Sunday, January 30, 2011

Letting Go

A few weeks ago when I was putting the Christmas decorations away I found a box of clothes that I wanted to donate to charity. I separated it from the others until I found a chance to donate. That chance came this week. I heard that a local charity was conducting a clothing drive. I called and made an appointment for them to pick up my donation.

I thought I might as well check out my closet to see if there was anything I could, or would want to, donate. Once I got started, there was no stopping me. I looked at everything and decided to clear out my closet. I've been saving things, even though they're not comfortable, are a little tight or the wrong color. I've managed to fill two large garbage bags. I know there are still more that I can part with, but I don't think I'm ready yet.

I'm sure you've heard that when you lose weight, you should get rid of all your "fat" clothes or you risk regaining the weight you lost. Unfortunately, the reverse doesn't work. I've been holding on to my"thin" clothes for years, but I haven't gotten thin. Guess it's time to let someone else have them.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I love my Cats

We had more snow last night and I couldn't be happier. Although, I think I'm the only person on the east coast who is. The snow is so pretty and it covers the old, dirty snow that was there. The plows cleared my driveway this time, usually they forget about me. They were here about 4:30 AM, but I guess I have to take the good with the bad. I went running around the house taking pictures of the snow. I tried some before dawn, but they didn't turn out so well.

I called my cousin who lives upstate in New York, in the mountains. She got about 4 inches and I got probably about 15 inches. Usually it's the other way around.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures. Hope you like them. This one looks like a mountain range seen from an airplane. Actually, it's just the view from my front door.
Here I tried to capture the ice crystals on the window. I need more practice at that.

I did venture out the front door and took this shot.
Then I went out back and got a shot of the sunrise. The sky was so nice.
And, here's the real reason I love my cats.

This is one of my neighbors. He had to get out bright and early to walk his dog. I see these people out in all kinds of weather - rain, snow, sleet, heat, cold - with the dogs. But Crash and Burn don't need to be walked, they use the litter box. I'm so lucky.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Credit Card Review

I'm sure this is nothing new, but I've only recently been taking advantage of it. This year, when my credit card company informed me that I could get a review of my charges this past year, I took it.

It was quite an eye opener. I was shocked to see how much I put on my credit card this past year. I always pay off the balance each month, so I never really noticed how much I actually charge over the course of the year. In order to earn miles, I charge everything, even groceries.

The biggest shock came in the retail category. I didn't realize I spent so much, most of it with QVC. They have such good stuff that I haven't been able to resist. Hopefully, this year I'll do better this year. So far I've been good even though I've been tempted by the Keurig coffee maker and a clothes steamer.

My goal is to get through this month without buying anything. I'll take it one month at a time. Maybe just one purchase a month.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Problems with the Cold

I've discovered that I sleep much better when the house is cold. I turn the thermostadt down to 60 degrees at night and sleep the night through without waking up. This may seem to be too cold to most people, but I must add that I sleep with two fur coats - Crash and Burn. Of course, maybe if it was warmer, they might not crowd me.

I have only one or two problems with the cold. I don't use bar soap, I use liquid soap. After 8 hours at 60 degrees, the liquid soap almost solidifies. I have to shake the bottle, then squeeze it to get the soap out. The same thing happens to shampoo and lotion.

My other problem is the butter. Many people think this is strange and I shouldn't do it but, the butter has never spoiled. I leave a container of whipped butter out all the time. This way, it's just right for spreading unless the house has been cool. Now, it's too hard to spread.

I have such a rough life.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Happy Ending

Did you hear about the woman who had been kidnapped as an infant and found her biological parents? It's such a wonderful story.

Back in 1987 young parents brought their 19 day old infant to a Harlem, NY emergency room because she had a high fever. They handed their infant named Carlina to a woman in a nurse's uniform and never saw their infant again. Carlina was brought to Connecticut and raised as this woman's own child. As she grew up she started having doubts, especially when her "mom" couldn't produce a birth certificate and she didn't look like her. Carlina confronted her and her "mom" admitted that she was not her biological mother.

Carlina eventually moved out on her own with her own young child. She contacted the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Investigators at the Center showed her a baby picture from their archives. Carlina saw the similarity with pictures of her in her Connecticut home. The Center contacted her biological mother Joy and told her they may have found her daughter. A DNA test followed which proved her parentage.

This is such a wonderful story. I'm so happy for Joy, she has her baby back. I can't imagine what she must have gone through all those years. She must have been searching the faces of every baby she saw. Again, I'm so happy for her.

It's very encouraging, there have been a few cases of kidnapped children being reunited with their parents after many years.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Movie

The other day I caught an older movie - Fraulein. This movie was made in 1958, I remember when it was in the theaters, but somehow I never saw it. It takes place in post-war Germany. The main characters are a young woman and a US Army Major. Earlier, during the war, this woman saved the Major's life. After the war, in Berlin, he finds her working in a bar.

They date, he helps her find her fiance who lost an arm in the war and is living with another woman. He asks for his ring so he can have an operation for a new arm. She gives it to him and leaves.

Near the end of the movie, and this is what got me so excited, they take a cruise on the Rhine. I saw the same sights as on my recent cruise. It brought back such great memories of this most recent vacation.

And I thought I was onto a new trend.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Question

What's wrong with these pictures? Can you guess?

The next two pictures may give you a clue.

They're "pine needles". What makes them so unusual is that they are from artificial trees. I always thought that there would be no mess left behind from the artificial tree. Does this mean that my trees are "drying out"? Should I get rid of them the way I would a real tree?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Bright Idea

Sometimes I think I have no common sense, or as the nuns at St. Sylvester's said, "uncommon sense".

All week I've been dismantling the Christmas tree and undecorating. Everything had been put in the boxes and left in the living room. I've been looking at all the boxes and bags, but dreading putting them away. They all go in the garage which is unheated and very, very cold.

I've been trying to think about how to do this with a minimum amount of trips into the garage. I couldn't think of anything, until this morning. I can't imagine why I didn't think of it sooner, it's so obvious. Wear a coat.

I've been wearing my sweatshirt, but it wasn't enough. Today I put my coat on and, surprise, it works. I've been able to go in and out of the garage without giving myself a chill that lasts all day.

Now, though I've lost my last excuse for not cleaning and organizing the garage.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How Times have Changed

Tonight I saw a commercial for Bayer aspirin and realized how much things have changed.

This commercial shows an airplane passenger asking a flight attendant for something for his aching back. She returns with a package of Bayer aspirin. He is surprised and reminds her that he has pain and is not having a heart attack. He takes it anyway and at the end of the flight is surprised that it has worked.

Ever since I can remember, the only medication I've ever taken for pain, whether it is a headache, sore muscle or backache was my trusty Bayer aspirin. It's still the only pain pill I take. I've never taken any of the newer painkillers like Motrin, Aleve or even Anacin. Aspirin always did the trick.

I guess everything old is new again.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Post Christmas Thoughts

I love Christmas. It's my favorite season. I start thinking about it the beginning of November and start decorating and baking right after Thanksgiving. It usually takes me about two weeks to finish. I enjoy decorating so much that each year I buy more decorations. Some become traditions while others only come out occasionally. I even have Christmas dishes, coffee mugs and wine glasses.

You may wonder why I'm writing about Christmas now. I'll tell you why. I've just discovered that there is a downside to all this decorating. Here are some pictures that will show you some of my efforts. I'm sorry about the quality of the pictures, for some reason they didn't come out so well.

This is a shelf about seven feet long. I put seven tree shaped candles along it.

This is my coffee table with more candles.

This is a gingerbread house which I painted about 25 years ago. This is one of the traditional pieces.

This is one of four Christmas trees throughout the house. I have one large tree in the living room and small ones in each of the bedrooms and this one in the entry.

More candles.
Still more.
My Nutcracker collection.
As you can see, I like candles. Of course, they're all flameless which makes candlelight safe around the cats. Some of them are on a timer which is convenient. Otherwise, it takes quite a long time to turn each candle off at night.

Now, in case you haven't guessed, here is the downside. All of these decorations have to be collected and put away. Each tree ornament has to be dusted and wrapped and carefully put in the box. Each Nutcracker also has to be carefully wrapped and put away.

Decorating is easy. I'm filled with anticipation of the big day, but now, everything is over and it's time to dismantle it all until next November. I have to take two weeks work and put it away in a day or two. Every year I vow, never again. But when the time comes around, I can't resist the urge to play with all my decorations.

No wonder I'm tired.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Four Years

Well, it looks like I did it again. It's not a big thing, but I lost track of time. I was sure that today was the start of my fifth year blogging. I went back to all my old blogs and found out that my first attempt at blogging was actually December 30, 2006. I really can't believe I've stuck with this so long.

I hope you've found my rants interesting, informative and timely. I hope I haven't bored you or turned you off with my comments and complaints and that you'll continue reading about my adventures.