Monday, September 30, 2013

Small town road rage

I had the afternoon off today as Mom was getting another in-home assessment.  All went well and I think we have all the scheduling issues straightened out.  And this morning was the first day that home support came in the morning to get Mom out of bed and downstairs.  Auntie is still grumbling but I am no longer afraid they will both be a crumpled heap at the bottom of the stairs.   It's all good! 

We had a small chicken for lunch. I haven't made soup in a long time and since I had a few free hours I decided to make one with the rack.  I needed a few items at the store.  I driving through the parking lot and I see a space.  Just as I'm starting to turn in, some big ass vehicle drives through, stealing my space!   Oooooh, I was fuming.  

I uttered a few choice profanities and drove a few spaces ahead and parked.  Still muttering under my breath.  And I realize that we are both probably going to be walking across the lot at the same time so I decide to just walk straight ahead and avoid the temptation to give a glaring stink eye.

As I'm stomping across the lot I suddenly hear a giggle behind me and voice says "Oopsie, did I steal your space?"   It was my good friend Carol.  The two of us start laughing and teasing each other.  She said she saw my lips moving in the car and could only imagine what I was saying.  Then we planned the next happy hour get-together.   I guess that's Road Rage in a small town. 

LOL.   (This didn't happen but it's too funny)    

No rug hooking tonight.  Going to be glued to Dancing With The Stars again.   Oh, and here is lunch tomorrow.  The smell in the kitchen while it simmered was amazing.  Fall Comfort Food Season is upon us. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sweet Dreams

Not a chance!!  We have a little habit of watching the headlines of the news at 11pm as we are getting Mom ready for bed.  Last night, just before I went to bed, in the dark - the news reported a story of a creepy clown terrorizing a small town in England.  

Seriously!!!  That is the LAST thing I want to see before bed.  He dresses up like Pennywise from Stephen King's IT.  His identity is unknown but he goes to different locations and posts the pics on Facebook and he uses the same catchphrase "beep beep".  Shudder

Here is one of the news stories about it.
Or just google - creepy clown England.   There was even one report where he knocked on a woman's door and wanted to paint something (although he had no painting materials)

Ok, if I opened my door at night and Pennywise was there I would lose all control of my bodily functions.  I would probably pee my pants.  Actually, peeing my pants would likely be the best case scenario in that instance! 

This was one of his Facebook posts. Clearly someone is England is "off their meds".   What would possess someone to do this??  CREEPY

It's not good to watch the news before bed.  And needless to say I won't be visiting England anytime soon.   

Saturday, September 28, 2013

An opening and a new name

This morning was the official opening of Deanne Fitzpatricks new Electric Street Knitting Room.  When you walked in you were greeted by the huge, beautiful bouquet of flowers.   Sadly, this was the only photo I took but as you wandered around the corner to the new knitting room, that's where all the fun was.  There were lots of knitters scattered around and walls and shelves and baskets full of yarn.  Lots and lots of beautiful yarns.  It's great to see a local business woman succeed and expand her market. 

The other news is that I have changed the name of my Etsy store.  You can still access it from my sidebar on the right or search for Pleasant Hill Studio.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Night Lights

The warm flicker of a fireplace on a chilly Friday night.  Pretty cozy eh?   Very happy the weekend is here and we are all relaxing and happy.  Yay!  

I even brought out the hooking frame tonight.  It's the first night in a long time.  I'm not accomplishing much but it's nice to hold the hook again.  I could probably hook more if I put down the iPad.....:)

It's such a small section but it seems to be taking forever.  The other great thing about tonight is discovering these

Yumm!  I think it has moved up the ranks of my favorite cookie.  I stumbled upon them at the grocery store while I scooped up a couple of turkey's for the freezer.  They we're buy one, get one free.  So we are set for thanksgiving in a couple of weeks.  Not like the year I forgot to buy a turkey and ran through the store like a crazed lunatic the night before!

And last but certainly not least, Miss Millie is sure enjoying her spot directly across from the fireplace.  She's killing comfort for sure.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It just gets weirder

In the category of "strange but true" - this is my life!   I should have known better than to trust things were working out.  I foolishly bragged about getting Moms new care schedule straight.  Today when I dropped her off at day care they informed me that the day had changed for the added day.  It would be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, not Wednesday.    So now I will have to change her schedule AGAIN.  It will be OK, just another bunch of phone calls and another pain in my arse. 

And it seems my Pepe played a little trick on me.  Tonight when I got home from work, my neighbor across the street came out and was trying to get my attention.  To be honest I was tired and not in the mood for neighborly chit chat but she was toddling across the street anyways. 

She's saying something about a skunk.  As she got closer I said Yes, I have seen a skunk in my backyard but not for several days.  Noooo, she says -- last night!  She tells me she was looking out her window when I took "the little dog" out to pee.  She says the skunk was in the front yard and while we were "doing our business" the skunk was walking towards us.  She was all flustered and said she thought about yelling at me out the window but was scared she might startle it and it would spray.  She said just as she started to panic, I brought "the little dog" inside.   So now that I think about it, I'm not sure if she was more worried about me getting sprayed or "the little dog". 

That bleeping skunk was sneaking up behind me!!   This means war 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Success and a literacy question

Things are looking up.  Our new care plan has been approved and will begin on Monday!  So that should take some of the pressure off.  It is such a huge relief.  We shuffled somethings around and I had to make a few adjustments in my work schedule but I think it's going to work.  Auntie isn't complaining too loudly either.  We have another in-home assessment Monday. I'm feeling positive. 

Now here is my big literacy question.  Can skunks read??  Seriously, I think my Pepe Le Pew can read.

  After nightly visits for weeks, ever since my last post when I "threatened" his existence, he has vanished.  Completely MIA.  Not one sighting, not one hole, not one whiff of stink.  POOF.....gone. 

I think he reads my blog!!  I have this image that he has scavenged a smart phone from someone's yard, and is huddled in his den, stealing the neighbors wireless and surfing the web.  I mean, how else can you explain his disappearance? He knows I'm after him and that I mean business. Pepe is running scared!    The only other explanation is that he discovered netflix and is watching Breaking Bad from season 1 to the end :) 

That's all the news for now.  I still have a little hooking to finish and I've added a few new items to my Etsy store.  (Hint, hint)  and I'm thinking of changing the name of my etsy store.  No firm ideas yet, just playing with some ideas.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Raising a new flag

First, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all of you.  The comments and private emails on my last post were truly touching.  They meant so much and I read them over several times.  If I didn't get to respond to you, please know that your words and thoughts helped.  

I did have a little meltdown.  I admit it, I raised the white flag in surrender

All the fight had left me and I was gave in to it.  Kind of like a turtle retreating into its shell.  Even throughout Friday I still felt fragile - clinging to the edge by my fingernails.   And then, after a really good sleep last night, I woke up and felt stronger.  More like myself.

So I ripped down that wimpy white flag and raised the checkered flags.  The race was back on

I'm not one to just do nothing when there is a problem.  And after lunch I informed Auntie that things had to change.  She could keep fighting it but it WAS going to happen.  I did get a weak concession from her.  But I'll take whatever I can get.  The truth is, I think my little "episode" scared her too.  She has been a bit more accommodating the past few days. I am grateful.  

So this afternoon I put my head down and worked out what I think is a new care plan for Mom.  It will address some of the major issues and cause the minimum of disruption to Auntie.  Now I have to discuss my proposed changes with our Care Coordinator this week.  I'm hoping she is able to make it happen.  She has been a wonderful support for us all along this process so I'm not really concerned.  I think the new plan is reasonable.  

Now that I'm feeling better it's also time to tackle another problem.  That bleeping skunk seems to have made a den somewhere in the vicinity of my yard.  He (or she) is a regular visitor.  Every friggin night.  By dusk the backyard is now off limits to us.  Last night at 9pm when I got home from the store, there he was.  By 11pm when it was time to take Millie out, I assumed he'd be gone.  After all, it was 2 hours.    Nope, still there.   It's time to take matters into my own hands.  Oh and if you're wondering, all the things the internet says repel skunks are wrong!  Moth balls and ammonia soaked rags......HAHAHA. No effect.  I think it actually attracts, not repels.  

So let's just say I have a plan.  The details......Classified.  The mission is on a  need-to-know basis.  But I'm gonna win!

Pepe Le Pew will (hopefully) be Pepe Le Gone soon

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1 - 2 - 3 ....where's my eggs?

The weekend was.....well, interesting.  Ok, maybe not interesting but eventful.  Actually it was more like a triple threat.   A little stomach virus cycled through the house, knocking out each one of us in succession.  1 - 2 - 3 all in a row.  One Friday, one Saturday, and one Sunday.  Luckily it was only a 24 hour thing for each of us.  

You know how it is after you've been sick.  Last night my stomach was still a little dodgy so i didn't dare eat much but I knew I'd be hungry in the morning.   I had my heart set on breakfast.  I went to bed dreaming about the bacon and egg biscuit I was going to devour in a few hours.  So yummy with cheese and a little sauce.  Mmmm

This morning I felt better so I jumped in the car to get my breakfast.  I got home, my mouth watering as I unwrapped it.  And THIS is what I found

I guess someone in the kitchen got distracted while making my order.  All I got was a dried up biscuit with a few strips of bacon.  Who stole my eggs?  Where's my cheese?   Well, that sure burst my balloon!  I know I should have driven back and complained but I didn't. 

I didn't get around to many blogs this weekend. Basically if I wasn't in the bathroom, I was cleaning it! The upside is that we are all feeling better this evening.  And I think I've cleaned every surface we may have touched with Lysol.  I think the cycle has ended.   

Friday, September 13, 2013

My worst nightmare

Yes, it's Friday the 13th and what do you think are the odds that I would encounter my biggest fear??  I was sitting in my office, oblivious to the nightmare going on just below me.  I went downstairs to get a coffee and saw this......

Eeeeeek!  And there wasn't just one in my lobby - Noooo, there was half a dozen!  I hate clowns!!!  I stopped at the front desk for a minute to chat with a few staff members and express my friday the 13th distress.  The receptionist kind of looked at me and gestured over my shoulder like there was someone behind me.  I thought it was one of THEM.  I jumped about 2 feet in the air.  That was mean.   Lol   The next time there is a Shriners convention, I'm leaving town. 

There was another incident this week that I was saving for today.  See, clowns are not my only fear.  Old antique dolls freak me out.  Maybe it's from that creepy Chuckie doll but I just think they're creepy.  The other day I was visiting someone who was clearing out a home after a family members death.  We were looking at antiques etc and they wanted to show me something they had found.  (I really wish they hadn't). 

It was a doll that belonged to his father. We guess it to be about 100 years old.  They put it in my hand.....against my will I might add.  I didn't take a picture but it kind of looked like this

 But the really creepy part was it only had one eye, yet the face had no marks or scratches.  What happened to the eye??  It was just gone.  It creeped me out.  And since we are on the topic and I'm confessing all my weirdness, these also scare me

Whenever I see really old baby shoes I think that some dead baby is hovering around looking for its lost  shoes.  

Now that i have confirmed what many of you have suspected...I'm a little crazy, what are your Friday the 13th issues?

Thursday, September 12, 2013


There has been a crap load of stuff going on here but I have decided not to go there tonight.  But I can't promise it won't surface here eventually :)

Instead this post is about shopping!  And a sore point I have about it.  You know I like to shop and I'm sure you've heard about Canadian shoppers flocking across the border to the US for bargains.   I'm sure everyone who lives in the New England is familiar with us greedy Canadian shoppers. 

Now I'm going to share why.  This was prompted by a fun email exchange I had last night with an American blog friend.  She emailed me a link to a pair of boots.  Seriously gorgeous boots!  She knew exactly my style.   I told her I loved them but not for $569.   She quickly replied, No, they are $389.  So I double checked again.  Nope - still $569.   They are priced differently on the Canadian and US site of the same store!   That is a $180 difference.  INSANITY.   

I looked at a different style boot, same store.  Canadian page $639.   US page $448.  That's a $191 difference.  

When my Vermont family visits every summer they always say the same thing after going for groceries. "How do you afford to eat with these high prices?"  So I thought I would share a few samples of the prices at my grocery store for basic staples.   

4 litres of milk (close to a US gallon) - $7.80
1 loaf of Ben's white bread - $3.49
1 box of Oatmeal Crisp cereal (regular size NOT family size) - $5.29
1 pound of butter - $5.19
1 block of Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese (almost a pound) - $8.99

Honestly I cannot understand the wide variance in prices.   So now you may understand a bit better why you see so many Canadians across the border.  

P.S.  as HOT as those boots were, I am not buying them ;)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chats on the Porch


Patrice is recovering from her flu and is back with another edition of the Chats on the Farmhouse Porch.  I think all the weekly participants missed her last week but agree she deserves a little break once in awhile :) 

But we are glad she is back with this week's questions.  These blog linky's are a great way to get to know bloggers better and find new blogs we share things in common with. 

Here we go:

  1. Did you ever take piano lessons, as a child or adult?
Yes, I did take piano lessons for a few years as a child.  Looking back it is one of those things where your Mom knew best.  Yes Mom, now I am sorry I didn't stay with the lessons and practice more :( 
Don't you hate it when they were right??

2.   How many times do you eat out each month?

OK, this is one of those times that telling the truth is going to sound bad but here goes.... We probably have take-out once a week.  And maybe I eat in a restaurant twice a month.  OK, maybe 3 times.   Oh and before anyone jumps in here - I am not counting Friday Happy Hour with the girls ;)  That is a whole other category.

3.  If you could snap you fingers and change on thing about your appearance, what would that be?

I would drop 20 pounds and lose the muffin top that has mysteriously grown since hitting 40.   Then I could sell my Spanx on ebay  Lol

4.  Do you like looking at art or photography? Do you go to any place that displays them?

I do enjoy both.  I am far from an art expert but I do enjoy seeing how others view the world. 

5.  Do you have new things for your fall/ winter wardrobe?

Oh yeah!  I have that fab new camel coat that I cannot wait to wear (once the weather gets cooler) and there will probably be a new pair of boots added before long :)

Don't forget to visit the other participants and join in if you like.  Patrice always welcomes new chatters.

Monday, September 9, 2013

No Treats For You!

Do you remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld?  No soup for you!  Well that is what it was like here at the Funny Farm today.

First there was lunch.  We have our big meal of the day at noon on the weekdays.  It's not my choice or preference. It started before my time when my Grandfather worked long hours and wanted a big meal at noon because he often didn't get home until late.  And Auntie sees no reason to change even though Grandpa's been gone since the 70's!  She's not big on change. Lol. But since my lunch is cooked for me everyday, I should shut up, not complain and be grateful, right?  :)

Today we had mashed potatoes, fresh corn and steak.  Yumm.  Mom eats slow and often needs encouragement but she gets it done eventually.  But today both auntie and I were not paying close enough attention and all of a sudden we looked and Mom poured her cup of tea all over her plate - on purpose!! dessert for you!

Then at supper time, Millie was begging at the table (as usual) and apparently either wasn't get the attention she wanted or the type of food.  Maybe she smelled the leftover steak and felt the few pieces of cheese she was being offered was an insult.  There was a bark.....and then........she went over to the kitchen mat and started to squat!  Squat..... She never does that.  In lightening speed I grabbed her and tossed her out the door to finish what she started. treats for you.  

Geez, I wonder who is going to pull the next stunt?  There was way to much attitude happening around here today.  Oh yeah, it's Monday isn't it?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekend wrap up

Another weekend gone in a blur.  Nothing terribly exciting to report.  I did a little of this and that.  Today was a grey rainy day and I was tempted to turn the furnace on for a few minutes but I just couldn't bring myself to do it yet.  But the electric fireplace was blazing to take the dampness out of the air. 

Again the rug hook remained still but the knitting needles were flying.  A lot of my friends have wanted those cotton dish cloths so now my stock is replenished.   There is such a small section left to hook on this project.

That's all - just one little corner but it will have to wait for another day.  I've been looking at patterns online and I think there are a few I "need" to hook.  I have a few winter holiday mats ready to post in my etsy store but I'm waiting for a bit.  I don't want to rush it too much.  

I told you it was rainy today and Millie hates the rain.  She is such a prissy little girl that getting her "hair" wet makes her mad.  Today I literally had to throw her outside.  This was the reaction when she came back in.....

Yup, she was wet, disheveled and NOT impressed at all.   What a sad looking pooch!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Power women

Women are really accomplishing great things.  After all the historic struggles women now hold positions of power virtually all over the globe.  They excel in so many areas.  I spent time this evening with a group of such women and wanted to share it with you. 

Following our summer hiatus, the regular Friday Happy Hour has resumed.  We have gathered together a group of ladies who are successful in multiple fields.  One might expect that we could easily discuss current events, world affairs, politics, cures for rare diseases, maybe world peace.....

The main topic this evening you might ask?  Olives - are they a fruit or a vegetable?  Yes, that's what we talked about!  Sad but true.    There were several lines of thought.  It's a vegetable because its plant flowers? (Not sure that is indeed a fact.).  It's a fruit because it has a pit?  It's a fruit because it grows on a tree?  Can you eat them directly from the tree?  Or does some step have to occur in between picking from the tree and eating?   Is there a fancy gourmet olive oil store in a nearby town?  How much fancy gourmet olive oil does one actually need?

It appears that olives are indeed a fruit that is often considered a vegetable because of how it is consumed.  So says google.  

Aren't power-women fascinating?   Lol   And shockingly we were not even drinking martinis at the time. 

Oh, and I didn't call the phone company back today.  I just couldn't deal with it 2 days in a row. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


While I was home today on my lunch hour the mail arrived.  I grabbed it out of the box on my way back to work.  I casually flipped through the pile and one envelope in particular grabbed my attention.  The Phone bill..........

If you remember, I have been at war with the phone company.  It's evolved Into a full blown feud.  If you are new here, I blogged about it twice already.  I won't go into the details again but every time I call them they tell me it's fixed and then the next bill comes and its still wrong. 

So I looked at the envelope with a mix of foolish optimism and trepidation.  Would this be the month that it is finally fixed??  I opened the envelope........and instead of seeing the $50 amount I should says I owe $224 PLUS a $25 NSF penalty!!

I LOST IT.  That's it - Unleash the flying monkeys and may they reign terror and destruction upon your house!!

I called that number and the poor guy on the other end of the phone was probably wishing he'd called in sick.  I was not in a good mood.  I demanded to speak to a manager.  It didn't happen.  After 40 minutes on the phone I'd had enough.  I hung up.  I thought my head might actually explode.

This weekend I will be contacting their competitor and making arrangements to switch service. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Somedays you're the windshield.....

Somedays you're the windshield, somedays you're the bug.  Guess which one I feel like?  Yes, it was one of those days.  In the past 2 days I have had several upbeat topics to post about, just not the time to post them.  

But as the day progressed things just happened.  Nothing major, just a series of unfortunate events.  I had a meeting early this morning that could have gone either way but I was prepared.  In fact it went surprisingly well and when everyone left I stuck my head back in my boss's office and said "wow, that was great".  I wish I hadn't because I think I jinxed the rest of the day.  

It was like a line of dominos that just started to fall and kept on going.  I am not looking for sympathy here.  But our blogs are an expression of what is happening in our lives.  We share the good with the bad, keeping it real and that is how we relate to each other.  I would expect that everyone who reads this has had a day like mine from time to time. 

I don't like leaving work feeling unsatisfied as it tends to color my mood and i don't like to drag that kind of baggage home.  So tonight I just need to mentally re-group and try and start tomorrow as the windshield.  

Remember - Be The Windshield!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Labor Day debate

Its time again for my annual discussion about "the rules".  More specifically -- white after Labor Day.  I remember the ritual when I was growing up.  During the long weekend in May the ladies would get out their whites - the shoes, sandals, pants and of course the purses.  

And then the reverse on Labor Day.  My grandmother would be "horrified" to see someone out in mid September with a white purse.  She probably referred to them as rebel hippies.  Lol 

I realize now that "anything goes" and this fashion faux pas is disappearing faster than the dinosaurs but I am still hanging on.  Just because "anything goes" doesn't mean it should.  I mean if you look around or watch the news it seems like there is just too much of the whole "anything goes" stuff.  

I like a little tradition and ritual. So my white seashell flip flops will be disappearing.  

Luckily not all white is banned.  As with all rules there is always an exception.  Here it is (I was worried)

So, do you "white" after Labor Day??

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hello old friend

Unlike many who are mourning the end of summer as the calendar turns to September 1st, I am welcoming a dear old friend.  I love fall and September is a wonderful time for me.  This feels more like the time for new beginnings than any other time of the year.  

I look forward to the impending cooler days and nights, the comfy clothes in rich tones of browns, golds, reds and greens. And yes, soon it will be boot season ;)

And last night mom had a sweet reunion with one of her old friends.  She hasn't seen her since February.  P came with us to the hospital the day of Moms mastectomy and stayed until they wheeled Mom into the O.R. and then drive Auntie home.  The next day she became seriously ill and has been in a variety of hospitals and rehabs.  I tried to visit her when I could and one of her fears was that she wouldn't get to see mom again.   But last night she was finally able to visit.  It was a very sweet moment. 

As for me, I have just been puttering around all weekend.  Kind of like one of those crazy flies that can't seem to light in one place very long.  A little hooking, a little knitting, a little cooking - but nothing for very long.  

I thought I was smart to start hooking a few holiday rugs but I can't seem to get my mind into it.  I want to hook fall leaves and pumpkins - not snowmen.  But I will try and finish this one first.  If I put it aside and start something else I am always scared I will never get back to it. 

I hope you are all enjoying your long weekend.  I am :)