Friday, December 30, 2011

Furry Friday: See you next year!

Riley wanted to wish you all a happy and safe New Year!  He'll be ringing in the New Year with  his mom, dad, Aunt Elise, and a few close friends.  More than likely he'll be sleeping on the back of the couch before midnight.  Hey, it's tough to be four in dog years.  

For those of you who plan on partaking in the bubbly, please don't drink and drive.  This year AAA is offering their Tipsy Tow service from 6pm-6am on New Year's Eve/Day.  They will take you and your car home for FREE! You don't have to be a member to call: 1-800-222-435.

See you next year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Christmas eve was always a time of midnight mass/candlelight vigil and opening gifts late with Justin's maternal grandmother.  For the past two years, however, the Catholic church in our area has only offered a 4:00pm and a 6:00pm mass.  So we've revised our plans to include attending the 4:00pm, going back to his grandmother's for supper and then opening gifts and enjoying some cookies and wine for dessert.  Seeing as how we're all getting older, this did enable us all to go to bed at a decent hour.  So in this respect, change was good.  However, what changed recently at mass I'm a little perplexed about.  Granted, I am a "C&E Catholic" (Christmas & Easter) so I don't attend regularly, but I grew up going to mass every Sunday and to the Sunday School classes which followed.  I learned all the prayers and could pretty much recite the mass word-for-word... until now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Afternoon Siesta

So after four long days off filled with holiday eating, this fat-kid could really use an afternoon siesta.  Unfortunately in America a nap during the workday is frowned upon.  So I'll start the count down to five o'clock and consume a few caffeinated beverages between now and then.  By the time I'm done with supper later, I'll be ready to snuggle up on the couch and call it a night. Who's with me?

Speaking of caffeinated beverages, the Dunkin Donuts Mint Hot Chocolate has taken that special place in my heart normally reserved for the Dunkaccino.  Boy that stuff is good, but pretty heavy on the calories... all 310 of them!  I'll have to enjoy them now before everyone else's New Year's resolutions kick in worse than Catholic guilt.  Supposedly after January 1st, I should be replacing my preferred caffeinated beverages for two black coffees a day while chomping on almonds in order to boost my metabolism.  Well, seeing as how I don't like black coffee I can cut those calories out and exchange them for two glasses of red wine, although in America this is also frowned upon during the workday... oyyy, I should have been born European.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Furry Friday: Fugly Sweater Time

It's time to break out your fugly sweaters and show some Christmas spirit. Even Riley has a few for the occasion. He has a plain red sweater, a t-shirt that reads "I ate Santa's Cookies" and his new favorite: the snowman sweater. This one was a gift from Aunt Jessie last year and he'll be rocking it for Christmas this year. Just call him stud muffin. Merry Christmas to you and your fur children!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

This time of year there are a lot of old black and white and/or "technicolor" movies on the television (White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, etc).  All these old holiday movies take me back to watching the movie "Neptune's Daughter" with Esther Williams when she sings "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Ricardo Montalb├ín. 

You see, many of my breaks from school (including winter break) were spent at my paternal Grandmother's house.  My Grandma is a huge Esther Williams fan and we would watch all her old black and white films in a movie marathon over hot cocoa and popcorn.  Esther Williams was a famous swimmer back in the 1940s and then became an MGM movie star with starring roles opposite Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Ricardo Montalb├ín, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, and Frank Sinatra.  Many of her movies included musical and synchronized swimming scenes.  I just found her fascinating.  Not only was she a movie star, she was a multi-talented woman paving the way for future female Olympians and Hollywood actresses.  

Many of my summers were also spent with my Grandmother either at Ronkonkoma Lake or Smithpoint Beach where she would teach me the ins and outs of swimming.  My Grandmother was an excellent swimmer herself.  Growing up in the city, she would swim across the Hudson with her sister just for fun.  In looking at old photos of my Grandmother, I could see many other similarities between she and Esther Williams.  The classy hairstyle, the reddish/brown hair, and even her stature.  One word comes to mind: glamorous.  My maternal Grandmother's old photos also made her look like a Hollywood starlet.  It must have been wonderful living in that time period. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Furry Friday: Give a dog a bone

The things we do for our dog...

The other night Justin makes a pitstop at Agway to get a replacement bulb for our back  porch light.  He also, feeling "Christmasy," buys Riley a carrot squeak toy and Apache a funny little corn cob guy.  Feeling badly that he didn't have anything to give to Riley today, he found the perfect sized cow bone.  Normally we have a hard time finding the right sized bone for Riley because, well, Riley's a little guy but he's too aggressive for the small bones designed for dogs his size and the big bones are way out of his league.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Updated: Pantalones

The eighties were a time of parachute pants (the brighter the better), stretch denim, patterned leggings, cavaricci pants, and "pegged" jeans with slouch socks.  For those of you who are too young (or old) to recall "pegged" jeans, it involves an origami type skill to fold excess fabric tightly at the ankles with a hold that'll last all day.

The nineties was the introduction of wearing pants too large and too low (i.e. JNCO Jeans).  For males, it was popular to show off whatever boxers they were wearing that day and to talk "gangsta".  It was a straight take away from rappers in Hollywood who's pants were staying up by some miracle unknown to science and who's hats were never forward facing.  Think Eminem, Ice Cube, Outkast, etc.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Karma

"Retribution is tricky. . . . The insult isn't usually worth the risk of punishment. And eventually one learns that karma has a surprising way of taking care of these situations. All you have to do is sit back and watch.”  ― Candace Bushnell

I agree with the above quote 100%, however I am of the millennial generation.  I want instant gratification.  I want results NOW.  I want Instant Karma.  None of this waiting around three days to six months to finally hear Karma in fact played it's card.  I want justice.  Someone call the Karma police, a few have escaped.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Icing on the cake

Back in February I put together some peanut butter inspired cupcakes for the hubby's birthday.  I incorporated a box of Girls Scouts Peanut Butter Dreams candies, a box of German Chocolate Cake, and a tub of vanilla butter cream frosting.  But it's what I added to the frosting that made it a huge hit.  Since February requests have come in for more of these little gems and no one believes they are so simple to make.  Being that I just made another batch (the Girl Scout candy/nut orders just came in), I figured I'd share my semi-homemade recipe with you:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Buried Alive

Recently making headlines was news of a woman being buried alive in a cardboard box by her fiance.  She managed to escape with the use of her diamond engagement ring (how ironic) after a half hour struggle upside down underground.  Her fiance states that he only meant to scare her and left the hand holds open on the box to enable her to breathe.  This is after he tasered her into submission, bound and gagged her, taped the box up, buried it and left her for dead.  But it was just a scare.  He sounds angelic, doesn't he? A real catch.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Furry Friday: Doxie Ornament

TGIF!  You know what that means.  A Riley Chance related post.  Every year around Christmas Justin and I scramble to find a new Dachshund calendar that at least has one photo in it representative of our breed of dachshund.  It's a hard feat since Riley is a reddish-brown wire-haired (I think the technical term for his coloring is wild boar) whereas the standard wire-haired looks more like a Scottish-Terrier with black and silver coloring.  We also scour the shelves for dachshund ornaments, again finding plenty of smooth coat  and long-haired dachshund renditions but no wire-haired. Well, yesterday our luck was about to change.  I arrived home to a package from my Aunt Cheryl.  She has really outdone herself this time.  A dachshund ornament that is "furry" like Riley with a red collar.  It's made of recycled wool which gives it a wire-haired appearance.  And it's "earth friendly."  Not too shabby!  As you can see I couldn't wait to get this guy on the tree!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Speedy What?

So last night I was perusing the twenty four odd channels we get through Time Warner and decided upon Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) because they were the only channel with anything Christmas related on.  What happened to ABC's Countdown to Christmas?  Anywho, while on LMN a commercial came on for the SpeediCath Compact.  Has anyone seen this commercial?  If anything warrants an out loud "What the f**k," it would be this commercial. 

First off, why is a young lady advertising for it?  Since when did your ureter close up after thirty?  If that's the case, someone should have forewarned me long before now.  I'm only about a year off from that milestone.  Secondly, I'm sure the last thing a catheter user is worried about is how it sizes up to a tube of lip gloss or mascara.  And lastly, why is their marketing team acting as if this is just as common as a tampon?  This is the first I've heard of portable catheters, whereas Kotex has been around forever.  Every woman pretty much 12 and over nowadays has that affliction in common. But a portable catheter?  I can't name one person I know who has this need.  I guess I didn't realize it became commonplace enough to advertise on national television, as opposed to the privacy of a doctor's office.  Thoughts?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I guess it's a good time to broach this subject since we are officially past the first of December.  Even though we don't have any snow on the ground it's getting to be "that time of year" again where gift giving, family celebrations, Christmas tv specials, and other such niceties take place.  I love this time of year.  I love going to the first Christmas movie of the season, the first day of snow flurries, dinners via crockpot, evenings by the fireplace, decorating the house, tuning into a Christmas radio station, and of course hot chocolate.  It just makes everything seem special.

What's not special are advertisements by Best Buy marginalizing Santa Clause and groups opposed to Christmas renaming our Christmas Tree a "Holiday Tree."  Why is it that Catholics are forced to change and manipulate their holiday because someone else found it offensive? Hannukah isn't attacked quite like Christmas is. They aren't required to say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Happy Hannukah" and redefine their Manora as a mere candlestick. It's not requested that Muslims call Eid the end of starvation and their Quran a fat book. If they were asked to change anything it'd be documented in the NY Times as a hate crime and start a whole new Holy war. So why in a society that claims to value diversity and inclusion are we forcing Catholics to conform?  Since when did Christmas become a curse word?  What happened to freedom of religion?  

I would like to point out that I found it refreshing that while shopping in Walmart and Home Depot the word "Christmas" was clearly displayed and workers actually said "Merry Christmas" at check out.  Obviously I'm not saying that everyone should celebrate Christmas.  It is that time of year though, it'd be nice if it could be recognized for what it is and not what society reduces it to.  I personally like saying "Merry Christmas" and hearing it once in a while.  Who's with me?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Furry Friday: Mister Softy

There are two things as of lately that make it really hard to get up and go to work.  One, of course, would be the winter weather setting in.  All this cold, dark, dreariness makes me want to go into hibernation for the next six months.  The other thing would be Riley.  He is such a little cuddle bug lately.  If there's a microfiber blanket or a sueded duvet cover, count him in.  He could care less when I bought him the $60 cave bed, but a $25 microfiber throw for the couch has made his day.  We've had it for about two years now.  I didn't even buy it, I think it was a Christmas present.  It's gone through the wash about once every two weeks, acquired a small hole thanks to a Riley tooth, and yet it still manages to be the most sought after blanket in the house.  

I got to thinking about this and have realized that any time I need to find Riley I check all the soft spots in the house.  The couch (which is microfiber), on his dark blue dog blanket (microfiber), snuggled in the creme-colored microfiber throw, on the bed wrapped in the sueded duvet cover, or anywhere there are pillows.  I wonder if it's a "pack" thing.  As if the softness of some of these fabrics reminds him of snuggling with his siblings earlier in life. Of course, we'll never know unless he learns to speak.  So for now he's earned a new nickname: Mister Softy.

Do your pets have any favorite spots?  What do you think of the "pack" microfiber theory?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Someone To Watch Over Me

This morning I should have been at a meeting in Albany for the Capital Region Human Resources Association.  I'd already preplanned to be there, mapquested my way as it was a new location, and for whatever reason when the alarm went off this morning I talked myself out of it.  I couldn't justify the amount of commute time that would keep me away from the office this morning.  For those who know me, the commute has never been an issue.  For over eighteen months I commuted more than 3 hours round trip just to get to work.  Some might call me a Road Warrior.  However, this morning was different and for that I am now thankful.  There was a fatal car accident on I-88 near Duanesburgh this morning around the exact time I would have been traveling through.  That mangled mess of metal could have been me.  Apparently someone upstairs still wants me here.  My condolences to the families of those involved.