Monday Memos

Monday MemosDear Self,

A little less beer = less need to detox me the next day.

The struggle is real,
Your liver

Ah but it was so much fun!!!  The Badge and I went to church then off to watch football at a wing place.  It was a great time to say the least!!!  I’m not ready to declare anything other than yes we are dating and we’ll see where it goes.  Right now I am having a blast, and so thankful he is going to church with me each week and will be for the Thanksgiving Eve service.  This makes me happy as my faith is important and if I am going to get in a relationship the guy has to at least be open to exploring that faith.

 

Dear Adorable Ian,

Nana’s greatest joy was holding you through church.  You are so precious and tiny, and I love snuggling with you while you sleep.  All too soon you will be in the toddler room wanting to play rather than be held during service.  I am treasuring this time while we have it.

Love you Snugglebug!
Nana

This was the second Sunday I held my newest grandchild through service.  He is 9 weeks and sleeps through the whole thing despite how loud the band is!  I love every second and wouldn’t trade it for the world. This is such a wonderful chapter in my life.

 

Dear Chili On The Stove,

You are making the whole house smell amazing even though it is just the meat and seasonings at this point.  Oh and fresh onion this time rather than frozen.  Jeanne is chopping them for me and we’re both crying from it but it is funny!  You are one of the top 5 meals in the Diva Den even when we have to use ground beef rather than venison.

Sincerely,

My taste buds

It really is an amazing meal.  The pot is big enough to bathe a toddler in, and we’ll have chili, chili spaghetti, chili dogs and other forms of chili something before it is all gone.  I love this meal.

Here is the recipe:

Marvelous Marti’s Amazing Black Bean Chili:

3-5 pound of ground beef or venison
6 cans of seasoned black beans
6 cans of diced tomatoes with chili seasoning
2 envelopes of chili powdere
2 envelopes of onion soup mix (dried)
2 large onions or one bag of frozen onions chopped

Brown  the meat.  If you use venison I suggest at least one pound of ground beef to add enough fat to keep it from burning.  Add the chili powder, onion soup mix and onions, allow it all to mingle in the pot for a bit on low.  Now add the beans and tomatoes and simmer on low for at least an hour.

This is awesome chili, not too spicy and yummy!

 

Avon Coupon Codes

Originally posted on Be Marvelous With Marti:

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Thursday Evening Coffee Musings

Close up of cup of coffee with pink roseHighlander Grogg in the cup, Zen Garden on Pandora, 2 cats sleeping on my bed, dinner in the stomach and dishes are done.  Okay now no cats are on the bed, one vacated and one is messing with my curtain to annoy me into paying attention to her.

Did you know that the wine glasses used by Olivia Pope on Scandal can be ordered from Crate and Barrel?  To the tune of $14.95, as each is hand crafted.  I believe the stems are 10 inches, and the glass holds 23 ounces of wine.  They are one of those luxuries one rarely buys for themselves so one’s sister does it for you so that you can have the glass used by one of your favorite, fictional, powerful women.  We now own 3 here at Diva central.  It is very easy to pour half a bottle of wine into a 23 ounce glass without batting an eye because it appears to be only half a glass.  In other words very easy to end up schnockered if you are not careful.  But how can I be drunk, I only had 2 glasses of wine?  Never did I imagine I’d be sipping wine out of a glass that typically is more expensive than the bottle of wine I am pouring into it!

Have I mentioned how much I hate winter in any recent posts?  Just checking.

Oh joy, my cat has returned and is stretched out with her back paws on the bed, front ones on the back of my chair, trying to get me to scratch her head.  She is so spoiled.

I made a dangerous discovery the other day.  Our library can loan ebooks for my Kindle.  I download right from the site and in 2 weeks it disappears unless I finish earlier and go return it.  This means I may never leave the comfort of my pillows until it is warm again.  Coffee or wine, and good books are my downfall.

Another recent discovery is that Neopets still exists.  This is also bad, as I was very hooked on it in the past.  I’m trying to block time in my day for such things then walking away from it or I may not only never leave the bed, I very well might not sleep for days at a time.

What is with this winter, mid-season finale stuff with all the TV shows???  My week is all neatly planned out for the few I watch and now things are ending in cliff hangers until late January and early February??  Thankfully Downton Abbey returns in January, though that one is entirely too short a season.

I know I haven’t posted anything deep lately, my brain is on hiatus.  I’ll have one soon, been pondering some things lately that are close to being formed into something of substance so hang in there.

Wine & Cheese ~ 90th Serving

wineandcheese2Welcome to Wine & Cheese, my weekly, Wednesday whine session.

Most Wednesdays I devote a blog to whining. Despite being a really happy, positive person, I do have things that annoy me at times. I never let anything grate on my nerves for long but thought it would be fun to vent them periodically in my blogs. I also feel that good things, the cheese in life, should be acknowledged as well. I’m even going to throw in a bit of dessert, a piece of virtual chocolate, something that made me laugh or smile just a bit more than normal. If you’d like to read the past editions of Wine & Cheese just click HERE for all of the past postings. Sit back and join me now for the 90th serving of some whine and cheese!

 ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

 WINE WHINE

:(  It is too early for snow.  We have it, I get that it can happen this early in the season, but honestly I don’t like it.  Winter starts December 21st and the 4 or so inches of white death is annoying.  So is the cold.

:(  I am just a tad annoyed that the ebook I have on hold with the library is not yet available.  Whoever you are, please step up the pace I want that book!

:(  I did not manage to fall asleep until after 2am last night.  I was awake at 7am.  Seriously my sleep patterns are just a mess right now and I have no idea why outside of menopause.

 

CHEESE

:)  Recently my stylist, Beezer, came to the house and stripped all of the auburn from my hair, taking me back to blond.  Then she cut it in a super cute style I had found.  “Badass” was how she describes it.  She, like another before her, totally encourages my insanity when it comes to my motto that life is too short to have boring hair.  Today when I stopped in to get my eyebrows waxed she dyed the underside of my bangs deep pink.  That should last a few weeks before I have to go back, so about the time I am due to have the hair cut again she can brighten the pink up.  I love it.  One of the techs at the vet’s office made the comment that growing up she always liked that I had stuck to having fun hair.  

:)  While I am the first person to complain about being cold, I will admit this weather is best for hooking blankets and baby booties and stuff like that.  I prefer blankets as they keep me warm as I am making them.  My sister and I swear we are going to get things made for our Etsy shop one of these days but then life gets in the way.  I need to really focus on it, I love making things and winter in front of the fire and watching TV is always better if I am hooking my way through.

:)  Went out over the weekend with The Badge, and then attended church together (at my church) where we have some mutual friends.  That is all I’m going to say at this point other than I’m enjoying our lively text exchanges and really had a good time.  It is refreshing to find someone who like me is in agreement to putting off intimacy in order to not allow it to influence the relationship so we have time to get to know each other.  Wasn’t looking to date anyone so this was a very pleasant surprise.  Will see where this goes.

DESSERT

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SAVE 25% ON YOUR AVON ORDER!

Originally posted on Be Marvelous With Marti:

How is that early Christmas Shopping coming along?  Don’t let it get ahead of you!  Shop now, on my Avon site, and you save 25% on your order when you spend $75 or more!  Use code:  SITEWIDE when you check out and have the order direct delivered to your door!

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SNOWPOCOLYPSE Strikes Again

Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Once again fear and insanity has gripped my fair city.  Seems nature shook the snow globe over night and OHMYGOSHWEAREALLGOINGTODIE!!!  Seriously the news has been beginning to end coverage of the snow.  Snow is far from uncommon in these parts and while winter doesn’t officially start until 12/21, it sometimes has fallen before Thanksgiving.

Our local news stations have covered nothing but snow today so if the zombie apocalypse has begun we are going to be playing catch up as walking cadavers descend on us because all we know here is that it snowed.  Every available reporter is spread out throughout our city so they can bounce between them and show us that by golly that white, frozen crap fell ALL OVER THE CITY!  Who would have ever imagined it would do that?  From the first snow flurry that fell until it all ends this is all we get here for news. They even took over the national news shows this morning to spend 2 more hours talking about the fact that it snowed.  It isn’t like it was the snow fall to break all records, it is 3-5 inches typically throughout the area.  I know this, of course, because that is all they talked about.

Before all this hit the grocery stores were jammed with folks buying up their French toast supplies of bread, eggs and milk.  My poor daughter actually needed to go for her grocery run prior to her step-son coming over today because teenage boys eat a lot. It was complete chaos and this unnerved us both.  We could have sold the parking spot to the highest bidder when we left.  Really, no one is going to get snowed in for more than a few hours to, at most, a day.  The world is not ending as we know it.  And who in their right mind buys bread, milk and eggs if they are going to be snowed in?  Load up on wine, steak, beer, chicken, veggies, more wine and beer!  Think this through people!  Even IF the power goes out, stick the stuff on the deck, it will keep out there in the snow!  And you can grill, just dig a path to the grill!  Skip the milk, make sure you have gas for the grill.

Yes, it is beautiful, for about 5 seconds.

Now?

I am so over winter already.

 

 

Wednesday Wine Musings – Change

camille-23-oz_-red-wine-glassI usually write a Wine & Cheese post on Wednesday, but today it is all about the wine.  No, not the ‘whine’ where I complain, but rather the wine that is currently in my Olivia Pope style wine glass sitting on the desk next to my laptop.  It’s about the wine, Zen Garden on Pandora, peppermint essential oil in the diffuser and writing.  These books are not writing themselves.  But the blog has been lacking and I had committed to writing daily for NaBloPoMo, which as usual my great intentions were hijacked by life.  Oh well.

About 2 weeks after I dyed my hair auburn, I regretted it again.  I know my kids think I look  younger with it but I missed my blond.  It is very hard when having a crazy moment to put a streak of fun color in auburn hair.  When it grew in at all the roots of my natural blond hair looked gray and would tend to make my hair look as if it was thinning because of the contrast.  Then someone else tossed their .02 cents on the topic (okay, more like several someones) and I started saving to go back to blond.  Yesterday my stylist came over and did some serious, professional bleaching and about 90 minutes later I was back to being bleach blond.  I found a super cute, edgy style too so she cut it for me.  Today I stopped in her salon and had the eyebrows waxed and she did the layer just beneath my bangs in a really deep, fuscia pink.  It rocks.  Gone are the spikes on the back of my head, gone is the coppery color.  Gone are the eyebrows that were out of control.  Mine are not super fuzzy or thick, I just cannot stand to pluck them.  My eyes tear up and I cannot see, it’s a royal pain in the tail, so I go get them waxed. Yes that hurts but it’s over with quickly.

I am still going through an adjustment without my little side kick.  I opened the front door when my daughter stopped by the other day and we were both tearing up a bit because Penny was missing.  She always ran to the door when my daughter came over and wagged her little stump of a tail so hard her whole body got in on the act.  This time there was no sweet little pooch to greet her.  Yesterday I opened it to go get the mail, and turned to stop Penny and tell her to be quiet before I realized she wasn’t going to come running through the house, barking like crazy.  She felt it was her sole responsibility to protect me.  I cried to the mailbox and back.  Today I went and picked up her ashes from the vet, and honestly I got just a tad angry.  The good morning nose licks, the trying to protect me, playing with her on the floor and walking her all exchanged for a little tin with a plastic bag containing barely a handful of ash just is a pretty shitty swap out.

My nails are back, and while that thrills me to pieces it is annoying too.  I have a lot of rings, I love them, and unless I have nails I don’t wear them.  Nails make me feel feminine, and is one of the few things I will treat myself too whenever possible.  So while I am very happy to have them, they make typing a real pain.  If I do nails, I do them long. Very long.  Grrrrr.  However, I won’t take them off unless I cannot afford them.  As long as I have money to do them, they will be there with the exception of a week or two in July when I plan to go to New Orleans with our church to help with the continued rebuilding of homes there and cleaning up blighted properties.  I have a feeling that building houses with nails is not wise, so I will have them taken off or cut way down for that, then replace them when I get back.

Because the New Orleans trip is in July, with 100% humidity and a lot of physical work, I’ve started adjusting what I eat and the walking starts up again next week.  And maybe the Insanity work-out DVDs.  I need to get in far better shape physically for this trip if I want to be useful.  And water, drinking tons of water again.

Yesterday I spent some time looking at my Pinterest boards and what a mess.  I combined several boards, got them back in alphabetical order so my OCD tendencies stayed in sync, and now I’m going through one board at a time deleting anything that makes no sense to be there.  I pin so much that I will never use, need, make etc that it seems ridiculous to have it all.  But that will be an ongoing project.  I also narrowed down my Twitter again and stopped following a bunch of tweeters.  More to come on that one as well, as I just don’t have the time or interest in many.

Okay back to writing the books.  Oh heck who am I kidding, I’ll probably read one rather than write!

 

Tuesday Tid-Bits

Tuesday tidbitsI was supposed to be writing every day as a part of the NaBloPoMo but yesterday I just felt icky.  Today I have lingering sniffles and muscle aches just under my sternum and between my rib cage.  You know the kind, the aches you get when you work out?  Only I have not been working out unless pouring a glass of wine counts, or lifting my Kindle.  I didn’t even get dressed yesterday or shower, just didn’t feel up to it.  My niece refers to this as “channeling our inner smelly Mellie“as in the first lady on Scandal, who this season is mourning the loss of the first son by going days without a shower or changing from her jammies and really needs some mental help.  So, since I missed out on Monday Memos, you get Tuesday Tid-Bits.

 

Dear Pixel Kitten,

Look cat, I really appreciate that you feel the need to comfort me in my time of loss of the dog.  Reality is I know it isn’t about me at all, but about you, reclaiming the bed now that the doggie is gone.  But we need to get something straight here, this is MY bed.  You are welcome to sleep on it with me but when I decide to move my leg, roll over, or in any other way inconvenience you when I relocate, it is not at all appropriate for you to protest loudly.  Stuff your meowing complaints and go back down to sleep on the couch if this isn’t working for you.  My bed, my rules.

Lovingly,

Your OWNER (I am NOT staff!)

 

Dear Me,

Oh yes, total win for me.  Wandering into the laundry room with the hangers just as the dryer ends.  What timing.  Now if only the darn thing could send a text when it’s finished life would be wrinkle free all of the time.

Sincerely,

A great idea dreamer.

 

Dear Brain,

Night time is for sleeping, but for some reason you cannot shut off at night.  Tonight, instead of a glass of wine, I am yanking out the heavy artillery.  Hot herbal tea, chamomile and valerian root to be specific.  Lavender essential oil in the diffuser.  You will shut down and go to sleep tonight like it or not.

Sleepily,

Me

 

What About The Other 335 Days?

smileIt is the 2nd day of November and my Facebook feed is filling up with the annual 30 days of thankfulness posts.  This bugs me, a great deal.  Let me clarify, it isn’t that I don’t believe gratitude is a good thing because it is.  We should all count out blessings.  You’ve seen the posts, “what if you woke up tomorrow with only those things you thanked God for today?”  Great question.

The reason it bothers me to see this is because I would hope people had an attitude of gratitude year round.  Every day we are bombarded with so much negativity that it is easy to believe the world is a big, bad, scary place.  Good news doesn’t seem to bring in ratings but wow does that bad story bring it in.  Why can’t we focus on the positive?  What would that look like?

Take racial tensions.  What if instead of all the hate, the news only focused on the good, the positive, people helping people of all races?  To see the headlines one would think there is far more hatred between races than really exists.  Instead of films of rioting and hate crimes, photos and video of folks working side by side, doing great things together for others.  It would foster positive feelings and maybe trust between people rather than suspicion.  Novel idea isn’t it?

Instead of filling our eyes and ears with stories of thug teenagers, why not focus on the kids that get outside of their comfort zones and help folks?  It  might inspire others to do the same.

I know there are crooked cops, but for every one we hear about there are hundreds if not thousands who go beyond the call of duty with the simplest of gestures.  Find them, show me those men and women.

Catholic priests who do bad things…yes it happens. But all across this country there are thousands of men of the cloth going about with acts of kindness and love that are unheard of because it doesn’t sell papers.

I don’t want a month out of 12 to focus on things to be thankful for, not when there are 365 days each year when we should all stop long enough to find just one thing to be grateful for and share that.  335 more days of giving thanks, what would the year look like if we did that?  How much better would we all feel and the world around us look?

On my outgoing message for voice mail I end it with this question (and 90% of callers actually answer when they leave a message), and feel free to answer in the comments below because I would enjoy reading the answers:  What is the best thing to happen to you today?

She’s Chasing Butterflies

This week ended on a sad note for me.

Penny was my buddy, my little side kick.  She went to work with me when I was working in an office.  She slept on my bed next to my leg, and every morning watched patiently for my eyes to open, then came running up and licked my face.  Most of the time it seemed I was tripping over her as she was always underfoot, wanting to be as close as possible to me.  I’d like to think it was just pure love but my daughter once said, “don’t kid yourself, she’d trade you for treats in a heartbeat”.  No doubt, as she was the most food motivated little thing we’d ever seen.

As long as treats were involved she learned very quickly to sit still while her face was trimmed, various tricks like playing dead, rolling over, dancing etc.  She was always on the hunt for food.  We’re pretty sure if a 25 pound bag of food was sliced open on the floor, she’d have eaten until her little sides split open.

Winter time, while hard on her as she had hair rather than fur so she got cold easily, was fun for Penny.  She would run into the snow just like a puppy or child, throwing it with her nose.

Penny was bought for my daughter when she turned 13.  She had to put her rabbits to sleep because they were very sick, so that same night my sister-in-law, after helping them across the rainbow bridge, went with my husband and daughter to check out some pure bred Yorkie puppies.  My daughter found Penny and brought her home.  Over the years as we had vet appointments, my sister-in-law would almost always be the vet tech working, and of course she was at family functions so she was involved in our dog’s life from day one.  My daughter went on to college and became a vet tech herself, very much a lover of all critters and with a gift of being able to calm them quickly and gain their trust.

My daughter had to give up her precious bundle 18 months ago, when she moved in with her then fiance (now amazing husband).  I took over and Penny has been my constant side kick ever since.  When I divorced 4 years ago I joked about wanting visitation with the dog, I loved her very much.  While out of work nearly 2 years she was my shadow back then too.  Before coming to live with me I had kept her while my daughter was on vacation, and she brought her over every time she came over to visit.

Penny had so many nicknames: numb-nut (the ex’s choice), Muffikins, Pupperdo, Baby Girl Dog, Pennerface….it’s a lengthy list.  If the number of nicknames indicates love, she was smothered in it.

At the beginning of the week I noticed some changes in my old girl.  She appeared to be having trouble sometimes knowing where you were when talking to her.  And her legs would go out from under her suddenly.  As the week went on it appeared she was having little seizures, her body would tremble and she’d fall over or crash into a wall.  And she was having more episodes of strange stuff like walking into walls and spacing out on us.  Thursday we went to the vet, me and my daughter along with Muffikins.  The vet agreed it seemed to be seizures so they ordered blood work and we talked about medications that would help.  We left there happy, as we thought it was going to be the day we had to put her down.  Friday morning, on Halloween of all days, I received a call from the vet’s office.

Little Penny had so many elevated levels of enzymes in blood, indicating that her kidneys were already shut down 75% and going fast, and her liver was shutting down too.  The vet explained it all and that there was not turning back.  It could be kidney disease, could be cancer was inside her and spreading, just no way to be certain other than there was no way to reverse it.  And based on those levels and the seizures coming faster and harder (by the time the vet called she was having them every 10 minutes or less), the vet recommended that it was time to say goodbye.  I set the appointment and called my daughter. I’m not the educated one on all this, but she knew what it all meant, and our little baby was hurting inside but unable to tell us that. The seizures were very scary to the dog too and had to be painful when she dropped to the floor or into things.

It was only fitting that my sister-in-law was there working when we arrived.  Both of us crying carried little Penners into the room they had waiting when we got there.  SIL was tearing up too.  She prepared a port in Penny’s front leg then brought her back to us.  We sat and cried, talking to her and saying our goodbyes.  When the vet came in I held her in my lap as she administered the pink solution and in short seconds felt her little life leave her body, ending her suffering.  For the first time in weeks she got a belly rub, as she hadn’t let anyone do that lately, but now it didn’t hurt.  We both cried a long time before turning her over to be cremated.  We’ll have her ashes back in a few weeks.

I went down to get my coffee this morning, after waking up to no greeting when my eyes opened.  I found some of her toys on the floor and picked them up, very sad that she isn’t here to play with them anymore.  Her empty collar is hanging on my desk waiting for her urn to be wrapped around it.  I never imagined I could hurt so much over the loss of that silly little 8 pound doggie.  I’m just heart broken.

She is over the rainbow bridge chasing butterflies now.

Good-bye sweet baby, mama loved you SO much!

Penny