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15 November 2012

Finished Cross Stitch

I have finally finished Garden Child by White Willow Stitching. 

07 November 2012

Election Results

Smiling this morning.  Congrats President Obama.  The best man won.  I had to go to bed last night before the end.  It was pretty nail-biting for a while and I (quite happily) have lost a bet with my middle son.  I was pretty sure Romney was going to win and my son was sure Obama would win.  I will happily fork over my $20 this morning to him. 

I am proud that - although I cannot vote as I am not a citizen - my three children all went out to vote.  This was both my middle son's (21) and youngest daughter's (18) first election they could vote in and they were excited to do so.  The queues were not that bad here. 

06 November 2012

Election Day

Yikes.  Will be glad when this is all over.  The radio has been crazy with commercials for everything possible, telephone keeps ringing with political surveys and such, and the mailbox has been covered with stickers from all sides.  We have, thankfully, been kept from people knocking on door as they all seem to be able to read - and pay attentiont to - the No Soliciting sign we have outside. 


05 November 2012

Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason Why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent To blow up King and Parliament. Three-score barrels of powder below To prove old England's overthrow; By God's providence he was catch'd With a dark lantern and burning match. Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring. Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

They had an interesting guy on Radio Suffolk - Mark Murphy show (still available to listen) - a relative of one of the plotters Robert Catesby on the show. 

On a side note - it's also my wedding anniversary today.  Picked a date I couldn't forget.  Hubby and I have been married 24 years :)

27 October 2012

Crazy Cat

This might look like a mild-mannered cat but he is surely crazy!

He's not a young un - about thirteen - but in the last six months he's suddenly taken to hissing and attacking the vacuum cleaner when I bring it out and start hoovering.  He's never done it before.  Apparently he only does it for me.  Hubby says he never does it for him and, sure enough, today he merely sat in the chair watching.

What is up with him?  And why didn't he do this years ago when I was the only one who hoovered???

23 October 2012

Photos and mumblings

Finally getting back in the grove of things and my cold is finally clearing up.  Seems strange to be back to work - nothing has changed and I already need another holiday!  Sadly no more time left this year.  Groan.  Back to the grind.

GOALS (told you this was a mumblings post)

Cut down our food bill!!!!!  I would really love to go part time and know we could do it money ways IF we could cut back on our food bill.  When I was home we spent at least half what we spend now because there is no planning and, if there is, no one wants to cook that day.  I have planned meals for three days this week!  Now I just have to do it and stick to it (something I'm not really good at).

BTW I added a couple more books to my read pile.  I'm not up to date but - once again - not good at sticking to it :)

Pic below - Trafalgar Square early in the evening.  I loved the play of light/darkness on the water features. 

19 October 2012


This is a REALLY great show!

While in England Mum and I went up to London to see a maitinee.  We picked WICKED!  Great show - unbelievable cast.  I really had a good time - felt kinda sorry for that 'wicked' witch in the end.  I couldn't take pictures of the actual show but I did take pics of the scenery.

16 October 2012

OMG where have I been? And - DON'T FLY American Airlines!

I took a trip home to jolly ol' England to visit my Mum.  A present for myself as a pick-me-up as DD has moved away to Uni.  Had a GREAT TIME (did come back with a horrible cough and cold though).

I didn't look up any airline disputes before leaving - something I will NEVER do again!  I booked American Airlines.  I've flown once with them before and don't remember it as a bad experience.  One of the reasons I picked them was because of the time the planes left in the afternoon on the way back.  Mum's is a about 2 hours away from the airport - longer since I have to use coach or something to get back.  American Airlines had a 5.15pm flight - perfect for me!

Let me say - good thing - the flights back to US were on time.  Thank goodness as I had the last connection back to Kalamazoo at night.  Wasn't sure what I was going to do if I missed that one!

The outgoing flight - nightmare.  From Kalamazoo to Chicago was fine, on time and okay.  Chicago was going fine.  It was on time right up until the time we were to board and then - NIGHTMARE - there were three or four delays on time and then they announced the plane had 'maintenance' issues.  Well, we've all heard about those - they've been in the news for weeks!  A new plane would be coming.  We all had to move to another gate.  Okay, we all thought.  New plane arrived.  It sat on the runway in total darkness - two, three time delays, 'maintenance' issues we were told again.  By this time people are getting upset - there is no way some people are going to make their connections. 

'Decision Time' the customer service manager announces when the time of departure changes again.  They will make a decision at x time.  x time arrives. Another time gets posted.  'Decision Time' the customer service manager announces.  x time arrives.  Time changes.  'Decision Time' she announces again.  Nobody seems to be able to make a deicision and decision time seems to mean nothing.  Of course by now everyone's had it.  It's getting later and later and planes can only fly until a certain time at night.

The customer service manager at this point decides to hand out free food coupons and drinks.  Most people have eaten hours ago though some people do take them.  Some people have asked to be moved to another plane.  No good they are told - bags are already on the plane.

Another announcement - Plane can't fly.  Another is on the way.  They are hoping to get it ready before the cut off time.  Change gates again.  We move to another gate and none of the customer service people come with us.  There is a queue at the desk (of people needing to fix connections) and no-one there. 

Three more time changes and half an hour after that - 5 hours after our original flight and we are on our way - after midnight when we take off!

Across the pond in England - before setting out in the morning to pick me up Brother-in-Law and Mum check the incoming flights.  On time it says.  Obviously at this point the airline KNOWS the flight isn't on time.  We'd already left at this point and they knew we were five hours late.  Almost to London and Sister calls up to tell them flight has been delayed.  It's about 2 1/2 hour drive so no point turning around only to have to drive back later.  They can't stay at Heathrow as parking charge would be ridiculous.  They go to a shopping centre.

BTW I had signed up for email notifications for this flight - not sure why as I had no way to check my email at airport and such.  When I got to Mum's house I found 23 emails about time changes on this flight.  The first one was at 6.48pm (plane due to leave at 7.10pm) telling me flight was on time and would arrive early.

What a day!  I do write to them and first all the do is 'give' me 4000 airmiles.  Not sure what good that will do me.  Subsequently they do give me a $125 voucher but I'm not sure I'll fly with them again so they are not out anything. 

Until this whole dispute is settled my advive - DON'T FLY WITH THEM!  We were not the only flight delayed that day. 

Disclaimer : - This is just my rant - yes, I know safety is a big issue and planes need to be checked, but it has been all over the news that 'maintenance' issues are the way the workers are choosing to deal with a dispute with the management. 

14 September 2012

Garden Child update

Wow, it's been a while since I posted a new or updated cross stitch picture.  Since DD left for Uni I've needed something to keep me busy - or perhaps even to keep me awake in the early evenings!  I've been working on Garden Child a piece by White Willow Stitching and based on the art of Monte Moore. I am determined to finish this piece!

I'm going to work on it for a little while tonight while watching Midsomer Murders.  There are a lot of colour changes but it's a challenging stitch.

12 September 2012

The Chat

Well, I managed to make it to the chat but I couldn't actually chat only listen.  LOL, Gordon and Ilona are SO funny!  Katie and Nalini were good too.  It was an interesting chat.  Glad I took the time to attend.

09 September 2012

Live chat with great authors!

If you love paranormal/urban fantasy you'll LOVE to know about the chat happening this Tuesday at 3pm with Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh and Katie Macalister. 

Ilona Andrews is the author of one of my favourite series - the Kate Daniels series.  The other two ladies are great readers whose books also grace my many bookcases.  You can read about the chat over at Ilona's website/blog.  I subscribed to the email list and there are some great posts.

07 September 2012

Life and mumblings

DD came home for a day last weekend.  It was the Labour Day holiday here in the US last weekend.  DD had started her job in the cafeteria at school and it was her weekend to work so she couldn't come home until the Sunday.  I had to work and she didn't get off until 3.30pm in the afternoon.  Made for a long day.  I also had to work Monday - got home, went shopping (for hours it seemed!), had dinner, drove her back (rather hubby did and I rode along) and drove back.  Just got back in time to drop into bed so I could get up at 2.40am in the morning for work :(

Did all right all week and now feeling rather melancholy again :( :( 

On a good note - booked my trip and will be winging my way to London next month :) :)

I am updating 100 book challenge page and below another lighthouse pic.  This one is of South Haven Lighthouse.  It sits at the end of a small pier off the main beach.  Sad to say it has been vandalised.  Some people have no idea of history at all.

30 August 2012


Seems kind of quiet without DD.  I will get used to it :)  I pulled out some cross stitch -  shock horror - haven't done any for a while but figured I might get started again to keep myself occupied.  I jumped right in and began working on a large piece again.  Hopefully I'll have a pic update again.  I forgot how much I enjoyed it.

Today's picture is of East Channel Lighthouse.  It's a picture I took on our trip up to Northern Michigan.  I took several pics of Lighthouses, something I never thought I would be interested in. They are interesting buildings though.  Most of them have lots of history.  I think East Channel is one of my favourites.  I wouldn't mind taking a holiday there though I don't think it's open anymore.  Bit of history below and then my pic.

The Lighthouse sits on Grand Island up near Munising.  It was opened in 1868 and is made of wood.  As it is difficult to get to - I believe the island itself has holiday homes on but is not inhabitated all year round - the lighthouse was closed down in (year varies) 1908 or 1913.  The lighthouse was severly neglected and damaged due to erosion.  In 2005 volunteers worked for 30 days straight to build seawall. Restoration is now complete.  The Lighthouse is privately owned

28 August 2012

Going, going.... GONE

DD moved into her dorm on Sunday.  It seems awfully quiet here.  Last night when I went to bed was the worst.  Usually she'll come in the bedroom and say goodnight and sometimes stay and chat a while.

I'm happy that she's going to Uni, I'll just miss her.

We managed to get everything into her dorm room and her room mate seems okay so hopefully it will all work out.  She rang yesterday to say she was in her orientation for her job at the cafeteria. 

I treated myself with a phone call to my Mum and a chat about my upcoming visit back home (October so not many weeks).

Right now it seems awfully quiet in the house.  This has to be the first time I've been alone in the house since maybe May.  Wow - yes, that long!

25 August 2012

More DD and Ren Faire

DD will be leaving in the am.  I think it's finally hitting her and she's a little (well, maybe more than a little) stressed.  We have most of the stuff packed but she seems to think it's a lot.  She is moving out and I don't think it's really that much.  Not sure what the size is of her dorm room though.

I guess they have a 20 min unloading thing and then cars get parked somewhere else so the plan is to drop everything off. DD, DS and I will be there while hubby parks the car.  I'll stay with the stuff while DD and DS start taking it up.  I'm okay going up the stairs but coming down really hurts my ankle so I don't want to do it more than once. 

I'm not sure how long we'll stay after that - not because we don't care or we can't but because I'm not sure how long DD will want us to stay.  I think she just wants to get settled and all that.  I understand.  I don't want to be a clingy, teary mum even though I feel like doing it :)

More Ren Faire pics

24 August 2012

Life and Knights

DD leaves on Sunday.  We've been running around today picking up last minute stuff.  It's getting closer now and seems more real.  I don't want to be too much of a downer as this is really exciting for her.  So far her life is packed into four cubes (this does not include clothes).  I'm going to make sausage rolls and Cheese & Onion pasties for dinner tonight.  Something special before she leaves.

Enough of that.

One of my favourite things at the Ren Faire are the Knights and Jousting.  I think everyone loves them.  Strong men on powerful horses.  Phew.  Below are a few of my pics.  Tomorrow they'll be other sights from the Ren Faire (and a little more about DD leaving)

23 August 2012

Balloons, Balloons and more Balloons!

This past weekend we took one last family trip before DD leaves this weekend for college.  The Ren Faire near us has been canceled this year!  Sob, sob!  Usually there is one really close to us and really fun to go to.  We decided to travel a little over 2 hours to hit the Ren Faire at Holly, Michigan.  It's the Mid Michigan Ren Faire and is held on permanent grounds in Holly.  I have lots of pics of that to share - that will be tomorrow's project. 

On our way to the Ren Faire we passed by a beautiful sight of loads of colourful balloons in the air.  I guess there was a Balloon Fest going on somewhere.  It was difficult getting pictures as we were driving on the motorway at the time but I think a couple of them showed up well.

I opened a Photoshop account today and decided to play with one or two of them (another reason for the delay on Ren Faire pics)

20 August 2012


Can't believe how time has flown!

The Olympics are over and done with.  I ended up watching the ending ceremony live on my computer - once again they didn't show live on American TV.  I must be getting old - recognised all of the 'golden oldies' - from George Michael, The Pet Shop Boys and Annie Lennox.  They were just starting out when I was sliding into my teens.

How the years have passed!  My oldest just celebrated his twenty-third birthday and my youngest heads off to college in a few days.  I'll miss her.  She's the only girl and we do a bunch of stuff together but now it's time for her to spread her wings and learn to fly.  I am SO very proud of her and excited for her.  She is starting off on her own adventure, moving out (not quite on her own but with a room mate in a dorm), but it's all new for her.  She's going to college and she has the chance to do something marvelous with her life.  I married young (when I was her age) and had 3 kids by the time I was my oldest son's age.  I don't want that for her.  I want her to have more.  To do something bright and exciting, to go places and explore.  I wish all that for her.  She's a really smart young lady (hey, that makes me sound really old!). 

This summer she's been helping out the 90+ year old Great Aunt of my Father-in-Law.  My in-laws had asked if - instead of her getting a regular job for the summer (which was slow coming) - that she come over and help Aunt for an hour or so each day, drive her to hair appointments, shopping and put in her eye drops.  For a 90-something lady Aunt can still walk around and is in general good health.  DD has spent time with her, played with the cat Aunt just adopted and played cards with Aunt.  Today DD says when she was over Aunt cried because she was going to miss her. 

It seems like she'll be an ocean away (like I am with my Mum) but it's only a couple of hours drive.

Here's wishing DD a good school year.  May she have lots of fun and make lots of new friends. 


05 August 2012

Go Team GB

Lots of medals won yesterday for the GBR team!  YEAH!  Sad to say the football team lost.  Aarrrggghhh - knew it probably wouldn't be good when it came down to the penalty kicks.  Not very good at them and England just lost with the same thing a few weeks ago with Euro 2012.

When they lost the song they made up on a radio show I listen to played through my head.  Scott Mills (BBC radio one) had a song on that they made up for when teams loose out.  Balls of Disappointment.  The download is still available at

I'm still very disappointed in the NBC coverage.  Nothing like hearing the results before seeing the event :)

28 July 2012

100 books in a year

I'm still working on this challenge, but, like a lot of things, I'm not really keeping up with writing about it.  I added a couple more books that I've read and I'm really going to try to keep updating as I read and not letting it slide and try to catch up.

I've been alternating between reading and watching Olympics today.  Lazy day really.  Still, it's a day off work and my foot is still killing me so a good excuse.  I really should get off my lazy arse and go for a walk, but I have to work tomorrow so trying to stay off foot as much as possible today. 

27 July 2012


REALLY disappointed that the Opening Ceremony wasn't live and that none of the sports are either - at least on the telly.  What's up with that?  It kind of spoils the whole watching thing if you already know who won.  Sad in Kalamazoo

25 July 2012

Doctor's appoint

Yeah!  Went to the Doc's this morning and I can 'wean myself off the foot brace'.  Does this mean I can run around the room jumping up and down?  I would - if my ankle wasn't still in pain.  She showed me where the tendon was damaged and that bit doesn't hurt half as much as my ankle - apparently where the bone bruise is.  Anyway now it's just a matter of strengthening my ankle, doing ankle exercises and putting up with the pain.  I go back in five weeks.  She said the other option was physical therapy, but really, I can't see spending a bunch of money on something I could probably do myself.  A therapist came in and showed me what to do and it's not rocket science.

I did put on a shoe - which felt really strange after four weeks - and walked around the bookstore.  Ow.  Not sure what I'm going to do for work tomorrow.  I might take the brace with me and see how it goes without.

23 July 2012

Back to the dentist

I was back at the dentist's today.  Still not my most favourite place in the world, but I have been plugging away at my dental issues and am now almost three quarters of the way done!  It was just a cleaning today but I scheduled my next two lots of treatment.  I have to do it slowly as my insurance only pays up to $2000 a year and the rest I have to pay out of pocket for.  I still have to pay for some each treatment but it would be a heck of a lot more if the insurance didn't cover some of it.  After the next two treatments (one for lots of fillings and the other for core buildup work) I only have bridge work to be done - this will have to wait until next year when new insurance kicks in. 

I think the people at the dentist's office are more excited than I am to be near finishing.  I'm glad I found the place.  It is all women who work there and they are all very friendly and caring - especially to a chicken like me :)

21 July 2012

I am addicted to...

...American Colony.  This is a tv show on the US channel National Geographic.  It is about a Hutterite colony.  I wasn't even sure what this was.  Apparently the people who live in this colony (there are 54 of them all related) hold strict traditions - there is 'man' work and 'women' work.  The women don't wear trousers and they have to cover their hair.  Few of them seem to finish High School and most seem to leave school when they are 15 or so.  The show is really interesting - despite how old fashioned their roles are they all seem to have cell phones and computers. 

The funniest episode was when Wesley was told he had to change his habits and decided to cook a healthy meal with his cousin. They cooked tofu and the looks on the other colony members' faces were hilarious. 

My favourite character has to be Bertha.  She's an older woman but she seems a bit of a rebel.  She ended up being shunned for letting her son play sports and go to school.  Her daughter, Claudia, is a rebel too.  Check it out if you can!

20 July 2012

MRI update

Had my MRI on my ankle on Monday.  Wow, that was an experience.  The machine is the tunnel thingy but my whole body didn't go inside just my foot.  They put headphones on you but the machine is really loud.  There is a WOP WOP WOP noise and then something like a machine gun sound (or the sound kids make when imitating one lol).  The technician kept telling me how long each test would last.  I felt something - probably the vibrations on my ankle. 

When I was back in the room where my valuables were being kept there was a guy naked except for the paper bottoms.  The technician was stifling a laugh as he said that the guy didn't need to be naked he just needed to wear the paper trousers as the zipper on regular ones would interfere with the machine.  I SO didn't need to see that!

Got the results too - I have a bone bruise and a partial tear in my tendon.  Guess that's why my ankle is still bothering me.  Luckily it is usually healed without surgery.  I just have to wear the boot a bit longer.  Oh well.  At least now I know what's wrong. 

13 July 2012

Little bit of everything

Foot update - had Drs appointment.  Go for MRI on Monday.  Hopefully they can say what is wrong.  Just want it to stop hurting.  On a (not so) funny sidenote - the woman who is working the desk at work this week broke her foot and is in a cast and boot.  That makes 3 of us at work.  Hopefully that's it.

Mum update - talked to Mum today.  She said she had gone down to the waterfront in Ipswich to watch the Olympic torch go by.  Wish I could have been there.  She's staying away from London while the Olympics are on - can't say I blame her.

Reading update - despite not adding any books to my reading lists, I have been reading quite a lot.  I was well pleased with all the books I sorted out before my Mum came.  Wish I had taken a before and After pic of bedroom as it looks 1000% better than it used to.  I am adding some books to the Read list.  I will hit the goal by the end of the year.  I'm on a bit of a mystery kick right now. 

08 July 2012

Cooling down and other Sunday natterings

It's cooler today - only 86F (30C).  Still hot but a relief after the past few days.  It's supposed to be cooler at night time so it will be easier to sleep.

Worked today but not a lot else.  Came home and put my foot up.  Have a Drs appointment on Wednesday.  Ankle is still hurting so not sure whether this boot thing will come off or I'll be stuck with it longer. 

Got some more pics to share.  These are from our trip to Holland, Michigan.  There is such a nice beach there, though the weather was quite hot and sand was ultra hot.  Mum and I walked along to where the lighthouse was.  I only went so far as the walkway out there had no barriers on either side and I'm not too fond of the whole water thing so I was chicken and only went so far as where the barrier ended.  I waited there for Mum to come back.  While I was there I saw a mother bird and her babes in the water  - so cute I had to take pics.  They were swimming their way around the rocks.  Such a beautiful sight. 

07 July 2012

Still hot

YUCK.  It is half past seven in the morning and it is already 85F (28C).  It's really going to be too hot to do much of anything today especially with the boot thingy on my foot/leg,  Maybe a trip out of the house just because it's been work/home, work/home for the last few days.  We haven't been cooking anything as we don't want to turn the oven on and heat up the house some more!  We are lucky enough to have window air conditioners (two) but at this temp they keep things more bearable than cool.  :(

04 July 2012

Phew it's hot

Temperature has reached 101F (38c) and the heat index is even hotter.  Yuck.  I don't like it this hot.  We have a couple window air conditioners, but the cool air doesn't reach the bedroom and it's really yucky to sleep in.  The last couple nights my foot, the heat and fireworks have been waking me up.  What crazy person decides it's 'fun' to let off fireworks at midnight?  Obviously kids or someone who doesn't have to get up in the am to go to work. 

POSITIVE - I have air conditioning in my office at work :)  This is the first summer I have had it.  I don't think I could have survived without it.  Last year I had to keep leaving the office every few minutes as it was well over 100 in there.  We can't keep the door open as it as a cash office with money and safe.

POSITIVE - DD made a lovely strawberry thing for desset.  Yummy.  Not sure what we're having for dinner (something that doesn't require oven) but dessert sounds good.

POSITIVE - it's my day off tomorrow.

02 July 2012

Ball and Chain

I feel like I'm dragging around a ball and chain.  The ankle brace makes my ankle feel better but after being on my feet at work for three or four hours the boot thingy makes me feel like my foot weighs a ton.  :(

01 July 2012

More holiday talk.

When my Mum was over we went up to Northern Michigan.  It's really beautiful up there.  I was apprehensive about going over the bridge - I have a thing about going over water - but it was really worth it.  The views were spectacular.  I have more pics to share.  Sometimes it's hard to think of the memories as my Mum is back in England and I miss her, but I know I should think of the good times AND I plan a trip over to visit her in October so it's really not so far away.

The weather up north was beautiful.  We had a bit of a heatwave with temps reaching 90+ F - quite hot to Munising.  We all came away with lots of colour. 

The pictures are of Mackinaw Bridge. The first two were taken before crossing the Bridge the second two were taken from our trip over to Mackinaw Island. 

27 June 2012

Sunset over Lake

On the last night of our trip up north we stayed at Sunset Motel on the Bay up in Munising, Michigan.  This is truly a beautiful motel (reasonable price too!) with a spectacular view and a GORGEOUS sunset.  I could have stayed there forever.  The morning after our night stay Mum took her cup of tea and sat out in one of the provided chairs to read while looking out over the lake.  At night when we watched the sunset it seemed like every guest was outside watching.  It was a truly beautiful, peaceful time.

Been too long...

Am I bad at this or what?  It's been SO long since I've written.  My mum's visit has come and gone.  We had a lot of fun but time was short and it went too quickly.  However - good news - I am planning an England trip in October to see her. We will be going to the Cross stitching show up in London.  Something to look forward to.

On another note -  my ankle still isn't better.  I did it on April 20th and still hurting.  I am now in a boot cast/brace thingy - doc is hoping keeping it perfectly still will heal it. 

I do have pics to share (promise) of our trip to Northern Michigan.  Things are just so crazy around here lately.  Trying to get through each date with the foot thingy while being on my feet 8 hours a day working.  Sigh.  I will try to dig out some pics.

19 May 2012

Happy Birthday to me

Turned 42 today.  OMG!  Where has the time gone?  Long time no chat...have a LOT to catch up on.  Hopefully will post tomorrow. 

42....not sure where the time has gone!

18 April 2012

Book addiction UPDATE

I'm doing REALLY well.  I've cut down on buying new books.  I can count on two hands how many books I've bought in the last month - a GREAT accomplishment for me.  I have been purchasing a few new reads for my Kindle (which is my goal).  I have donated three bags of used books to our library bookshop - donations fund different programmes at the library - and I've got rid of bunches on paperbackswap.  I have also sold some on Ebay and used the money to buy Kindle GC so I can replace some of my 'keeps' on my kindle.

My bedroom is looking WAAAAYYYY better.  I still can't believe how many books I have left.

I am going to update my books read - have to admit I haven't been keeping up on this and have read more than listed!

15 April 2012

Great veggie restaurant in Kalamazoo!

Before the show yesterday DD took me to FUEL - a vegetarian restaurant in Kalamazoo.  Loved, loved, LOVED it!  Great atmosphere, great food and friendly staff.  I would recommend this place in a heartbeat.  I loved the atmosphere - small (approx 20 seats) and only open Friday and Sat from 5-9pm and Sunday for brunch, but if you're in town (ha!) try it out. 

The chef came to our table and asked how our food was.  The staff talked to everyone and answered any questions people had.  The food was terrific and it was lovely not to have to worry if everything was vegetarian and prepared vegetarian.  They had specials and regular menu items  - the handmade fries were to die for!

14 April 2012

Comedians of Chelsea Lately...

came to Kalamazoo, Michigan tonight.

Jen Kirkman, Brad Wollack and Josh came to State Theatre tonight - what a blast!  They were SO funny.  Glad DD persuaded me that I *needed* to buy tickets and go see them.  We had a GREAT night.  Brad is so much more funnier in person.  Josh was brilliant and Jen was great.  All in all such fun!  I haven't laughed so hard in such a long time.  Thanks guys - GREAT show!

22 March 2012


Is it really only March????  Here in Michigan we are all sweating as the temperatures heat up.  It has been so hot here the last week people have been running their air conditioning!  We have been in the 70s, 80s F (25-29C)for the last week or more and before that in the mid 60s to 70s (18,19C).  Our average temperature for this time of year is 9C or 48F. 

A lot of people have been turning on the air conditioning.  Despite the sweltering heat I refuse to turn it on.  We've opened windows and turned on some fans, but our air conditioners are window units that we take out during the winter.  It will get cooler again and I want to be able to shut the windows to conserve on heating costs.  It's been hard to sleep at night and it feels like the middle of June/July instead of March.  I've been sitting out in the garden the last couple days and even have a bit of colour. 

I must say I'm glad the snow has gone - hopefully it won't be back.  I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch (as my mother would say).  On the 5th of this month the high temperature of the day didn't even reach freezing.  In another week I'll probably be writing about a freak snow storm we've had.

Enjoy the sun! 

12 March 2012

Updated Book Challenge page

I've updated the page with a few more books.   I'm not really doing a good job keeping track and there are books I have read that I haven't added.  I'll have to remember to write down as I read - or at least keep track!

11 March 2012

Spring Cleaning

Clocks popped forward one hour this morning.  Does this mean Spring is coming?  Weather certainly seems a little brighter and warmer.  There doesn't look to be any snow on the horizon this week.  YES!

With thoughts of the warming weather comes SPRING CLEANING and perhaps decorating.  My Mum is coming from England early this summer to see my daughter graduate from High School.  It has been about 12 years since she came over to America.  We have quite a bit to do to spruce up the house before she comes.  I know she's not coming to see the house, but still....

My hubby did replace the front door and screen door and the back screen door.  Makes a whole lot of difference!  The front door has never been able to be opened from the outside - the old owners never had keys and neither did we.  We've used the back door since we came here, but I would like to use the front door.  It would be great to use the front porch for shoes in the summer instead of clogging up the space by the back door. 

The screen door on the back door looked a little worse for wear.  Our dog - when he was a puppy - used to scratch on it and over the years it has become rusted.  When hubby replaced it made the back door area look a lot fresher and nicer!

Will try to get a list of over things to do - know we have to paint, but our house is old and walls aren't straight and it's a pain. 

Enough for now...

26 February 2012

Tummy Bug

Got struck down with a tummy bug this week.  Ouch.  People are dropping like flies at work - some out for a week or so with this stuff.  Luckily I only had it for three or so days.

Had another snow storm - hopefully our last!  It was midwinter break on Friday so DD didn't have to go to school and my sons have no Uni classes on Friday.  It didn't work out too bad.  DD keeps bugging about driving to school - she has a touch of senior-ritis - she can't wait for school to be done.

I'm updating my books read list - have some more to add.

18 February 2012

High as a cat

Got my cat a catnip mouse today when I went to the health food store.  Took some pics. He was happy for a while and now he's passed out on the floor in front of the heater :)

17 February 2012


one of THOSE days today.  Said it before but I go to work really early (3.30am) and it was bad from the beginning.  At 6am I had really had enough, was pretty upset and ready to go home.  One of the managers came in and went in the cash office (where I work), I gave him some privacy (because I was pretty ticked off and he knew it), he came out of the office AND...I tried to go back in and COULDN'T OPEN THE DOOR!!! 

Of course, this is a secure space as it has the safe and all the dosh in it.  There is no other way to get into the office.  The boss calls security at corporate who said someone would call at some point.  That is NOT good!  Boss tried to break in.  Took a hammer to the doorknob - made me cringe!  By this point I am ready to go home and cry.  Just the straw that broke the camel's back. 

The maintenance man was coming in at seven am.  He had to literally bang and hack at the doorknob until it came out of its hole.  We then basically had just the door with nothing to close it or lock it.  So I could not leave the office at all. 

Grrr...urggg... glad the day is over.  I blame it all on my hubby (grin) as he called at 6am and when I told him what a shitty day I was having he said 'just think it can't get any worse, can it?'

16 February 2012

Today is...


Lol.  There have been a lot of grouchy people around the past couple days.  People are not just grouchy but being plain ol' rude.  I was talking to my hairdresser about it today and she said the same thing.  Maybe it's just winter...everyone is tired of being cold and having no sun shining. 

Did I do a grouch a favour?  I held open a few doors today, tried to smile a little bit more.

15 February 2012

Just read FAIR GAME by Patricia Briggs

Just had to share this.  Day off and I should be cleaning house or something, but got riveted on the above book and HAD to finish it!

FAIR GAME by Patricia Briggs is the new Alpha and Omega novel due out on March 6th.  Managed to get an early copy.  WOW I LOVED this book!  I have to admit that the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs is my favourite series but this book was a very pleasant surprise.

In Fair Game Charles is having troubles.  The Werewolves have 'come out' to the general public and Bran, Charles father and Marrok, has become tougher in his dealings with werewolves who 'slip up'.  There are no second chances and as his father's executioner it falls to Charles to carry out the punishments.  This is not sitting well with Charles.  He is hurting.  Anna, his mate and the Omega, knows this.  Charles is cutting her out and it hurts.  When werewolves are being killed in Boston Bran decides to send Anna along to help with the investigation with Charles as her 'bodyguard'.  It is meant to distract Charles, to have him help solve a problem instead of just killing.  There sets the scene for this new book.

I won't give away all the details of the plot but there is lots of adventure - an interesting FBI agent, an Alpha who seemed a little...icky at first and a mix of Fae creatures.  The thing I really loved about this book was that it gave us insight into other characters in Briggs' world.  I really LOVE Bran and would enjoy hearing more about him and his story.  We seem to get snippets of it throughout all Briggs' books whether they are this series or the Mercy Thompson series but I want Bran to have his own book and his own little stab at happiness.  Surely he deserves some happiness - grin. 

This is well worth the price of the hardcover and it's a nice addition to my bookshelves.  GREAT Book!  If you haven't read any of Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson or Alpha and Omega series I would recommend them especially if you love urban fantasy.  They all have great stories and great characters.  They aren't filled with sex scenes and overdone romance but have characters you want to learn more about and can't wait to read.

11 February 2012

RIP Whitney Houston

Hope she has finally found peace from the demons that haunted her.

Back when I was growing up she was on the radio all the time and she sang fantastically live when she was on. 

Thanks for all the music

07 February 2012

I want to...

...take to my bed with a fit of the vapours!  In the olden days that's just what I would do - a terrific excuse when one couldn't face the world.

What do I really want to do?  Take to my bed and cry. I would cover my head with the covers and bury myself away from the world.  Sorry - in a crappy mood.  Felt this way for a couple days.

Read another book - quite good. Still have a pile to go through.  Shopping for books makes me feel better so might add to piles tomorrow instead of getting rid of more. 

Check out my 100 book page. 

05 February 2012

Writing from my netbook

My Hubby got me one for the holidays more for taking on trips than anything, but it has come in handy with the old laptop breaking.  Haven't had any luck fixing it.  :(

I've read some more books - added a couple to my 100 books list.  I need to remember to add them as I read them. 

I've cleaned out a bunch of books but still have a load to go.  My mum has booked tickets to come over for my DD's graduation in June so I have good incentive to get moving. 

03 February 2012

LATE Happy Groundhog Day!

This was apparently yesterday - Feb 2nd.  An American thing. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. 

The groundhog they use for this Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter.  The weather this year has been funky.  One day we're having a blizzard the next the sun is shining and it is quite mild.  I'm hoping he's wrong and winter (such as it is will soon be over).

I couldn't resist these cupcakes I saw at work yesterday.  A marvelous woman in the bakery makes them.  Had to bring some home for the family!

My computer broke :(

Sniff sniff - sad.  My laptop has had it  - gone kaput.  I've tried everything to recover it - ended up trying to restore it to factory conditions and now it won't go past configuring me to run for the first time - it just keeps replaying over and over again.  I can run it in safe mode but nothing else.  Not sure what to do next. 

29 January 2012

Rough week

It's just been one of those weeks at work and this one isn't starting a lot better.  Haven't had much energy to write after I come home.  I've read a couple books.  Will try to update tomorrow.

22 January 2012

Random Thoughts

Been watching Jam and Jerusalem again - treated myself while they were on sale before the holidays.  Also I got an email from a friend in England.  She was telling me about the group of women she stitches with.  Seeing the group of women on Jam and Jerusalem and receiving that email got me thinking.  I don't have a group of women friends.  I'm really not that social.  A part of wishes I did have friends like those.  I spend a lot of time working and spending time with my family and don't seem to have relationships outside of that.  I'm also quite shy.  I don't really like meeting new people, makes me feel really nervous.  There are a couple of groups I've thought about joining, but the thought of going to something alone scares me.  I have an accent too and that draws a lot of attention I'm not really comfortable with.  I'm really such a fraidy cat.  Sigh.

20 January 2012

On Days like these....

...I really appreciate the Cup-a-soup my Mum sends me for Christmas. 

I'm not a coffee or tea (shock! horror!) drinker.   Most people assume because I'm English I like tea. Give me a Cup a Soup anyday but can't find them here in the states.

It's REALLY cold today.  It's -8C with a wind chill of -14C.  Certainly a day to turn the heat up and wrap up!

19 January 2012

Dentist update

I survived. 

Snow started about 7.30 am and was coming down fast and blowing like crazy.  You know how much I hate to drive in the snow lol.  Luckily I had asked hubby if he could take a couple hours off work to run me to the dentist.  If I cancelled wasn't sure when/if I would reschedule.

Glad I had him drive.  Could hardly see in front of the car.  He doesn't mind it.  He grew up here in Michigan and learned to drive in the snow. 

Appointment went okay.  It was over in a little more than an hour.  I have a reprieve of about 4 weeks before I have to go back for some fillings.  Sigh.  Hopefully sometime I'll be done.

On another note - I did sort out some books - eleven in all.  Nine went to and 2 will be donated to the library.  Going to try the same thing tomorrow.


Sigh.  I have a dentist appointment today.  I hate going to the dentist.  I have a phobia about going to the dentist.  It is so bad that fear kept me from going to the dentist a LONG time.  I found a new dentist last year and have been going for about 13 months.  I had to have a lot of work done so going has become a regular thing.  I still don't like it.  I worry about it for days and the fear is like a knot in my stomach.  The fear is worse than the actual appointment.  Once I am in the chair and the appointment has begun I am not so bad.  The new dentist I go to is all women and they are all very friendly and understand my fear.  I usually take Xanex before I go - yep it's that bad!  I rarely take any drugs/medication of any kind so it's big for me.  Sigh.  It's only a cleaning and exam.  It's not the pain I fear but I hate the water in my mouth - feels like I'm drowning and drowning is my worst nightmare.  It's the reoccurring dream I have when worried/stressed.

Sigh.  I will get through this.  I will get through this. 

18 January 2012


I have updated my 100 books in 2012 page. 

However...I am not doing so well on sorting through the books I have.  I find it really hard to get rid of them.  It is like discarding a good friend.  Someday I might want to re-read that book and then what would I do?  I have a Kindle and am trying to replace some of my sort-of favourite books with digital versions.  It just isn't the same though.  I can pick up a book and read the back blurb just to remind myself what the book is about, but with a digital copy I can't do that.  I do have a goal however - I need to get things sorted before Mum comes to visit. 

This evening I sorted a whole 3 books - 1 to donate to library and I added 2 to my account.  My goal for tomorrow will be to sort another 5.  Slow baby steps.  I know, I know, this sounds really bad but if my only addiction is books it can't be too bad - right?

16 January 2012

Snow pics

Last year's tree in back garden - buried quite a bit by Saturday morning!

This is the tree we had this yule.  It's planted in the fronst garden just in front of bushes buried by snow!

The view up the street.  We live on a hill - such a pain the middle of winter.  The snow ploughs had been through but it was still snowy and - worse still - underneath the snow ice where it had rained the day before.

The pavement.  We're supposed to keep it clear but not always easy!