Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I'm actually finishing this post on Sunday, because on Halloween I was tired. I was tired because on Thursday, I decided, at 11:30 at night, to make Halloween cookies. I have a habit of doing this - you'd think at some point I'd learn pre-planning.

This time at least, I took pictures - at 5:00 am when I stumbled off to bed for a nap before getting up to head off to work. Thanks to my friend the coffee pot, I made it through the day, barely. So I fell into bed pretty early on Friday. Actually, I didn't make it that far. I made it to the couch and woke up there sometime Saturday, in time to stagger off and get ready to go to a friend's annual bonfire. It was a beautiful evening, and I had a lot of fun, but it was late when I got home. I smelled like fall and bonfires when I got home. I wish they could bottle the scent of bonfire smoke. I'd marinate in it.

Anywho, I didn't go completely overboard on the decorating this year - no one had teeny tiny fangs, but I did break out the tweezers to put sugar crystal pupils in my cats' eyes, as seen here:

And my little bats had spooky red eyes with purple rims.

The ghosties and the jack o'lanterns were cute too.

Then I packed them up and took them into work. People here are not the sugar buzzards that they were at my last job - I actually had a couple to bring home.

Anyway, I hope you had a great Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Summer Days...

I'm curled up under a blankie, shivering and listening to the wind howl outside, and wishing it was still July. In the spirit of summer, these are of my flowers this year.

This is my Amnesty Day planter, full of petunias. This was taken shortly after I transplanted them, and they were still recovering. The planter ended up beautiful, with cascading flowers to the ground.

My mandavilla vine had a grand total of 4 flowers on it this year, but I was sure that I'd murdered it over last winter, so I was happy to see any flowers at all.

And these are from my Sam's Club special hibiscus, which I also thought I'd killed. (Really I have no business buying plants. I'm like a plant serial killer.)

Even though my little friend here has been living in the hibiscus all summer, and I've been chasing him around with a camera all summer, this is the best picture I've managed. I'm going to blame him 'cause he's faster than you think and not on my admittedly questionable photography skills. But I swear the little bugger taunts me. He'll be posing at the end of a branch when I get home from work, and by the time I get back outside with a camera, the little snot is hiding behind leaves. I can hear him laughing at me!

So, hope you're managing to stay warm!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big Friday Plans...

Maybe you've got some. Mine are unfolding just the way I'd hoped. Well, once I gave up on the job and bailed at 10:30 pm...

But I'm home now so it's all good. And I've got a TALL glass of fruity alcoholic goodness... which may be why I find this picture SO hilarious.

Um, be warned, the website in the corner of the picture? Damn near burned my eyes out. If you aren't into porn, restrain yourself from visiting. Made me think of that smurf video someone sent me. Holy crap. People are TERRIFYING. Who thinks of painting themselves completely blue and having a menage a troi in a meadow? *headshake*

Somewhere I wandered off-track. Where was I going with this? Hmm. Well, anyway, I'm sitting on my couch watching country music videos and sucking back the best drink ever! Actually, I need another one, and my typing skills are sliding. Here's the recipe, make one for yourself!

Take a tall glass. Add ice if you like - not too much, dilution is not our friend here. I actually have these cool - okay, frozen, so cold not cool but whatever - pillow things that live in my freezer and substitute for ice.

So, fill your glass about 1/5 of the way full with pineapple rum. (Yum! I love pineapple rum!) Then add about 3/5 full of orange juice. Then top with 1/5 full of cranberry juice. If you use light cranberry juice and concentrate, you can layer it and it's pretty. I just dump it in and stir with the straw. So yummy.

Well, enjoy your evening - I am. :-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hunting/Shopping - It's All The Same

“I might,” the Brownie allowed. “I never know what I need until I go shopping, and then I think of lots of things.” All I could think of at the moment was how perfectly my daughter had managed to express what I suspect is an axiom for her entire gender.

This quote is courtesy of MM, regarding a shopping experience with his daughter. It reminds me of something similar that a friend said once, which is totally true - at least in my case.

My friend said that the differences in the genders can be boiled down to the way they look at hunting, which closely parallels shopping in many ways. Men go out seeking a deer. Several hours later, he may or may not come back with a deer. Women go out seeking a deer. She may or may not return with a deer, but she will have 4 squirrels, 2 rabbits, some quail and maybe a bear. It's all in your focus.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some Days...

Some days, I feel like a moth in a glass box. I may never escape, but eventually I'll batter myself to powdery bits against the walls.

(image stolen from here)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Laugh for the Ladies...

I got this in my email on Friday and just laughed and laughed.

The Washcloth

Ladies this has to be read, laughed at and passed on. There is not a woman alive today who won't crack up over this!

I was due for an appointment with the gynecologist later in the week. Early one morning, I received a call from the doctor's office to tell me that I had been rescheduled for that morning at 9:30 am. I had only just packed everyone off to work and school, and it was already around 8:45 AM. The trip to his office took about 35 minutes, so I didn't have any time to spare.

As most women do, I like to take a little extra effort over hygiene when making such visits, but this time I wasn't going to be able to make the full effort. So, I rushed upstairs, threw off my pajamas, wet the washcloth that was sitting next to the sink, and gave myself a quick wash in that area to make sure I was at least presentable. I threw the washcloth in the clothes basket, donned some clothes, hopped in the car and raced to my appointment.

I was in the waiting room for only a few minutes when I was called in. Knowing the procedure, as I'm sure you do, I hopped up on the table, looked over at the other side of the room and pretended that I was in Paris or some other place a million miles away. I was a little surprised when the doctor said, 'My, we have made an extra effort this morning, haven't we?' I didn't respond.

After the appointment, I heaved a sigh of relief and went home. The rest of the day was normal .. Some shopping, cleaning, and cooking.

After school when my 6 year old daughter was playing, she called out from the bathroom, 'Mommy, where's my washcloth?' I told her to get another one from the cupboard.

She replied, 'No, I need the one that was here by the sink, it had all my glitter and sparkles saved inside it.

Never going back to that doctor. Ever

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Science Geeks Unite!

That would be me. Or sometimes, science dork. Whatever. Every now and then, I totally geek out on people. Tonight I went over to a friend's house to watch that time warp show on Discovery. This episode wasn't as cool as the last one. Last time, they shot a lot of fruit, showed a really cool thing where sound vibration made a wine glass jiggle like jello, and a dog drinking water, which was pretty cool. This show? Still really cool, just not as cool. (Coming from me, that's a relative term.)

The priceless part of the evening (aside from subjecting my friend to the season finale of Project Runway)? They were showing a guy breaking concrete slabs with his hands and milliseconds before his hand hit, they cut to commercial. Both of us immediately squawked, then looked at each other and started giggling uncontrollably. The only thing better than being a total science dork? Being with others the exact same way. Yay for friends! And super fast camera speeds!

wineglass vibrations

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Packaging Genius...

I think I've already established how easy it is to fascinate me, right? Well, here's the latest thing...

I love Love them! I have furnished quite a bit of my house from these people, and they're great. Aside from discount prices, which always make me happy, they send things quickly, the directions are clear and easy to follow and I don't think I've ever gotten anything that was missing anything - pretty much a miracle.

Anywho, the other day I was wandering around the site and found chairs. Generally, tables speak to me, but in this case, I really liked these chairs. I found them in the "5 or less" corner of the site, and pounced. I ordered two of them - what the heck, they're small. They arrived the other day, stacked and packed in a large box. Here's what they look like:

And now for the part that's got me so fascinated - the packaging on these things. Holy Origami, Batman! It took me over half an hour to unravel the first one. First, they took straw/hay stuff and wrapped paper around it.

Then they wrapped this padded paper around the chair in such a way that it looks like the chair, just a bit fluffier.

They wove the ends of the paper in and under and around so that no ends were sticking out ...

and THEN they took twine and wove a netting around the paper to hold it in place, complete with some rather intricate knots.

It's a bit fluffier now than when it arrived - my Sophia really likes crinkly paper. The furballs are both fond of this straw - I'm finding it all over my house.

One of them is still all wrapped up - partly so I could take these pictures and share the wealth, but also because I think it looks pretty cool the way it is. It's okay, I'm almost over it and probably by the next visit from the recycle truck, I'll have freed the second chair from bondage but right now I'm still marveling over the time and energy it must have taken to wrap each chair like that. Wow!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mmmmmm, Cookies.

It's for a depressing reason, but I have to say, my house smells FABULOUS.

I love baking at this time of year. Coworkers at my last company complained that I was the reason that they had to diet in January 'cause I was always bringing something into work to share.

Friends just sent a long weekend in the mountains, and brought back large amounts of really beautiful apples. If I can convince them to share, I may make apple dumplings. Yum! Flaky crust, tender apples baked with sugar and cinnamon - then the house will really smell divine!

Happy Fall, everyone.

Cookies and Christmas

Not tonight, because tonight I'm veggin' on the blogosphere. Tomorrow morning, I will pay for my procrastination. I will haul my carcass outta bed at a decent hour so I can bake cookies. I will bake oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Then I will root through my Christmas stuff for festive plates to hold the cookies. Yeah, I know, I just ranted about Thanksgiving first (um, actually, it's still in edit. Crudcakes. I will publish it, I will!) but I have a very good reason.

Tomorrow, I will load a ladder and a staple gun ('cause you can always use a staple gun) into the Jeep with the cookies and I will go over to a coworker's house. And then, I and most of the rest of the plant personnel, will decorate his house, inside and out, for Christmas. We'll bring them a full Christmas dinner, and my sorta-Christmas cookies, and another coworker's church choir will come and sing carols on the lawn.

Then we'll go home. And he'll be alone with his wife, who is dying. She has cancer and she has fought valiently for years and years but she is tired, and she hurts, and she isn't winning this war. Hospice told him to do everything he could to make her last days enjoyable, and Christmas is her favorite time of year. She won't see the lights and the presents and the festivities this year so someone at my company decided to step up. She organized this whole thing - from planning the menu to printing out the personalized song booklets, and the turn-out is expected to be nearly everyone in the plant. If we can stay organized, we should have his house decorated in like ten minutes. (I was going to make Christmas cookies, but her favorites are oatmeal raisin. Her husband's favorites are chocolate chip so I'll do both and hope that I can make things just a touch less sucky right now.)

It's no secret that I don't like this place, this job, this company or these people. But today, I like the people more than I did yesterday. Hug the ones you love 'cause you just never know what tomorrow will bring.

Monday, October 06, 2008

In Which We Rant...

I'm most of the way through my "Thanksgiving Comes First" blog, as requested by Suldog. I had every intention of posting it tonight but I need to get this off my chest first.

(I am a bit worried about myself though. As I grumbled and mumbled to myself on the way home from work, I heard myself say these words, "I'm so blogging about this." Oh... My... Gawd. I've become a KitKat Commercial cliche. Save me!)

I work with a guy. Let's call him "Keith." I've spent the last year and a half telling people what a nice guy he is. And he is. He is. But g*dd*mm*t, he makes me nuts. Keith came off the production floor. He was one of the team leaders. When he was hired into our department, the plant supervisor told the hiring manager that he'd be sorry. Lately, we have a whole new understanding of what he was talking about.

Keith has a really good brain, when he choses to use it. He recently got his black belt certification and in the normal course of events, he's damn good at his job. He's been married for more than ten years and has two very cute little boys. At some point before he got married, he got saved. He's devotely Christian. Not my thing, but whatever flips your switch.

I don't know if his attitude about work has changed lately, or if I just noticed. He comes in early and leaves early - which is fine in theory. Over here in reality, as a salaried employee, sometimes you need to be there longer. If Keith is there at 4:05, he's working overtime. Plus, he takes an hour at lunch every day to go hang out with his family. I'm not his boss, and as long as he gets his job done, whatever. But on those occasions when something is flaming out of control and he needs to stay, he'll sneak out. He leaves the computer on, and his task light, and leaves his beverage or whatever on the desk, but he is gone gone gone. In my view, if you have to leave work, you at least try to handle as much as you can before you go - you don't sneak out and not even tell people that you're gone.

But that's not what really drives me crazy. What drives me crazy is how he completely shuts his brain down regarding politics and religion. I don't really care whether you worship God or Allah or Buddha or bunnies and sunshine. Really. Whatever gets you through the day. I don't. I'm not going to try to impose my belief system on you and I prefer, no demand, the same consideration. Keith and I have been getting into ever more heated discussions about things because I'm apparently his new pet project. The other day, he started a conversation regarding abortion. I feel VERY strongly about this and my view is NOT even remotely the same as his. When he couldn't convince me that my view was wrong, he got so upset that he left for the day. Just walked out of the office and went home. I spent the rest of the day fuming about his nerve AND doing his job.

When that congressman got caught in a bathroom in an airport soliciting sex from a cop, Fox News ran the story - and called the guy a Democrat for a couple of days. Keith came into work gloating - this was further proof that the leftist liberals were completely amoral and all on a slow boat to damnation. When I told him I had no clue what he was talking about, he was gleeful in relating the story - and in total denial when I said the guy was a Republican. I had to go the the Congress' website and show him the guy's official website for him to believe me. By the next day, he'd convinced himself that those bastard liberals had set the guy up and/or completely fabricated the whole thing. What a difference a day makes.

His beliefs themselves aren't what bother me. Ok, well, they do, but they are his beliefs and unlike some people, I believe that each of us has the right to believe whatever crazy-*ss thing makes you happy. What bothers me, what drives me out of my tree crazy is his utter inability or unwillingness to look at either side with a remotely intelligent view instead of his gut belief. Ultra conservative Republicans are good christians, good people and only have his best interests at heart. Moderate Republicans or, gods help us all, Democrats of any stripe are evil, amoral and bent only on the destruction of all that we hold sacred. Nothing he sees, hears or reads makes a dent. No fact, no documentation - there is no gray area in his little world. So what really makes me nuts is what a sheep he is - and how many more there are like him out there.

For crying out loud, people, THINK! It's not illegal yet.