Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Best Christmas Moment

Our family Christmas celebration was held at Jason’s house. After all the presents had been handed out, there was one left. It was a folded sheet of notebook paper with Noah’s handwriting: “To Mom and Dad from Noah and Owen.” Inside the paper was a sweet “Merry Christmas” message and a dollar bill.

Of course, Jason and DIL had taken the boys shopping for presents for Mom and Dad, but I think Noah wanted to give them something of his own. He even included Owen as a gift-giver. He has to be one of the sweetest, most caring little boys I have ever known.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Molly's Big Adventure

Jason and family went last Wednesday for their Christmas celebration with DIL’s father and his family in Florida. They left their pets, Molly, a Sheltie, and Potter, the cat, in the care of their neighbors, Jeff and Michelle. The neighbors are very nice people who have several pets. They have a key to Jason’s house to see to Potter’s needs, and Molly stays in the neighbors’ home.

Their cleaning lady doesn’t like dogs. Jeff told Michele to take Molly home and put her in the kennel until they came home from work. Molly doesn’t mind staying in the kennel; it’s the usual practice. Michelle felt bad about leaving her caged all day so she decided to let her stay at her house. When the housekeeper arrived Molly made her mad dash for freedom. Many of the neighbors joined in the search, but, crafty little pup that she is, she eluded them. (They have such good neighbors.)

Jason called me from Florida and asked that I go over to help in the search and to find out what exactly was going on. Jeff came home from work early to join the search parties. He walked the neighborhood several times and saw her once heading into another subdivision. I searched for her in the car. The search continued until dark. Jeff was very upset because he thought Michele should have taken Molly home and put her in the kennel.

There were numerous phone calls between Jason and I and Jason and Jeff. When Jason said he was thinking of coming home, I told him there was nothing he could do. After dark I suggested that Jeff stop his search. I thought she would come home when she was cold and hungry. This dog has never been cold or hungry in her life. She leads a life of ease.

Michelle came home from work about 6:30 pm and starting looking for Molly. About 8:00 pm she spotted her. She went home to get a flashlight. As she was getting back into her car, Molly comes running up to her. I bet that Molly has been safely ensconced in her kennel during the day.

There was one scary moment. As Jeff was wandering through backyards, and I, safely on the side on the road, heard a gunshot. It scared the you-know-what out of me. I thought sure someone took a potshot at the person prowling his yard. Jeff took the hint and returned to his car.By the time we arrived back home, Molly was safely in his house.

When I called Jason to tell him that Molly was safe, they were an hour and a half outside Jacksonville heading for home. They turned around to continue their celebration with DIL’s father and his family.

I wonder now that Molly has had her little adventure and several hours of freedom if she will try it again. They may have to leash her for a while every time she goes out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tears of Frustration and Cayenne

Last evening when Mr. Fixit came home from work, the first words out of my mouth were not “Hi! Sweetheart, I’m so glad you’re home” or “You must be tired. Dinner is ready.” Instead the first words out of my mouth were “You made me cry this afternoon!” He wasn’t even here!

I decided that since our weather has taken a more seasonal turn that chili would be perfect for a cold, rainy day. As I browned the meat, I looked in the cupboard for the little seasoning packet that I had purchased a few days before. I couldn’t find it. Then I remembered where I had last seen it. When I brought in the groceries I was distracted and put the bag with the packet and one more item on the couch. (Yes, where all groceries bags should be left.) I also remember picking up the bag with the intention of putting the items away. My memory after that was a complete blank.

Being the armchair detective I am, I deduced that perhaps the little bag must have been mixed in with the Christmas present bags that Mr. Fixit had placed in the little used downstairs bathroom. The grandchildren were here for a little while Sunday so he stuffed all the unwrapped presents in the shower and closed the curtain. I went through all the bags. No seasoning packet.

I searched the storeroom thinking I must have put in on the shelf there. Nope!

Then I remembered that I had been to the craft store and deduced that perhaps I had brought it upstairs with the little bags of floss and needles. I went through every bag with floss, yarn, and notions. Again, no seasoning packet.

All this time I was becoming more and more frustrated. I went through everything again with the same result. In the meantime, the meat was browned, the tomatoes had been pureed, the extra seasonings were on the counter, but I couldn’t take the next step of putting it all together. The last time I made chili was a disaster because I didn’t have that little packet and used taco seasoning instead. It was not a culinary success.

I was beginning to think I had absolutely lost my mind because I couldn’t remember where I put that darned bag. I was sure that I was in the middle stages of senile dementia. I was literally in tears. It had been a trying day even before the chili problem.

I started the search again and walked to the far end of the living room. I just stood there looking around. There! I spied a small white grocery bag between the end table and the wall and inside was the missing packet. Mr. Fixit, for some reason, put it there. He tried to tell me that I must have put it there and forgotten. Yeah, just like Ingrid Bergman in “Gaslight.”

By the end of dinner, Mr. Fixit had a few tears in his eyes, too, but it may have been because I added a “little” extra cayenne pepper to the delicious chili!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


A couple of weeks ago, I lost my DSL service. According to my modem (all the little lights were on), my connection was fine. I patiently waited for an hour and checked to see if service had been restored; it hadn’t. I went through the troubleshooting steps, and it was suggested that I contact tech support. I called the 800 number and was told by the computer that I should call again because all of their people were busy. I tried again, but there was a busy signal; I couldn’t even reach the computer. I knew then that something major had happened. My service finally came back on a few hours later. I found out the next morning that I, along with thousands of others in the southeast, had been affected.

Last week I received a letter from the head honcho of AT&T apologizing for the outage and for any inconvenience I suffered. What a shock! That’s the first time I have ever received a letter of that type. In this day of nasty customer reps and the general “screw you” attitude of most businesses, it was most refreshing that any company would pay for postage and associated expenses to send the letters to their customers.

Thanks! AT&T.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Silly Old Codgers (That's Us!)

Today was a very busy day for us. Mr. Fixit had to work until 1:45 pm. I attended Bella’s kindergarten Christmas program. I planned to pick him up for lunch after her program since he works in the same town were Bella goes to school. His truck was left in the parking lot where he works. We planned to do a little shopping, and I had to be at Jason’s at 3:15 to watch the Noah and Owen for a little while.

We stopped at a fast food emporium, and I parked on the opposite side of the building from where I usually park. When we finished, we walked out the usual door only to remember that we had parked on the other side of the building. We traipsed backed through the lobby to get to the car. I wondered if anyone noticed the two old codgers wandering around giggling.

We didn’t have time for shopping; we headed to Jason’s. After leaving his house we did a little shopping for PlayStation games in the town where Mr. Fixit works. They only had one of the games that we wanted so we decided to go to our local Wal-Mart on our way home. Sixteen miles down the road, a black truck with a silver toolbox in the back passed me. “Gadzooks!” I said. (I really didn’t say “gadzooks”; I actually said a more socially unacceptable word.) “We forgot your truck!”

Since we were so close to our local Wal-Mart, we went in to check to see if they had the other game that we wanted. As we looking at the myriad of games, a young man about 9 years old must have seen our befuddlement. He explained the store’s system of displaying the games. (I felt as stupid then as I felt when earlier I had to ask Noah how to use their remote control.) It was then that we realized that we had purchased the wrong game and paid $20.00 more than we should have. We did find the second game and bought the correct version of the first game that was $20.00 cheaper.

S-o-o-o, we left and started the 16 mile return trip to pick up the truck and return the game that we had bought in the other town. Then we made the 16 mile trip home. We drove 96 miles on that stretch of highway when we should have driven only 64.

They say when you get old the second thing to go is your memory; the third thing to go is your monthly gasoline budget.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This and That

The last post on my first blog was July 16, 2007. It’s surprising how many hits it gets. I think the referrals are very interesting. The most popular search subject is sinus drainage (3/15/05). Another popular search topic is paper towels (10/20/06), and divinity candy (10/31/2005) gets a few hits. People with household repair jobs generate a few hits with the search term, “Mr. Fixit”.


When my phone rang the caller id indicated that the call originated in state, and the name was a private party. I thought it was probably a wrong number, so I answered. Imagine my surprise when a gentleman said, “I am offering you a free cell phone.” Telemarketer! I declined telemarketing calls when I signed up on the Do Not Call list. When I asked what company he represented, he replied, “Sprint.” I politely told him no thank you and hung up. Even if I had ever considered Sprint service, it blew its chance for my business by cheating.

Sprint! I declined telemarketing calls for a reason. DO NOT CALL! I don’t like people who try to get around the system!


I spilled about a cup of dry cat food on the carpet. I brought out the hand vac to clean it up. It seemed to be working just fine. Then I picked up the vac and saw that the brush was simply brushing the kibble backward. I then removed the hose to stop the brush spinning and used the hose to pick up the mess. I thought the job had been completed satisfactorily. Then I took the bag off to empty it; there was no cat food mixed in with the dust. I shook the vac; no rattling kibble. I knew that it was sucked up by the hose; I watched it go in. I tried to take the vac apart; I could only get the handle off. I did discover that there is no way for the kibble to go anywhere but into the bag. One of life’s little mysteries.


A person representing Mr. Obama called asking that I keep his candidate in mind when voting in the upcoming primary. He asked about specific concerns I have. I said I would like to hear of a workable plan to bring our troops home, a workable and equitable plan regarding immigration, and a good health care plan for every citizen. I forgot the most important concern for me; I would like to see an honorable, ethical administration that would enhance our position in the world. I wish he would call me again.


Baking Hint of the Day

It surprises me that I would actually be able to suggest a cooking tip because I’m not a very good cook.

When I was baking bread the other day (of course, I was using a bread machine), I put a package of Good Seasons Italian Dressing dry mix, into the dough. That turned out so well that I tried the garlic and herb dry mix. It ‘s tasty, too!


The outdoor temperature is now 78 degrees. It’s not very seasonal.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Price and Pavarotti vs Air Supply

I am watching “Aida” on Ovation TV with Dame Margaret Price and Pavarotti. It’s a bit disconcerting to be listening to and watching this production when every five minutes, it seems, they break interrupt the performance with commercials for Time-Life soft rock from the 80’s.

Note: Simon Estes, as Amonsaro, is absolutely wonderful.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Mr. Fixit and I have been Christmas shopping for the grandchildren. I was absolutely astounded by the variety of Monopoly games available. The versions include Spiderman,
Spongebob, electronic banking (no money involved), pink (perhaps Barbie?), Pixar cartoons, superduper (I made that up; I can’t remember the exact name but it meant superduper), today’s real estate prices, and the list goes on. There must be at least twenty different versions.

We saw the electronic banking version this past Wednesday in our local Wal-Mart. When we went yesterday to pick up one for the children to take on camping trips, there were no EB versions at the store. We checked two different “Toys R Us” stores, plus every Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target within a 50 mile radius. When we arrived at home last night about 10:00 pm, I checked on line. There were simply none available. I didn’t check Ebay though; I’m sure there must be some there. It must be the “in” game this year.

When I was a kid, our monopoly set cost about $4.00. It had wooden tokens. My older brother always chose the tall red skinny one; I was always the short fat purple one. When we played, he always won. He cheated! He changed the rules as he went along. He always had hotels on Park Place and Boardwalk. He was 4 years older than I so it took me years to figure out that he was cheating. He didn’t admit it to me until we were both adults.

Even though he cheated, I still enjoyed playing with him. We were as different was day and night. He was the extrovert, the captain of the football team, and BMOC. He had to beat the girls off with a stick. He made better than average grades without trying.

I was the shy introvert. I wasn’t in the “popular” crowd. I was happy being at home with a book or watching television. I made better grades than he did, but I had to study my tush off.
The last game I remember playing with him was when I was a sophomore in high school and he came from college on a break. Even though I knew he cheated and I would lose, I agreed to play because it made me feel wonderful that he would take the time to play a game with me even though he must have had better things to do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Good News, Bad News - Part 2

(See Post of 11/30/07)

Good News
I may have discovered my niche in life and a way to make a few extra dollars. A sign in our front yard could read, “Madame Lucy – Prognosticator par excellence!”

Bad News

A leak has developed in the upstairs bathroom sink.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Bit of Humor

Today on the Fox Movie Channel was "Monster Day." One of their features was "The Lost World" with Michael Rennie, David Hedison, and Jill St. John. This is the synopsis of the plot on Directv.

"A British professor, a playboy, and a rich woman in pink pants see lava and dinosaurs in the

It plain to see who made the biggest impression on the author of the blurb--Miss St. John who did, indeed, wear pink pants.


Who Knew? Pat Boone made a horror movie. I'm not sorry I missed it.