Friday, March 31, 2006
Day 39 - Potatoe Glass - who wrote that? Quayle?
I know at least one person who reads this blog HATES that cute little song from Disney World… Apologies, but it fits!
Are you weary of FOOD stories? Sorry! Got another one for ya…
I had a wonderful time yesterday afternoon going to an International Market over in Antioch, TN (I think it's Antioch anyway). I easily found several things I didn’t find at the stores in the Farmers Market in downtown Nashville, and saw a million other items I didn’t recognize. ;-)
That’s part of the fun!
This International Market is an interesting mix of fresh and packaged foods, produce, and apparently is also a ‘real’ meat market and fresh fish market, judging by the smell. I don’t mean to be rude, but you have to breathe through your mouth in there if you have a sensitive nose like me. ‘Nuff said about that. If you don’t know what I mean that’s OK.
You've seen the above photo of all the STUFF that I purchased. Holy Hoisin Sauce, Batman! I bought something called 'potato glass noodles' but on the package it was spelled 'potatoes glass noodles' - when did Dan Quayle start writing the text for noodle packaging?
So, Karen- you might ask – why did you go there anyway?
Well, my first and foremost reason was to find ‘golden needles’ – they are the buds of day lilies and used in Asian dishes like hot and sour soup and moo shi pork. (my faves)
I also wanted to get mushrooms of various varieties, fresh or dried, and more wood ear mushrooms (I have the shredded variety but wanted the whole ones too). I have just been craving mushrooms lately, go figure...
In the photo, you see enoki mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, fresh shitake mushrooms, and a couple varieties of dried mushrooms. YUM-O!
I also wanted to just look around and just ‘see’ what might be interesting.
I never expected (for some reason) to see so many fresh items like baby bok choy, tiny eggplants called ‘Indian Eggplant’, fresh bean sprouts, etc. So…I HAD to get some of that stuff too.
I already cooked the little Indian eggplants and froze them to make another batch of eggplant parmesan sometime.
I never expected to see LIVE fish swimming in big tanks - you can buy them ALIVE, and various kinds of seafood like clams and mussels and squid and crabs, etc. which reminds me more of a New England seafood market than it does Nashville. They even had lobster.
I didn’t have the guts (yet) to buy any of the seafood, but it looked good. (breathe through your mouth, Karen, not your nose) And of course there was a lot of stuff I didn't recognize!
The prices for produce and dry goods was excellent, in many cases half of what a chain supermarket would charge. The Lily buds, if you buy them off the web seem to range from $3-$5 per package, plus $6-$10 for shipping. I happily paid 99 cents per package. Fresh shitake mushrooms? $4.99/lb, they can go for a dollar an OUNCE. Fresh oyster mushrooms? Hard to find elsewhere and scrumptious, but at the I.M. they are $5.99/lb.
The $$$ damage for all those groceries in the photo? $29.29. I was very pleased with the total!
Interruption - Charlie is hooting in the driveway. It is 5:37am.
I’m a happy camper, but my fridge is so full I have to HALT RIGHT THERE until we (read that ME) consume some of this stuff. Charlie, wanna try some baby bok choy? Not likely!! ;-)
Charlie’s idea of 'vegetables' are green beans cooked with oil, salt and a ham hock, fried corn, pinto beans with 'fat meat' in them, fried okra, and a ¼ pound slab of eye-watering onion.
I have to be at the Career Center at 10am this morning to fill out paperwork, and I want to swim before that – so I must Dash to Splash, and I mean it! I've got to leave the house at 6:30am this morning. Gotta go get in line with the COMMUTERS going to WORK! EEEEW!
This nice little old lady I spoke to at the pool yesterday asked me 'When are you coming back?' She must not find many people to listen to her...
Come to think of it, most of the people in her age group probably can't HEAR her.... ;-)
By the way - gas prices are on the rise again. Drat! Don't they know some of us are unemployed and want to go swimming?
Love you Bye!
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Day 38 - Chin UP, no matter how many you may have!
First - I'll brag about our dinner last night. I got 2 wonderful pieces of filet mignon on sale for $6 yesterday at the supermarket, which I butterflied and grilled on our new Sunbeam grill with sweet onions. Oh yeah, babe (Emeril).
Have you gained any weight reading my blog? I hope my typing burns calories... Dream On, girl!
Oh no! Does blogging make your butt look fat? Well, since you can't see if it has, it doesn't really matter, does it? Let's move on...
I finished reading 'Knife of Dreams', book 11 in the 'Wheel of Time' Series. I'm already a couple hundred pages (page 239 to be exact) into my next book 'Tuf Voyaging' by George R.R. Martin (one of my faves). I found the perfect quote in it for 'da blog'...
Quote of the day:
'If you're going to continue to yammer at me about cuisine, then I'm leaving. I have better things to do than sit here counting your chins.' Kaj Nevis of Tuf Voyaging.
I hope you don't feel that way, though. I'll assume you're happy as clams no matter what I write about. By the way - in case you haven't noticed - I do have a positive attitude. I do smile a lot.
For that, I have acquired a lot of nicknames over the years...
'Suzy Sunshine' is one. 'Pollyanna' is another. 'Smiley' is another. There has also been some minor usage of 'Karen Goldfish', 'Goldfinger', 'Goldie', 'Blondie', 'Squeaky', and 'Freckles'. Charlie, on the other hand, has his own collection, which includes 'Prissy', 'Cutes', 'Doll', 'Punkin', and 'Honey-Baby-Darlin'-Love-of-my-Life'.
A few interruptions this morning...
- 5:41am - Charlie hollering in the driveway. No answer from the turkey population.
- 5:55am - A pileated woodpecker (very large!) and a cardinal are at the suet feeder! We don't see the pileated woodpeckers very often, they are skittish. Could it have responded to Charlie's call? (she says with a grin)
- 6:05am- The delinquent woodpecker pecks on the roof. I ignored it.
- 6:15am - Charlie appears in the doorway to remind me he is leaving for WORK and hints that I haven't made his lunch. OOPS! I made his lunch and discovered I didn't buy bread at the market yesterday, so Charlie has a peanut butter and homemade jam on a hamburger bun. Sheesh - back to the store. ;-)
I got a call yesterday (while at the grocery store) from the Career Center. I have to go in and fill out more paperwork - I thought I was done! Rats! I'm going there tomorrow. I am sure that's why I forgot to buy bread (she rationalizes). Actually, it wasn't on my shopping list.
I wrote back both of the companies who wrote to me. One of those 'consulting opportunities' would require me to work in Memphis. That one is definitely out. The other one is a remote possibility but probably a no.
I followed up on my Cobra payment to confirm everything is OK, as I hadn't heard anything or received anything. I am all set, and yesterday I received new insurance cards so I am definitely OK. That's a relief. Gotta schedule some doctor and dentist visits while I am off and get all that medical stuff out of the way for the year. There's never enough time for those while you're working!
That's all for now, remember that tonight's Survivor Night!
I'm back already...
I've just spent the last few minutes unloading and loading the dishwasher, wiping up some unknown liquid on a shelf in the refrigerator (don't ask, just clean), and picking over a container of baby spring greens (by the way, this container looks just like a plastic container but the packaging is made from corn - pretty cool!) .
Every company that puts together 'spring mix', 'mesclun', 'baby lettuces' etc. booby-traps the mixture with some kind of lettuce that morphs itself in a matter of days from lovely, tasty, spring garden glory to dark, tadpole-like gobbets of pond slime. NOT GOOD.
Is that intentional, because most people will throw away the lot of it instead of picking out the 'evil invaders'? That stuff is expensive, and darn tootin' I will cull out the ones who are victims of pond-slime assimilation rather than throw it all away!
(You just can't wait to have some, can you Charlie? You say you want iceberg instead? OK...)
There. I've unloaded that thought - time to move on. TTFN! ;-)
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Day 37 - It's a wash
Yes, I know it doesn't really matter to me, being unemployed and all...
First - Charlie was out yodeling in the driveway at 5:36am trying to get a turkey to answer him. ;-)
Second - the flower arrangement I won at Daryls benefit is still doing great. I don't think the other picture I posted did it justice, so I'm posting another.
It is really very large - I have to carry the whole thing to the sink to water it.
Third - I'm in the mood to talk about LAUNDRY today...
Quote of the day: Marriage is about the most expensive way for the average man to get laundry done. Burt Reynolds
Charlie and I make TWO people. TWO. How can two people have so much laundry, and for that matter, how can we produce a bag of garbage per day? Is there a top-secret laundry expansion and garbage generation alien plot that we don’t know about? Call Moldy and Scummy. Skinner I'm not so sure about…
I did one load of laundry yesterday, and another the day before. It's a vicious cycle.
Yesterday, I opened the door of the washer to find that my brassiere was holding the rest of the laundry hostage. It was wrapped around my favorite bathrobe in a death grip and also was wound around the washing machine agitator, some towels, and anything else it could clamp in it’s evil jaws. How did that even happen? (It was trying to fulfill it’s secret life dream as a circus contortionist!)
Bloggers, will you get offended if I ask you a personal question? Do you bleach? I am not careful enough about separating whites from colors – therefore, some of my ‘unmentionables’ develop ‘unmentionable’ coloring as lights get mixed with darks.
My mother threw a few items of mine in with her wash when I was visiting last year. She held up one item after washing and said ‘Who’s nice gray bra is this’? Well, MINE of course, being the only other female in the house at the time, Mom. Once upon a time it was white, but thanks to my fantastic domestic prowess, it’s gray. Mom ended up borrowing it permantly, by the way, so she was 100% truthful about liking it. ;-)
My friend Ellen used to watch the washing machine suds agitate in a hypnotic state if there was nothing else to do. (Talk about stay-at-home mom’s boredom.) Ellen also got the first programmable oven I ever saw because she absolutely could not cook. She would set the dial to ‘chicken’, punch in the weight, and hope for the best. One of my first memories of Ellen was her throwing away eggs one by one as she cooked them for her daughter because they were turning her cheap aluminum pans dark (which eggs will do). I believe I pointed out the error in her thinking. ;-) Her children would call their grandmother and beg to be taken out to eat, and often she would come and get them!
I'm going to go make Charlie's lunch then finish my laundry discussion...
I'm back. When Charlie and I lived in a condo, we shared a laundry room with the other owners. It was amazing to me how many people would leave their clothes there for DAYS at a time...
Also at the condo - some folks moved in from a country I can't pronounce. They strung clotheslines in the trees and across the community dumpster (of all places) for their wash and someone had to explain to them they couldn't do that in a condo environment - the rest of us didn't want to partake of the view.
Newsflash - it is 6:13am and Charlie is hooting out in the driveway...
Years ago when it cost less, I would have the wash done FOR ME. That was lovely. You drop off your wash before work, leave it there, and they hand it back to you fluffed and dried and scented and folded. Aaaaah. My son (single guy that he is) sends his wash out and doesn't have a problem with it. ;-)
Oh! Just remembered this - my son had a friend named Brad. We could push his buttons pretty easily by teasing him.
I was driving them somewhere when they were maybe 10 or 12 years old. My son said 'Brad, you never change your underwear!'. Brad's answer... (hotly) 'I did so... YESTERDAY!' (TMI!)
Another favorite Brad-ism was to tell him quickly - 'Your mother's a WOMAN!'. Brad always denied it ('No, Sir!') before he realized what was said... ;-) Brad moved away to Arizona. Hi Brad, wherever you are!
We have a friend who hired a housekeeper. One of the things she was happy to do was the laundry, but our friend would not let her see or wash his underwear. Must be a 'sensitive guy' thing. HELLO - we ALL have it and we ALL wash it. (Uh, don't we?)
Play sound clip of 'Dirty Laundry' here and fade to commercial....TTFN!
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Day 36 - Step away from the Chinese Buffet!
We've all been on the Chinese food kick at times. There are a couple of Chinese Buffets near (former) work where you can indulge in high sodium and high fat deliciousness for reasonable amounts of payola. AND receive that all-important fortune cookie at the end of your meal. My favorite items - crab rangoons, pot stickers, hot and sour and wonton soup, and anything with shrimp in it. ;-)
If you've been reading my blog, you will note that I've been on an Asian food marathon! I love Chinese food, the healthy and the unhealthy. ;-)
I've had homemade wonton soup for breakfast - homemade egg rolls for lunch - and now (ta daaa!) homemade hot and sour soup. Here's a photo, (taken just for you bloggies out there) of my hot and sour soup. I was just sitting down to eat it last night and jumped back up to get the camera. By the way, Charlie liked it too! I had the hot and sour soup for a meal, though, and he had it for an appetizer before dinner. ;-) I have 4 (large) servings left over for lunches and/or dinners. I might try freezing one just to see if it freezes and thaws OK.
Homemade hot and sour soup is really not difficult to make, and it's quite healthy except for the sodium in the chicken stock. I found all the ingredients I needed without too much trouble, except for lily buds - golden needles. It's fine without them as a lot of places don't put them in anyway, but I'll be looking for them at an International Market soon or I'll order them off the web. By the way - I used ONE QUARTER of the hot chili paste the recipe called for and it still had Charlie getting out his handkerchief. My vegetarian sisters (all three of them) will be proud of me for actually buying tofu for the first time in my life. Thankfully, you can't taste the stuff. ;-)
Heather - please note the presence of wood-ear mushrooms - your favorite in Moo shi pork.
When the kids were younger, we had a great local Chinese food place (I think it was called the China Palace) in East Providence, Rhode Island. It was owned by a family that went to our church. They made wonderful Moo Shi Pork and Shrimp Foon Shee (with rice vermicelli). My daughter and I would eat all the Chinese dishes, and I'd bring in McDonalds for my son Evan or he'd eat chicken wings! Over time he learned to enjoy Chinese food. ;-)
Speaking of food - I do remember a really strange dream I had last night. I was on a property that had pathways next to tree-lined areas where squirrels and cats-that-thought-they-were-squirrels were feeding together on nuts! The cats didn't eat the squirrels, they ate nuts just as though they were squirrels. Strange!! Visitors walked the grounds with long wooden sticks with flat pieces on the ends to gently push (read that shovel) the animals away from you if need-be. Now, Dr. Phil - what the heck does that mean??? Comments and theories are welcomed.
That's enough for now, my coffee's getting cold and I think I'll nuke it back into shape...
I forgot to say one thing about this morning - and PLEASE tell me (reassure me) if this happens at your house...
I was sitting at the computer around 6:15am, writing on the blog, and heard these NOISES outside. What could it be? No, it wasn't the truant woodpecker that pecks on the roof, even though it did stop by a little later.
Why, it's the love of my life - trying to arouse a turkey in the field across the road by yelling strange noises at the top of his lungs out in the driveway before leaving for work... (what will the neighbors think?)
In case you don't know, this weekend starts turkey hunting season and Charlie is limbering up his vocal cords. Need a turkey call? Not necessary. I have Charlie. ;-)
He'll dress up in camos (be still, my heart) and lie in wait for that monster bird to come along...
Tune in next week for an update on turkey hunting weekend in Columbia, TN.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Day 35 - Jammin'!
Joan Rivers would say 'Can we talk?'. I'd like to talk about 'jammin' behavior'.
I didn't mention Saturday that I brought several jars of homemade jam to Daryl's benefit. There must be something magical about homemade jam. It's one of the few foods that doesn't upset Daryl's stomach. His mom has made an executive decision that nobody else can have any. ;-) I brought them 4 jars, so I hope some of the rest of the family will get to enjoy some of it this time!
I told you on my St. Patricks Day posting (you can always click on 'Archives' to your left and review older posts) that my aunt 'hoards' my homemade jam, and doesn't like to share it.
Our next door neighbor 'smuggled' the homemade jam past his brothers and sisters, and told Charlie not to tell anyone he had brought some over.
Another neighbor left an empty jar and a note on the porch requesting a refill!
I had an extra jar of jam with me at New Years when we had a get-together with Charlie's family. His niece 'smuggled' it out in her pocket so nobody could see she got more than one.
Charlie's boss kisses the jam jar when I send him one. He also bought me a case of jars because his mother in law was putting 'stuff' in all the empties so he couldn't return any.
My mother is currently all out of homemade jam. She has put in a request for resupply when I come visit for Easter.
My friend (you know who you are) invited company for brunch. She fed the company some other, obviously inferior jam, while sneaking into the kitchen to put homemade jam on her own bread! What a dastardly deed! She also hid the jam from the other household members.
Two friends from work bought jam from me recently. I guess I can't sell any now - it might affect my unemployment!
Another friend (when she left my former employer) worried about how she would get any jam in the future.
There are probably other stories that I've forgotten. Charlie and I get such a kick out of watching people's 'jammin' behavior'.
Quote of the day: 'At a certain point my novels set. They set just as hard as that jam jar. And then I know they are finished.' Ivy Compton-Burnett
Changing subjects slightly - I cranked up the new grill last night. (The one I bid on and won at Daryl's benefit auction.)
Whaddya think? Grilled tilapia with red onions. YUM-O! It was effortless to make and hugely yummy.
Striped food tastes better for some reason. Now I'll want to grill everything.
I wonder if I could grill egg rolls on it? ;-)
Well folks, one last comment for now...
Charlie reminded me of another job fair today at the GEC. Am I going? Nope. ;-)
Oops - more comments. This is a question for the Nashville locals- did you see the new commercial with the Watson's girl in it? Is she expecting?
Gotta go get sheets and towels out of the dryer and make up the guest room again. TTFN!
Back again - I realize I have to MAKE SPACE in a cupboard to keep the new grill and food processor. That's a nail biter. Making space in a cupboard will require approximately the same effort as putting a man on the moon. Stay tuned while I procrastinate over that for a while...
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Day 34 - I've made a decision
I've made a big decision that I've been thinking about for many days.
Readers, when I make that final journey to the happy hunting grounds, (deep breath)... I have decided to donate my blog to science.
Let the mysteries that lie within be uncovered, it may help millions of people in the future. I also leave permission to (weeping) put my blog into a cryogenic state for up to 10 gazillion light years. (Mr. Spock, is that enough?)
By the way, I had a minor crush on Mr. Spock years ago while watching Star Trek. I don't mean Leonard Nimoy, I mean Spock. Must be the pointy ears. Er... Uh... My daughter has slightly pointy ears.... Eeek! I am shaking my head, I don’t understand it myself.
Those of you who know me also know I am crazy about Legolas from Lord of the Rings. I don’t mean Orlando Bloom, mind you – he’s way too young! I mean Orlando Bloom AS Legolas, once he puts on the pointy ears and the green tights (don't get any ideas, Charlie!). Since Legolas is two or three thousand years old, that’s more my speed. I have a nearly life-sized Legolas cardboard cutout that Charlie got me for Christmas one year and a 2006 Legolas calendar. It’s all Legolas all the time at my house. ;-)
I'll tell you later about Daryl's benefit yesterday, I bid on and won some nice things!
It's 9:35am and we've had breakfast, I've unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, and Charlie has gone to help his daughter move. Cheryl and I will be leaving in a couple hours for the airport. But back to Daryl's benefit - it was very nice and I hope they raised a lot of money, I don't know the totals. I won FIVE items!
This photo shows two of the items I bid on and won.
Second from the left is a Sunbeam indoor grill that can go right into the dishwasher. Great!
Second from the right is a Hamilton Beach food processor. I had given my old food processor to our buddy Joe, so now I have a nice new one.
My very favorite item I bid on and won was the flower arrangement donated for the benefit. It is GORGEOUS!
And actually, the flowers cost me $0.00 because Cheryl gave me the money for it as a hostess gift for staying with us. Thanks, Cheryl! They are so beautiful and fragrant, and I've got them on the dining room table.
Have a nice day, everyone! It's sunny and cool, but supposed to get a little warmer today.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Day 33 - Grass Lasagna was good!
It's already 7:50. Charlie has put on a pot of delicious coffee and brought me a cup at the computer. Our houseguest Cheryl should be getting up soon. ;-)
Blog-Aid: I am sending out healing thoughts to Daryl and Elaine. You can join me if you want to. The baskets I made last week are being auctioned off today to help with Daryl's medical bills.
Here's a few random ramblings on various topics...
My Eggplant parmesan, alias 'grass lasagna' as Charlie called it, came out good! Charlie even tried a little of it - he said it was...interesting. He avoided the asparagus like the plague, however.
Do your hands get in your way while you're sleeping? Mine do - sometimes I wish they were removable. I am always curling them over, putting them under my head, getting them stuck underneath Charlie, or lying on them and cutting off my circulation. It's an ongoing challenge.
Speaking of couples sleeping - did you know that a lot of couples don't sleep together? I know several (not old folks!) who prefer sleeping in separate beds. I just don't get it! One thing I really like about waking up in the morning with Charlie is that after being in the same bed all night, we've become the same temperature! (So what, you say? Well, try on some 'cold hands' and 'cold feet' and get back to me).
Speaking of sleeping - Charlie snores like a freight train, but I sleep through it. I will wake up though if he is blowing raspberries on my forehead. My mother, in her loving way, once said 'You sleep like you're dead'. Thanks, Mom! xxx-ooo
I have a lot of crazy dreams while sleeping, also very long, intricate dreams like movies. Since being unemployed, I think my dreams have become more boring. I don't remember very many of them right now when I wake up. Does that mean my neural networks aren't getting exercised properly? My favorite dreams (this sounds scary and it should be but it's not) are of tidal waves that don't kill me - I have had quite a few tidal wave/flood dreams and I actually swim in them and navigate them... What does that mean? Last summer, when we were on vacation in Newport, Rhode Island, I had a scary dream and actually yelled out loud and scared Charlie to pieces. I remember the dream. I had seen some kind of ghost upstairs in a house. That didn't scare me. I reached out to the ghost to wave my hand through it's 'ghostly vapor' - (bad idea, Karen) and it was SOLID. That's when I yelled. The reality was probably that I reached out and touched Charlie. ;-) Sorry, Charlie.
Charlie has really long arms and really bony elbows. He accidently clunked me in the head with an elbow one night and in an excited voice said 'Did you hear that?'. My reply 'Hear that? It was my head!!!'. He remarked it sounded like thumping a melon. I am so proud...
Quote of the day:
Consciousness: that annoying time between naps. ~Author Unknown
I'll do a preliminary posting and try to write more later... Have a great Saturday, everyone!
Friday, March 24, 2006
Day 32 - A Riot of Spring
In 1913, the Paris premiere of Stravinsky's ballet 'The Rite of Spring' caused a riot.
I didn't remember that, I had just thought of using 'Riot of Spring' vs. 'Rite of Spring' for my caption, and found out a little more about the origin of it.
Well, I love it when I see spring 'springing' the way it is right now. The Bradford pear tree's blooms are mostly gone by, but the ornamental cherry trees are spectacular! Even though we are having a cold snap, spring is definitely here.
I stopped and took these photos in Nashville yesterday on my way to the airport to pick up my friend Cheryl. She arrived, on time and safe and sound. We had shrimp cicadas (read that quesadillas) last night for dinner, and then watched M. Night Shyamalans 'The Village'. (No, I didn't spell that right the first time I tried it.)
Charlie is on his way to work, Cheryl is still sleeping, and here I am blogging over my coffee, as usual. All is well with the world.
Quote of the day:
Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn. - Lewis Grizzard
Job Hunt Update: I've had 2 hits from 'Monster' from companies wanting me to do consulting. That sounds too stressful to me so I will need to write to them and wimp out.
I went to lunch yesterday with some former co-workers. They said that some people are making books out of their blogs and publishing them. Whaddya think? Would anyone actually pay for these ramblings? I wouldn't bet the farm on it. My friend Ronie gave me some books about 'getting published' (Thanks, Ronie!). Maybe I'll become the next 'literary sensation'... Dream ON, girl!
All right, Karen, enough of spring and sweetness and light - tell us something more entertaining than that! Give us some DIRT, girl!
Let's see - here are a few tasty morsels from the last couple days:
- I left a pair of scissors on the kitchen counter last night. Charlie loaded them into the dishwasher. ;-) By the way, it is natural for someone from Rhode Island to say 'Hand me a scissor' and not use the plural form.
- Cheryl and I are having homemade eggplant parmesan tonight. Charlie referred to it as 'grass lasagna'. (I am still chuckling).
- I bought fresh asparagus for Cheryl and I to eat one night this weekend. I'll make Charlie a different vegetable. Charlie and I left a restaurant once because the vegetable of the day was asparagus and they wouldn't substitute it for something else. ;-)
- My big, fat, juicy monthly credit card bill arrived. Somehow it didn't get the news that I am unemployed to reduce my charges. ;-)
- I neglected to say on Day 28 that the Pillsbury Dough boy photo was from a combined birthday/anniversary celebration for my friends Debbie and Mike.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Day 31 - Quirks I have known
First - Honorable Mention goes out to Kevin Covais, alias 'Chicken Little' on American Idol, who didn't make it to the next round. He is a nice 'young man' (though he looks 12!), but maybe not the greatest singer of all time. As he has a lisp, he'll probably end up in broadcasting like so many others who are speaking-challenged. WHY do people who have speech issues go into public speaking anyway? It's a mystery to me.
Second - Men spoon, but they don't nest (I'm referring to tupperware!).
I've been meaning to bring this up. Charlie is really good about unloading the dishwasher - thank you, Charlie! HOWEVER, he never nests the tupperware or frying pans when he puts them away, and appears to be unaware there's another option. ;-)
See photo of the cupboard. The plastic storage containers nest - it's a space saving method of fitting one INSIDE the OTHER. Frying pans nest - it's a space saving method of fitting one INSIDE the OTHER. I realized this weekend that it's a guy thing - our buddy Joe has a whole cupboard of containers that (helpfully) fall out on the floor when you open the door. These are not nested according to size and shape either. Hmmm...
Clinical afterthought: Maybe it is really part of the condition I call 'Male Pattern Blindness' which includes 'selective sight' depending on the subject matter. Charlie can spot a deer grazing at the edge of a field at 500 yards, but try to find a sausage and biscuit in the freezer or the potato chips in the pantry...(insert male voice saying 'Honey, I don't see it') 'Nuff said. ;-) Let me know if that happens in your household too.
I'll tell a few things on myself to balance the scales...
Confession #1: I squeeze the toothpaste tube wherever the mood strikes me, usually in the upper quadrant. Charlie ‘fixes’ it now and then and never complains. He’s a peach that way. ;-)
Confession #2: I have a chronic habit of leaving shoes around the house – anywhere except where they belong. I go barefooted a lot.
Confession #3: I hate to unload the silverware from the dishwasher. Before I had a dishwasher, I hated to wash the silverware. If you count piece for piece, that’s the most voluminous of one’s domestic responsibilities.
Confession #4: Our buddy Joe doesn’t like the way I eat oatmeal, even Sturm’s famous and delicious whole grain cranberry oatmeal. I let the hot oatmeal congeal a bit, then float cold milk on top of it so I have a kind of ‘ice cream on cobbler’ effect. Contrasting temperatures AND textures. Yum-O! Joe mixes his, which I would NEVER do. By the way - I also will NEVER drink the milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl, because it’s contaminated with sugar and little flecks of unappetizing cereal debris. C’est la vie!
That's enough confessing for now. My friend Cheryl is flying in this afternoon for the weekend, and I need to do the 'guest checklist' thing and be sure everything is ready.
More later, Love you bye!
Back again with the tally from my vacuuming expedition:
- 2 pairs of shoes (one pair sneakers, one pair rubber soled slip-ons)
- one pair socks
- one spider (I vacuumed it. Sorry, PETA)
- at least 6 popcorn kernels - granted, we eat a lot of microwave popcorn but I found a popcorn kernel all the way across the den next to the television set! How did it get there?
Er..uh... Charlie - could you look at the kitchen table leg when you get home? The one on the left facing you as you come in the garage door? I kind of bumped it (read that hit it) with the vacuum and now it's wobbly. Oops.
Confession #5: Charlie gets disturbed when I loop the vacuum cord over my hand and then hang it on the top vacuum cord hanger - he likes the cord neatly wound around both of the cord hangers. The vacuum must look enough like a power tool to qualify for male OCD with regard to the cord. I wound it nicely today (she says after she asks him to fix the table). ;-)
Stay tuned for more household adventures with Super Domestic Goddess!
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Day 30 of Blogeuphoria
You don't know what a Kewpie Doll is? Hmmm... Here's a quick description. http://www.badfads.com/pages/collectibles/kewpie.html
I thought I invented the word 'Blogeuphoria' yesterday in the car (great joy), but now I see a website already has the BlogEuphoria url taken (deep sadness). Too bad, I'm using it anyway. I left myself a message on the answering machine so I wouldn't forget it. (That's something you do when you get older - you need reminders for just about everything.)
A feeling of great happiness or well-being while blogging.
I am still enjoying my blogging time, it unloads a little of my brain while I'm not working. One of these days I'll invent more fractured 'blogurisms'.
I am on page 431 of my 'Wheel of Time' book 11. I like big, involved books with hundreds of pages, and I am usually disappointed when I've 'run out of book' at the end. This one, for example, has 761 pages - and add 22 more for the glossary at the end, which I rarely read.
The quote of the day (sobering though it may be) comes from Lan (a Warder - kind of a permanent protector to someone):
'Death is lighter than a feather, Duty heavier than a mountain.'
Whew! Heavy! Where do I go from that - Intermission? Take five to think that over and come on back.
Thinking of that quote also makes me think of a line from 'Parenthood' with Steve Martin - his character is miserable and says 'My whole life is HAVE TO'. Well, a lot of my 'HAVE TO' disappeared February 20th, so I can be thankful for that!
Let's lighten things up a bit. From the movie 'Arthur' with Dudley Moore - he laughs hysterically for no apparent reason and says 'Sometimes I just think funny stuff!' That's me. I usually have a grin going because I'm thinking something humorous MOST OF THE TIME. It's a gift. ;-)
For more Arthur quotes see: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082031/quotes (they have just about everything on the web these days, don't they?)
Plans for the day:
- Putter around the house, make the bed, unload the dishwasher, make breakfast, decide what to make for dinner.
- Go swim.
- Make several phone calls - Career Center, 401K people, auto insurance.
- Finish up putting cellophane on the baskets I am making for a fundraiser on Saturday, and make lists of the contents.
Want to see the baskets? You do? Well, all right! Here they are...
And the last one is a handmade goods basket.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Day 29 - Shop Talk
Here's a photo of my CRV, sorry it's kind of dark but I wouldn't open the garage door in my robe and fuzzy slippers with cars going by!
As you recall, my vehicle is scheduled this morning for one of those several-hour-long 'major services' at the car dealership. Major services cost a lot and follow a long, detailed checklist any woman would be proud to have created. ;-)
I don't mean that EVERY woman has a detailed nature, but on another posting I'll tell you about planning trips with the gals from work. We plan things to the 'nth' degree...
I absolutely LOVE my Honda CRV-4-Door-Color-White. (Yes, that's the way I say it.) It deserves the best, and if that means paying for dealer service, so be it. You think I'm going to do any of that myself? Ain't gonna happen.
My checklist for going to the car dealer for service:
- I have double checked that my little coupon discount book is safely in my purse.
- I will be certain to ask for additional discounts for the unemployed. (It could happen!)
- I will be certain to ask for the complimentary car wash. (You only GET the complimentary car wash if you ask for it.)
- I need to use up some of my window washer fluid so it can get refilled with 'fresh'.
- I scheduled my car service on a Tuesday when they are open late, just in case it takes longer than they think it will.
- I scheduled my car service at 10am so I can take advantage of their 'courtesy transportation' service and be dropped off at the mall for several hours of glorious shopping.
- I scheduled my car service so the bill will be on next month's credit card statement, not this one. I am already looking forward to all the reward points I will 'earn'. (yeah, right)
Some people have a terrible time with car dealerships, and mechanics in general. I haven't, because I NEED them, I appreciate them, and they know it.
Here's a few stories from the past...
I dated (not regularly) a few people who I remember by their car, not their names. (Oh fine, I guess I could remember if I tried, but it's not important to the Blog.) One had a Barracuda, one had a Roadrunner (with a quad), and one had a Corvette (and he let me drive it!).
Years ago, I had a White, 2-door Mercury Grand Marquis. I loved that car dearly too. At Christmastime one year, my trunk lock jammed with a trunk full of presents and THANKFULLY the dealership I frequented had service hours till MIDNIGHT. They thought the situation was pretty funny - a car full of presents and no way to get to them. They fixed my trunk lock and I was on my way home with them very quickly.
I had another, regular (not Grand) Marquis for a while. It needed over $1000 worth of work, and I was ready to get another vehicle rather than pay to fix it. One of the mechanics at that same dealership paid me a fair price for it, fixed it himself for his father, and his father drove it for years afterwards.
I had an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser station wagon for a while - WOW that wagon had a great ride. It needed a new exhaust system, and the shop I was going to at the time didn't have pipes the right size for such a big vehicle. That didn't faze my mechanic. He took a look, started pulling pipe off rafters in the ceiling, and MADE me an exhaust system. No sweat. He was proud of it. By the way, when I was ready to get rid of the Vista Cruiser, I gave it to a guy to use for the Demolition Derby. I thought the wagon would enjoy 'going out fighting'.
What's the worst vehicle I ever owned? A ford Maverick! That car drove me crazy. It had the worst carburetor. Even when replaced - it just never worked properly. Grrrrr...
By the way - I must give honorable mention to a couple more cars.
First - my mother's push-button transmission Plymouth Valiant wagon. That was a good car. The engine (a slant six) was so quiet you could hardly hear it running, and the push button transmission was way cool.
Second - the first car I ever drove - a 1955 Chrysler Windsor that weighed 5500 pounds. I had to stand on the brakes to stop it. It had ELECTRIC SEATS! In 1955! On the ash tray it said 'Ash Receiver'. Quite the posh car.
Have a nice day everyone! I'll give you an update once I get back.
Hi there, I'm back! It's now 6pm and I've had my car serviced, shopped at the mall, grocery shopped, and now I'm home. Almost time to go make dinner but first I'll give an update.
My car is doing great (137K miles) but needed a battery, which I told them to go ahead and do along with my service. Total cost (after all discount coupons applied, tax, etc) $594. Ouch, but I've seen worse. Karen, you ask, did you get an unemployment discount? Well, kinda! When I winged (that means whined) about being unemployed and that my coupon book was about to expire - I got a new, improved VIP coupon book that NEVER expires. Awesome!!!!
I got some nice stuff on clearance at the mall, and bought myself lunch at Subway (grilled chicken and baby spinach salad). I'm sitting at the computer wearing a new sweater I bought for $3.99 at Sears. The original tag says $56. ;-) I guess I'm thankful we're having a cold snap.
Nothing memorable to tell about the trip to the grocery store except I lucked into a GREAT parking spot without waiting for it. It's nice when that happens. ;-)
That's all for now folks, more tomorrow!
Monday, March 20, 2006
Day 28 - One Month Anniversary!
It's been one month since my employment demise, and I'm still here blogging, along with my good buddy the Pillsbury Dough Boy. ;-)
Play sound clip of 'Celebrate!'.
It's also the first day of spring, with a cold rain falling and a temperature of 38 degrees. Brrr.
What's that? You say you think that tomorrow is the first day of spring? Nope!
Here's the deal:
Let's review where we stand with this 'unemployment business': (get it?)
Blood pressure? Good.
Stress level? Low.
Training program in place? I believe so.
Unemployment checks? Not yet but soon.
Resume ready? Yes.
Checking the internet job postings? Yes.
Networking with your colleagues? Yes.
Oven cleaned? Stop bugging me! (kidding)
I'll do a preliminary posting here and then keep writing - it's a rainy day, so why not?
Quote(s) of the day in honor of SPRING - I found more than one I like, so here they are:
'Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.' Doug Larson.
'Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants.' Dorothy Parker.
'In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.' Mark Twain.
Since it's a rainy, dreary SPRING day - it MIGHT be a great day to clean the oven. Then again, it might not.
Here's a photo of the forsythia bushes and redbud trees in our yard, in bloom. Obviously this photo wasn't taken today!
It's time for my annual stop at the local landscaping business down the road (8 miles down the road) and set a day and time for them to do our mulching. Nasty job, that.
The owner reminds me every year who originally owned this house - because that is how he remembers where we live. 'Oh, yeah, the old Jackson place' he'll say.
We discovered that another neighbor refers to us as 'Brick House'. We personally don't have an identity, but the house does. ;-) Charlie introduced himself as 'Hi! I'm Brick House', and that worked just fine. There AREN'T many houses right here, so it's pretty easy to distinguish between them.
My coffee is gone. Must be time to stop blogging, make the bed, unload the dishwasher, and start thinking about breakfast. And you think I don't work! (she says with a big, contented smile)
Newsflash - newsflash! We interrupt this program with breaking news! Karen Goldsmith is attempting to clean the oven! I repeat! Karen Goldsmith is attempting to clean the oven!
Good grief - I hope the smoke alarm doesn't go off!
You're supposed to spray the oven and then set it on 475 degrees for at least 30 minutes. The can says 'some steam may escape' - it looks like a steam locomotive over the vent burner! (Don't get nervous, Charlie - I'll go watch it). ;-)
More later! Do we have a fire extinguisher in here??? (she says without panic)
Oh, good. It's been 7 minutes and the steam has stopped escaping. As far as this stuff being 'fume free', however...
I'll post some photos shortly of the transformation IN PROGRESS!!!
Oh, great - I have leakage...
Not from ME, sillies. The drawer underneath the stove is now contaminated with oven leakage goo.
Now I've got to put everything that was under there in the dishwasher. (she says in a resigned tone of voice).
Girl - you have some kinda nerve posting something that looks like THAT on your blog!
The truth shall set me free. Or at least shame me into a clean oven.
Bahba-Wawa: Karen, what are your thoughts at this historic moment?
- I can't believe there was a COBWEB on the cooling rack on the bottom of that drawer. Eeeew.
- This reminds me of the movie 'the Blob'. I hope this stuff doesn't start moving, since I'm still in my robe (now contaminated on the sleeve with goo) and can't escape.
- Now I have to do a load of laundry too so I can wash my robe.
- Would this stuff get rid of the 'impossible to clean residue' in the corners of my kitchen floor? I'm not going there - trust me.
- Good thing I have a lot of paper towels. Eeeew - what's THAT? (Don't look at it, girl, just rinse, wipe and toss - rinse, wipe and toss)
Ok, now that the drawer is clean, I actually have to wait awhile here. After the oven has finished burning off the creeping crud, I have to wait till it cools before I can finish cleaning it. (Thank goodness!)
Hello again! It's about 2:30pm.
I'm about done with that oven cleaning job - and don't you EVEN say that I missed a spot, 'cause I know I missed lots of them! Next stove will have a self-cleaning oven, I promise you that.
I even saw a couple of touchups I HAVE to do for my own peace of mind after seeing the photo. Sigh.
I'm finished with the load of laundry and on the second load of dishes in the dishwasher.
But first - I'm going to go watch 'Lady and the Tramp' on DVD and relax a bit... This has been much harder work than WORK was! ;-)
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Day 27 - Faster than a speeding...claymation character.
To continue with memories of shows from my childhood, Sunday was 'Davey and Goliath' day. It was on very early in the morning, and we were as slow as the claymation action at that hour.
I can still hear the intro of 'A Mighty Fortress is Our God' and hear the way Goliath says 'Davey'. By the way - I have a brother named David, but we never called him 'Davey'.
Did we watch Davey and Goliath because of the message, or because it was the only childrens offering on Sunday morning? I don't know!
But back to my favorite cartoons and animation, here are just a few I enjoy(ed):
- Gullivers Travels (I own it, get the 60th anniversary DVD version)
- Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (I own it)
- Mighty Mouse (I've decided I am going to buy a collection soon! I had memorized Mighty Mouse songs before I was FIVE)
- Old Merrie Melodies (note the musical theme here as well)
- Old Disney Animation
- Disney movies, especially the older ones
- Sorcerer's Apprentice (there is a version somewhere narrated by Sterling Holloway. I had it on vinyl but I would love it on Video or DVD).
- Peter and the Wolf
- Tubby the Tuba
- Kimba the White Lion series
- Hercules (Hero of song and story, Hercules, winner of ancient glory)
- Charlie Brown's holiday specials - especially Christmas and Halloween.
- Anything of Dr. Suess's that's been animated.
- Rudolph and Frosty Christmas specials.
We've all had coffee and breakfast here, and Joe is on his way home to either mow the lawn or take a nap. Charlie is asleep in his favorite recliner in the den, and I'm here blogging. ;-)
What was for breakfast? Bacon, turkey sausage, scrambled eggs with cheese, freshly baked biscuits with honey, maple butter, and/or apple butter, juice and coffee. (just a light breakfast)
TTFN - play sound clip - 'Go Speed Racer, go Speed Racer, go Speed Racer, go!'
It's now 4:00pm - Help me, Obiwan Kenobi - I have the B-52's singing 'Love Shack' going through my head. Make it stop! Make it stop!
Don't ya hate it when that happens? It's probably happening now to whoever reads this blog... It's a pandemic like the bird flu! And they can't call it a 'Shack Attack', that's been taken! (yes I know it's really 'Shaq' but you get it...)
Anyhow - I digress...
I've washed sheets and towels today and remade the guest bed in anticipation of my next guest, my friend Cheryl from Rhode Island (please pronouce that 'Rah-die-land'). Cheryl arrives Thursday afternoon and will stay through the weekend.
Speaking of Rhode Island accents (which rival New York's), this is my favorite Rhode Island accent story. I promise you it is true, because I heard it myself on the radio.
The big pop radio station in RI is 92-PRO FM. Everybody knows it, everybody listens to it. When you're lying on the beach roasting yourself to a beautiful toxic waste brown, you are more than likely hearing it.
Here is a discussion I heard at Christmas time (no, I wasn't on the beach at the time):
Disc Jockey: Hi there - what was your favorite Christmas present this year?
Teenaged girl: Said something like 'P.S.D.S- (pee-yes-dee-yuhs)'
Disc Jockey: 'What is that?'
Teenaged girl: 'Yuh know - P.S.D.S. (pee-yes-dee-yuhs)'
Disc Jockey: 'Nope, I'm just not getting what you're saying.'
Teenaged girl: (frustrated) - 'Yuh know, Eye gut my eee-yahs pee-ahced'.
Disc Jockey: (enlightened) 'You got pierced ears!'
Teenaged girl: 'Yeah, that's what I said!'.
I am NOT kidding! Moving right along...Do you remember radio stations you listened to wherever you used to live?
Here's a few of the ones I remember:
92-PRO FM (When I lived in RI and Southeastern Mass. in the 'land of clam'...)
WBZ - Radio 103 (Boston station - from my grandmother's house and other locations)
Seventy-seven, WABC! (New York station, when I lived in Stamford, Connecticut.
My favorite commercial played on that station - the amusement park commercial for Palisades Park - not the SONG. I knew all the words even without checking on the internet for the lyrics.
That's all for now, folks!
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Day 26 - The Mighty or the Mickey?
I'll write more later since I'm about to have COFFEE in BED, but it's Saturday morning and that reminds me of many years of Saturday morning cartoon shows...
I need to express my undying devotion to Mighty Mouse. Yes, I believe that in some ways, Mighty Mouse made a bigger first impression on me than Mickey Mouse.
(Shocked gasps from the audience).
It's true! And that's because of the music. Mighty Mouse episodes had these great mock-opera scenes full of dramatic singing (while Pearl Pureheart was about to be killed on the railroad tracks or floating downriver towards waterfalls), and I would memorize them and sing them over and over again. Mickey Mouse, however, was very memorable in the 'Sorcerer's Apprentice', he just didn't have the macho mouse thing going on...
Anyway - I'll talk more later about my favorite cartoons, including Hercules, Kimba the white lion, and others.
TTFN - must...get...to...coffee...
I must defer my conversation about cartoons because we're having company tonight (our buddy Joe) to watch the latest 'Harry Potter' (recent arrival from Amazon.com) on our big screen TV, and I need to run errands and run down the 'company is coming' checklist.
- Check/clean house.
- Check/clean guest bath.
- Stock toilet tissue, kleenex, shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc in guest bath.
- Remove all obvious signs that a female lives here if a male is visiting.
- Lay out some guest towels.
- Make sure we have drinks, snacks, dinner and breakfast supplies.
- Ignore that the oven needs cleaning.
Here is the guest room, well, part of it anyway!
Please note that the winter-themed pillows have been taken away and replaced with spring-themed pillows.
If I had the time and money, I would change out everything each season. Maybe someday, when I'm EMPLOYED again!
More later! Love You Bye!
I'm back! It's 6:30pm and I'm showing Joe what I do to edit a posting. We're going to go watch 'Harry Potter' (which Charlie calls 'Harry Potty') shortly. Joe describes this movie as 'Teenage Angst', which is true - from the time a kid is 12 or so, it's all they can do to keep their little darling heads from spinning around on their shoulders. ;-)
Let's interview Joe for a minute:
Bahba-Wahwa: Joe, what are YOUR favorite cartoons?
Joe: Spongebob Squarepants, the Incredibles, the Simpsons, Vampire Hunter D, and NOT Futurama.
Bahba-Wahwa: Joe, are you ever going to cut your hair SHORT again?
Bahba-Wahwa: Joe, can I borrow 20 bucks? I'm unemployed.
Bahba-Wahwa: Joe, do you want me to fix you another Myers Dark Rum and Coke?
Joe: Yes, please.
That's all for now, folks! More tomorrow, probably AFTER breakfast!
Friday, March 17, 2006
Day 25 - In Celebration of the Irish
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! Please note the festive-looking green lettering in honor of the occasion.
Yes, I have Irish in my background, via the family name of ‘Slattery’. I am also English (a Mayflower descendant), and German. My grandmother Hempel wanted me to be named Gretchen, though I’m not sorry she didn’t get her wish!
Many years ago, my mother’s brother married a feisty, dark haired, spitfire of a woman from Ireland, and they have lived happily ever after in Boston, MA. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I would like to share a couple of stories about my aunt from Ireland.
We love her dearly. She is a no-nonsense, ‘tell it like it is’ kind of person, a fantastic cook, and a non-stop source of entertainment. AND she loves my homemade jam, so much that the other members of the household are forbidden to have any. ;-)
When my aunt first moved to America after marrying my uncle, her English wasn’t…very English-like. It has improved a ‘wee bit’ over the years. She phoned the electric company to report a power outage. She kept repeating ‘Me lits is oot’, ‘Me lits is oot’. The nice, understanding men at the electric company translated ‘lits’ into a body part (two to be exact), and they did send someone to check out the… situation. ;-)
I am sure they thought a ‘female flashing’ was a much more likely reason for a phone call to the ELECTRIC COMPANY than a power outage. Go figure…
My aunt doesn’t drink, but there was one occasion I can recall…
The time - afternoon. The place - my sister’s wedding. My aunt was arguing with another wedding guest (that’s not unusual) about who in history had a worse time of it – the Irish or the American Indian. She must have felt that she couldn’t get the upper hand in the argument, so she used her hand and gave him an uppercut that he wouldn’t soon forget. Yes, she punched him. ;-) I believe that ended the conversation.
(play sound clip here of Kermit singing 'It's not easy bein' green'.)
Those are my two favorite stories about my aunt.
THIS SPACE DEDICATED TO ANOTHER IRISHMAN WITH RED HAIR BY THE NAME OF QUINN– YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. ;-)
More later! By the way - I had a lovely lunch visit with my former team yesterday, and it was good to chat with them again. ;-)
P.P.S. Job Hunt Update - I received an email invitation yesterday to appear for an interview - for a CAR SALES position. Eeeeewwwww!!! I am hoping to start receiving offers from major publishing houses to start a syndicated column like Dave Barry's... Dream ON, girl!
P.P.P.S. I enjoy and expect comments every now and then, it feeds my ego. Please post comments so I won't feel like I am 'blogging to the darkness'...
P.P.P.P.S. I had an inquiry (via telephone) this morning on whether or not I have accomplished the task of cleaning my oven. The answer is NO. ;-)
P.P.P.P.P.S. I keep forgetting to tell something about 4-leaf clovers. They are delicious. So are the three-leaf variety. (Yes, when I was a child I ate clovers, flowers, all kinds of stuff.)
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Day 24 - Is it real or is it Memorex?
Egads, I've been had! Call the constable!
She tells her story to the jury, clutching her embroidered hankie, shaking her head, and gently weeping at appropriate moments...
Yesterday, I purchased a new bottle of multivitamins (with Lutein and Lycopene) to replace the oversized horsepills I had purchased at the 'Deals' everythings-a-dollar store.
Yes, I confess, I love those stores and MOST of what I get there is great! If an item turns out to be less than satisfactory, I can toss it without too much guilt.
Well, GUESS WHAT? These vitamins are EXACTLY the same - born of the same womb, cut from the same cloth, poured from the same mold. Not only are they the same size, shape and color, they even have an identifying mark - a characteristic crease in the center. That is all the proof I need!
What a coincidence that I've just seen 'Prince and the Pauper' - here's a real life example! I could exchange these two, and they could live their (albeit short) lives in another environment (read that 'bottle'). The vitamin from the rich side of town, and the poor.
What should I do, gentle readers? Should I mix them up and never know which one I am taking? Do I dare live dangerously, or should I keep them separate? If this case should come to trial I will need to be able to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Play sound clip of 'Tommy can you hear me' but substitute 'Greta can you hear me' instead.
Uh... while we're telling the truth here, I should state that I did get the new vitamins on sale, so the per pill cost comparison is... let's see... 'Bailiff! Bring forth the financial adviser!'
The finance subject-matter-expert, Mr. Poindexter takes out his abacus. With lightning speed and much rattling he calculates the following... 'Let's see now, we have one bottle of 30-count for one dollar. We have a 130-count multipack of the other brand for $4.99. That means the dollar store vitamins sold for 3.33 cents each, and the drugstore brand cost you 3.84 cents each.'
The moral of the story, gentle readers, is 'Count your pennies when you can, anything less than a penny is hardly worth blogging about!'.
Play sound clip here 'If you haven't got a penny, a ha'penny will do, if you haven't got a ha'penny then God Bless You!'.
And all of this has done nothing for the fact that these vitamins are too darn big for my delicate little female throat (she roars)! I guess I'll take them anyway. I don't want to waste 'em cause I'm UNEMPLOYED!
That's all for now! I'm having lunch with former-work-buddies today, should be fun!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Day 23 - Sink or Swim
Day twenty-three here, reporting for duty!
We began a ‘water soluble spring break' theme here yesterday with our undersea adventure, so permit me to show you where I swim.
(You youngsters out there are allowed to say ‘fwim’ if you want to, I don't mind!
My friend Cheryl calls me 'Karen Goldfish', and according to 'Charlie vernacular' I must be a 'water dog'.)
It is a carefully guarded secret that some hotels sell health club and/or pool memberships to the locals, because really - who goes on a trip and actually uses the health club at the hotel? Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone!
Don't be afraid - the photo on the left is not some strange plant from 'Land of the Giants', it's my swim gear!
You will note the collection of vintage and retro styled swim caps - very fetching, Karen.
You will note the various pool toys including noodles and swim board.
(You thought I was a lap swimmer? You must be joking! This is supposed to be FUN, not WORK!)
And last, but not least - how many of us are lucky enough to own pink 'Tootsie Roll' flip flops? Yes, they have little pictures of Monkeys and Tootsie Rolls on them. I think I have a pair of 'Junior Mint' flip flops somewhere too... I am so privileged.
Let's compare where I swim with the county recreation center I visited a week or so ago:
Mine: Towels galore and luxurious foam soap dispensers.
Theirs: Ain’t gonna happen.
Mine: Poolside lounges, tables and chairs.
Theirs: Swim competition bleachers.
Mine: Free coffee and juice set up in the health club each morning. Spring water dispenser.
Theirs: Water fountain near the exit door, sometimes operational.
Theirs: ‘Nuff said.
Job Hunt Update: (Did I say that as an afterthought? Am I prioritizing correctly?)
Accomplishment: I have made progress on getting some 'skills update' training, I should start in April.
Accomplishment: I spent some time (over an hour) yesterday on the phone with 2 different Dept of Labor branches and on the internet to get something on my claim straightened out. Maybe someday I'll even start getting checks. I hope I get at least ONE before I am reemployed. (That looks highly possible)
Aha! I KNEW someone was going to remember that today is the SENIOR JOB FAIR. NO, I am NOT attending, I'm not desperate! (play sound clip of 'Desperado' here)
Hi there, I'm back!
It's 2:20pm and I need to take a ride to the dump. Great fun!
What is UP with gas prices right now? The price, I know. The price is going up all over town - most stations around here are $2.39 for regular, but the closest gas station to my house (which I don't use because you can't pay at the pump) is now $2.45! Jumpin' petroleum, Batman!
My biggest expense now that I am.. ahem... indisposed is gasoline (petrol for our UK friends out there). I have nothing to complain about as I recall the petrol prices there. ;-) Anyway, I passed one gas station (Shell) today that was still $2.25 so I filled up there. TTFN!
Back again - it's 3:14pm. The man at the dump (read that 'Convenience Center') told me that gas prices over near the interstate are $2.49.
My 1999 Honda-CRV-4-Door-Color-White gets about 30 miles per gallon, and is purring along at 137,300 miles. By the way - I made an appointment today to get one of those 'major' services next Tuesday on my CRV. There goes some $$$. I must say (proclaim) that this is THE very best vehicle I have ever owned, I love it to pieces, and yes I do have the dealer do the services, and yes it is worth it to me, and yes I will buy another one someday, hopefully not before I am EMPLOYED. Can you imagine having to fill out a car loan application and not have a JOB? I don't think so!
A reminder for Survivor fans out there - Survivor is on TONIGHT this week, not tomorrow night! What's that? Do I want to be on Survivor? No, thank you!
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Don't adjust your monitors, that is really us - on the bottom of the ocean!
We did something called 'Sea Trekking' in St. Thomas where you put on a very heavy helmet that has an air hose attached, and walk around on the bottom of the ocean like it was a normal thing to do. YES, the bubbles are coming from the HELMET, thank you very much.
It was FANTASTIC and the best $50 we ever spent. There were fish everywhere, and I would love to do it again.
Back to reality - this is how our day began TODAY:
It's turned chilly again so I put on the now-famous fuzzy slippers before my arrival in the kitchen, making a beeline for the coffee pot. Charlie puts on the coffee in the morning, and it's delicious! We have our own special coffee mix of Folgers Classic and Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla that I bring back from New England when I visit. The bed is not made yet but I'm NOT getting back in there! Accomplishment - I have not yet gone back to bed in the entire 22 days I have been laid off. (Instead, I stay in my bathrobe some days till 10 in the morning!)
Interruption here - we have a juvenile delinquent woodpecker who likes to peck on our roof. When it does, we bang on the wall so it will fly away and go eat suet like a good woodpecker... Back to our program...
Charlie enjoys reading the comics section of the paper - I read them occasionally. While Charlie was reading the paper this morning and eating a 'ham 'n biscuit', I realized I should share a bit of 'us' with 'da blog'. Charlie gave me permission, by the way. Thanks, Charlie! XX-OO.
Charlie has often mentioned how the writer of Arlo and Janis captures true 'couples' behavior. Maybe Jimmy Johnson would like to know that one of my pet names for Charlie is 'Gomer Adonis'? Somehow, the love of my life appears to be distantly related to Gomer Pyle - his accent is southern perfection! He is educated, cleans up well, and is lots of fun at parties!
A friend from England was visiting Nashville for work, and Charlie and I took him out to dinner with us one night. While I went to the restroom, Charlie and Dave chatted amicably. When I returned, I asked if either of them knew what the other had said. Both shook their heads sheepishly! I am ready to accept my role as 'translator' to 'The Charlie'. Step back, Donald!
Some of our favorites:
Language Lessons #1: (yes, I stole 'Language Lessons' from 'Better off Dead' - I love that movie)
Me: 'Say Ham.'
Me: 'The word 'ham' only has three letters - how can it take so long to say it?'
Language Lessons #2:
Charlie: 'It's fixin' to come a thunderclap.'
Me (in astonishment) : 'It's WHAT?'
Charlie: 'It's fixin' to come a thunderclap.'
Me: 'Diagram that sentence and get back to me.'
Language Lessons #3: (Charlie has returned from a trip)
Charlie: 'You know what they tried to serve me on the plane?'
Charlie (disgusted): 'They offered me a choice of varmint chili or a ham sandwich. I took the sandwich.'
Me: 'Darling, nobody offered you 'varmint chili'. It's vermicelli. It's NOODLES.'
I think that's enough for now - it's pushing 7am so I'd better do a preliminary posting!
Deep thought for the day: No matter how we fracture the English language, we can still blog.
Monday, March 13, 2006
My little baby blog has come of age. It happened so fast! Sniff! (insert shed tears here) It seems like just yesterday 'little Bloggie' was old enough to go on the school bus for the first time... ;-)
Job Hunt update:
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.
I mailed off a bunch of things this morning - the Cobra form I had filled out, my long-term-care paperwork, birthday cards to two of my nieces (Karen, that doesn't count!), and more stuff!
Trivia question: What is the name of Daisy Duck's three nieces? The names of Daisy's nieces are April, May, and June. Their first appearance was in 1953.
Confession #1 (today anyway - my confessions start anew each morning) - if YOU were unemployed and YOU got a preapproved credit card offer for 0 percent interest and no annual fee until JUNE OF 2007, wouldn't you think twice about trashing it? It came, I saw, I read, I filled it out, I mailed it. JUST IN CASE.
Deep sigh of relief to get that off my chest. ;-) What would I do without this blog? Talk to myself?
Actually, Charlie DOES talk to himself quite a bit. When I asked him what he needs me around for, he candidly replied 'For a second opinion!'. He is such a hoot. We laugh all the time.
Today's quote of the day was submitted by my daughter Heather - thanks, Heather!"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hmmm. What lies within us...
I never knew I had a blogger within me. Is that like a split personality?
Mom! Am I gonna need an exorcism? Is my blogger persona male or female, or perhaps... alien??? (Play sound clip of X-files music intermingled with Sammy Davis Jr singing 'I've gotta be me')
I loved the X-files, even though we secretly nicknamed the stars 'Moldy and Scummy' instead of 'Mulder and Scully'. Did anyone else do that? And WHY, once a show is a hit, do they 'babe-out' the female star, force them to lose 20 pounds, encourage them to be collagen-enhanced, ruin their hairstyles, and with ONE series, start inventing ridiculous business suits that show their navels?
What happened to ACTING, dearest readers?
Thud. That was me, falling off my soap box. That hurt!
It's too early in the morning to get emotional over television. I'd better get this posted, people will be getting to WORK soon and using their companies' bandwidth to read my 'all grown up' blog!
More later! I'm going to go swim this morning then meet 'da gals' for lunch at Applebees.
9am - ** newsflash** Lunch at Applebees postponed. Seems SOMEONE FORGOT their HUSBAND'S BIRTHDAY was today and needs to scramble at lunchtime to catch up!
You know who you are!!! ;-)
9am - Confession #2 - I polished off the last of my eggrolls for breakfast while reading. The book I'm reading at the moment is 'Knife of Dreams' -Book #11 in the 'Wheel of Time' series by Robert Jordan.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
We had company coming for brunch, as yesterday was Charlie's daughter's birthday! It was around 80 degrees and humid today, our air conditioning was running all day.
The brunch menu changed a bit from the one I posted earlier today. We actually had 2 brunch 'seatings' depending on when guests arrived. ;-)
- Orange juice, milk, cranberry juice, and hot, caffeinated beverages
- Mixed fruit
- Sausage Balls (a southern delicacy made with sausage, cheese and biscuit mix)
- Ham 'n biscuits
- Blueberry Pancakes with Maine maple syrup
- Home fries
- Sliced Tomato
- Scrambled eggs with cheese
- And strawberry whipped cream cake for dessert!
For two days I've forgotten to post that we're hearing peeper frogs in the creek! That is the most delightful spring sound I can think of. If you've never heard any, it's the sweetest 'trilling' and 'singing' a frog can produce! (That didn't help much, did it!)
TTFN! More tomorrow!
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Apologies, bloggers and blogettes, coffee and newspaper in bed won out this morning, then breakfast, then breakfast cleanup, then catching up on some email, etc. etc.
It's now 9:46am, Charlie's gone out the door to do 'man stuff', and I am here in my robe blogging, with the grocery store calling my name. Er... I guess I'll get dressed first though.
I started thinking about 'quotes of the day'...
- That started me thinking about fortune cookies.
- That started me thinking about the 'cookie' program that used to run on some computers and you could get a fortune whenever you wanted on your computer. Addictive, eh?
- That started me thinking about the ONLY fortune cookie I can't forget. It said 'You are plagued by constant worry'. Well I wasn't till I read that gosh darned fortune, I'll tell you! What an awful thing to put in a fortune cookie! (she says indignantly)
- So, gentle readers, I advise eating the cookie and throwing away the slip of paper. Look away, I tell you, look away!
A friend of mine said they thought blogging would be too much pressure - having to think up new things to say every time. Hmmm... I don't really 'think up' things to say, is that wrong?
(Chuckle from the audience - oh, that's me too. I can't get away from myself!)
Charlie and I have 'brunch' company coming tomorrow morning, so I need to go shop! Not everyone likes egg rolls and wonton soup for breakfast...
Buh-bye, more later!
It's now 10:46am and I'm not gone yet - I've unplugged the commode in the master bath (that means TOILET for all you indelicates out there), got cleaned up, dressed, and talked to my brudda (brother) on the phone.
Adieu, dearest bloggers, till we blog again...
I'm back! It's 1:48pm now and a steamy, windy, SEVENTY FIVE luscious degrees! (play sound clip here of 'Heatwave'...)
I've been to the dump, been to the grocery store, and unloaded the groceries and the 5 boxes of firelogs I got on clearance for $4.50 a box (marked down from $17.99!) Wahoo! I love to purchase bargains (yes, there is something wrong with that concept).
I forgot to share this story from yesterday, which I remembered while I was driving home from the store and singing away as I drove...
My friend likes to sing as he drives. So do I, it cuts way back on the cursing!
He stopped at an intersection, singing loudly, and noticed a sudden lull in the noise level around him. About that time, he glanced over next to him. Two men were in a car beside him, pointing and more or less ROARING with laughter. I am SO sure (insert Valley Girl imitation here) they were just jealous. American Idol, eat your heart out!
Friday, March 10, 2006
Friday is still special, even though I'm not working. It hasn't really registered with me that I'm not working ANY MORE until I find another job. It's more like a long vacation without being away - at the moment.
I was sitting in the den last night and hollered 'I'm Unemployed!' 'I'm Unemployed!' a few times to see if that got the message across to my subconscious. My subconscious wasn't impressed. ;-)
I like doing a 'quote of the day'. Today's inspirational quote - 'Strive for progress, not perfection.' I agree with that! And by the way - I feel I made PROGRESS yesterday from my visit to a training center. If I can get funding for it, I'll be doing some self-paced e-learning which I think will suit me just fine. I'm thankful I have a computer at home too!
Well, today is just full of sweetness and light, isn't it?
Ok, here's something to make you laugh. Here is a favorite picture of one of my sisters - I was going to save this for her birthday but I can't wait! I've often wished this was me, because it is so hilarious!
Now it's 10am and I've accomplished the following:
- Posted to 'da blog'.
- Unloaded the dishwasher.
- Made the bed.
- Consumed caffeinated hot beverage.
- Swapped some emails.
- Watched Errol Flynn's 'Prince and the Pauper' that I received yesterday in the mail.
- Made, baked and consumed vegetable-filled egg rolls for breakfast. ;-)
I'll go swim off my guilt afterwards, I'll probably get a cramp (insert Motherly voice here - 'Don't swim for an hour after you eat!'). More later! Buh-Bye!
Here I am again after lunching out, swimming, and running errands. It is 3:42 pm already!
I've had a request to post the recipes for the egg rolls I've been gobbling at a high rate of speed....
1/2 head cabbage (the top half) coarsely cut
a couple of green onions
8-10 bamboo shoots (from a can)
one shredded carrot or a handful of the slaw mix stuff that has carrots, cabbage and/or broccoli.
Put the veggies in a food processor or hand chopper and chop fine. Microwave for approx 6 minutes till wilted (I did 3 and 3), stirring in between. Mine didn't need draining, but if yours does then drain it, you don't want soggy egg rolls.
To this mixture add:
2 tsp cornstarch
2 Tbs teriyaki sauce
1 tsp sesame oil (get this in the international food section of the grocery store)
A couple shakes of garlic powder
A shake or two of asian spice (I have some of Emeril's)
That's it! Follow the diagram on the back of the eggroll wrapper package on how to fold them - you lay one out in a diamond, put a heaping tablespoon of filling across the lower corner, wet all the edges with cold water, then fold the bottom corner over the filling, then fold in the 2 side corners, then roll the rest like a jelly roll. Be sure you wet the edges so they hold together.
I lay them on a cookie sheet lined with Release Nonstick foil (sprayed with Pam as well), and then sprayed them on the top with Pam for good measure. I baked them at 350 for about 25 minutes. The next time I make them I'll also put a little garlic salt on the tops of them before baking, they needed just a touch of salt. This made 14 egg rolls.
The crab filling I made yesterday:
3 Tbsp fat free cream cheese
1 green onion, chopped fine
1 tsp sesame oil (here it is again - when you smell it you'll think - Oh! Potstickers!)
dash or two of worcestershire sauce (you didn't think I could spell that, did you?)
dash or two of soy sauce
1 (3.5 oz) package of 'Chicken of the Sea' premium crab in a foil pouch, drained.
The next time I make these I will also add cabbage - the crab is salty and needs stretching!
Prepare and bake as above, but use a little less than a heaping Tbsp in each roll. I only made 4 egg rolls from it, but with a little cabbage (remember to wilt it) I could make 6 or more.
Good night, John Boy! Good Night Mary Ellen!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
First - a little catch up from yesterday's events.
The photo on the left is of the homemade egg rolls stuffed with crab and chives that I made for lunch yesterday. Yes, I ate all 4 of them, and I baked them rather than fried them.
(Rachel Ray would say 'Yum-O!')
I am going to make some with vegetable filling SOON before my egg roll wrappers dry out.
As you recall, I visited yesterday afternoon with a friend to hear about her company and what they do. It sounds like a possible fit, so she is going to check on the current openings there.
I snapped this picture of some flowering Bradford Pear trees yesterday. I take my camera with me now so I can 'feed da blog'.
This afternoon I have an appointment with a training company in Nashville who works with the Career Centers to provide training to 'displaced workers' like me - my words!
A positive outcome would be if we can agree on which classes would be beneficial, when they are held, and also to find out if there's any money required on my part. ;-)
And I should remind you that it's THURSDAY - Survivor night! I love Thursdays.
Confession: Remember the 'nearly antique can of Easy Off Oven Cleaner' parked on my counter? It has company now...
When I cleaned out under the kitchen sink I found TWO MORE CANS. (Earlier this morning it was only one more and I've had to change my whole posting on this topic.) Two 'Fume Free' blue cans which I might prefer over the original. I'll throw away the oldest ones and just keep one, in case you're worried.
Now they are all parked on my counter - a constant reminder of work yet to be done. I've decided to name them 'Legolas', 'Aragorn', and 'Gimli'. They have a quest to perform!
Quote of the day - this made me laugh out loud:
If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. -Catherine-
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
I see that today is 'International Women's Day'. Congratulations to the women of the world! You know who you are! My advice - when you get a job and start earning money, please prepare for unpleasant but unavoidable things like layoffs by having an emergency fund! Do not take employment for granted.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled program...
Observation: You recall, dearest bloggers, I've been in department stores, grocery stores, and recreational areas during daylight hours these last 2 weeks. I might have to buy an iPod because the music I've been hearing lately consists of various organic, primal arrangements of 'child wailing'. Do you ever listen to everyday sounds and try to turn noise into music? It is almost spectacular in an abstract sense, albeit disturbing. ;-) 'Nuff said about that!
I am visiting a friend (former co-worker) this afternoon to hear about her company and what they do. I don't know if it's a fit for me skills-wise, but definitely WHAT they do is within the realm.
In the meantime, I've used up (read that 'eaten') all my frozen wontons and have some egg roll wrappers to play with - I might even make egg rolls out of them, but homemade raviolis are also a possibility. You'll know as soon as I do!
Late breaking news - at approximately 7:51am Central time, Karen Goldsmith cleaned the microwave.
It is unknown at this time whether she will plead insanity. Story at 11, with celebrity commentary from Greta V.
We again interrupt this broadcast with breaking news - Karen Goldsmith has actually replaced the contact paper under the sink!
Ladies and Gentlemen, I've never seen anything like this before.
Maybe because we avoid looking under the sink? Troubled questions for troubled times... ;-)
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
I read my horoscope this morning. While I was working I never had time to read the paper. I went out the door every morning with wet hair, a lunch bag, and a swim bag. My horoscope says that 'I'm feeling mighty fine', (I knew that) and that 'I don't even know what to wish for so I shouldn't bother to wish for anything'. Ok by me! I'll take that as a sign.
Since it's in writing that I feel so great, let's just list what I can get done today:
- Planned accomplishment for today - fill out Cobra form.
- Planned accomplishment for today - go swim.
- Planned accomplishment for today - put some sneakers (tennis shoes in TN, trainers in the UK) in my car so I will be ready at all times for an unplanned walkabout or photo shoot.
- Planned accomplishment for today - do some dusting. (ah-choo!) There's a thin layer of dust on my monitor and printer - they look more like 'artifacts' than helpful tools. Must be time to change the filter in the AC Unit. (see how I transferred the blame away from my somewhat lax domestic skills onto a big $4000 inanimate object?)
- Planned accomplishment for today - order 'Lady and the Tramp' and 'Harry Potter' videos.
How does that sound for starters? Gee, that's a long list!
I'm getting weak. Must...get...to...coffee...mug...
Back! I've dusted my work area and my redwood coffee table in the den. I've ordered the Harry Potter 2-disc Deluxe Edition and the Lady and the Tramp DVDs. I also need to go to the dump today. Will I have time for all this? Why yes, I have lots of time - I'm unemployed!
How about some delicious Sturms Oatmeal, Karen-the-unemployed-blogette, or perhaps a made-to-order omelette? Good suggestion! (megaphone voice here) 'Take 10 everybody - Break for breakfast!'
Roll movie clip - Disney's Cinderella - she's scattering corn for the chickens and calling 'Breakfast!, Breakfast!' - the mice hear her and say 'Come on, Gus-Gus, break-fee!'.
You think I make this stuff up, but I'm really just writing down how my mind works. ;-)
Here I am, back again! I thought of you while I was away - I took this photo on my way home. I just stopped at a plaza that had some pretty flowering trees and snapped one 'for da blog'.
It's 2:18pm and I'm just making lunch - kind of an oodles-of-noodles-with-vegetables kinda thing.
Let's take inventory - I've dusted, put sneakers in the car, ordered the DVD's, gone to swim (I actually paid $3 and swam 20 miles closer to home than usual, I figure it's a wash considering gas prices, I'll tell you more later about that).
I also made 2 stops - one at Target and one at the Factory Card outlet - I buy and send tons of greeting cards, I love them. I also went to the dump and did a wash. Ok, Ok, I haven't filled out the Cobra form yet! I will, I will!
Monday, March 06, 2006
I am reminded of the movie ‘Total Recall’… (light fades, roll movie clip here...)
Arnold is trying to get to Mars disguised as a (very large) woman. The security guard asks her how long 'she' will be on Mars. Arnold answers – ‘Two Weeks’ and his disguise proceeds to self-destruct. Over and over again he says ‘Two Weeks’, ‘Two Weeks’, ‘Two Weeks’, ‘Two Weeks’, then his head comes apart and his identity is known.
Doctor, is that going to happen to ME? (Insert paranoia here?)
So far I feel ok, maybe self-destruction can be postponed for awhile. Maybe I just shouldn’t dress like a man and try to go to Mars. Yes, that’s it. Big relief. ;-)
More later - I am actually going to go swim at the crack of dawn because I have a Career Center appointment this afternoon and some errands to run in between!
Hello again, it's now 3:18pm. (Karen, where have you BEEN?)
I had a lovely swim from 7-8:15, took a few spring photos which I have yet to look at, made a shopping expedition to Wal-mart superstore, then came home, put away groceries, had lunch, and unloaded and loaded the dishwasher before going out the door again. I then made a wasted trip to the Career Center in my county.
As you recall, dear readers, they told me on Friday to come in today at 2pm for an orientation class. I arrived EARLY, in case I needed to fill out paperwork, and was informed that there was no orientation class this afternoon. Also, the man who I really need to speak to only comes into that office 0n certain days, and today was not one of them. So, forget any further aggravation from that place - I will stick with the other Career Center where I was loved and appreciated, thank you very much. To ease my pain - melba toast and cottage cheese. Mmmmmmm....
The good news? I received my COBRA paperwork today! (roars of applause)
I also made several phone calls to start to sort out things like my 401k and long term care insurance. Not only did my LTC insurance not know about my layoff, they didn't even have my current address! Eeek! I think I need a checklist so I'll know when I'm done!
Au revoir, bloggers and blogesses!