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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Books, Books, Books

I have a problem. I buy books. I can't pass up a book.

Today I stopped at the local Barnes & Noble. All I wanted to get was a small German/English dictionary for my trip next week. I have one, but it's so big I don't want to carry it. That was fine, on paper. Unfortunately I couldn't stop at one, I had to buy two.

Then I remembered a book I heard about last night Mao's Last Dancer, so I looked for and found it. Right next to it was Eat Pray Love. I'd heard it was a good book, so I bought it.

Then I headed over to the Cookbook section where I found The Pleasures of Cooking for One. While I was there I also picked up two small cookbooks, one on salads and the other on chicken.

I know I could use the library, but I get a certain sense of security when I see the books waiting to be read. I also can't predict what type of book I'll want to read next - mystery, romance, history, etc.

Am I a bookaholic?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Clutter

A couple of weeks ago, the weather was perfect. It was so good, pleasantly cool, slight breeze. I decided to air out the house and opened every window.

Since a neighbor complained/commented that she could see in my windows, I've kept the blinds in my sunroom drawn. This was the first time in about two years they were opened. As soon as I raised the blinds I discovered that the windowsill for the middle window was rotted. I immediately called a local handyman Mike who came right away. He suggested that I call the builder first and if I didn't get any satisfaction from him, then Mike would take care of it.

Well, the builder took a look, replacd the windowsill and sealed the siding in a few places. But, they couldn't find the source of the leak. Hopefully, the rain came in through the siding, if not, I'll be calling them again.

This repair let to another problem. I had to get some paint from the garage which is a bit cluttered since I do a lot of catalog and, yes, QVC shopping there are a lot of boxes in the garage. Since they go out there one at a time, it doesn't seem like there are too many. I discovered that there are a lot as I had to move some boxes, and some more boxes just to get to the paint. Now, I realize that I have got to clean the garage.

I've been meaning to do it for a while, but it's been too hot. Now that fall is here, I'm losing my excuse. We're going to have bulk pickup the second week in November so now I have a deadline.

As soon as I return from my next geographical exploration on a cruise on the Rhine in Germany in the beginning of October, I've really got to get busy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Training Cats

Cats can be trained.

Years ago when my boys were very young, we had a cat, Boots I think. She was seven years old when we got her, she lived to 14. In the morning, someone would hold her back and say "stay" while I put her food in her dish. She would be held back for a short while, then let go. Eventually, we didn't have to hold her, just say "stay" and she would until we said OK.

Now, Crash seems to be trained too. Every evening around 11:00, I say "bedtime, go" and she starts heading for the bedroom. Occasionally she needs a little more prompting and some nights, she heads right for the bedroom at 11:00 PM. Bernie usually has to be carried, protesting, into the bedroom.

Today I was having some work done and the cats were locked up in the bedroom. I had to get something from there and when I opened the door, I said "stay" and she did. When I left, I again said "stay" and she did. I was shocked. I never knew she recognized that word.

Her vocabulary is growing. She's also beginning to understand "bad cat" which I yell whenever she scratches the furniture and "good cat" when she uses the scratching post or rug.

Bernie knows what to do when he gets into trouble. After relaxing and sleeping most of the evening, Bernie seems to think that bedtime means playtime. The only problem is that Crash doesn't want to play and they fight. She hisses and growls, but that doesn't stop him. One night, I just got up and pointed to the bathroom. He walked in and sat down on the bathmat. Since then, whenever he gets in trouble at night, if I say his name or point, he just walks into the bathroom and sits on the mat for a little while. He takes his own time-out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The President and Religion

According to a story in the paper this morning, the president has gotten religion. He and his family actually went to church yesterday. I wonder if his attendance along with secret service and the press disturbed the congregation like he predicted.

I may be cynical, but I question his motives for this attendance. Some say he went to dispel the rumors that he is a muslim. Yes, there are some people who believe he's muslim and parts of his background would give them reason to believe it.

My personal belief is that he is neither muslim nor christian. I believe that he worships at the altar of Barack Obama and expects everyone else to do so.

That's just one person's opinion.

Politicians are Children

I thought there was a minimum age requirement to run for the senate. But, recent events have made me think that our politicians are nothing but children who sulk when they lose.

After seeing the results of the Alaskan Senate Primary this past week, I'm convinced that she doesn't care what the people think. Lisa Murkowski is just the latest of the politicians who has decided that the voting public doesn't know what's best for them. Ms. Murkowski who comes from a political family has decided that even though she lost the recent republican senate primary, she wants to run a write-in campaign. She just cannot believe that the people don't want her to represent them in the senate.

She must have taken advice from Charlie Crist in Florida. Mr. Crist lost the republican primary for senate to Marco Rubio, but that doesn't really mean anything. Mr. Crist has also decided that the people of Florida don't know what they want or what is best for them. Since he lost the primary, Mr. Crist has decided to run for the senate as an independent in Florida. He's either sulking or giving the election to the democrat who is running.

All of this reminds me of the recent ramming through of the health care bill. The majority of the population doesn't want government run health care, but the president, speaker of the house and senate majority leader think they know better and have completely disregarded the will of the people.

Do our votes really count anymore?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Collections

I have a problem. It's not really such a big problem, but it is annoying. I'm a tiny bit too tall for petite and a tiny bit too short for a regular size. Petite sized pants end above my ankles and regular sized pants drag on the floor. But I buy regular sizes.

As a result, and because I hate to mend clothes I usually roll the waistband of my pants to shorten them. Today I decided to do something about it. I gathered my sewing supplies, dusted them off and set about shortening three pairs of pants. I took the lazy way out and just folded the hem up. Hopefully they won't be too long now.

While I was going through the supplies looking for a needle and thread, I saw a couple of plastic bags in my sewing kit. They were full of buttons, old buttons, very old buttons.

It made me think. Why do we save old buttons long after we've worn the clothes. I recognized some of them, others not so much. They're useless, I don't make my own clothes any more, Most of my clothes don't even have buttons.

I can't see any reason why I should keep them but I can't bring myself to throw them out. Can someone please answer that? Why, why, why?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dinner Experiment

Yesterday my nephew stopped over for dinner. I've gotten bored with the regular fare I've been making lately. So I checked my cookbooks and found a recipe for roast chicken.

This isn't the usual chicken where you make some sort of stuffing, rub butter on the skin and pop it in the oven for an hour or so. This is from Pam Anderson's book The Perfect Recipe for Having People Over. It takes a little advance planning.

You start by sprinkling some kosher salt over and inside the chicken and letting it stand uncovered in the refrigerator anywhere from 4 hours to a couple of days. When you're ready to cook, sprinkle sugar, salt and pepper all over the outside of the chicken and put it in the oven breast side down. After about 1/2 hour turn the chicken so that it's breast side up. Then just leave it in the oven until it's done.

It was very easy and delicious. I even made a mushroom sauce/gravy to go with it. My nephew was very complimentary, not only with words but he came back for seconds. It was a success.

He also told me that anytime I feel like experimenting with cooking, I should call him and he'll come for dinner. NOW, that's a compliment!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crash and Meals

Tonight I ate dinner earlier than usual and in front of the TV as usual.

Maybe I should give you some background. Crash sits at my feet and begs at every meal. If I ignore her, she taps my leg to let me know she's there. At dinner I break down and give her a little bit of meat. One of her other idiosyncrasies is that she likes to chase the light from a flashlight.

Back to my dinnertime tale. I made a very nice dinner of baked potato and broiled chicken breast and a glass of reisling. As usual, I cut a small piece of chicken into small pieces for Crash and put it on the floor for her. She ignored it, actually ignored it. I couldn't believe it.

Then I looked at her. It seems that the sun was coming in the window, through my glass of wine which was shaking in the glass and then onto the floor (the light not the wine). Crash was transfixed on the sparkling sunlight through the glass.

Maybe I've solved the problem of her begging. Now all I have to do is eat earlier and drink a glass of wine (poor me) and she won't beg for my dinner. What do I do about breakfast and lunch?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11

It's that time of year again. It's the 9th anniversary of the attack on our country by Al Quaeda. We all know where we were on that day and the memories and fears all come rushing back.

That morning, I was undecided about whether I should go to the book store in the World Trade Center or try to get a new pair of shoes. Fortunately, I opted to buy shoes in a store one block from the WTC when the first plane hit. Since I remembered the time the plane flew into the Empire State Building, I didn't think much of it. The manager of the store felt otherwise and closed the store. I then walked to my office.

I was in my office on the 21st floor on the other side of Manhattan Island when the second plane flew into the other tower. My building shook on impact. Then we knew we were under attack. Not knowing what would happen next, we walked down to the street and evacuated the building.

After milling around for a little while, I decided to walk up to my train at Grand Central Station in midtown. I was living in the country then and just wanted out of the city. Fortunately, I missed the collapse, I was about halfway to the train.

My son in Seattle called every number he had for me and my other son who was working on a construction site in Brooklyn where he was watching everything through binoculars. He was watching the "debris" fall from the building when he realized that what he thought was the "debris" was wearing a suit and tie and was a person jumping from the building. We were all fine.

We all finally got in touch with each other which was very reassuring. I spent the rest of the day calling everyone I knew to reassure that everyone was OK.

It was a horrific day, one which I will never forget, nor will I ever get over the fear and anxiety of that day. I thought it had gotten easier, but I was watching a show on the History Channel last night and had to take several breaks.

If I'm so bothered by it, I wonder how the workers who were in the towers that day have managed to go on.

NEVER FORGET

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

QVC

I usually don't like to give too much personal information about myself, but tonight I'm going to make an exception. I'm a proud mother.

This morning my son appeared on QVC to sell the product manufactured by his company. He did a wonderful job and I just want to let the world, or at least my small group of followers, know about my son, the TV star.

I hope he has many more chances to appear.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Technology and TV

I'm back from my trip. But more about that another day.

There's one thing I like about long holiday weekends. TV. It seems that many channels often devote time to marathons. Yesterday, I caught a "Who's the Boss" marathon and today I'm watching Angela Lansbury's "Murder She Wrote".

Watching Jessica Fletcher in action I realized how things have changed. In one episode, of course during a dark and stormy night, the phone wires were cut. People were trapped, they couldn't call for help. If only someone had had a cell phone. Of course, that would have ruined the plot.

I wonder how many other shows' plots would have been ruined by today's modern conveniences. Gilligan would never have stayed on that island so long if they had had a cell phone with a good service provider. Sgt. Friday certainly could have used the team at CSI. Even a show as recent as ER probably would have benefitted from the recent advances in medicine.

Can you think of any others?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crash here. My mom has been away on another geographical exploration for a long time. Dali's mom told me that she'll be back tomorrow. I hope so. I miss her because she gives me treats and she didn't leave any treats for Dali's mom to give me. I have a lot to tell her about Burnie. He's so jealous of everything I have. If I'm looking out a window, even if all the other windows are free, he wants mine. Of course because I'm the better cat I let him have it. He's always taking my spot. I like to lay on a pillow which is what special cats do. Now, he's decided that he simply has to have that pillow. I guess he's just a mischieveous little brother - a pest.


Burnie here to tell my side of the story. I'm going to be waiting at the door for mom to come home so I can show her what a good cat I am. Then, she won't believe any of the stories that Crash has to tell about me. Dali's mom has been very good to us, but I wish Dali could have come we would have had a lot of fun. I hear she looks a lot like me, so she must be very beautiful. Girl cats are beautiful, boy cats are handsome like me. And, I could have used a little different company, Crash doesn't want to play much, she just likes to boss me around. Isn't that typical of a bossy big sister.