Thursday, November 25, 2010


At this moment I'm tucked into the couch. I'm wearing my bathrobe and have got woolen socks on my feet. Miracle on 34th Street, the original, is playing on the television. I'm sleepy. I got up early to run, well sort-of, my daughters and I ran/walked the chilly 5K course.

Soon I'll be going to work. I do believe coffee is in order. Despite the fact that we're not celebrating the holiday in the traditional way I am thankful. Very thankful indeed.

I am thankful for precocious children, joyful dogs and loving cats. I'm thankful for walls and a roof and insulation. I am thankful for indoor plumbing and hot showers. I am thankful for food on the table, sharp white cheeses, crisp white wines and warm ciders. I am thankful for a body and can shuttle me to and fro with only minor aches and pains. I am thankful for pajamas and slippers and down comforters. I am thankful for knitting and wool. I am thankful for books and the library. I am thankful for my computer, my camera and internet. I am thankful for a husband who today is doing laundry and, at this very moment, is brewing me that coffee I so desire. I am thankful for all the wonderful people in my life, both virtually and in person.

And last, but not least, I'm thankful I look a touch better than this 'ol turkey.

Have a wonderful holiday all!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our Take on Snow Globe Soaps

When I saw this tutorial I knew we had to try it. Aren't they adorable?!! I thought these soaps would be perfect for town*.

Only we ran into a bit of trouble. Either a) Alpha Mom found really small trinkets or b) she hada huge ice tray. We had quite a bit of trouble finding trinkets that fit in the confines of our tray.

We did make ice tray soaps but, shall we say, they didn't turn out quite as nice. My daughter is still taking them to school -- we're simply calling them Secret Surprise Soaps (Wash Your Hands to Find the Prize!). Inside are holiday erasers that the kids can use once free from the cleanser. My daughter does not think these goods will be popular with the boys because, as she put it, boys do not wash their hands.

The leftover soap was poured into silicone cupcake molds to get the beauties above. The flower contains a small ornament with the string attached. It can be hung on the tree either before or after the soap is gone (remember soap on a rope?)

I still really like the snow globe idea and am on a mission to find minuscule trinkets. Teensy tiny trinkets. We shall see what I can find.

Thanks for stopping by!

❊❊❊ ❊❊❊ ❊❊❊

* My daughter's 5th grade class holds town every 2 weeks where they make and sell wares for town dollars. They also earn town money by doing classroom jobs throughout the week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The post in which I embody Eeyore (if only briefly)

I must tell you I'm feeling an eensy, weensy bit sorry for myself today. This is the time of year when I realize how much my job impedes on my life. Once again as people gather and raise their glasses in cheer I will be resplendent under the strip mall's fluorescent lights (and yes that is sarcasm).

When the turkey is carved I may very well be removing turkey bones from an over exuberant dog. While my book club watches "The Power of One" I will be sitting alone typing records. While my neighbors have their annual holiday talent show I will be displaying my talent of reasoning with unreasonable people. And while my parents enjoy a quiet evening at home (sans grandchildren as we can't get away) I will knee deep in diarrhea (not my own mind you but diarrhea nonetheless). And yes, yes -- when I took this job I knew it entailed nights, weekends and holidays (and, for that matter, diarrhea). But I've been working this schedule for ten years and, truth-be-told, I could use a sabbatical. But a sabbatical is not in the cards.

I do my best to make lemons from lemonade. Next weekend we are hosting a pre-thanksgiving thanksgiving (note to self -- get turkey). We'll have a few friends over and stuff them to the hilt. I know it will be a lovely time. And I know on the actual thanksgiving I will be performing a necessary and needed service for our community. And yet. Yet. On days like today I still feel sorry for myself. I wish I had a job that I could schedule around my life instead of the other way around.

But I don't. And perhaps I won't. Still I'm telling you Duckie you're really quite lucky. Some people are muchly, oh, ever so muchly, muchly more unlucky than you!

And there it is. I am lucky. Lucky in so many ways. I have a happy (relatively) and healthy family. We have a roof over our heads. Friends to share with. Food on the table. Hot coffee each and every morning. A washer and dryer. Indoor plumbing. The list goes on and on.

What right do I have to moan and groan? None. Diddly Squat. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

When I feel this way I know it's time to step outside of myself and do something for others. This morning I signed up for a charitable run. A run on Thanksgiving to support the food banks. I'll get some much needed exercise and then go to work -- hopefully feeling better for it.

But don't get me wrong. It's not all altruistic and lovey. Yes it's for a good cause. But people -- the shirts were simply too cute to pass up. I need to find other ways to help -- if not financially then with my time. As such I'm keeping an eye out for opportunities.

Tell me - what are your favorite charitable organizations?

Friday, November 12, 2010

A quick update on George the Cat

First off his name is no longer George. His name morphed from George to Henry to Oliver. "Oliver" seems to be sticking. I wanted to call him Oliver with a Twist. At that suggestion the kids screwed up their faces, took a poll and promptly voted me off the island. Note to self: a democracy is not a good idea when the children outnumber the adults. At any rate I doubt they got the joke. Perhaps a trip the the library is in order.

Oliver is peeing and pooping. My 10-year-old tells me this is proper terminology. All week I've mistakenly been saying urinating and defecating. I am so not cool. His urinary catheter is out and he is getting up to use the litter box. Walking is still quite painful and though he makes a genuine effort he often misses his mark. One can hardly blame him and truth-be-told I don't mind the extra laundry. Laundry is a never-ending and daily chore. At least blankets are easy to fold.

Right now Oliver is nestled in his bed aka Kirkland Walnut box. Someday in the near future I hope to fashion him a bed from a vintage suitcase. Something like this. I just need to figure out the logistics of such a project.

He still has a bandage on his foot. I'll be taking him in to tomorrow to change that and check his toe injuries. Hopefully they are healing well *fingers crossed*.

While his condo was being cleaned he went nose-to-nose with both our dogs. He seems to be a dog person which is a prerequisite for living in this house. And, yes, cats are people too.

So all in all he is doing well and healing as expected. The kids are worried about him being bored. We've slathered him with cats toys and love in an attempt to keep him entertained. He may end up being the most spoiled cat on the planet.

And now the most important part of this post. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR WONDERFUL AND KIND SUPPORT! Your donations, purchases, tweets and blog posts mean more than you will ever know.

And an FYI. One of my Treasury Troupe teammates make a SPECTACULAR necklace in Oliver's honor. You can find it for sale here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you all!

Monday, November 8, 2010

S is for Sucker (or the post wherein you learn I am nothing but a bowl full of mush)

Were we living in the age of the Scarlet Letter I would have an enormous S adorning my lapel. Turns out I am a Sucker of elephantine proportions.

I present to you the new focal piece in our living room.

That is a cage. And it houses this:

Meet George (or Henry or Charlie or Fred).

George is a stray kitty who encountered a car and consequently broke his pelvis. This morning he came home with me; one full day after Mr. Peculiar and I had a discussion about our *ahem* overabundance of pets. I wish I were joking. Excellent timing 'eh?

But I couldn't help myself. This guy is young and healthy and otherwise fixable and I simply couldn't bear to see him put down. And the icing on the cake? He reminds me of our beloved Mickey whom we all miss dearly. So now we have a convalescing feline smack dab in the middle of our living room.

He will be on cage rest for two to three months. This is the time it will take for his pelvis to heal. Today I went out, bought him a cage and placed it near the window. A bird feeder hangs in view. Hopefully our feathered friends will provide a touch of entertainment during his recovery.

And, yes, that is a pink bunting around his kitty condo. He told me he was secure in his masculinity and was down with the decorative touch.

Now I must tell you I'm having a lot of conflicting emotions here.

The practical side of me is having a veritable conniption fit. What are you doing?!! What if this cat doesn't survive? You'll break your kids' hearts. And how do you plan to pay for this endeavor? That kennel cost $85.00 alone and it was thrifted. He needs medicine, bandage changes and prolonged care...

And then there's the emotional side of me. I want to hold him and squeeze him and call him George.

You know which side won out. Guess I'm not as practical as I thought.

To appease my pragmatic side (and Mr. Peculiar) I have decided to use proceeds from the Etsy shop to pay for George's care. If you, too, would like to help please visit the shop. You might just find that perfect Christmas gift or a little treat for yourself. What better way to buy than with your heart and soul (you'll be saving not only a sweet kitty but also my marriage!).

George would also be ever so grateful if you pass on the word about him.

He tells me he'll flash a smile as soon as I take that horrendous collar of his neck. Soon George. Soon.

XOXO and have a WONDERFUL day!


Addendum: Thanks to Rabbit's lovely suggestion I have set up a donation button on sidebar of the blog. That way you don't have to buy something to help George out. If you are so inclined to donate please also include your mailing address. George thinks it's only proper to send thank you notes.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

On Worry

Today my friend, Karen Maezen Miller, wrote a poignant post; 5 zen secrets to productivity. Number 4 is my current mantra: what we worry about most never comes to pass.

You see tonight I had to perform surgery on a dog. A very sweet gal who swallowed something that got stuck. So we went in to retrieve the object and identify it (if possible). We found that object, only it wasn't where I thought it would be. Rather than in the small intestine it was in the large intestine.

Now you would think if this foreign body could eek its way through the small bowel then it ought to pass through the large bowel. That was not the case tonight. Despite the best of coaxing it would not budge. And therefore I chose to surgically removed it. Which is fine. Only the colon is a fussy organ and doesn't heal nearly so well as it's smaller cousin. So here I sit hoping, praying, I made the right decision and this dog heals without serious complication. On this only time will tell and all the worrying in the world will not change the outcome.

So I am doing my best to push worry out into the cold as she is not a welcome guest. This is easier said than done. It seems she knows all the cracks and crevices. If the door is locked she creeps in through the window. With the windows sealed she crawls down the chimney.

In this profession, despite our extended educations and best intentions, shit happens; literally and figuratively. This is not news. It's statistics. Only, as Karen so eloquently pointed out, the shit typically hits the fan when least expected. So I need to chill out, stop worrying and simply deal with the mess when it happens.

For now I'll focus on being acutely present and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me each and every day. For instance I am currently enamored with the sweet purple flower pictured above. It bloomed in my garden this fall and for the life of me I don't remember planting it.

Tell me -- how do you kick worry to the curb? And, just for fun, bonus points if you guess what was removed from tonight's patient.