Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Grillin & Chillin (and what is this thing?)

We got the grill... and we cooked out 2 weekends ago ! Whoot. Ok, so the burgers were a little dry, but it was our first attempt and we had to figure out how the heck to work this thing.
David grilled some salmon on it this weekend and we had this strawberry/mint/vinegar dressing on top. Really good!

Can someone please tell us what this is for? It's not listed in the manual, so we don't know what we're supposed to do with this. It's just hanging from a chain off the side of the grill.

Fuzzy Wuzzy

What is it? What? What?

Isn't it pretty? The Colors! My friend Anna
(Me: Anna, where's your blog??
Anna: Buffy, who?) in Seattle surprised me with a late, late, late birthday gift. A beautimus scarf she knitted. I have no idea what this material is, but it is soft!

Thanks Anna!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Civic Pride and Such....


Florida, oh Florida how I loooooove you.

Yea, we moved up the primaries to today; really tweaked off the Democrats.

I am NPA - No Party Affiliation. I can't pigeon-hole myself, I can't. I have voted for Republicans, I have voted for Democrats, I have voted Independent.

Because of this, I could not vote in the primaries today, but I could vote Yes/No on Amendment One. No, I won't tell you how I voted.


Monday, January 28, 2008

The "It" Girl

Dagnabit, I've been tagged. LOL Niki over in her 'verse tagged me today. I am supposed to post seven random things about myself (that I have not divulged in posts? That's a toughy.) Then I tag 7 more blogs. Herein lies my dilema. I don't know many people who blog. I know Niki (she's already it), Amy was tagged several months ago, and the other few blogs I read are from people I don't personally know, from letterboxing. Argh. Anna, where the heck is your BLOG, lady?

1) I can touch my tongue to my nose.

2) I had a true story published in the University of Florida Alumni Association's 150th Anniversary Magazine and a quick story in the Orlando Sentinel.

3) I have two children's books I wrote once upon a time, sitting in my closet. I'm afraid of rejection. :) The books are in the closet. I wasn't sitting in the closet when I wrote them.

4) I LOVE JOSS WHEDON, BUFFY, ANGEL, FIREFLY.....what? You Knew this? OK, then.....

4) I can't remember much of anything before the 6th grade.

5) People tend to confide in me, a lot. If someone tells me "Don't say anything..." I don't. Which freaks other people out when they find out I knew something for a while and never said anything.

6) I don't like tomatoes. To me, they taste like what blood tastes like when you stick a cut finger in your mouth or something.

7) My bedroom, growing up, was gross.. Dusty, dirty, clothes everywhere. People who know me now will find that hard to believe.

Who to tag, who to tag....


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Stop Calling Me!

I don't like you in that way!!

Someone told me the "Do Not Call" list expires, but I just checked on the Federal Trade Commission's Site and it doesn't.

I have been receiving, on average, two calls a day from automated machines telling me to vote for their candidate. Or from live people asking me to speak to the "man of the house who votes." Number 1: What, a woman who votes is not worthy? and Number 2: Why are you calling my cell phone??

Are political parties exempt?

I'd let them go to voice mail, but then, I have to call voice mail to delete them, so I just pick up and hang up. What a pain. I just "re-upped" our cell numbers, just in case.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Crisp and Clean.... caffeine, feeling 7-up! What, you don't remember that jingle?

We are coffee drinkers, David and I. Morning, noon & night coffee drinkers. It also helps that my boss is a huge coffee drinker.


At the office, we have coffee at 8 a.m. and I nurse one cup. Then we brew another pot around 10 a.m. I never finish a cup (ask David) because I get distracted with things, especially at work. Around 2-3 p.m. we brew another pot. I could come home at night, drink a cup at 10 p.m. and go to bed without trouble.

For the past 4 years or so, I have not had one single solitary night of sleep where I slept through it all. Not one. First it was due to a certain Squeaklefritz hijacking my body for 9 months and then taking my sleep for over a year. She's forgiven. But since then, I still don't sleep. My mind is going 100 m.p.h. too: New house...did I hear a noise, what was that, I really need to fax that contract to the customer tomorrow, did I order that part for that sale? nauseum.

Two weeks ago, it sort-of clicked in my head: Maybe you can't tolerate the caffeine like you used to. I decided to try not having caffeine after noon every day. I had my 2 cups in the a.m. and then switched to water, caffeine-free teas or sodas in the afternoon and evenings. Nothing happened for a couple of days. I think my body was just in shock. and then...


Out like a light. All night, except for right before my alarm goes off (cause my alarm scares me so my body naturally wakes up 5 minutes before; isn't that weird?).

I am apparently getting old. My metabolism is changing, so be it. But now, after 4 years of not-good-enough-sleep, I am happy I figured it out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008



By Ellen Hopkins.

Written as if it were poetry, in verse, but it's not. It's prose hidden in verse form. Not very many words to a page - 666 to the book. Is she trying to be funny with the numbering? I read it between 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. on Sunday (in between cooking on the grill, etc. Very easy read). My son read it and really liked it so I told him I would read it.

The story deals with 3 different teens with very different backgrounds, and their 3 failed suicide attempts, which land them in a medical facility, where they meet.

Man, can we get teen-angtsy enough? Seriously. Don't give this book to a very emotional child, Sadness. Angsty sadness.


Remember I carved those stamps? No? Click here. Well, I was not satisfied with my Inara and Kaylee carves. Not because they were bad, but because the pictures I was using to carve were not the best. Especially the Kaylee one. I could not find a good Kaylee/Jewell picture to save my life. She was the last one I carved.

After much googling, and hunting, I think I found an Inara (Morena) picture I like, as well as a Kaylee one.

What do you think of my do-overs?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Otronicon 2008

Because I am a wonderful, caring soul (*cough*cough*), today the four of us went to:

Ok, it's not as big as it sounds, but still. I actually went because I dragged/ not drugged, cause that'll get me arrested. I dragged the boys to my letterboxing picnic so I figured I can drag/drug (in this case, drugs would have be nice actually) myself to a small gaming convention for them.

Memo to me: Don't wear cute shoes that pinch your jacked-up pinky toes.

I chased Isabel around (like David did for me at the letterboxing event) while the boys ran off and did whatever it is they do, so most of my pictures are Isabel, the back of Isabel, a blur of Isabel, one picture of Jake playing Super PacMan, etc.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Shake Your Booty..

And now for your entertainment, and because Jake & I LOVE THIS DANG SONG..... I present to you.... Tunak Tunak Tun by Daler Mehndi.

Four Eyes!

I gotsme some new eye glasses.

And then Boston-pal at work e-mails me to say: They'd look even better if you weren't "almost obese."

And I laughed so hard I choked on my own spit.

Fatty McFatten?

In an effort to maintain health costs at a decent level, our company sent out this link, so we can check our Body Mass Index:

According to this.....I am 2 points away from being...Obese. Seriously. It's what is said. It also said a co-worker was overweight - a co-worker who was told by his doctor to gain weight. So, yea. Fatty McFatten? Sure. Obese? LOL

jiggle jiggle

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I open all our mail. ALL of it. Junk mail too. I open it because David just throws the junk away, without even shredding our information. I am forever afraid I am going to throw away something I need. This past Friday, I received the usual pile o' junk. We tend to get a lot of junk mail, even from our own mortgage company. As usual, I opened them all, including the junk from the mortgage company.....which ended up being a check to us for overpayment on our escrow account. WH00T!!

If you recall, or maybe you don't, we got slammed with property taxes at the end of 2007 that were WAY more than estimated. (No, we don't have an A.R.M. I don't even know why anyone would do that.) All of a sudden, mortgage company is asking us to not only send them an EXTRA check for $790-something dollars to make up for the deficit in the escrow account that pays our property taxes for us, but to also note that our mortgage had gone up by $300,to make upfor future escrow amounts that will be needed. GULP. We dug into savings (a big no-no for me), we cut back on eating out to once or twice a month, other trips, my cake making (sniff) and Christmas shopping for others was cut, and we were fine. And they sent us a refund check. Don't ask, don't tell. It's ours now.

Monday I get a mortgage statement for February. Wait a sec, we already got the February mortgage statement. I opened it up. "Please note your payment schedule has changed." And I noted. It went down $150.00. Wh00t! We're still UP $150 from where it was when we first bought the house, but bringing it back down $150 is better than a poke in the eye with a stick any day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Some of you may not know this - I carve stamps. Like, rubber stamps. For a hobby we enjoy, called letterboxing.

I have not mentioned letterboxing for several months because we do NOT letterbox in the HOT Florida months, and the last time, before January 1, that we went letterboxing, was May 26, 2007. It's just TOO HOT.

Anyway, I carve stamps. I also do what's called "Postal Letterboxing." A topic is selected, a group of people join the ring, carve a stamp and make a log book based on the topic selected and the stamp goes to every person in the group, in a circle, or ring, until yours makes it back home to you.

I just joined a "Firefly" ring set to start in March. There are 12 of us in it.

If you're in the ring, turn away! SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!





I couldn't decide what to carve, so I decided to carve the ladies of Firefly.

Here are the actual carved stamps - click on the picture to make is bigger:

And here are their imprints:

The blue one is River Tam. The Brown one (browncoat - get it?) is Zoe. The red one is Inara and the orange one is Kaylee. I chose the colors purposefully, based on their personalities.
Which one do you like best?

Saturday at the Park

Saturday we went to a letterboxing event with a group of Central Florida letterboxers. It was potluck, and we got to see some old friends and make some new ones.

David enjoys letterboxing, but not so much the meetings, which is why we only go to a couple a year. If I could, I'd go to all.
I think it's just because he gets stuck chasing Isabel (lol) while I am with the group. He's not wrong. Isabel TORE through the grass towards the playground, leaving David in the dust, while Jake and I hung out. We had a great lunch and a good time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Lady in Pink

There's this thing I do. I'm weird. I look at people as I'm shopping at the grocery store or at the mall. I look for nice things to say to them. A nice trait - nice hair, nice shoes, great purse, nice glasses, something. I always feel that there is something nice that can be said about almost everyone, regardless of beauty, weight, sex. Usually I don't say anything. I just always want to be ready. I said I was weird.

A few months back, I am at a local grocery store during my lunch break, picking up a few things to store in the fridge at work. I see this lady. She's a grandma, maybe even a great. Grandma is decked out. Grandma looked fierce! Short white hair in a terrific style, light pink silk blouse, darker pink A-line linen skirt, matching jewelry, amazing shoes. She looks fantastic. We pass each other up & down the aisles. I'm thinking of saying something, but I just don't.

In the parking lot, I see her and finally get the nerve to say "You look fantastic!" The lady stops, her hand flutters to her chest and she says "Oh THANK you. I really needed that today," and she smiled broadly.

It felt amazing.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not So Much with the Comic book..

I've got a subscription at Things From Another World for Buffy Season 8 from Dark Horse. Enjoying it very much.

Then I see Angel Season 6 will be out too, but not by Dark Horse, by IDW. I wonder why DH didn't pick it up. I sign up for those...and think I have an idea why DH passed.

I am so not excited with books 1 & 2 so far.

After The Fall Part 1After The Fall Part 2

I am all about the Whedonverse being concurrent. I want it to jive with Buffy Season 8, yet there's no mention of Hell-A in Buffy. Kind-of hard to overlook what's going on in LA. The artwork is nice, but....they don't look like themselves at all in book 1. Angel, Spike...maybe. Wesley, Conner & Gunn? Not so much.

I know they'll explain it soon, but WTH is going on? We're thrown in the middle of the story. They did the same with Buffy-8, but that one I like.

Ugh, should I keep getting them just cause....? I don't know. Anyone reading these out there?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

No Touchy!

While searching for a letterbox picture on, I came across this one.

Contents of a "letterbox" that we found in the woods

It's called "Contents of a Letterbox Found in the Woods."

Didn't your mom ever teach you if it's not yours, don't touch it?? *sigh*

Lost & Found

Remember my Odd Couple from the city I work in/used to live in? If not, click here to recap. Go on, I'll wait.


Ok, back? I saw them! Both! Together! A day or 2 after Christmas. I actually said "Oh!" aloud in the car. The younger of the two had a digital camera and was taking random pictures (of a local hardware store). I thought "Oooh, new present!" and continued down the road, smiling.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Last Unicorn

People know I read.... a lot. So I keep being given books. I currently have about 30 books in various drawers and boxes that I need to read, not counting the "100 Classics to Read Before You Die" list I printed in 2007. Speaking of, I was looking at my list of books I read in '07: I read 50 books. It would have been 51 had I not left "The Chosen" at the office on New Year's Eve. Of those 50, I think 14 were off the Classics list. A little over one classic a month, and almost one book a week (52 weeks in a year, 50 books read. Not bad).

So, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, written in 1968.

last unicorn cover

I'd never heard of this book. My Mother-in-law dropped it off with a few more during their visit with us in early November.

It's a fairy tale about a Unicorn who, after hearing two huntsmen speak, believes she may be the last unicorn left alive, and sets forth to find out what happened to them. She travels the country, and because the world is so jaded (ain't that the truth), no one sees her for her true self. They just see a beautiful white mare, that leaves them feeling odd, and gives them odd dreams.

She in imprisoned by an evil carnival-owning witch, is released by a bumbling magician named Schmendrick (what a great name), who accompanies her, along with another lady named Molly (who can see the Unicorn as she is and not a mare) to find the fate of the unicorns.

There are bandits, evil kings a Red Bull, a love-sick prince, magical mishaps, and a happy ending for most. I won't tell more. Just that is was a fun read and for me an allegory of the loss of innocence and faith in our world.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Today, Saturday, my dad and step-mom came over. They called a few weeks ago for us to set a weekend day aside for them, which we week. My step-mom called earlierin the week to ask if they could bump it up (yes) and could they cook for us (uh, yes).

We had Puerto Rican Rice (arroz con gandules), Cuban Steak (Bistek a la palomilla), Hawaiian fried plantains (tostones) and for dessert, French Creme Bruelle and Nicaraguen Tres Leches. Talk about the United Nations of dinner. It was VERY good.

You can make the pictures larger by clicking them.

So, after dinner, my step-mom wants to cut my hair. LOL She's owned her own salon, I am ok with it, so I said sure, what the heck. Let's see how long my hair will grow from January until December of 2008.

Here's a slideshow of my hair. I'm taking most of these pictures myself. Notice anything odd going on in the background? I love it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Chosen

I would have finished this book in 2007 had I not left it at work on New Year's Eve. Grumble Grumble.

This book deals with the lives of two Jewish boys during WWII, one being a Hassidic Jew. Although they are Jews, their sects do not associate with each other - the Hassids seeing non-Hassids as less then them.

Reuven is the non-Hassid Jew. He grows up with a wonderful father who has discussions with him, who shares with him every day, who studies the Talmud with him in an almost scientific manner. Their lives are filled with pleasantness.

Revuen meets Danny, a Hassidic teen, during a game of baseball. They immediately hate each other, but after an accident, the two are drawn together. Reuven gets to visit with Danny's strict family, gets to see Danny's father, a venerable strong Rabbi and witnesses Danny & the Rabbi's interactions, or better yet, lack thereof. Danny's father won't speak to him unless they are studying the Talmud; that's it. No more. And Danny gets to see Reuven and his father.

It's clearly painful for Danny. He is beyond intelligent - he's a genius. He devours books, books he can never discuss with his father, who would forbid him reading anything other than the Talmud or school books. Danny is next in line to be Rabbi of his sect, and dreads it with all his heart. He doesn't want it. He wants to study psychology. The idea would tear his father apart.

The boys' friendship grows throughout high school and college. They share the utter despair and pain that most American Jewry does as the horrors of the fate of European Jews is revealed at the end of the war. Six million Jews dead. There is a call to arms by Zionists, and a stronger call to stand down and let the Messiah take action by the Hassidic community. Reuven and Danny are caught in the middle and can no longer communicate, for fear of Danny's father's wrath.

The strength of their friendship is palpable. Are there any boys in this day and age with this strong of a relationship? I don't know.

The boys eventually do get their friendship back on track and Danny finally realizes that although his father never talks to him, his father does love him and believes he raised Danny in silence to save Danny's soul. Danny, who is so intelligent that the rabbi fears he will be too logical, and not spiritual enough. He wants Danny to hear the silence between the 2 of them. He wants Danny's soul to yearn, and in a way, the rabbi succeeds. The rabbi also knows of Danny's plans to not become a rabbi and is not upset; he knows Danny is too intelligent, craves too much, to settle. Danny cuts off his beard and ear locks, and heads to graduate school to become a psychologist.

And Reuven? Reuven wants to be a rabbi; to heal Jewry.

His father's words touched me:

"Human beings do not live forever Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value there is to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than a blink of an eye? I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life. It is hard to fill one's life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here.".

As Do I.

Butt Seriously Folks....

It's COLD here! Brrrrr!

OK, so it's not as cold as up north, but as I was driving to work this morning, it was 29 degrees. Twenty nine, people! In Florida!

Last night, as I came home from work, the temperatures were dropping and it was chilly in the house. I went and got Isabel up from her nap. Her poor widdle fingers and feet were Popsicles. I felt her feet and said "Ooooooh! Cold Feet!" She felt them and then said "My fingers are cold." and then for NO apparent reason, she continued with "My butt is warm!"


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Remember Boom Boxes?

Hi Again,

Between birthday (12/21) and Christmas, Jacob had enough funds to buy himself an MP3 player. Take one was a Microsoft Zune, which was much cheaper than an iPod and very sleek-looking.....but would not work with our Windows Vista!!


A Microsoft product would not mesh with....a Microsoft product. The LATEST Microsoft software and it would not mesh with the Zune. We were incredibly frustrated, and were not the only ones. The electronics girl that handled our return said we were not the first people who had Vista on their home computers to return the Zune.

The second purchase was an Archos 404, 30 GB, for less than a iPod 4 GB.

It's pretty darned awesome.

I just remember being all excited getting my boom box. *sigh*


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Feliz Año Nuevo

New Year

Hope you all had a Happy New Year's Day!

We went out Letterboxing. It's been quite a while. David does not like to letterbox in the summer, so we have been awol from it for months. It was a gorgeous day and we found one of two boxes we were looking for, AND we were first finders, which is great.

During the "NOT HOT AS HADES" months in Florida, we like to letterbox at least one weekend a month, if not more. My goal is to go at least one weekend a month, both Saturday and Sunday, and find them. We'll see how we do.