Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Howl-o-ween!



This witch reminds me of the old lady who lived next door when I was little. She always made candied apples for Halloween. She made you come in the house to get your candy apple. And I think I had to answer a million questions before I got it.

Ted had a similar old lady in his neighborhood. She gave out popcorn balls. And you had to come in the house and answer a million questions first. All he wanted to do was get around the neighborhood at least twice before he had to get home.

Ahhh, the good 'ole days!

I'll be the witch sitting on the front porch handing out candy tonight. Of course, it all has to be wrapped candy because of the idiots who spoiled Halloween. And the kids will all be accompanied by their parents because of the idiots who spoiled Halloween. And you can't ask too many personal questions because of the paranoid parents.

And the kids will try to con me out of more than what I give them. Because trick-or-treaters on Halloween never change - no matter what the year!




P.S. If you're a kid living in Florida, you'll want to definitely stop by my friend's house for some of her awesome candy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's Part of Who We Are!

Most of my Red Hot group of friends met through our volunteer work with the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. Because we feel strongly about giving back to the community, we try to have at least one service project a year. In the past, we've done various projects for the Salvation Army.

Once a month, different realty companies purchase and serve dinner for the families who have children on the critical care floor at the Kosair Children's Hospital. One of our Red Hots is a realtor, and since October was Karen's month to host the Red Hots, she thought it would be nice for our group to purchase and set up dinner.

Karen, Phyllis, and I went downtown to get everything ready. Witchy Karen is talking to two of the hospital staff.

Some of the family members stay and eat while others take the food back to the room. They were all so appreciative of the meal!

This little boy kept us entertained with stories about exploding candy, being a Star Wars trooper for Halloween, and trying to talk us into giving him a second treat bag!

Have a spooky Halloween - I'm hoping to take pictures of some of the ghosts and goblins who stop by tomorrow night!





Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ghosts, Witches and Cats, Oh My!

My blog got a big Halloween Boo today from Jill at One Wired Woman ! The Blogging Boo works this way.

1. Go to as many friends as you want and tell them they've been given the Boo!
2. Have them link back to your blog to pick up their Halloween Treat (picture) and tell them to Boo their friends.
3. Then, put the picture in your side bar so everyone knows that you've already been Boo-ed and to send the picture to someone else.

BOO!! So, are you scared yet!!??

If not, this will scare you!

1. Take one 50 cent witches hat from Walmart.

2. Halloween it up with some purple fringe, black tulle, and spiders.

3. The cat is enjoying it already!

4. Throw in a pair of perfectly witchy gloves!


5. Try it on.

6. Set the camera on auto, and wait for it to take!

7. Oooooooh - out of focus - how spooky!

I'll be wearing that hat and gloves when the little monsters come trick-or-treating on Friday night. I'll also be playing witch tomorrow night when some of the Red Hots serve dinner at Kosair Children's Hospital!



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It Takes Two!

I was jumping around blogland a couple of days ago and came across a pumpkin muffin recipe. Now, I absolutely can't stand pumpkin pie, but I do love a good pumpkin cookie or muffin.

The most attractive part about this recipe? Two ingredients! I apologize for not linking to the original owner of the recipe, but you know how it is when you hop, skip, and jump around in the blogosphere!

Spice cake and a can of pumpkin - couldn't get much easier than that! Oven at 350 degrees. Mix these two in a bowl and get ready for an arm workout - it is some kind of thick. Bake 15-19 minutes based on how full you fill the paper cupcake thingies. I'm thinking next time it wouldn't hurt to add a little oil or water.

Now, if you want to kick it up a knotch, you can throw in raisins or chopped nuts. I added raisins to mine. And I was thinking the yum factor would be even better with cream cheese icing! Now we're talkin'!

Because the batter is thick, they come out all chunky and uneven looking, but I think they look more homemade this way. I also took them out of those cupcake papers because they are ugly unless you have cute seasonal ones.

Hot from the oven and spread on some butter - it was lunch, and it was yum good! And no, I don't mean the whole plate full was my lunch!

Monday, October 27, 2008

They Come in Pairs!

My neighbors are in Finland to attend a cousin's wedding - I know, can you believe someone would travel all the way to Finland for a wedding? They took their two children with them, put their two dogs in the pet hotel, and asked me if I could come over and take care of the two cats.

This is Albert. He is the shy one, but I think they are lonely without all the commotion that normally takes place, so he is ready for some petting when I stop by.

This is Spencer. He was just diagnosed with a thyroid problem, so he needs to take 1/2 pill twice a day. When I asked his Mom whether she uses Pill Pockets, she said he takes the pill fine in a piece of cheese.

Well, he may take the pill fine for her, but he has a knack of just eating the cheese and spitting out the pill for me. A few times I had to just open his mouth and throw the pill in. Tonight I took over one of my pill pockets, and he swallowed that pill perfectly! He was also very interested in Ted's apple.

If he could talk, I'm sure he was thanking Ted for sharing the apple as he smacked his lips!

Albert and Spencer are considered Tuxedo cats. Tuxedo cats are black with white limited to the paws, belly, chest, throat, and possibly the chin. I know they will be happy to have their family come home tomorrow night!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

All Aboard!

We drove to Bardstown, Kentucky, today to take Ted's Mom to lunch on the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train.

The four cars of the dinner train were built in the 1940's. The interior has been refurbished, and it is very pretty inside.

We were in the RJC-011 car that was used in the funeral train for President Dwight Eisenhower’s journey to Abilene, Kansas for burial.

I'm always amazed that people will show up at places like this wearing jeans! Now, I don't have anything against jeans, but if you're spending a good chunk of change on lunch and a train ride, wouldn't you at least wear something besides jeans and a sweatshirt?

The train ride is about two hours long. Part of the journey is through Bernheim Forest, and the distilleries in the area can also be seen along the way.

Lunch consisted of a delicious salad with yummy munchies on it and a homemade honey mustard/poppyseed dressing. All three of us chose the basil lemon chicken - it came with rice and vegetables. The yeast rolls were to die for, but when have you ever had a bad yeast roll?

The train moves at a good clip, and I was taking most of the pictures out the window.

This is one of the distillery barns where the whiskey is stored in barrels. The black on all the buildings is caused from the barrels inside the building - a type of mold. I don't know why they don't paint the buildings black, and then you wouldn't see the mold!

This is the Jim Beam Distillery where they make bourbon whiskey. I personally think bourbon is the worst tasting stuff - even in candy (bourbon balls), it makes me gag!

Something that didn't make me gag was this dessert! Take a guess what was inside!

A whole apple! And it was chock full of cinnamon and yes, I ate every bite of it! After the all-day rain we had yesterday, it was a beautiful day for a train ride. They also do murder mystery dinners which sounds like a lot of fun!

Bardstown is a quaint town full of antique shops, and it is the location of My Old Kentucky Home. Every summer the Stephen Foster Story is performed in an outdoor amphitheater. I have seen the performance a number of times, and never get tired of seeing those beautiful southern belle dresses!



Friday, October 24, 2008

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Organized!

If you were to ask me to describe myself in a few words, one of those would be organized. At least I used to be. The past two years have been anything but organized due to my parents' both passing away last year.

Now that all that stress, worry, and work is behind me, I decided that I needed to be more ready for the holidays than I was last year.

So, I'm here to help you with a really cool, personalized Christmas gift! Do you know about Shutterfly? I am totally sold on their quality products! Last year, at the last minute, I made some calendars and was so impressed with them that I will continue that tradition for a long time!

What I especially love about Shutterfly is the offers they have throughout the year - and - the more items you order, the more freebie stuff they give you! Right now, the calendars are buy one, get one 50% off!

My order was delivered today. I ordered 4 calendars. Here is the greatest part about making calendars at Shutterfly.

1. You can choose however many photos you want for each month.
2. You pick the background and the layout style of the photos.
3. You can add captions to the photos if you want.
4. You can add personalized items on the calendar section - birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
5. If you make a second calendar - all those personalized dates you added are still there (even from year to year) - and all you have to do is check which ones you want on the second calendar!


What I like to do on the calendar I make for myself is to use pictures from events that happened in that month of the previous year. When I'm looking at June 2009, it will have photos from June, 2008 - it's a fun way to remember special events throughout the year.

I also made my Christmas cards from Shutterfly. And the main reason I did them now - they have a special going on - buy 50 cards, get 25 free!

I can't show you the card because that would spoil the anticipation that my friends have about my non-traditional Christmas cards!

When my order arrived today, there were freebies - woo hoo! I can get four free greeting cards because I'm on their nice list! If I order a set of designer cards by November, I can get a free 8 x 10 print!

Some of these early holiday specials end next week, so what are you waiting for? Get over there and get organized!



Thursday, October 23, 2008

Success!

As God is my witness it's not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never have to go into another shoe store! No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill, as God is my witness, I'll never shop for shoes with my mother-in-law again!

After looking on-line at Zappos.com for shoes, I decided to take her today to the Zappos outlet. It is quite a drive, but when you're on a mission like I was, distance means nothing!

She tried on a gazillion pairs, and FINALLY found two pair (size 5). Okay, they're both black, but who can't use another pair of black shoes? I bought one pair that I'm giving her for a Christmas present. Everything in the store is 50% off, and the designer shoes are 70% off. What a deal!

Mission accomplished!




Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Betcha Didn't Know!

When I get to heaven, I'm heading straight for the FastPass line. You see, God rewards people on earth with a FastPass ticket so you don't have to stand in that long line at the pearly gates when your time comes.

I earned my FastPass ticket yesterday and today. Do you want to know how to get one too? You go shopping with your mother-in-law! Not just any kind of shopping, but . . . . . . . .

shoe shopping

with a woman who has very, very small feet and a distinct idea of what an 81 year old woman should and shouldn't wear on those feet!

Have you ever tried to find a size 5 shoe? They don't sell that size in the stores. Believe me - we looked, and looked, and looked! Most of the stores start at size 6. If you're lucky, you can find a few 5 1/2's. So, we tried on every 5 1/2 we could find.

But, there are rules about the appropriate shoes for an 81 year old. Her rules, not mine:

1. The heel can't be too high.
2. No black patent allowed.
3. No mule/backless shoes.
4. Old ladies shouldn't wear red.
5. No pointed toes.

I know, you're thinking why didn't you look in the kid's department?

We did.

More rules

6. They can't be too young looking.
7. No super rounded toes.
8. No plaid.

Oh yeah, and we won't even talk about price point! After much frustration - more mine than hers - I thought I'd buy myself a pair!


And to make a statement that I'm not old - I went with pointy . . . . . and a little higher heel than usual!

And to make myself feel even better, I threw in a dress!

Because if you can't make yourself feel good by buying a $5 dress - then something is wrong with you!

Yeah, I know those brown shoes don't go with that black dress. That is why I bought a pair of black shoes too!

After all, I need to look good in that FastPass line . . . . . .



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eating Below the Paper is Okay!

Are you a worrier? I think we all worry about stuff - most of the stuff is nothing to worry about, or nothing we can really do to change it. My mother-in-law has taken worry to a whole new level. She is the Queen of the Worries - a worry wort in the worst way! Add her indecisiveness to the worrying, and it will make a problem-solver, decision-maker like me CRAZY in no time!

She always worries about what she is wearing and how she looks. Okay, I can accept that - most women wonder if what they have chosen to wear is the right choice for the event.

She worries about things most people would never think about:

Should she cut her trees down because the leaves blow over into the neighbor's yard?

Was my robe that I gave her to wear brand new, because she wouldn't want to be wearing something new of mine that I hadn't had a chance to wear.

When we stopped at McDonald's for an ice cream cone yesterday, she ate down to the paper that is wrapped around the cone, and asked me if it is okay to eat the cone below the paper? WHAT? Of course, I had already eaten mine, and I told her I wasn't dead yet from eating below the paper, so I thought it was safe to do!

This morning, she was awake and laying in bed for an hour having to go to the bathroom, but she was worried that flushing the toilet would wake us up!

And it goes on, and on, and on . . . . . . . .

If you are a Queen Worrier like her, here a couple of poems to live by:

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.



God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.


Life is too short to spend time worrying!