Life thru the haze of cat hair.

Tag Archives: Miscellany

Oh, hello! Come in and have tea. And toast. With cinnamon-sugar.

Yesterday’s post was my 100th post on this blog. I didn’t notice it until after I hit publish.

I think I started this blog last June, not having any idea what I was doing, but knowing that I wanted to be writing. Something.  I thought I would be one of those funny bloggers, but it hasn’t turned out that way, I think. Some of my posts have some humor in them, but most are more serious or introspective or sad. I do know that if you had asked me last June, I would have thought – 100 posts?!? Are you crazy? I don’t have that much to blather on about. (Well, some of the people who know me IRL would say that I should have had 100 posts by August of last year, but still…)

I read/subscribe to a bunch of blogs myself. I envy their wit and humor and eloquence and depth, but while I love their writing, I don’t know how to write any other way. The way I write is the way I am – I tend to just put stuff out there and let the chips fall. I would rather be “real” than sugar coat stuff. (And, for clarification, I don’t believe the people whose blogs I follow are being fake; just in general life, I get frustrated with people who spend all their time carefully choosing their words so as to not offend people. The bloggers I follow all tend to do the same as I do.)

One thing that gets me though is the frequency with which I see, in other blogs, mentions of the number of drafts, and how much time is spent editing and re-reading. THAT is when I wonder if I am doing something wrong. I wonder if I should have more drafts. Or if I should take a long time, rereading and word-smithing. I do neither now. Maybe my readership would be better if I did. Maybe not.

There have been a bunch of blogs that I’ve seen lately where they talk about how many visitors they have daily, or how many hits they have, or they compare themselves to other bloggers. I think I do that to a point – I check to see what my “counter” is up to, but for the most part, I don’t dwell on it. (I do love to see the counter thing go up; I squee a little every time. ) In actuality, I would guess I have about 10 people who regularly stop by. But that’s okay. I love that *anyone* stops by. A huge THANK YOU to you if you are reading this.

So, about 10 months in, and 100 posts later, onward. I hope to keep improving and to keep you coming back. And I hope the days where I post something to go into the “don’t even bother to read this” category become few and far between.

Thank you again. Here’s to 100 more.


Oh, hello! Come in and have a sandwich.

I was raised a Catholic. But this is not a post about religion. I don’t like to talk about religion with people. It’s too squishy a topic. Too much chance for people to get really pissy and offended.

So, Lent starts tomorrow. Or as they say in the church “The Season of Lent”. It always starts on the Wednesday after Mardi Gras, the Wednesday also known as Ash Wednesday. Now, being raised in the Catholic church, having gone through all the sacraments, years of Catechism, one would think that I would have some idea as to what the meaning of Lent is. But sadly, no. I know it’s something important, but I’ve got nothing.

Anyhoo. Growing up, we always had to “give up” something for Lent. I think it was a way to sacrifice and an attempt to make life better. Basically, we always gave up candy. I remember having a shoebox, into which went every piece of candy and gum I got for the next 40 days. “The Season” ended on Easter Sunday with a candy gorge. So not the point, I know, but that’s what happened.

Then in college, I absolutely lived on Tab and Reese’s. (Yes, Tab. Don’t judge. It’s awesome!) So that year, I gave up soda. Tab, Diet Coke, everything. Nothing fizzy. At Easter, the sister gave me a 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke. It was so GROSS!! (Try that experiment – go several weeks without soda, then have some. You’ll be off soda.)

A couple of years ago, I gave up drinking. (I KNOW!) For the most part, it wasn’t difficult. Except at hockey games. I love a beer at the games. That part sucked, but I made it through the 40 days with no problem.

This year, Herb and I are going to give up drinking, EXCEPT at hockey games. No hard alcohol. No wine. No beer. Easy peasy. But I am also going to give up chips. Well, salty snacks – chips, Cheetos, etc. It seems to be a weakness, so as a way to improve my health, I want to add to the “this is what I’m giving up” list. It should be interesting while I’m PMSing, but it’s only 40 days. Right? RIGHT?

At this point, for me, Lent has nothing to do with religion. It’s sort of like New Year’s day – it’s a way to jumpstart a self-improvement plan and get remotivated. Any excuse to start over, right? Rewrite the path you are on.

Wish me luck.


Oh, hello! Come in and have some coffee. I think there are bagels over there, too.

I just had the strangest feeling come over me. I don’t really know what to do with it.

I know I have posted before about my love of spending money. If I have $10 in my wallet, it WILL be gone before the day is over. Admittedly, since I cut up my credit cards almost a year ago, I have been better, but still. I cannot be trusted with cash.

So I filed my taxes already and have gotten a refund. (WOOHOO!) Not as much as previous years, but a good amount. And it is burning a hole in my pocket, so to speak. I really want to shop. Buy pretty things. Girly things. Whatever.

However, (and this is where the weird feeling comes in to play), I just went to get tea and as I’m walking back to my desk, I’m wracking my brain trying to think of what I want and which website I can go to get it. (That’s the other thing. I love to spend money, but I HATE going to stores. If I can’t get it online, I won’t get it.) The feeling? I don’t think I want anything.

Go ahead. Noodle on that. I’ll wait….

::filing nails::

::goes pee::

::checks “doneness” of tea::

Ready?

I KNOW!!! WTF is wrong with me? I cannot think of a thing that will make me feel like a kid at Christmas and will be pretty and shiny and end all my problems. Can you even imagine?? (I can’t. This is a first!) Yeah, I know I could buy a dress or a necklace (I would really love pearls, but too expensive.) but I’m not feeling it. Even shoes. (I KNOW!!) Just not there. I even went to Amazon to look at books to buy. (I know about the Macmillan thing, but, whatev. Don’t start, please.) I found a couple of free ones for my Kindle, but I DIDN’T EVEN BUY ANY BOOKS!!  THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME!!!

There are plenty of “things” that I want. But in the end, it’s all just more “stuff”. And since my goal is to eliminate stuff, I guess that seed has taken root and I’m going with it.  I don’t know if this will last and become a way of life for me, but I guess I’m going to ride this out for a while to see how I feel about it. It’s new and scary and uncharted for me.

I’ll let you know.

*****

COMPLETELY UNRELATED: I read an interview with a very famous blogger yesterday, and something this person said stuck with me and I don’t know how I feel about it. This blogger has way more readers than I do, or will, and I am a HUGE fan. This blogger was asked about how someone gets started with blogging and what if there is “nothing to write about”. The response? Something to the effect of: put it in a draft, re-read it, and if it’s not something you would want to read 5 years from now, don’t publish it.” Obviously, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s what I took from it. If you know to which interview I am referring, and took something else away from it, don’t yell at me. I’m hoping to be all philosophical and stuff, so, shhhh.

What bothers me is this: I haven’t even been doing this for a year yet, but what I wrote about when I started? I wouldn’t publish that today. And 5 years from now, this post will be dreck. (Well, it really is NOW, but you know what I mean.) I would like to think that 5 years from now, I will have grown and changed and developed as a person and as a writer so that things will continue to improve.

I guess I look at this site as a brief snapshot of my life at that moment. I will get better at it. I will get better, period. 5 years from now? Who can say.


Oh, hello! Come in. It’s the last day for donuts, so take two. The next snack will be *gulp* good for you.

So, just like every single other blogger, I am going to look back to see what I accomplished over the last year. But unlike ever other blogger, my introspection will be fascinating, I’m sure. You know, like watching grass grow.

2009. What can we say about this year. I’ll be ending this year the same way I ended last year – at a hockey game. It’s something I love to do. It will get me out of the city before all the real craziness starts. I’ll take it.

2009 was the year I came out of my shell a little bit more. I joined Twitter, which, in all honesty, is the ultimate time suck/chat room. It’s silly. It’s stupid. It’s fun. It’s make-believe. I noticed the other day that I have tweeted more than 6,100 times. And of that? 99% have been silly and fluffy. But I got some laughs from it, so I’ll keep doing it. I can Tweet something that is authentically me and if someone doesn’t like it, I can click “unfollow” and eliminate the judgement.

I also started this blog in 2009. I had thought about blogging for years. I even attempted to do one before. But I didn’t ever tell anyone about it, or do it with any idea about how it would go. (Clearly, I know what I’m doing now. I’m practically fluent in blog these days. *heh*) I started this one with a lot of trepidation, a lot of fear, quietly. I didn’t know if anyone would read it, or if anyone would like it, or comment, or re-visit. And while my count of people who have visited my site is low by some standards, and my comments section has the honor of a few regular visitors, I am flattered and a little bit giddy about every single view that is listed. *Someone* is reading. And for all the times I have looked at it, whether to reference a previous post, or just to “check the stats” (don’t judge me), I still have had what I consider a huge number of visitors and I want to thank each of you.

Work wise, I bid farewell to the age of the Leg Jiggler, and ushered in Smiley. The Gas ‘n Sip became the Gas ‘n Stuff. I don’t remember anything huge happening, although I’m sure that at some point through the year, something huge happened and I was traumatized at the time. I’ll take my memories, or lack thereof, as they stand now, thank you very much.

I also, most recently, spent some time wallowing in my grief that Madame X is sick. She seems to be doing a teensy bit better, but I have also (mostly) wrapped my head around the fact that she may be leaving my life sooner, rather than later. I can (almost) say that now without sobbing violently. Big steps for me.

Oh! I almost forgot that 2009 was the year in which I shredded the credit cards. I still have balances that I am really trying to pay off, but no new debt. YAY me! It’s really hard to live without a credit card, can I just tell you? I almost wish I had saved one, but I’ve met me. And it was all or nothing. And all was the only real option. Now I really think about what I buy, and whether I need it, or can afford it, or can still pay my mortgage if I buy it. It’s made me appreciate that which I do buy so much more.

So 2010 is about 14 hours away. I’ve already written about the regular intentions that I foresee. I have been tossing it around my brain, too, lately that I may actually attempt to read…. wait for it…. the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments. I’ve read parts of it. But never all the way thru. I think before I can say it’s great or sucks or somewhere in between, I should read it. I foresee it being a full year’s project. I’m sure there will be a lot of it that I don’t understand or “get” but that’s okay. And who knows. After that, I could move on to the Torah and the Koran. Who knows. I might as well learn about the religions that are affecting the world most these days.

The other book that I want to get through this year coming is War and Peace. I want to see what all the fuss is about. And if it will really take me 42 years to get through it. I’m not skeered….

And, speaking of skeered, I would like to make 2010 the year I faced my fears. But more in the way of you know when you are asked to do something and you immediately say “Nope, can’t.” or start sweating or curling into a fetal position while whimpering? Those kinds of fears. Public speaking. Figuring out what happened in my early thirties that has virtually erased a number of the years from my memory. Something must have happened, however uneventful. What was it? Those types of fears. Not the “I’m afraid of bugs and heights” types of fears. I’ll save that for another time.

Will I achieve success with these intentions? I think I already have by putting them in writing. And however far I get in the reading of either the Bible or W&P, I will have made the start. Better than looking at them and thinking “Someday…”

So, 2009 was pretty uneventful in a lot of ways. And I’m starting 2010 with big goals. I hope that this time next year, I will be able to check off at least some of those as “Wins”.

And to you, my lovely, wonderful readers, I wish for you a 2010 of wonder and joy and health and laughter and love. I hope you all get what you ask for from the Universe and that it makes your life full and fabulous.

And however you are celebrating this evening, do it with loved ones, safely, and fully. I want to see all of you back here next year.

xoxo


Oh, hello! Have some tamale pie. It’s fab.

Do you blog? Or read blogs? If you read other people’s blogs, do you comment on them? I try to comment on the blogs I read. I don’t know if my comments have any meaning to the author or not, but I want them to know that someone is out there, reading what they have to say.

Me? I LOVE seeing comments on my posts. I know there are many of my posts that have no meaning to anyone other than me, so I understand why there wouldn’t be a comment. But I get that Christmas-morning feeling when I get an email telling me that someone has commented. Is that weird? Needy? I don’t know.

My friend, K2Kid, didn’t read my blog for a long time. Then she found it. And said she liked it. And claims she still reads it, but doesn’t comment. I’m okay with that because I certainly don’t want anyone to feel they have to comment. Unlike some other bloggers, I do this for my own amusement. (For now. But if anyone is interested in paying me to do this… let me know.)

I read some blogs that are very personal, and were bourne from some huge life change/tragedy as a way to get that “stuff” out. I get that. And it’s very likely that I may have a time for that too.

Regardless, if you read this, I’m glad you do. If anything I write hits a nerve with you, or makes you smile or think or whatever, then I’m glad for that too. And if the mood ever strikes you to comment, or say hi, do that too. (But not mean comments. I don’t mind comments that disagree with me, but mean ones? No. Thank you, though.)


Oh, hello! Have some chocolate covered potato chips.

I LOVE HOCKEY!!

There. I’ve said it. I should clarify that I like hockey live. Hockey on television is boring. I think it’s because of the tedious announcers.

For the past 4+ years or so, Herb and I have had half season tickets to our local AHL team. There are 40 home games, and we have tickets for 20 of them.  We get the same seats every time. Ours are located right behind the penalty boxes. They are great seats.

Our team, the Pirates, used to be the farm team of the Mighty Ducks. But for whatever reason, they broke ties, and that group of young men went to play in Iowa. (?? I know!). Last year, we became affiliated with the Sabres. It was sad at first, but the new team was so good! They play well together – like a real team. There is one player, Nathan Gerbe, who you would not initially think of as a professional hockey player. He’s only 5’6″, which is very small for a hockey player. But he is AWESOME! He’s zoomy fast and never backs down from anyone. It’s  great to watch him play. Then there is the goalie – Enroth. He is phenomenal. And he’s only 21.  It’s astounding.

We have a game tonight. They started the season out not well. But we’re hoping for a win tonight. We both have our fan jerseys, and I have my pom-pom. I can’t wait.


Oh, hello! Have a Tootsie-Pop.

It’s Columbus Day. (I know, big whoop!) But it normally is a day where all the *important* businesses shut down and celebrate some city in Ohio. Whatev.  Since we here at the Gas ‘n Stuff switched to PTO this year, we no longer get all the holidays off. If we choose not to work, we have to take a PTO day. (If you aren’t familiar with PTO, it is where the company claims they are doing you a favor and gives you a lump of days to use for vacation, illness, bereavement, etc.) So, let’s see. A vacation day for some city in Ohio? Not so much. Not surprisingly, I’m one of the very few people at work today, and that suits me… just fine.

There is one other lady here in my department too. Velma is one that you would not normally think of as exciting, but sister has had a life!! She is always doing cool things and is certainly not letting life pass her by in any way. (Hang on. My point is coming.)

So Velma walked by and I started complaining about the rumor that we’re getting snow, and how I haven’t cleared the leaves off the lawn, and all my trees have not dropped all their leaves, and blah blah blah. I need to shut up, but that’s just how I roll. (Here comes the point.) Velma has convinced me to….. compost.

I know.

If you know me at all? You know, too. Kitten doesn’t like to do yard work.

But Velma was telling me all the benefits to it and how great it is for the environment and how easy it is and on and on. (Velma is a talker!) And I’m all “Yeah, but it will smell.” and “Yeah, but it will bring bugs.” (I know.) And she’s all *blink blink* and I could see the effort she was putting in to NOT roll her eyes at me. But the more she talked, the more it made sense.

So when I get home today, I’m going to take the 6 bags of Hosta leaves that I’ve cut back, and move them to the “Compost Corner” (I just now came up with that name) in the back yard. Then, when I tackle the leaves from the 3 ginormous maples in the yard (if the things ever decide to shed… *RUDE*), I’ll add to the pile.  Velma tells me this is “Brown Compost”. (I”m getting greener by the minute.) Food compost is known as “Green Compost”. IDK why.

I’m a little leery about doing the green composting. Because I’m pretty sure that *will* smell. Velma told me otherwise, but I’m pretty sure Velma is a little crazy. (Ok, she’s not.) (Yes, she is.) (Not really.)*nods*

So, now, you’re all “What’s the big deal you sissy? People have been composting forever. Big deal.” And I’m all “Don’t judge me!” The big deal is, as I mentioned above, that Kitten doesn’t like to do yard work. I almost bought a condo for the simple fact that I wouldn’t have to do yard work, but that’s a whole other story.

However, as I get older, I am more willing to recognize curb-appeal and pride of ownership, and I do want my teeny little doll house to look pretty. And I am more willing to make aesthetic changes to make it pretty. Well, you know, as long as it doesn’t take more than an hour once a week.  *heh*

How could this go wrong, you ask? I know me. It is highly likely that come next spring, I will go out to Compost Corner, and think “ICK! WTF was I thinking? And now I have this huge pile of ICK!” and I won’t have anyway to get rid of it. And I’ll have a huge pile of festering muck and… *shudder*… I can’t go on. But you know what I’m saying.

So, here is me, trying to do my part. I’m going to need encouragement from anyone who already composts. And sympathetic ears from anyone who will be kind enough to listen to my whine about my festering muck. And I will thank both groups in advance.


Oh, hello. Come in. Have a popsicle.

Some of my pictures:

 

bwdahlia

beachporch

 

bwdandilion

 

bwtree

 

That’s all. Have a lovely day.


Oh, hello! Come in and have some tea.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling like something wonderful was going to happen to me yesterday. (I know – MONDAY!!) I didn’t know what was going to happen, or when, or even where this feeling came from, but I just knew that it would be before the end of the day.

Nothing wonderful happened. That I know of. I think whatever it was just got caught in traffic, or delayed in the mail. It’s coming, but I just don’t know when. Although, someone also suggested that something wonderful DID happen, I just don’t know it yet. Like whatever it is set in motion something that will lead to the wonderful thing. You know, like the principle that a butterfly flitting in one region can cause a tsunami in another region. I kind of like the idea that yesterday, a butterfly set in motion something for me.

I’ll keep you posted.


Oh, hello! Come in and have a Caramelized Apple Tart* and some coffee.

My rant today is about the media. And all the time that is wasted on stupid stuff.

Do any of us REALLY care about Jon and Kate? About her new stupid hair-do? About his girlfriend? What about Misha Barton having a meltdown? Or how much the First Lady’s sneakers cost?

I freely admit that I look at the headlines on the tabloids. I even buy a People magazine on occasion. (I used to subscribe, but thought it was a waste of money for something that could be read in about 10 minutes.) I am not “above” reading about celebrity crap.

But OMGoat! Enough! Give us the “big” stories – who is getting married/divorced, who had a baby, who died. I don’t need to know about every time Kate Hudson goes to a baseball game. Or Lindsey Lohan goes shopping. Or Matthew McConahay goes running. There has to be something more important going on in the world than the fact that Kanye pulled another assholish move and dissed Taylor Swift. Let me think… OH! that’s right! There’s a friggin war in Afghanistan (among other places) and we (Americans, among other countries) have troops (sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents) there.

And as far as the President goes? The complaining about him screwing up the country started BEFORE he even took office. Really? Can the complainers see into the future?? And where can I buy that skill? Like him or hate him, agree with him or don’t, but Judas H. Priest! Give the guy a fair chance to phuck everything up before you burn him in effigy! I would expect that of ANY president, regardless of the political party to which they belong. And to sit and analyze EVERY SINGLE THING HE DOES – mostly on the stuff not “Oh, by the way, I’m running the country” related, is childish and petty. Analyze the big decisions. Call your Congress and Senate representatives about that stuff. Don’t bitch because the First Family is wealthy and Mrs. Obama can afford, and chooses to wear, $500 sneakers. I may think it’s stupid to pay that much too, but if she has the money and wants them? LET HER.

Jesus Christ. Move on. Let’s get out of the weeds and focus on the big issues. There are plenty of wonderful charities doing great works all over the planet. Find out more about them. Read to the elderly. Teach someone to read. Go for a walk. But, please. Just stop with the inane blathering of all things inconsequential. There’s too much noise in the world already. Maybe we can help quiet it.

 

 

*Recipe for tarts:

Ingredients:

2 boxes pre-cut pastry shells  

 

1 box no bake cheesecake  

 

1 cup dark brown sugar  

 

1/2 cup butter  

 

4-5 apples, thinly sliced  

 

3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream  

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

How to Prepare:
If using pastry sheets, lay out and cut into 4” circles. Lay pastry circles on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool then cut in half horizontally. Prepare cheesecake mix as listed on box and set aside. Melt butter with sugar in sauce pan on med-low heat. Add half of the apples to sugar mixture and cook for approx 8-10 minutes, until apples are tender. Remove apples and set aside. Repeat with remaining apples. Save 1/3 cup sugar mixture and discard remaining. Heat the 1/3 cup sugar mixture with cream on low heat for approx 3 minutes. Let cool.

Take one pastry shell (half), layer on cheesecake, add 3-4 apple slices, then drizzle with caramel.

Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 20 minutes