Saturday, January 29, 2011

Touch of Summer

This winter is getting long. We have had snow on the ground for more days than I can remember in a long time. It's almost Ground Hog Day, which means Spring is just around the corner. Already, I've noticed the days getting longer. During our shortest days, it's dark when I get off work. I can't express how much I hate that! I am definitely a person who responds to light. Once it's dark, I'm just ready to go to bed. My favorite Summer "hobby" is gardening. I love plants, especially flowers. I have several flower beds, including a half-dozen potted plants I keep on the deck. Last Fall my husband brought several inside. I've never had much luck bringing outdoor plants in--they usually die within a couple of months. But for some reason, the three he brought in has survived--even blooming on occasion. I can't wait until the weather is warm and I can put them back out. I just imagine they are going to get so big and full this summer!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kitty Love

Fat Cat has kind of been the daughter's cat for a long time. Anytime she is home and sitting on the couch, he is up there, right next to her. So yesterday, when I went in her room to grab her blankets so I can wash them, he followed me in and jumped right up on her pillow and just gave me go to hell looks when I mentioned he hop down. I let him stay there. After all, he's going to miss her, too!

A little update--she was supposed to get her housing assignment yesterday, but they apparently have more students then dorms, so they put the girls and a group of other students in the local Hilton Gardens Inn until rooms opens up! It could be two weeks, it could be the whole semester. Nice view, and they get their own bathroom, but they will have to go to campus to eat. Could get interesting for them!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Well, the daughter is in California. I was expecting to get all weepy at the airport and feel miserable all the way home, but we got up yesterday morning to bad weather, so I had to concentrate on my driving all the way to the airport, then when we got to the airport I just dropped them all off at the terminal, gave her a hug, and she was gone. I didn't have time to feel bad. I really had expected to park the car, help them carry everything in, and then wait until we were sure that the flights were all going out as scheduled. But since that isn't the way things went down, I found myself back on the Interstate thinking "Whoa, what just happened?" I stopped at the first McDonald's I came to, got a cup of coffee and something to eat, and called my Best Bud and we talked for an hour. Then I was back on the road for awhile, stopped and spent another hour with a cousin I hadn't seen in years, and home by 2 in the afternoon. She sent me text messages through the day and called from the shuttle bus after they landed in San Fran. Today they get their housing assignments. Classes don't actually start until the 31st, so the girls have plenty of time to get settled and explore their new environment a little bit. I had originally planned on also taking today off. But really, what would I have done all day, except wait for more text messages? I can do that at work and not use up my personal days. Her massive amounts of student loans worries me, but I don't worry about her at all--I know she will probably have the time of her life. And aren't you supposed to do that when you're young? Because chances are, it isn't going to happen when you are in your 40's!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Westward, Ho

Today is my daughter's last day at home before she leaves for her new life in California. We will drive to Lafayette, Indiana tomorrow, spend the night and then Monday morning I'll drive her, her girlfriend and gf's father to Indianapolis to catch their plane. Gf's father is going to go with them to help them get into housing and get settled. Originally, I had thought we would drive out there and haul her stuff, but crossing Nebraska, Wyoming and Utah in January could be tricky. Plus, it would have taken all of my vacation time and money we really don't have right now. So the plan became that they will fly and I'll send her stuff when she gets an address. There is a big part of me that wishes I could be on that plane Monday, but money and my own dislike of flying is keeping me in Illinois. In 2008 I got her settled in Indianapolis and then cried all the way home because I felt like I was abandoning her, even though it was were she wanted and needed to be. I thought it would be easier this time since I've done it once before and plus she is older. It's not easier. It was an adjustment when she moved back home in June after going to school in Indianapolis for almost two years, but I've gotten used to her being here again. I am having such a hard time with this.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It Snowed!...Again

Weather moves in cycles, or so I read. It seemed when I was young we had real winters with snow deep enough to go sledding and build snowmen and igloos--igloos that lasted for weeks. I remember bundling up and playing in the snow for hours. It was cold, but not frigid. And Spring came when it was supposed too--March, maybe April if we had a long winter, like the year I graduated and we went to school into June because we had missed so many days. But since I've had my kids we have had few winters where there was more than an inch or so, and rarely more than once or twice a winter. In fact, we've had such warm winters on occasion, I've had flowers coming up in February. Yesterday we had our third measurable snow and it's only the middle of January. The forecast shows more coming, if you can believe the forecasts! Somehow, I'm just not prepared! I don't have any snow boots or long-johns anymore. I don't even have a good winter coat. I guess with all of the mild winters I haven't replaced anything as they have worn out. I would eventually love to move to Florida to be close to some friends and family but I will probably stay in Illinois for the rest of my life. Maybe I should start watching the post-winter sales, maybe I can get some cold-weather gear for next year! The thing I find funny is the fact that my brother who lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming is having better weather than we are!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Made in the USA

I decided a few weeks ago that I would try and do my part to improve our economy by making an effort to buy American Made products. Turns out that is harder than I thought it would be. Even in the grocery store most items say "distributed by" instead of "made in". So the question becomes, what is actually made here and what isn't. I suspect that many of the food products are produced here, but the packaging is imported. I don't object so much to items made in Canada, or even Mexico. I guess I figure our three countries are kind of "in it together". I spent 15 minutes reading labels and came up with only a handful of items that actually say they are made in this country. The great State of Illinois is raising taxes (again). Some say it is going to result in even more companies leaving the State. I imagine it will. I don't know what the solution is, but things are going to change. I keep hearing with out spending we have no economy. I think it has just as much to do with the lack of manufacturing!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cat In a Box

As I've mentioned before, one of my "indoor" cats decided he wanted to be an "outdoor" cat. Since I feel bad when my pets go use other people's yards for their own personal toilet, I didn't want to let him run loose. Thus, the leash. Which he does well with. On a whim, I stuck an Avon box outside and the husband put an old rug in it. Now I have a hard time getting Rosco to come in, even while it's raining!

In My Next Life, I Want to Come Back as a House Cat

The husband started "sharing" his lunch with Rosco and Jinx, so now they sit quietly and wait until he is done. Usually they sit very straight and stare up at him. At this particular moment, something distracted them both. What I find funny now is the fact that when I tried to give them some medicine mixed in with some food, Jinx (the black one) wouldn't eat it in a bowl--I had to put it on a plate! Spoiled, spoiled cats!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dirty Snow Cake

I found a new recipe that sounded so good, so I gave it a try yesterday. It's a white cake with crushed Oreos added to it (the "dirty" snow). The filling is 1 cup of whipping cream, a little sugar and more crushed Oreos. The frosting is 2 cups of whipping cream and 1/4 cup of sugar. I added a touch of vanilla extract and powdered sugar. So pretty, and it tasted even better than I thought it would!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Because of the husband's new job, the alarm goes off at 4 a.m. 6 mornings a week. I actually rather like it--since I don't have to be at work until 8, it gives me some quiet time to try and get a few things done. Of course, I'm usually in bed by 8 every night. Guess its a good thing I don't have a social life! And I can watch most of the evening TV shows I like on-line so I've not missed much. I'm sure about the time I get really used to it, they will move him to a different shift!


As a result of the shooting in Arizona, this week has been so upsetting and sparked so many discussions. Quite often living in this right-wing community is frustrating for me. My husband and I have had many discussions over the last two years about this very thing happening--I'm almost surprised that it hasn't happened before now. The sinking feeling I get in my gut now is in response to my fear that it's going to trigger copy-cats. I'm not sure this is going to be a lone tragedy. But I can hope.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Picture a Day

I decided at the beginning that I would try to write positive things here. Once in a while something negative slips in, but for the most part I try to stay with the good things in my life. But some days there just doesn't seem to be much positive going on! For the last few weeks I've been dealing with the IRS for my son, and SallieMae for my daughter. Doesn't leave much time for me! Then I noticed that my niece is doing "a picture a day" on Facebook. Which gives me a thought--maybe even if things don't seem to be going well, I bet I can take a picture everyday, even if it's just a pile of snow, a flower or even a new product at the store. So I guess I'm starting my "New Year" resolution in the middle of the month, instead of on the first! And my picture today is the little frog that has ridden in my 1985 Ford Escort that I bought in 2000. My daughter has been driving the car since she turned 16, and somewhere down the line he got a friend. Lately I've been driving that car again, and once she moves to San Francisco, it's getting passed down to my son. It's been a good little car, hope it lasts a few more years!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fun at Work

Our Debit/Credit Card machine at work is on the fritz again today. It seems that this is becoming a normal occurrence. Not a pleasant one, I might add. We put a big orange sign on the door announcing said inconvenience, but it's amazing how many people pay absolutely no attention. They get to the register and see the second sign I have posted there and seem so surprised. Then they hand me their card like I can do some magic with it. Machine's down means machine's down, folks! I can't do anything with it! More and more people rely on their cards alone--no cash, no checks. I admit, I'm one of those people myself. We lose business. Something needs done--a different system, a different tech. I don't know, but something!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, 2011 is here. 2010 didn't leave with a bang, mostly just a bit of a whimper. I can't say I'm sorry to see it go--it just wasn't much of a good year. One or two high points--our trip to Walt Disney World, certainly--but mainly a year I would like to forget. No resolutions this year, just hoping to find a new direction. Somehow, I'm not where I want to be. 50 is approaching fast, and I don't want this to be my life. Work and home. Almost non-existent social life. I've never felt like much of a whiner, I try to take things as they come and I try not to have regrets. You can't change the past so why cry about it. I have some ideas about where I would like to be but no idea how to get there! And, unfortunately, everything takes money, which I don't have and don't see coming. Plus I have responsibilities that I can't just up and leave. I try to stay positive, especially here, but this might give you an idea of where my head is right now. Here's to 2011---may it be a year worth remembering!