Saturday, December 29, 2012

Eyeball On The Counter Top?

OK, it's not really, but that was my initial reaction when I saw this.

They say that due to the odd climate temperatures we have had this year all over the world, that there will be a good wine grape shortage. That said, with a useable wine grape being hard to find, the prices of wine from France and Italy are going to go up significantly in the very near future.

Well, I declare this a state of emergency! 
So not once, but twice in the last six weeks I’ve went to the local Trader Joes and bought a case of wine, plus a few extra’s to fit in the handy wine carrying bag we have. For those of you unfamiliar with the Trader Joes, you can get a very decent bottle of wine between $2.99 and $4.99. How can that be you ask? I don’t know – it just is, so why question a good thing?

Mind you, I didn’t say a spectacular bottle of wine, but if you were going to go for spectacular, then cost would not be an issue would it? BUT - If you are going for stocking your personal wine cellar with a good red to sooth a bad day – then $2.99 is exactly what you are looking for, that and for mixing into a Sangria. This way you don’t feel like you’ve defaced a great bottle of wine and committed some kind of wine connoisseurs worst nightmare, would hate to give anyone a heart attack over a Sangria mixture.

Anyway, while at the Trader Joe’s I noticed not one but two different bottles of Champagne for under five bucks. Don’t shudder, they weren’t sugar sweet Asti’s – they were both Bruts. So with my handy dandy wine carrying bag at the ready– I filled it up. I bought more of the one that the shelf was almost bare (thought someone knew what they were doing before me) and felt very pleased with myself.

We don’t generally drink champagne in the summer, except at weddings, but in the winter – a bottle here and there makes for a happy night! And this is where the eyeball comes in.

Hubby popped the cork and since the “cork” was plastic he put it on the counter that collects items to put in the recycling bin. This counter is at eye level (at least for me) when I walk in the back door – and there it was – an eyeball on the counter! And then recognition – ah, whew– it’s a plastic cork. Huh, haven’t seen one of those before. 
Good thing we didn't drink two - I probably would have jumped out of my skin.

Here's looking at you kid!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

To Put It Another Way

I’ve always wanted to send this story off to Readers Digest for one of their humor columns, but now that I have my own venue, it’s finally time to share it with the world.
It’s only taken me two decades – how about that for timely?
When my first niece was three years old, my sister was trying to teach her important facts, like her phone number, the real names of her mom and dad, her last name and her address. Things she would need to be able to repeat if she ever was separated from them in public and a kindly police officer or person on an intercom was trying to reconnect her with mom and dad.
I was over visiting and she was showing me what she had taught her first born, the picture is still very vivid in my head, we were by the front door in the “great room”.
If you don’t know my sister, she is a person that likes the English language. Words have always came very easily to her, so when she was teaching my niece about her address, she was very thorough and thought about every angle. Therefore, she broke out how people might pronounce the word address by saying the different ways to my little niece phonetically:
Now baby girl, some people may pronounce the word as Ah-Dress when asking where you live and others may pronounce the word Add-Dress when asking where you live – to which my sharp minded little niece piped up “and mama, some people might say Add-Pants”.
To this day, it’s still one of the best things I have ever heard, totally brilliant and completely hilarious, at three years old! Sometimes it’s amazing what kids know and say.
So there you have it, the little story I like to think I torture my niece with at least once a year, it really is one of my favorite things! 
Oh, you know my niece? Ah, well go easy on her, she was only three at the time and you have to admit, it made you smile – yes?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Looking For Me Pot O' Gold

Happy Holidays!

We are currently with the hubbys family celebrating Christmas in the land of the green - when in perfect Irish form and folklore a beautiful full rainbow appeared in front of the house.

So there you have it - short and sweet - just making sure you have something to wish on this holiday.

May all your Christmas dreams come true and may your pot of gold be just across the road - like ours!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's The End Of The World As We Know It

And I feel fine.  Ok, I haven’t been sleeping well lately, but I’m sure that has nothing to do with the upcoming Armageddon.

I’m posting this early because, well – tomorrow is the end of the world – or not.  

Therefore, I really just wanted to make sure I got a chance to say thanks for reading – before you had to hang on to pieces of your furniture as drift wood floats after the tides reversed and made beach houses out of all our homes.  Hey, it could be a neat thing, if you’ve ever dreamed for a house on the water, near the water, in the water, whatever, this is your chance!

Not sure what to expect here, we have our food stash in the basement – otherwise known as a normal pantry, a few gallons of water for the dog and enough wine, beer and liquor to dull any pain.  I think we’re good.  

The only problem is, I was really looking forward to just sitting on the couch, hanging with the hubby and the dog, glancing out the picture window watching as the apocalypse was taking place outside, but you see, we will be traveling again this year for the holidays.   

This could be good or bad, depending on how much gas the plane has and what atmospheric changes take place as the world flips direction and the plane tries to stay in the air. Ok, those two things and the seven headed beast, can’t forget him – if one of his giant necks has a reach of 30,000 feet or more, we could be in trouble.

Or - we could just fly right over the total chaos; we are going to be in the air for like seven hours. The disaster could be done by the time we are supposed to land, all the pilot would need to do is find a strip of land big enough put her down and we could start our holidays a fresh right then and there.

Remind me to pack a few extra snacks, and a pair of wellies, I don’t like to be hungry or wet…. And it might be a while before we find an open restaurant, although restaurants were the first businesses to open back up in New Orleans after Katrina – that was pretty post apocalyptic if I might say so.

Oh, don’t even think about looting our joint – you know we do have that vicious 14 year old dog the mailman is scared of and a house sitter – who is, well, really nice.  I suppose if you need some pain killer, she could offer up a bottle or two to ease your suffering, just take it back up to your boat – I mean house, to administer, we aren't volunteering her to be your nurse!
See you on the other side!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yawn - I'm So Bored

I was watching a talk show I recorded on TV and they had the little girl from the new Annie Production in New York come and sing – yes, that tune - what else?  “The sun will come out – tomorrow, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, that tomorrow they’ll be sun”.  Blah.

Nothing against the little girl, she sang the song very well and she is the star of a Broadway show.

But I’m looking at her and the dog “Sandy” interact (long before I stopped the screen and took this picture).   

The dog looked like he would rather be ANYWHERE else than sitting on the floor with her and I’m thinking wow!  If I, or anyone, were sitting there singing a song next to my doggie, she would be looking up at them lovingly, intently, she would be happy, she would be thinking –“ I know I’ve heard this ditty five hundred and eighty times already this month – but sing it again to me –sing anything to me!  Would it be ok if I put my head on your knee”?  Happy, happy, happy.

Nope, not this puppy – then I thought, she must not be a dog person.  Even just a little bit, because this creature did not want to be held in place by her any longer.  It was as if he was saying “I’m so over you girlie, are you done yet?  Please, just hit that last belt and let’s get this over with already.  I got people who like me behind the stage, and if you don’t mind, I would like to go see them.  Maybe get a snack”.

Then - he yawned.

And I thought – yep, I’m thinking the production folks need to look into possibly using the doggie understudy?  Or maybe use a cat?  Maybe she’s a cat person?  Perhaps a little golden bunny?  A pony?  Anything, cause this puppy wants to break up – if someone would only let him.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vile Yellow Spray

If you need a goal in life - might I suggest one?

Today our family was pepper sprayed.  

Actually only one of us was, the dog – but it quickly became a family affair.  

Our dog, like the millions of other dogs in this world, does not like the mail carrier.  Her sweet, calm, loving, gentle self turns into a growling 45lb mass, with hair that stands up on her back when she sees the mailman.  Lately this has not really been an issue; we moved the mailbox to the end of the driveway so the mail carrier no longer needs to come up on the porch, thus the dog no longer hits the window snarling because the mailman isn’t close to the house.

Ah, but today, today is Saturday and she was outside hanging in the yard, having a sniff of stuff here, a sniff of stuff over there and suddenly a sniff of the mailman walking up to the mail box……

I hear the growl, I fly and I do mean fly, out of the house, but I am too late – she is already covered in yellow stuff and the mail carrier is screaming “Is this your dog???!!!”

I grab her collar, drag her up the drive, holler at the hubby she’s been pepper sprayed and head back out to the mail carrier who is out of breath and none too happy.  She hands me the mail and tells me “Dogs don’t usually charge me” (she's got three bad legs and a terrible limp, "charge" is a bit dramatic, but she does have a fierce growl).  I apologize and head in – completely unaware of the fun about to befall us.

Hubby is wiping her face off with a cloth and trying to calm the doggie down.  I grab her from the underside, pick her up and head for the tub, but I’m gagging before I get there and drop her unceremoniously into the tub – she slips (it’s sad, she’s old), hubby and I start gagging profusely. 

I’m having a hard time finding the faucet and then getting a temperature that’s good for the water; my husband is sick hanging over the toilet.  Finally we start to rinse her, she shakes – all hell breaks loose…… 

Once she shakes, the pepper stuff gets in our eyes, we can’t see, I can’t function, I can’t find the sink to wash my face, I can’t even stand up, I want the eye cup, a wash cloth, the shower head, anything.  Snot is hanging from my face.  Hubby is gagging, I don’t know what he is going through, but he still has a hold of her in the tub, I am useless fumbling for something to hold water to dump on my face.

A few minutes pass, water has been flung multiple times into my eyes, they now open, we find the shampoo and start washing the very unhappy dog – hubby is now off on his can’t function flop somewhere in the too small bathroom.  Every so often I just turn the sprayer to my eyes; the bathroom is a hazmat water wonderland disaster area.

My nose is a giant tomato, my red faced hacking husband returns, we finish up, remove everything cloth that came into contact with her, collar the dog with a different collar, change clothes, I hit the washing machine, he takes her outside to shake.  

My arms are on fire, the hanging snot doesn’t stop flowing for at least twenty minutes (if I were an eight year old boy that would have been really cool) hubby hasn’t been able to get a full breath for at least as long, his hands are swollen.  

Dog, well dog is just standing there, cold, wet, red eyed, stunned, shaking and sadly fourteen years old – no idea what just happened, why it happened and why she still can’t open her eyes – I pick her back up and we go for round two in the tub…. 

This house now has a family goal – we aspire to never, ever, come in contact with pepper spray again.  Ever!    

Might I suggest this as a very wise goal for you and your family too??

Friday, December 14, 2012

Greatest Discovery This Year!

I have just discovered the greatest site it the world!  I wish I would have discovered it before all my Christmas shopping was done, but hey, I can use it in the future for myself and the household too!, have you been to this site?   I always knew there were sites that bought your old gift cards, but I have never visited or used them before.  Usually the gift cards we get are for food, and well, food never goes to waste in this house!  

The other day when I was finishing up my Christmas shopping I saw a gift card on the ground in the mucky parking lot.  I find a lot of things on the ground, $20 bills, diamond rings, coins, necklaces, so I picked it up.  I wasn’t thinking much of it, someone probably discarded a used card - unfortunately as litter on the ground, but there was a possibility it was new and had been purchased as a gift.

Today I called to see if there was a balance, there was - $25!!  So it was a new card on the ground, although it had been run over by cars and it was mucky – sorry for whoever lost it…. 

The card is for a video game store – nothing I will ever use in my lifetime and my youngest nephew in America is now 21, so it’s a bit past him too.  The other nephews are in Europe; pretty sure it won’t work over there.  

So I got on my computer and looked up gift card exchange and the wonderful site came up.  I plucked in the number, told them the amount and they offered me $21.26 for it, plus they pay postage.  Oh my!  So it was like finding $21 bucks and some change on the ground!!

And it’s two fold good!  Arbitrage at its finest – they also offer discounted cards for purchase anywhere from 1.5% to 20% off face value, depending on the retailer.  Wow!! 

The Pet supply store I use quite frequently is offered at 16% off!  Yeah!  Plus that store always has free goodies and we get a percentage of our purchases back every quarter in a gift card. That place just gets better and better!

This should be timely for anyone that gets gift cards for the holidays to places you never go or if you always lose the card in your purse only to expire and never be seen again, you can now cash it in if you don’t think you’ll use it – and if you already know about this site and have used this service – yeah for you, smartypants!!

I’m loving this – now I wonder if the local grocery store is on that site – I’m there almost every day – this could be the greatest discovery ever for our household budget ever!  Woo Hoo!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

All These Little Black Bugs.... the cupboard.  

This seems timely, I am passing on a story I heard yesterday morning while rowing – the instructor was telling us about a series of phone calls she had with her mother over the last month or so.

On the phone with her mom:

Mom:  I was going through the food cupboard yesterday and it had all these little black bugs in it.  I pulled everything out and cleaned them all up.  I don’t know what they were.

Daughter:  Well mom, I didn’t see them so I don’t know what they were either.  A few years ago I had a few beetles that liked my ground coffee; I threw the can out and cleaned up the cupboard.  They didn’t come back.  Could be the same thing?

A little while later on another phone call with mom:

Mom:  Those little black bugs are back.  I still don’t know what they are.  I’m giving the cupboard another good clean.  I’ve just never seen this kind of bug before.

Daughter:  Sounds like a good idea; sorry I’m not there to help you.

A couple week’s pass, mom is now on the phone with daughter #2 and her husband:

Mom:  You know those little black bugs I’ve been having trouble with in the food cupboard? 
Well, they are really getting aggressive –now they have chewed through my granola box!!!

Daughter #2 and Son in Law: Moment of silence, then – Um Mom?  Those little black bugs aren’t bugs, those are mouse droppings.  You have mice.

Mom, of course, was thoroughly upset with this little tidbit of information.

Later that day…. the Son-in-Law was fully entrenched in a master mouse catch and removal plan at Moms house.  He was also responsible for physically disposing of said mice, once caught.

Ah – winter, cold weather moves in and so do uninvited house guests!  Roll up that welcome mat until you actually have invited someone over for coffee and granola….Yuck! 

(The above picture is NOT from my instructor’s mom’s house….)