Sunday, December 27, 2009
I found a picture of Abby in one of her favorite positions - sitting on our laps or legs as Norm or I sit in the recliner. She has a complete view of the family room, the outside through the Florida room and anyone coming in from upstairs. The queen oversees her domain! You can also tell it's an older picture because she has hair! All of this is gone now, ahhh...Hopefully she will be back to her glorious, cute as a button look within a couple of months. I consider this a good sign for the year to come. Got camera, got luck!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
I fought if off, had it under control and then like Abby with the zoomies...it was gone. Did you realize we've PASSED the last shopping week until Christmas? Wasn't Thanksgiving last Thursday? I could have sworn I just watched the Rockettes dance past Macy's front entrance and Santa go HO, HO, HO as he turned the corner and passed a Duane Reed...
I had the "formal" tree up right after Thanksgiving, I even got the lights on the bushes out front before Thanksgiving. So how did come to pass that this Friday is Christmas!?! I'M NOT READY!!!
They really ought to give us more warning...
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Fool that I am, I invited five of Alexa's friends (the core group) over to decorate gingerbread houses. Each year Alexa decorates a gingerbread house whether it comes from a kit, or the Dessert Deli's house decorating event or a Wegman's house that we put together and then she decorates. She wanted to do houses with her friend Brenda, so I figured in for a penny in for a nickle and had five friends come over. Lex took pictures, as did I but they will not load!! So you need to imagine our dining room table, covered in a pink plastic table cloth and six chairs around. At each place is a 8D"X5W"X10H gingerbread house on a cardboard base. There are six snowman marshmallow peeps, one at each place setting, and a piping bag filled with royal frosting.
Running down the center of the table are various bowls of Twizzler - strawberry and multi-fruit colored, cinnamon dots, 10 packages of Necco wafers, gum drops and wreaths, square, grid shaped pretzels, hard holiday candies in different colors, mini fruit flavored and colored jelly half circles, marshmallow mini Christmas trees and stockings and fruit shaped Skittle type candies. Also three cans of decorative icing - two white and one green and turtle crunch crumbs (for dirt or walkways). Needless to say the girls made good use of EVERYTHING! The houses came out great and more importantly, Alexa told me they all had a good time and loved their houses.
Now picture this, not hard because you can scrawl back a couple of posts and probably see pictures of Abby. Abby was covered in matted fur on her tummy, and dingy fur on top, head and ears because she's been out in the mud and stuff in the backyard and it's been raining and or snowing lately. She's also a little stinky...but beautiful still.
I took her to the groomer on Thursday to get her monthly bath and cut and told Jackie that she would probably have to have her tummy shaved to get rid of the mats there and her side coat taken down a bit. If she had to have a puppy cut, so be it, but she needed a serious trim. I left puppy at the groomers and ran my errands and called back at 4:00 to see if she was ready. Well, it turns out we no longer have a stinky, dingy, and matted but beautiful cocker spaniel. We now have a clean, sweet smelling BALD cocker spaniel...This one I'm almost glad you can't see! Her head is still as it was but from the neck down fuggetaboutit! The one good thing, kinda, is that we now know how she gets up on stuff - she's got the longest legs! She looks about four inches taller when you see how long her legs are now that they are not hidden by hair! Same with worrying about her weight - she's a slim trim girl!
No pictures need for this...I've got a solid handle on our toned down Christmas. We aren't going to Long Island this year - saving money, letting hubby relax at home and no worries about the dog. As always I have Alexa's computer written, including pictures list. This year she improved it by adding coupons and discount numbers for on-line ordering - where applicable!
I'll try to post as soon as I get the tree(s) up. I'm challenged by Abby as to what I can put up and what I can't. That vertical leap of hers is scary and I'm not willing to have my tree and 30+ year old handmade ornaments damaged or destroyed. So an update will be posted.
On the work front I did a paper covered nutcracker, a Maya Road Christmas tree chipboard book for the store and I have to do 25 ATC's (altered trading cards) for a swap at work. I also have several things to mail, more shopping to do (but no more money at the moment!) and the ever dreaded Christmas cards to do...and can you see the top of my desk? No...you could for about 24 hours a day or two ago, but now, not so much ;-)
So take care, I'll post when I can find a camera, a workable SD card and whatever else! Enjoy, only 19 more days till the jolly red suited guy arrives!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Yes, I still scrapbook! That was Alexa's question to me. Do you ever just make a regular layout? Something NOT for the store? Yes, Alexa, there is a scrapbooking mother in me. Here is a page to prove it - about you! I did this at the retreat last weekend along with three 2 page, 12x12 layouts, ten 8.5x11 layouts for last years vacation book, the chipboard Christmas tree I talk about later and a baby book for my friend Sarah. I'd write about the retreat but to be honest, much of he conversation is unprintable - we were naughty, big girls, but we had fun! (Sorry about the glare in the shot)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Abby is another reason. I can't let her up here because she'll just take off into any room she can and find whatever she can to chew up. She especially loves Alexa's room because Alexa never cleans up or puts away her clothes, clean or dirty... If I could fix Alexa's door so that when it closes it stays close (something is off about how the locking mechanism meets the jam) that would help. I'm putting it on my list of things to do.
But I do have a little update on our sweet little puppy. First, she's part mountain goat! She climbs anything and everything - the couch, chair, end tables, the kitchen table, counters if she can find a step up. She can fit through the slats of the stairs and tries to cut through those to reach the upstairs. So every once in a while I feel guilty leaving her alone as I go out and run errands. I love to bring her with me, but she wants to drive the car and she hasn't gotten her learners permit let alone her license...
I took Abby with me to run some errands last week. First, we went to the bank - but I went inside so no biscuit for puppy :-( then we went to Best Buy to pick up the copy of my hard drive as my laptop's mother board was being replaced (another reason for not posting - most of my current photos are on my laptop). Again, puppy not allowed in Best Buy. We also hit Starbucks, no lattes for puppies and the post box - Abby doesn't fit into the slot.
Then we went to Delta Sonic (local car wash, gas station, oil change and convenience store). I noticed that my MIL's car inspection sticker expired three months ago :- \ , plus it needs to be washed inside and out - all those puppy nose marks on the windows... Turns out they did do inspections I just had to leave the car at the bay door, leave the keys and they'd do it right away. I couldn't leave Abby in the car so we went for a little walk around the green area near the Delta Sonic. I was told 20 minutes for the inspection and we started back to wait at the outside waiting area. We were almost back to the garage when a truck pulls up and there is a DS employee inside and he says "We can't do your car" - Shocked, I said, "Why?" - turns out I kept the keys and didn't leave them in the car. So I hand the keys over and Abby and I walk around a little more and get the car back about a half hour later.
But, were not done. I put Abby in the car and walk into DS to buy my carwash and arrange for gas afterward. I go back to the car and the car is locked. I didn't think I left it locked, oh well, I'll just open it. I go fishing for my keys...and find them in the ignition. Locked in. Abby locked in. Back into DS and ask if anyone can help me get my door open. Longer story short - they can't. AAA, I think! What have I been paying them for all these years! I go to call and I can't get my phone to work! Back into DS to use their phone. 400 questions later, with continual assurances and promises of the quickest service they say they'll be there in no later than 45 minutes! It's an emergency because there is a pet trapped in the vehicle...
I go to wait by the car with Abby so she doesn't get too stressed. I'm still trying to figure out how the door got locked. Then Abby jumps up on the window ledge to sniff hello and it hits me. Abby locked the car! While I was inside DS she jumped up on the window ledge and pushed the button down. I was going to be right back to the wash the car so I left the keys in the car. Thirty minutes later, the window jimmied open by AAA we finally were able to pull into the car wash portion of DS.
It was a first for Abby and I'm not sure she really liked the experience. We go through the water, soap, drying, waxing and pull around AGAIN - for the inside cleaning. We sit down again outside and wait the fifteen minutes for the vacuuming, window washing and dash cleaning. I put Abby in the car and we...pull over the the gas pumps. I pump my gas and go back into DS for I hope is the last time. I paid for my gas, got my discount and decide to purchase a lottery ticket. Mega Million is $105 mil - gotta be in it to win it and my luck can't get any worse! Maybe this whole disaster is a sign! I'm finally gonna hit the big one!
I'm on my way out to the car, keys firmly in hand, puppy looking out the back window for me to return and I hear a voice behind me - "Mam, you forgot your lottery ticket!" I sheepishly turn around, smile, grab the ticket and go straight home, no more stops, no more chances, and looking for police cars all the way home...
Thursday, September 3, 2009
It was a little harder to take the usual pictures as she is getting so grown up. We finally got her hair cut last night and despite having that lovely Vera Bradley large tote her father got her last year, she went and bought a new Aero portfolio to be her usual styling self. She's not carrying so much because last week we did the ritual decorating of the locker. This year we did (or I should say I did) all four walls in a contrasting print of pink and purple flowers and purple solid. She also had the appropriate hand sanitizer, mirror, wipe off board, and metal racks - pink, of course.
Our garage sale was a success. We did a really good day on Friday. Before I started to bring things out at 7:30 a.m. I had a neighbor from down the street ask about Alexa's swing set. I put an ad on Craigslist at about 11:30 the night before advertising the sale and listing our swing set for free for anyone who was willing to take it. Boom! before 8:00 a.m. we had a taker and our sale didn't offically start until 9:00 a.m. We were busy the entire day and stayed open an hour passed our advertised closing. Saturday we had rain early in the morning. It cleared fairly quickly but we didn't do anywhere near what we did the day before.
Alexa made out like a bandit. She kept track of all her sales and even learned to haggle a bit and cut deals in order to sell her items. Her total take accounted for a quarter of our total profits! The good news is she wants to bank over 90% of it and only keep a nominal amount of cash. We must be doing something right.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We've been collecting (or rather not throwing out) stuff for the last 30 years. Combine some things of my MIL and my late parents and we've got a lot of stuff. So this weekend August 28-29 is it. I planned the date carefully around Norman's work. Didn't want to interfere the beginning of the school year. In my fervor to assure Norm's presence I neglected to plan for my own...
I can't ask for the day off work because the Stamp Show and Convention is going on this weekend down in Hamburg. Sharon needs me at the store while she sets up the store's booth at the show. You'd think I'd be good for Saturday though, but no I've got a class scheduled, not to take but to teach and I've got 10 people signed up, 10 people! Heaven help me! So Norm and Alexa will have to run the show.
Lex has really gotten into it. She's a pricing and make money demon. She even told me that we might have to spend a little money to make money! She also wants to get personal credit for everything we sell that's hers. She's already counting her pennies!
If you are interested the sale is running Friday and Saturday from 9 to 3 both days. We have assorted household 'stuff', CD's, books, children's toys, games and books and a lot of craft supplies. Specifically, I have a lot of counted cross stitch towels, cloth, pattern books, my mom's cookbooks, and her baskets. My mom made baskets from scratch and I have a wonderful large collection of beautiful useful baskets. So stop on by if you are in the area. We're at 146 Ranch Trail in Williamsville.
There, that's my bid at shameless self promotion. Have a great weekend everyone I'll be back to posting once this weekend is over and the school year is ready to go. Next week I have to deal with clothes shopping with Alexa (oh, boy) and decorating her locker (trust me, you don't want to know!) and some serious puppy training with Abby. Here's a hint on the last one...
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
It's Tuesday morning and I'm listening to the rain outside while I watch 'West Wing' reruns, ahhh...nirvana. School's out and my house is being invaded by sleepovers, playdates, last minute 'things' and the first week of vacation is only two days old... I want my days, alone, again. I'm a bad mother, I know. It's going to be even more of a challenge when my darling daughter finds out she's going to be responsible for more around the house. Here is my list of unreasonable demands, 1. Rinsing off dishes and loading the dishwasher (she is already responsible for emptying the dishwasher, a job she hasn't totally mastered after two years) 2. Walking the dog once a day. In an effort to be fair she will have her choice of morning or afternoon. I may have to negotiate the picking up of poop with a poop bag... 3. Learning how to do her laundry - because I don't do her's often or fast enough. Mind you the only thing I asked before was for her to put her dirty clothes in her own designated hamper, which I even moved into her room to make it easier. This is a task she has yet to master after two plus years. I know, she's an only child, she's 12, she's a girl. I'm far too demanding and I'm starting a countdown until school starts again...
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I've been told that my bird is very 'me' and here I thought I was going out of my comfort box zone! I just wanted to share with my out of Buffalo friends.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
She is delightfully rambunctious, loves to chew on Alexa's shoes (incentive for her to put them away for a change :-) She sleeps though the night and is taking to housebreaking quite well. I do feel like a new mother though, not wanting to leave her alone long enough to do household chores or even change clothes and take a shower. I'm a little nervous about going to work today and leaving her alone, although my MIL dotes on her as much as we do.
We'll I'm getting puppy kisses as I type so I think I'll go play with my new baby.
Monday, May 4, 2009
After weeks of wondering what her name would be Alexa ended up choosing the name given her by her breeder. She is officially Abigail - or Abby. She's smart, daring, loving, funny, super affectionate and right this moment bouncing all over the family room. She can't quite get up the three steps to the kitchen where her water and food is but she's able to get up the carpeted living room stairs. Right now she's working off her morning energy without the benefit of Alexa. I'd have more pictures but I'm too busy trying to keep up with her! Pictures will follow.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
There is an underlying theme if you can see it - Pink! She has a pink bed, a pink collar and a pink lead. I put my foot down though when she wanted pink poop baggies!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
The story on the top picture is that Alexa found a game on-line where you create an outfit out of aluminum foil and see who could come up with the best design. Brenda really got into it and did leggings and shoes to go with her outfit! She walked like the Mummy mind you, but it was really cute! Laura came up with a cute mini dress with fringe on the bottom and a foil flower in the middle. She also made a cute little purse to go with her outfit.
Then came kitchen time. Our house was chosen for this sleepover because we had an integral ingredient to Alexa's Ice Cream recipe, Kosher salt...don't ask, we just do! ANYWAY, the girls made their concoctions then had to shake them for 10 minutes, which in twelve year old time means 10 years! I'm told the icecream came out quite good. I'm hoping the toppings below helped.
In the morning Norm made a Timmy's run and the girls left around 11:00 a.m. I'm sure naps will be on the agenda for all of them today.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Isn't she beautiful! I've been reading the site puppy blog where other parents of High Calling Cockers post pictures and updates on their puppies as we anxiously await our new little girl!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
We've been waiting for a while and finally got the word on Friday that puppies were available. Alexa was a little bummed out that we didn't pick her first pick, but she's over it and concentrating on what she is going to name our new little girl (yes, we gave the puppy naming honor to her - within reason...). We'll be able to get our new baby around the end of April and I'll try and post pictures weekly of her progress. We are soooooooo... excited!!! (at least I am :-)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
A BOOK! No hearts, no flowers, no heart shaped box of candy, no token of romance and love, a book! Hildegard Neff's biography, A Gift Horse. To say I wasn't thrilled was an understatement. From then on Norm bought me roses, red roses. After the first few times it became apparent that roses were the automatic default regardless of the situation or reason. Roses are nice, don't get me wrong. But my favorite roses are a coral colored rose named 'Sonia'. After we were married and money was tighter than tight Norm bought me red roses, again and I told him to stop. We couldn't afford them and frankly they were not my favorite. Well, Norm took that to mean forever and ever... Fast forward to many, many years later. My MIL was living with us and for Valentine's Day Norm bought us the same generic spring flower bouquet basket. I wasn't happy. I know we want men to read our minds and expect it, but I didn't take any chances. I told Norm that giving me the same flowers he gave his mother was not a good thing...
This year...after heavy hinting and clear and concise statements I got my favorite flowers - tulips. I keep telling Norm to read my blog and if he did he'd see the red tulip on my profile strip. I also have a red tulip in my craft room. So this year he finally got it right and I'm so very, very happy.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day
Well, it seems like a lot. I don't know if that is good or bad, though!
As much as I admire these things my ability to use them, develop a talent or skill with them is limited to oogling the aisles of Lowe's and Home Depot and annoying any contractor, plumber, electrician or installer that I've had to hire to do what I aspire to and am completely and totally inept at.
We have plumbing issues...Our 'new' master toilet has been running on-and-off since before Christmas. I'm not great with plumbing problems, so I asked Norm to look at it, he jiggled the handle and said "It's still running" and walked away. So we went out to Lowe's and bought a new 'flapper', installed that and it still ran. So, we went back again and bought a whole new 'flush valve'. It stayed in the bag for several days, hoping Norm would take the initiative and attempt to install it, but alas, I took the plunge (No pun intended) and tried to install it myself. Thank heavens it was a Sunday because I needed help! Who you gonna call? - my brother! I had the cell phone on speaker as I was on the bathroom floor trying to loosen the anchor screws. I had visions of emailing photos to Brion to show him what I was seeing. He's my handy man in abstentia.
My wonderful, intelligent, handsome husband is the 'anti-Norm', Norm Abrams that is. He's closer to a bad Tim Taylor. He is so NOT - Mr. Home Depot. Norm's dad was wonderful around the house. He built a great storage area in Norm's childhood garage, cedar closets in the basement and handled almost all home repairs with dexterity and skill. Which of these skills did my Norm inherit - NONE! My dad was the same way. He had a great little shop in the basement with a standing saw, a workbench and a homemade ceiling lazy susan made out baby food jars that held all sorts of nails, fasteners, nuts and bolts. He even let me help when he bought bar stools for the basement from Yield House and we had to assemble them and stain them. When we first married I thought my Norm would continue in the tradition of both our dads, WRONG! I became the keeper of the tools, the holder of the hammer the driver of the screws.
My dad never left any job undone or put off doing fix-it jobs around the house. When my parents came to visit he'd start looking for jobs to do. I began to make lists before they visited first to get jobs done and then just to keep him busy. In the trunk of the car was not only my mom's cookies, but my dad's tool bucket! Now, I need my brother to visit more often...I need a handyman to help me around the house so now I make a list for him!
Oh, and that toilet - it's still running...
Sunday, January 11, 2009
And the winner is...Dessert Deli! (Please hold your applause until the end of the posting, thank you)
Apparently, Alexa has a reputation for having cool parties (I've got to take the blame on this one). So I came up with the idea of the Dessert Deli, a local bakery that specializes in desserts, wedding cakes, cookies and cupcakes. The young ladies will get a tour of the kitchen area, see cakes being made and decorated and then get to decorate their own cupcakes and getting a little lesson in how to use the piping bags and make flowers, etc. There is also going to be a special surprise for the girls, a caricaturist will make a sketch of each of the girls that they will get to take home.
Over the top, yes, I've gone over the top - heaven help me for when she turns 13, 16 and the wedding. Norman's already whispering in Alexa's ear, "Elope, Las Vagas, elope, Las Vegas, elope...".
Update: I've been corrected by Alexa. She says she's the one who came up with the Dessert Deli idea...and Elisabeth, I didn't make the invitations. We bought them at Party City. I was tempted but I probably couldn't have made them up to Alexa's standards!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Or you could be me. All that planning - bah! That's for you younger folks. Me, I'm older, wiser, I've been down that road many, many times before and you know what I've discovered? It will all be there next year! Let me show you what I mean. My last year's list of things to do included:
1. Cleaning up my scrap/computer/guest room.
Progress this past year: NONE! It's still the messiest room in the house, but with more organizational stuff. I got new drawers and shelves and a few new storage bins and an over the door shelf and guess what? They are either all filled with the new stuff I bought or they are blocked by all the old stuff and I can't get near them to fill them or organize them!
2. Organzing my paperwork.
Progress this past year: NONE! I've got a dandy shredder but the pile is bigger than the shredder and pulling all those staples, what a task! I thought I could bribe, er, pay my darling daughter to shred the past 5, 10, 15, 20...some-odd years worth of paperwork, but she's not buying into it. Guess I'll have to get another storage file for all that paper...
3. Lose Weight.
Progress this year: NONE! I'm not even talking about this one, and if you're smart, you won't either!
4. Have a garage sale.
Progress this year: NONE! I've got the basement of three houses. Ours, my parents and my mother-in-law (although she'll tell you she sold or gave away all her good stuff because I didn't want any of it). My MIL thinks I should hire that guy that's on Oprah who cleans out peoples houses that have piles of garbage and stuff piled to the ceiling in every room. I think I need to add 'Find a therapist' to my list...
5. Finish scrap projects and begin our adoption scrap story.
Progress this past year: NONE! Well I really tried on this one. I was all set. I had several almost finished projects all packed up for my retreat, all set to put closure to these projects and guess what? Norman had to go to China and I couldn't go on my retreat. Guess I'll need another retreat to get that job done. On the bright side, I did actually think about the adoption book this morning. That's progress!
I could probably list a few more tasks, but I think not. Let's just try and tackle these. The moral to my post. There is none, just like with New Year's resolutions. Impossible to make, impossible to keep and they'll be there next year anyway!