Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our tree

I was going to take down the decorations today; however, my Sister-in-Law + Brother-in-Law will be visiting on Sunday & I think I'll leave them up a few more days. This is our artificial tree. My husband bought this for our first Christmas together - which must have been 1980. After I put the lights on & the boys added the ornaments, it didn't look too bad!

We usually have a small pine tree with root ball - which allows us to plant it in the backyard the day after Christmas. We have several nice trees growing!

Hope everyone had a nice holiday. We are looking forward to the New Year feast. I'm planning to make paella & the boys will watch the football game on t.v. Need to make sure I have all the ingredients. ttfn

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry day after

I started reading this on our way to the big family get together. When we arrived, I wanted to take the book in with me & keep on reading. But hey, it was Christmas, time to visit the inlaws and exchange gifts. My SIL went all out with the decorating and feast. Food for 30. Later in the day, when we were all back home, Alex & I worked on his new puzzle. It is a pretty Marjolein Bastin picture.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

good book ***** (five stars)

Couldn't resist the fur babies sleeping in the chair. Sweetie pies.

At the end of the day, the family is tired & hits the sack. Not me, I've been up 'til one or 2am reading this book. What a fantastic author. More here Alice Hoffman web site

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Favorites from the past / To Do List ...

Who can resist the pooh bear?

Awwww ....

To Do List
photos for Grammy
Photos after concert
Take in Film
Ironing & Laundry [again]
Buy silver polish / tidy up the eating utensils
Buy Secret Santa gifts for Alex
Use 15% off coupon at B&N by 12/10
Christmas Cards .... ewww, they will be late
storage under stairwell
Organize TV cabinet
BR cabinet & shelf
organize paper photographs
Contact MIL re. David's quilt [lost the tag]

Friday, December 15, 2006

2006 Book List

Read this year:

William Brodrick: The Sixth Lamentation
Sara Gruen: Water for Elephants
Ian McEwan: Saturday
Ian McEwan: Amsterdam
Ian McEwan: Atonement
Ian McEwan: Cement Garden
Alice Hoffman: The Ice Queen
Alice Hoffman: The Blue Diary
Alice Hoffman: Here on Earth
Alice Hoffman: 7th Heaven
Brenda Rickman Vantrease: The Illuminator
Kate Mosse: Labyrinth
Harriet Scott Chessman: Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper
Lauren Willig: Secret history of the Pink Carnation
Sarah Dunant: In the Company of the Courtesan
Sarah Dunant: Fatlands [Hannah Wolfe]
Sarah Dunant: Birthmarks [H.Wolfe]
Sarah Dunant: Under My Skin [H Wolfe]
Michael Connelly: Closers
Isabel Allende: Portrait in Sepia
Gabriel Garcie Marquez: Memories of a Melancholy Whore
Marilynne Robinson: Housekeeping
Francine Prose: A Changed Man
Curtis Sittenfeld: Prep
Curtis Sittenfeld: Man of My Dreams
Annie Proulx: Shipping News
Annie Proulx: Close Range; Wyoming Stories
Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha
Michele Huneven: Round Rock
Kathryn Harrison: Envy
Martha McPhee: L'America
Dan Brown: Digital Fortress
Dan Brown: Deception Point
Carolyn Parkhurst: Dogs of Babel
Irene Nemirovsky: Suite Francaise
Lisa See: Snow Flower & the Secret Fan
Alexander McCall Smith: Full Cupboard of Life
Gaston Leroux: Mystery of the yellow Room
J.D.Salinger: The Catcher In The Rye
Mark Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Graham Green: The End ofThe Affair
Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden
John Steinbeck: The Pearl
Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451
Jan Karon: At home in Mitford
Jan Karon: A Light in the Window
Jan Karon: These High Green Hills
Jan Karon: Out to Canaan
Jan Karon: A New Song
Jan Karon: A Common Life
Jan Karon: In this Mountain
Jan Karon: Shepherds Abiding
Jan Karon: Light from heaven
Emma Richler: Sister Crazy
Peter Carey: Theft; A Love Story
John Banville: The Sea
John Updike: Villages
Don DeLillo: Underworld
Don DeLillo: White noise
Danielle Steel: Echoes
Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin
Margaret Atwood: Bluebeard's Egg
Janet Evanovich: Full Bloom
Janet Evanovich: Full Tilt
Janet Evanovich: Full House
Janet Evanovich: Full Speed
Janet Evanovich: 10 Big Ones
Janet Evanovich: 11 on Top
Ali Smith: The Accidental
Alice McDermott: Charming Billy
Josephine Cox: Lovers & Liars
Patricia MacDonald: The Girl Next Door
Sandra Brown: The Crush
Barbara Bradford Taylor: Unexpected Blessings
Christopher Tilghman: Roads of the Heart
Judy Blume: Forever
Hilma Wolitzer: The Doctor's Daughter
Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
Anne Tyler: Digging to America
Wanda Brunstetter: Storekeeper's Daughter
Wanda Brunstetter: Quilter's Daughter
Wanda Brunstetter: The Bishop's Daughter

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ninth Annual Madrigal Dinner

Alex as Guard-at-Arms. There are four performances this week-end. When he came home last night, he said his feet were killing him!

Alex wanted to hurry up the photos -- the choir students were watching movies!

I went to K-mart earlier this afternoon. You know the place is busy when there are five grocery carts left. What a riot! Santa was on site taking photographs with the kids. Charming.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Button ... is "cute as a button"

The temperature is warmer at last. Button continues to either sleep on the floor vent [where the heat comes thru] or curl up next to the window. She was having such a hard time this a.m. Never mind she is 20 years old. We still love her.

This week, I got a good start on the household decorating -- I think I have the household in order [at last]. I have rearranged everything .... I mean everything. The last big job will be the photographs, and that cannot be hurried. I need to figure out a place for David's family photographs - his grandparents, etc. I'm thinking about some sort of acid free storage box. I don't think they should be in an album. They are already in nice paper folders [most of them].

My "To Do" List:
Buy silver polish / tidy up the eating utensils
Buy Secret Santa gifts for Alex
Buy David's gift
Use 15% off coupon at B&N by 12/10
Christmas Cards .... do I need another box???
storage under stairwell
unwrap ornaments for tree
stockings on railing
holiday stuff on display
Ornament stitching & finishing
Organize TV cabinet
BR cabinet & shelf
ironing (again)
clean rest of the refrigerator
clean oven
organize paper photographs
Contact MIL re. David's quilt [lost the tag]
Clean Tori's room eta Saturday afternoon

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cat T.V. -- snow flurries

Woke up to the radio announcing "Nine Degrees" -- currently, we have snow flurries, wind, and wind chill temperature of "one degree above zero". Oh brrrrr ....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Prince Nikki

Mrs. Cat wants Nikki to wake up and play . . .
Nikki took about 1/2 second to think about it ...
and opted to return to cat napping ...

Saturday, I finished dusting books, placing them back on the shelves & found room for some misc kitchen items (large stock pot, roasting pan, etc) that I don't need upstairs. The boys visited my MIL & made cookies. After their visit, they viewed the new Superman DVD. I got the laundry caught up. Today, the boys plan to make cookies for 'us', I've got soup in the crock pot, and plan to tackle the ironing.

My To Do List:
basement shelves
tv cabinet
closet shelf
clean refrigerator
storage closet under the stairs
BR closet
cedar chest
corner in bedroom
clean oven

Friday, December 01, 2006

Book Sale Finds ...

Knowing we were expecting a storm, yesterday -- I left the house in the morning & ran errand after errand. Did some shopping for clothing & groceries. I found a nice blouse [the new crinkle style] and dress jeans for holidays (at Kohl's) -- Thank you Tori for the Kohl's Cash. Bought all sorts of boring stuff at Target. Poor Alex was locked out of the house (in the rain) for awhile.

Picked up the boys at home & went out again to the post office, drug store, and public library. Even when the forecast is threatening, I have a hard time passing up a library book sale. These were fifty cents each:

This is the 2nd book I own by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Web info here.

Link to the Alice Hoffman web site.

I know you can read this book on-line at this link or here; however, I wanted text-in-hand.

Book Information: Ellen Foster

Alex found the 2006 "Cat Who" book & a book about scientific puzzles. Nicholas wanted a jig saw puzzle of a leopard. We did well at the book sale - which continues thru Saturday at the South Haven public library.

I see the New York Times has their 'best of 2006' and '100 notable books of 2006' posted to their web site. See Lelia's Xanga.

After spending YESTERDAY running a ton of errands, TODAY I'm back to the basement for more cleaning & pitching. I have the books in order & they all fit on the shelves. It is the 'other' stuff - boxes, misc kitchen items, photo albums, that I am not sure where to store.

It continues to snow. I'm not sure how much we will have when this storm passes. With groceries & books ... I won't fret being snowed in.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Clearing out the Dust Bunnies ...

Somehow, I've caught the straightening-it-out bug. It is a rare illness that strikes a couple times a year!

It started with an e-mail from DD, saying she was coming home for a few days over Thanksgiving break ... and, I took everything out of her room, cleaned the carpet, moved in a desk, put everything back.

Poured everything out of the kitchen drawers -- clean & pitch time. Took everything out of the 'junk' cabinet -- clean & rearrange. Well ... had to check out the other cupboards as well. Took things downstairs, brought things upstairs. [and kept thinking "when have I used this last?" "Do I need to keep this here?" "Why is this downstairs when I use it ALL THE TIME?"]

The two hallway closets --- oh my. Must I even open them??? And why am I piling all this 'junk' in here that nobody uses? And, when we need something important [ie., flashlight] can never put our hands on it? Ditto -- took things downstairs, brought things upstairs. Made it into the kitchen pantry.

Took a good look at our bedroom & decided to clear out everything on top of the wardrobe, under the bed, clean out my stitching corner -- dust, clean, & put everything back ... until, my husband poked a hole in the ceiling while adjusting something in the attic. So, while that is under construction, my 'stuff' is in the dining room.

Continue onward ... you know, have to do this while on a roll, started to pull down boxes from the shelves downstairs. Was on my way thru a re-do & poor Nicholas became ill with the stomach flu & headache. Pause the cleaning in that room & garage for a day.

What to do today? Read or Stitch? Have to keep it quiet while Nicholas gets his rest.

Tori's Room
Hallway Closet
kitchen drawers
kitchen cupboards
Clean the refrigerator
Bathroom Closet & cabinet
Cedar Chest
Shelves in basement
My bedroom [after ceiling repair]
Storage Closet downstairs [or wait until we get the decorations out?]

Monday, November 20, 2006

Getting the table ready ...

There is an un-named cat who enjoys chewing on the ornamental grass. Lots of little bite marks on the ends :D
Wonderful bouquet for our Fall celebration.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

2005 Book List

This is the list of books I read during 2005:

History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Cider House Rules by John Irving

Until I find You by John Irving
Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell
Bee Season by Myla Goldbery
Jamesland by Michelle Huneven

Runaway by Alice Munro
Love of a Good Woman by Munro
Something I've been Meaning to Tell You by Munro

Moons of Jupiter by Munro

Selected Stories by Munro

Hateship by Munro
Season of Open Water by Dawn Clifton Tripp
Moon Tide by Dawn Clifton Tripp
Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Gilead by Marilynne Robison
Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
As I Lay Dying by Faulkner
Sound and the Fury by Faulkner
The Glass lake by Maeve Binchy
The Return Journey by M.Binchy
Copper Beach

Circle of Friends Maeve Binchy
This Year it will be Different by M.Binchy
Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks
Plainsong by Ken Haruf
Eventide by Ken Haruf
Paid Companion by Amanda Quick

Don't Look Back by Amanda Quick
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman by E.Buchan
Shadows of Yesterday by Sandra Brown
Lady & the Unicorn by T.Chevalier
Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Abloom
Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
Curioius Incident of the Dog by Mark Haddon
Isle of Dogs by Patricia Cornwell
While I was Gone by Sue Miller
Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller
The Earth Below by Sue Miller
The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
This is my Best - multiple authors
The Early Stories 1953-1975 by John Updike
Too Far to Go by John Updike
Feast of Love by Charles Baxter
Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Snow Falling on Cedars

Saturday, November 18, 2006

partial 2004 Book List

I should have jotted down ALL of the book titles; however, these are a few I had listed in my 2004 Date Book:

Angels & Demons
DiVinci Code
Girl With a Pearl Earring
The Good Earth
Painted House
Gap Creek
Christmas Train
Summer Sisters
Emma's Secret
Wuthering Heights
Sparks: Notebook
The Lovely Bones
Fourth Hand
Widow for a Year
Tuesday With Morrie
Grapes of Wrath
House of Sand & Fog

Our daughter, Tori, set up a Xanga blog for me in 2005 ... which made it easier for me to keep track!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Alex in Beauty & the Beast

Pictures taken after the sixth performance.

Alex in his "Be Our Guest" clothing.

This picture was taken on the stage -- the performers were lining up for the panoramic cast photo.

This is his "Grony" costume.

Alex in his wolf costume. He was one of 4 wolves in the play.

(can you believe I paid $40.00 in costume rental fees?)

Alex and his Grammy K.

NEXT: cast party & taking down the set ...

"OK Mom, are we done yet?"
"Not until I get a good photo to sent to your sister .... "

I'm ordering Thai carry-out food.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Get off the "fur"niture ...

Often, our dog, Buddy, hops into David's chair. I have zero tolerance for all the dog fur, evidence, left behind! I am constantly scolding him & say loudly: "Buddy, Down!".

Today, I finished up some ironing, came into the room & look at what I find in the chair???

And where is innocent Buddy? Next to the chair, on the couch ... see his nose?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ian McEwan: The Cement Garden

Never mind I just brought home a bag of new books to read. After I left the book sale, I browsed the shelves & started reading this book. The narrator is a 14 year old teenager. Here is the FIRST LINE of the book:

"I did not kill my father, but I sometimes felt I had helped him on his way."

Friday, October 27, 2006

Public Library - Book Sale Finds

A couple weeks ago - for $2.75, I bought the books in the picture. White Oleander - Janet Fitch
Alice Hoffman - Here on Earth
The World According to Garp - John Irving
The Historian Elizabeth Kostova
Best American Short Stories / 1996

Today, I picked out [all but one is brand-new]
3 by Barbara Taylor Bradford: A Secret Affair; Remember; Three Weeks in Paris
Ian Caldwell: The Rule of Four (I think I may have already read this one)
James Clavell's Noble House
Jane Hamilton: The Book of Ruth (I never finished Map of the World)
Brooks Hansen: The Chess Garden
Alice Hoffman: Seventh Heaven
Frank McCourt: Angela's Ashes
Mary McGarry Morris: Song in Ordinary Time
Michael Ondaatje: The English Patient
Anne Tyler: The Accidental Tourist
Thomas Wolfe: Look Homeward, Angel (75th Anniversary Edition)
My Total: $4.75

Alex selected:
White Mars by Brian Aldiss
Star Wars by Greg Bear
2 by Lilian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who Had 14 Tales; AND The Cat Who Saw Red
Alfred Coppel: The Eighth Day of the Week
2 by Michael Crichton: Prey, Sphere
Lisa Gardner: The Killing Hour
Kay Hooper: Once a Thief
Brian Lumley: Maze of Worlds
Total: $3.25

Nicholas selected:
The Cat Who Played Brahms - Lilian Jackson Braun
Dan Brown - Angels & Demons
C.J.Cherryh: Angel With The Sword
John Farris - Dragonfly
4 by J.A.Jance - Exit Wounds, Skeleton Canyon, Outlaw Mountain, Day of the Dead
2 by Dean Koontz - The Funhouse, The Mask
Elizabeth Lowell: Running Scared [which I want to read when he finishes it]
Stel Pavlou: Decipher
Total: $3.75

Ok, now bring on the krappy weather ... I'm ready.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


At last, got to watch my new DVD. I own one DVD ... this one. I saw this movie at the theatre 25+ years ago. The movie is from a book by Daniel Odier. It is a romance, drama, musical, and sometimes comedy all rolled into one film. [ Complete with a chase scene. ]

I I bought this record 25 years ago -- yes, it is an album -- not a CD. I didn't know it had a re-release in CD format. Now, the prices are out-of-sight

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Sweetest Day to Me ...

Roses from DH .... and,

look what i received via e-mail ...

Photo from Tori
Tori is modeling her new pink hat. It is part of her Halloween costume.

While looking thru some papers, I came across my Mom's recipe for Popcorn Balls. This was a family favorite. We would make them every Halloween afternoon. The neighborhood children loved them [for those children/parents who didn't know our family, we had a selection of very boring candy]. We enjoyed them so much, we would make a batch for Thanksgiving & decorate the balls into turkeys [with construction paper & toothpicks]. Finding this slip of paper makes me smile. Now to share:
Pop seven cups of popcorn [I think yellow popcorn works the best]
In saucepan, medium heat:
1 c Sugar
1/3 c White Corn Syrup
1/4 c Butter or Marg
1/3 c Water
1 Tsp Salt
Heat until drops form in cold water. Add 1 Tsp Vanilla.
Mix into 7 cups of popcorn - roll into balls. Can make apx 80 balls from three lbs of popcorn

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy 20th Birthday :D

Time to paint the town RED .... oh yeah, Bloomington is already red ...

Have fun celebrating the B'Day :D

Luv U Tori!


Mrs. Mom Cat settled down on the keyboard ... this after bringing me a mouse, which was NOT a toy!
Mrs. Cat and Prince Nikki taking in the view. The Autumn colors are just starting on our trees.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What I'm reading ....

i started Atonement & didn't finish it. It was interesting & all, but I just needed a break ... so, Envy was on the shelf. I read a book review from the NYTimes book section ... checked it out right away.

This book is fantastic. Kind of historical fiction. The author does an excellent job of creating Lydia Cassett & posing for her famous sister!
The other book I'd like to get my hands on is called the Thirteenth Tale -- of course the request list is about 30 people long ....

Creative Corner

My stitching area. A small corner of the bedroom. It is cozy - with CD player, tape player & radio nearby.
My evening retreat after the last meal of the day.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Photo from Tori

Received this in an e-mail. Miss her smiling face around home ...

Wow ... This could be so much fun

i just added a photo to my beta blog. What fun. If I had more time, I could really spiffy up this bloglet.