my mom's famous pecan pie. !!!!!

And of course my really cluttered kitchen as I use every appliance I have at my disposal.

It's a cold, dreary day, so the kitties are cuddled near the stove...

And me? I'm enjoying my day off, knee-deep in chopping, blending, and baking. With wine, of course.

Also watching such masterpieces of HBO as Thelma and Louise, which to this day makes me weepy.

Here's to you and yours this Thanksgiving. Hug the ones you're with, and don't let go.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


It's really, really sad to see how every single moment of our existence is now scrutinized by the evil a-cigar-is-never-just-a-cigar media catering to the extremist soccer moms (and dads) who reside in the land of NIMBY.

According to this article, the newly-released, early-episode Sesame Street digital DVDs (gotta add those to my wish list) now contain the warning "These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child." Because Ernie & Bert lived together, Cookie Monster didn't eat salads, and Big Bird had LSD flashbacks of Snuffy.
It's actually a very interesting article - the GenX toddler experience vs how we (the same GenXers) are raising kids today. Now, you can't be too careful. Adults aren't particularly trustworthy. The world is too scary.

I don't know about you, but there were some pretty scary things in our world of the 70s and 80s...I grew up in the time of Wayne Williams, cyanide-laced Tylenol, and that evil USSR. It was nice to chill out with Gordon and Susan, and Mister Looper (Hoopah! Hoopah!). I kinda liked songs about how "Everyone makes mistakes" and "I love trash."

So forgive me if I don't want to think about how Ernie was naked with his rubber ducky. I'll take him and the whole SS gang, Mr. Rogers, Sigmund the Seamonster & all his hallucinogenic friends, Schoolhouse Rock teaching me about conjunctions, and even that wacky talking lemon from Saturday morning cartoon breaks ANY day, ANY time.


Monday, November 19, 2007


Got tagged by Sara, so here goes...

1-Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2-Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
3-Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4-Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

I've done a few of these in the past, so forgive me if some of these are repeats, but here are some quick random things about me that I can think of during my lunch break. Not that I'm on the internet at work or anything. Ahem.

1) I bite my fingernails. I hate it, and every so often I can "break" the habit for a while, but then I fall off the wagon again.
2) When I was younger, I used to play my records (esp The Carpenters) and sing with my posters of Shawn Cassidy and other Tiger Beat hunks as the audience.
3) I planned on being an English teacher when I went to college. After taking an accounting course (because I also toyed with the idea of going into publishing) and doing rather well, I decided to get both English and Accounting degrees. It took some night and summer coursework, and virtually no fun time, but I completed both four years. I was insane.
4) I don't iron. I think I've used my ironing board 3 times in 6 years.
5) I don't eat anything that swam, crawled, and/or floated in a body of water...unless it was a swimming chicken. Seafood is just icky to me. If Joe wants it, he has to cook it and clean up afterwards. The smell makes me heave.
6) A perfect afternoon (if Joe is out of town) usually consists of some kind of cold, wet weather, a bottle of wine, pizza snacks, cuddling with the cats under a flannel blanket, and Lifetime TV. And knitting.
7) I can pretty much quote the lines, sound effects, and music of Romancing the Stone from beginning to end. When I was younger, my aunt had HBO and taped all kinds of movies for us. I fell in love with everything about this film, and I watched it repeatedly over one summer. Like several times a day. I still have to sit and watch it whenever it's on TV.

I'm not going to follow Rule #4, but here's a shout-out to the folks I'm tagging - Joe, Eric, Pam, Lorena, Jacquie, Sophia, Sharon. Play if you wish, but if you don't - Bill Gates won't be sending you to Disneyworld.*

*Of course, he won't be sending you if you DO play along, but that's neither here nor there.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

When Critters Attack

Back when my mom and her friends came up for this fun weekend, Miss Nancy brought us the most delightful pumpkin that they found at a market on their drive. It held a place of honor on our front porch for some time.

As I was coming down the front stairs to make some coffee yesterday morning, I saw movement on the porch. I peered out the front door windows, and the carnage that was before me chilled my blood and brought fear to my heart. The images that follow might be disturbing to some.

And this gentleman was so kind as to attend the buffet with his "plus-one".

Unfortunately, not all critters were satisfied.

This is one of those days I wish I had an outdoor cat.

On the plus side, at least they're not eating the house, which is what the Marietta Squirrel Contingent did with our cedar home.

Keep eating, you rat bastards. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Unhappy VERY unhappy...


I am in ur kichin...plottin ur death.

About a week ago, I noticed Dobby shaking one of his rear legs - cat owners know The Shake - like when a piece of litter is stuck between toes or a foot is wet. I checked (which is difficult with a squirmy kitty like Dobbs) and didn't see anything.

A few days later, still with the shake - just occasionally. And he liked to clean it (you know, when cats do the nawmnawmnawm on their feet). This time I looked and saw a wee bit of redness between his paw pad and his toe pads. With our rough hardwood floors, the cats sometimes land wrong when jumping off of the bed (or couch, or table, or chair, or lap), and they get a little boo-boo. Just a little redness, definitely tender, but no shards of glass or splinters, thank goodness. I'll just keep an eye on it.

Here it is, a week later, and he's still shaking and cleaning the foot once in a while. I check again - this time more red. I got a last-minute appointment with the vet (Joe thinks I'm such a worrier), and she confirmed that Dobby probably just had a little irritation that he has since made worse by over-cleaning. So he gets antibiotics. And ointment.

And a satellite dish.

This is the reason why, when Joe's out of town one of these days, I will slip while descending the steps, knock myself unconscious, and my cats will eat my face.

He's still not quite sure of what's going on - with limited peripheral vision, he doesn't move a whole lot. And he freaks when the other cats "sneak" into his line of sight. And it was really pathetic this morning when he sneezed, landed a huge boogey in the collar, and looked at me as if to say, "This is it. Life does not get any lower than this moment right now. Bitch."

I'm so sorry, sweet Dobby - maybe if we can keep your foot out of your mouth you'll be back to yourself in no time. In the meantime, guilt-ridden mommy will keep feeding you ham...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Not Very Impressive...

...but it's still the first snow...

We have plenty of pellets for the stove, the kitties are warm, there's laundry to do, and socks to knit.

All that, plus a dinner party to attend within stumbling distance of the house. Another weekend full of win!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's Frakkin' COLD!!!!!

Okay. By NY standards, it's not that cold outside. Maybe below freezing.

But inside? When we lost our furnace in April and have been too distracted to do anything yet?

In front of the stove, where the kitties are gathering? It's 53. Everywhere else it's about 50. So I run the dryer and oven whenever I can.

Looking forward to cat snugglies tonight...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Looks like there's gonna be a new yarn store on this side of the river. Woohoo! And it's right across the street from THE BEST bakery, and just down the road from our pals! Yay! Whooooot!!!

Granted, I don't NEED to be buying any more yarn since the carnage that was Rhinebeck 2007.'s nice to know it's there... ;)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Freunde und Bier!

Friday night I enjoyed a few hours with the Newburgh knitting ladies. Then I awoke Saturday to happy sparkles in the dining room...

...caused by the morning sun hitting The Chandelier That Joe Hates. Sparkles are a great way to start a weekend. Spent the rest of the day working on the house, reorganizing my stash, unearthing the treadmill, working on my mum-in-law's xmas present, watching DVR'd Chuck episodes, and drinking lots of beer. Then Russ came over, smoked a cigar, and we watched The Man Who Knew Too Little into the wee hours. I loves me a nice slow day.

Sunday, after the initial joy of getting an extra hour of sleep, has seen the completion of the xmas present (all but blocking), walking into the village for THE BEST breakfast sandwich, getting fresh-baked-and-still-warm 9-grain bread from the bakery, and having Russ & Frank over to make a batch of beer.

Unfortunately, you folks at home don't have the added benefit of the German music in the background.

I think I'll knock a few more beers back, watch some more TV, and start on my mom's xmas present.

Life truly doesn't get much better than just doing "whatever" once in a while.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Snarky Handspun Scarf

Yay! I finished something!

Snarky Handspun in Elderberry & Goldenrod, with Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf Pattern. I started winding the balls with the knittas on the porch during the Rhinebeck weekend, and I bound off this past weekend. It's the perfect length to either tie around your neck or wrap twice with just a bit extra for jacket-tucking.

As you can see, this pattern and yarn were meant to be together. I looooves me this scarf, and I wore it in to work this morning (yes, cold weather has finally arrived).

This weekend will be a weekend of home productivity - finally putting up the air mattresses from our guests a few weeks ago, getting winter clothes out of the attic, giving our closet an overhaul (it has to be the most poorly laid-out closet known to man - mainly because it's not really a closet, but a very small bedroom in disguise), cleaning out the fridge (where the heck IS that smell coming from?), and other fun things.

Have a great weekend!