Sunday, December 31, 2006

Now The Year Is Over

2006 is about to end..hard to believe that another year has passed.  My resolutions for the coming year:

1.   Need to get back on track with my faith.  I've been out of whack in that area for 2 years now.  My resolution is a Bible reading daily (Upper Room, Daily Bread or something of the type); Church at least twice a month; and I'm going to finish the book "The Power of a Praying Wife".

2.   My weight.  I need to get to Curves 3 days a week.  I need to watch what I'm eating.  And more than anything - I'm going to be 20 lbs. lighter by June.

3.   Saving money.  Just keep pictures of NYC and Kevin Spacey in front of me....I should be good for saving money.

Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

And Now The Holiday Comes To A Close

Hard to believe that Christmas is now over.  It's seems like you spend forever getting ready and in a split second - it's done! 

I actually did well this Christmas, hubby bought me a new digital camera - an Olympus Stylus 710.  It has 7.1 megapixels and is about the size of my palm.  I'll admit, I had hinted quite a bit over the past month.  The one he bought was my top choice but I had picked out cheaper ones I'd of been satisfied with - God love him, he bought the one I really wanted.

  Step kids got me a photo album/journal gift set with colored pens and a whole pack of different colored Sharpie markers.  I actually found this a creative gift - I'll use it all and it beats the normal scented body lotions/sprays/bath washes and/or scented candles that is the norm.  Not that I want to sound ungrateful, but the truth is I have dozens of scented candles and though I do use the scented bath washes...the lotions and sprays irritate my skin terribly for some reason.  It's just nice to get something I really can use.  I got gift certificates from my family, the third season of Smallville from my one neice, money from my parents and little odds and ends.  My husband's family chose to do a "thieves" gift exchange.  It's where everyone brings a gift and you draw names and choose from the pile - the hitch is, that when your name is called you may take from the pile or "steal" a gift from someone that has already chosen.  I stole mine from my stepson, and came home with a Brita Water Filtration Pitcher and photo coasters.  That may seem odd to you, but I really wanted that pitcher.  I drink lots of water.  My step daughter ended up with the gift I had brought - a portable dvd player.

Actually a thieves gift exchange can be very hard.  I had to come up with a gift that was appropriate for both male and female and for ages 14 thru 80.   It wasn't an easy choice.  At some point, I just had to find something and the dvd player fit the bill.  Actually a gift card was my first choice, but then I thought - that's so obvious and what if everyone does that?  Then we'd just be exchanging one card for another - what fun is that?  As it turns out, only 3 gift cards existed in the pile - good ones....but it was nice that some good gifts were thought of too - like my water pitcher!!!!  Course the cards were nice ones - they were Visa gift cards, so you can use them for whatever and where ever you want - hubby got one of them.

Now to get through New Years.


    • Tuesday, December 26. 2006 Kim wrote:
      Glad to hear that Christmas went well! I managed to refrain from egging anyone's car (which is more than I can say about what I did in high school to PM's car!). Still angry though.
      Reply to this

    Sunday, December 24, 2006

    Happy Holidays To All

    Hope Everyone's Holidays are Happy and Safe!!!!

    Friday, December 15, 2006

    A Message To Think About

    I came across this interesting little snippet today. It's a great message to people who don't understand why God allows others to suffer:

    “On the street I saw a small girl
    cold and shivering in a thin dress,
    with little hope of a decent meal.
    I became angry and said to God:
    ‘Why did you permit this?
    Why don’t you do something
    about it?’

    For a while God said nothing.
    That night he replied, quite suddenly:
    ‘I certainly did something about it.
    I made you.’”

    Author Unknown

    Sunday, December 3, 2006

    New York City Here I Come

    So I'm patiently awaiting confirmation for a room at the Radio City Apartments ( in NYC for May 9-14th. There website says it's available but the email confirmation was a "pre-registration" and we'll know for sure within 72 hours.

    This was our first choice place. Mind you, it's not a fancy place; but all I really need is a clean room and shower, I don't need all the "extras". It's in a central location and the reviews at are very good. And the price is right - $155.00 a night for a 2 double bed room. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Then it's just the wait for tickets for the show to go on sale. And then it's trying to get tickets to fall within that time period. Once I have a hotel booked and a ticket in hand to see that gorgeous man...I'll be alot more pleasant to be around - lol!!!!

    Wish me luck!!!

    Wednesday, November 29, 2006

    I've Just Realized

    My digital camera reset itself and isn't putting the right date on the pictures.

    People really will buy anything on ebay. I just sold all my Burger King buttons (the ones employees wear for promotions and such) for $40.00. Yeah, I know...they are probably collectors items and worth more...but $40.00 for something that was packed away in my basement - I'll take that.

    I actually do have a desk at work - it was just covered by mounds of paperwork.

    The winners of "America's Next Top Model" never actually become a "Top Model".

    My "Missile Launching Lex Luthor" Action Figure is missing his sunglasses (as is the one at work - must be a conspiracy).

    I've been too far off my diet for sometime now.

    .......need I say more?

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    New York City

    Kevin Spacey is bringing the play "A Moon For The Misbegotten" to Broadway in the spring. While I'm anxiously waiting for tickets to go on sale, I've been looking at hotels. WOW!!! Such an expense for little crappy rooms. It's hard to plan until I know what date I'll be seeing the play. Actually I can fly there round trip for $100.00 - it's the hotel (and eating and such) where the big expense will be.

    I'm beginning to think it may have been cheaper to go to London!!!

    Monday, November 27, 2006

    Absolutely Nothing

    I have absolutely nothing for I'm sharing some photos:

    Hubby and I in our dating days:

    On Our Wedding Day:

    And My Family:

    Sunday, November 26, 2006

    Sunday Mornings

    Hubby and Toby get up early on Sunday mornings and take a walk thru Renfrew Park and thru the field behind the schools.  Here's some pictures from this mornings romp:


      Saturday, November 25, 2006

      The Weekend After The Holiday

      Well this is going to be a long day. I have my co-worker's viewing this afternoon followed by the Sheriff's Retirement Party this evening. Will be really hard to celebrate after the viewing.

      Not much to say today, just trying to get some laundry done. Here's a picture of Strat, Toby and Sebastian enjoying Thanksgiving:


      Saturday, November 25. 2006 Kim wrote:They look like they ate way too much turkey! Though you know I am automatically a cat lover, Toby is so freaking adorable!

      Friday, November 24, 2006

      So Here It Is!

      Okay, the floor is complete and here are pictures of the dining room:

      Looks nice doesn't it? I'm very excited and pleased!!!

      Thursday, November 23, 2006

      Tomorrow There Will Be Pictures, But Today....

      Tomorrow will be the picture tour of The Grand Finale of the Floor. Yes, my readers, the floor was completed this morning. Dinner is in the oven and smelling good.

      Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

      Tuesday, November 21, 2006


      Bob Rouse is a co-worker of mine. He's a correctional officer and has been with the department a good many years. His wife is the Warden at one of the local State Prisons which my oldest sister work's for.

      Bob's the kind of worker that is negative. You know the type...nothing seems to make him happy when it comes to work. I remember when we got the new uniforms; he immediately hated them because they were cheaply made (he was right). He ironed his shirts and scorched all 5 of them - noticeably scorched. I told him to see me for new ones. Absolutely not, he insisted on wearing those scorched shirts as some kind of statement. After 2 years, he did exchange them for new ones. Despite his negative side, he was like a big teddy bear and you couldn't help but love him. His wife and he went on several cruises, they enjoyed them so much.

      Back in September, Bob had some really bad back pain; but being the good employee he showed up for work with the pain. Eventually though it got bad enough that he couldn't stand straight. The Warden told him not to come back to work until he saw a doctor.

      I'm sure you know where this is going. Tests showed that Bob had lung cancer. Being the trooper he was he was determined to fight it. There were set backs. Twice he needed blood transfusions due to becoming anemic, after the first blood transfusion an MRI indicated that the cancer was also in his bones as well as his brain..he was considered terminal. But Bob continued to fight and decided to go the chemo/radiation route. Last week he was in the hospital with pneumonia. Another officer had visited and asked if he needed anything. He said he would like to have one of those motorized scooters to get around his house in. Due to his weakness he always needed his wife to help him to the bathroom and such and he was afraid that since he was so much bigger than her that she may get hurt in the process. Unfortunately, the insurance wouldn't pay for the purchase.

      Over the weekend I thought about this. I emailed another officer - Steve - to see if he thought a collection could be possible for this purchase. He definitely felt it would work. Since I'm off work this week, I emailed Kathy to email the county contact to request a "casual day fundraiser" be set ASAP; Steve was going to handle the employee collection. Everything fell into place yesterday and was a go.

      Last night I woke up thinking..."I'm off work and don't get a newspaper; what if Bob dies and no one calls me and I miss the funeral?" Odd thought I know, but for some reason it woke me up. That call came from Steve at 8:30 this morning...Bob had passed away last night.

      This one is going to be a really hard one.

      Monday, November 20, 2006

      The Art of Laying The Floor Part 3 & Other Things

      Just a quick update....the floor is almost complete. One more board to go - around a doorway, so it'll take some cutting I'm giving him a break. Then the molding and everything can get back in place in time for Thanksgiving (hopefully). I must say this weekend was much better, no cussing what-so-ever!!!! Not even by me - and I hammered my thumb!!! Hurt, hurt, hurt....I thought I was either going to pass out or puke. Fortunately it turned out not to be too bad, as my thumb is normal - like it never happened.

      Currently watching "The Bachelor" - The Women Tell All. Although I find this show stupid and very degrading to women...I can't help but enjoy the entertainment of watching young women with their entire lives ahead of them, so desperate to find a husband. I really like the ones that are in love with him before they even meet him. Why does society still insist on making women feel worthless if they don't have a man???

      I've also never updated on Thanksgiving Dinner. Hubby insists on doing the turkey himself - so I'm letting him.

      Friday, November 17, 2006

      Happy Retirement

      Today we had a Retirement Luncheon for Lt. Whittington.  He's been with the department many, many years and though he will be missed, I'm sure this is a day he's been waiting on for sometime.

      It's always sad to see long term employees leave.  It's getting very hard to find correctional officers that can pass the background investigation and soon, I'm afraid, we'll be lowering the standards in order to get qualified applicants.  The biggest drawback is that everyone seems to have a drug history.  Now you don't have to have a perfectly clean drug history, but you do have to have one for the past 5 years.  That's unfortunately is becoming a very tough call!!

      I have to wonder as the years go by, what kind of officer is going to be there protecting my back......

      Thursday, November 16, 2006

      The Miracle of Christmas

      As I mentioned yesterday I was at Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster County, PA. This is a professional Christian theatrical company. The production was the Christmas one entitled Miracle of Christmas; which of course was the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of Jesus.

      These productions are absolutely magnificent. They use LIVE animals. We were in the front row to the side and there was a parade of donkeys, horses, goats, sheep, a llama and even camels (for the wise men). The angels actually flew above the audience. If you've never been here, it's worth the trip. We plan on coming back to see In The Beginning this coming spring.

      After the show we went and had dinner at this huge buffet and then shopped in the gift shop in the basement. You can visit the theatres website at . You can also enjoy another reading of this trip at my friend Kim's blog . She's a much better writer than I am. Here's some pictures to enjoy as well...unfortunately none of the show itself - not allowed.

      Wednesday, November 15, 2006

      Road Trip

      I was at the "Sight & Sound" Theatre in Strasburg, PA to see the "Miracle of Christmas". More information can be found here .

      This was a very nice trip. I have pictures to post but since the day has been very long and I need sleep, I'll post about it tomorrow.

      And in case you are the floor still isn't complete.

      Tuesday, November 14, 2006

      Monday, November 13, 2006

      The Art of Laying The Floor Part 1

      So we started with the laminate floor yesterday and almost have the dining room complete. Despite how easy they make it sound, this is a very time consuming task. Yes, the boards just snap together, but they forget to mention that some boards will have to be cut and that you need to stagger boards to make the floor look right.

      For starters, there was old brown carpeting in both the hallway and dining area. We pulled that back to reveal a hardwood floor. Unfortunately, due to pet urine stains...refinishing was not an option and replacing the damaged area was too expensive:

      Dining Room:


      There's lots of prep worked involved in this as well: Cleaning the floor completely, pulling up staples, loose nails, fixing squeaks and creaks. I walked on the floor hunting for creaks as hubby hammered and cussed. He then finished off the prep work, with Strat supervising:

      Strat inspected the materials:

      Once approval of material was complete, the task began. Despite Strat's supervisory skills - the padding was laid wrong:

      But once I noticed that the side that said "Install with this side up" was facing the was corrected:

      What's done so far:

      Which, of course, Strat inspected:

      Saturday, November 11, 2006

      Busy, Busy, Busy

      Today's been an extremely busy day.  When I originally started my blogspot blog, my hubby and I had just completed refininishing the hardwood floor in the spare bedroom.  It originally had carpet that the rabbits had destroy and we discovered hardwood.  It was alot of work but the floor is beautiful.

      This week we pulled up carpet in the hallway and the dining room.  The same hardwood exists under it except that this time we had pet urine damage badly.  Apparently the only way around it is to replace the boards or stain extremely dark.  Since it's too damaged to sand and the darkest stain will not cover the spots AND we cannot afford to replace the hardwood; we've decided to go the laminate flooring route.

      More tomorrow....

      Friday, November 10, 2006

      The Weigh Down Workshop

      I'm no stranger to dieting.  That should be obvious as I've started and stopped many times.  I always have the greatest intentions, but I immediately get tired of reading labels, weighing food and planning menus.  Dieting is not an easy task.

      A few years back, my church did a diet class called "The Weigh Down Workshop" (WDW).  WDW is a faith based program - .  Another faith based one is "Thin Within" - .   Both basically work the same.  They are not your normal diet programs.  Their goal is to take your focus off food and put the focus on God.

      When I did this program through the church, the entire church was also doing "The 40 Days of Purpose".  My faith very much grew during that time period.  And as strange as the WDW guidelines are - they work!!!

      WDW does not provide a menu plan; there's no "good food" or "bad food" list.  There's no measuring, weighing and planning;  no special foods to buy - no exercise required.

      So how does it work?  Mostly by pray and depending on God to help you not to overeat.  That's the key.  It may sound strange, but it works.  Now once I stopped depending on God, my weight came back and I've been trying every diet since.  This week, I dusted off my WDW program and decided to start over.  Right now, I'm transferring the cassette tapes over onto CD, so I can listen to them going to and from work.  They're mostly motivational.   Both of the programs I've listed above offer online classes or can direct you to a class nearby.  But you can do both just with the books that are available.  You can purchase them on ebay, at the sites or at amazon.  And you'll definitely need a Bible.

      Your body tells you when it's hungry.  Once you get out of the habit of the man-made rules of breakfast, lunch and dinner - you eat when you're hungry not just because it's time to eat.  You eat until you are full, not until you are stuffed.  Going out to eat?  Eat 1/2 of everything on your plate or rate your food - eat all of your favorite thing, 3/4 or your next favorite, 1/2 of your next......   Get the picture?  You can eat whatever you want, just have God help teach you when to stop.

      With other diets your focus is on food - reading about it, measuring/weighing it, and planning menus for it.  Think about it for a can you stick to the program, if your focus is on the food???  Direct your focus to God instead and the food won't matter as much.  It seems strange, but it does work.

      Over at amazon there are other faith based diet books.  I know nothing about them, but hopefully they are the same type.  "Thin Within" and "Thin From Within" are two different studies. 

      If anyone would like to join me in faith based weight loss...please email me, I'd like to set up a yahoo group. 


        Wednesday, November 8, 2006

        I like Kevin Spacey. Actually that's no big surprise to anyone that comes regularly to this blog, my friends or my co-workers. But I often get asked what it is I see in him that I'm attracted to.

        Let's face it, Kevin Spacey is not one of the "pretty boys" of Hollywood. I don't like "pretty boys", I like men. Back in 2003 I was on a Gabriel Byrne kick (another Hollywood hottie). I started to research his movies and ended up renting "The Usual Suspects". Somewhere within that movie, I stopped and thought "hey wait a minute" was then and there that that Spacey guy caught my eye.

        I had heard of Kevin Spacey, I had even some of his a matter of fact, I was pretty sure that if he were in a movie - it was a good movie. But that particular day, he caught my eye in a way that the Bay City Rollers, Adam Ant, Duran Duran and Loverboy had back when I was actually the right age for idol "crushes". At that moment I began buying every movie I could come across that he was in. I realized he'd been in quite alot - some good, some bad. I realize I had seen him in movies prior to knowing who he was.

        Eventually I began to do research on the internet. To my delight, I came across some pretty good fan sites. I chose to lurk for a long time as I was sure the fan sites were run by teenage girls. I was very wrong - it was women around my age (though there are some young ones out there). My "crush" grew, because now I had someone to share it with. I was able to get dvd's of his old tv movies, old interviews on talk shows, british talk shows, etc... My Spacey collection has become quite large, thanks to alot of these ladies.

        As I've mentioned before, Kevin's show in Atlantic City was my Christmas present in 2004 from my husband. He always figures I could have worse habits - smoking, drinking, drugs...but he'll take Kevin Spacey anyday over any of that!!! He enjoyed the concert as well.

        Another Spacey "high" for me was when I received a handwritten "thank you" from him for a hat I sent.

        Yes, my "crush" has grown..guess I won't be satisfied until I get to meet the man himself in person!

        getout77 wrote:I know this story , the same happened to me too. As a matter of fact I am happy and satisfied choosing him my big love... There is no day passing without trying to "convert" somebody from my friends. I think there is no minute without having him in my mind. I'm crazy, aren't I?

        Tuesday, May 01. 2007 spaceymini wrote:I like your stories about Kevin. Sometimes it's just like “reading” my own thoughts. Loved the story about his “thank you letter”. That was so nice and sweet of him.
        You wrote you won’t be satisfied until you get to meet him, well that day will come soon!!! Have a grrrreat time!!!!! And I know you will!

        Tuesday, November 7, 2006


        Don't have much to write today.  I'm waiting for some local elections results as the results of the Sheriff and County Commissioners directly affect my job.

        The results are coming very slowly.........

        Monday, November 6, 2006


        This is my Toby. About March of this year, I decided I wanted a dog. I didn't want to go the pet store or breeder route, I wanted a rescue. I soon learned, that these days, adopting a pet is like adopting a child. Now I know it's important to adopt to good homes; but some of the local humane societies and rescue groups make it nearly impossible. I have nothing to hide, but I do not think it's necessary for a house inspection, credit check or several interviews to adopt a pet. A child - yes; a dog - no. All you would need to do is call my Vet. He'll tell you I had a guinea pig one time that had $200 surgery. I think that shows I'm a responsible pet owner.

        But I decided I wanted a dog. So I began a search online at . I found a rescue in Mechanicsburg, PA called Molly's Place Rescue . They didn't seem to have the huge adoption process that most places had. I found the picture above and fell in love...the rescue had named him "Kingsley" and had him listed as a dauchsand/terrier mix at 6 months of age.

        My husband and I drove up. There are 2 cat rooms in this place, where all the cats are just wandering around. When you walk in the door you're in an immediate area with dogs wandering about. There's also an enclosed dog area (for the more aggressive ones) and puppies were behind glass. "Kingsley" along with his sisters "Sissy, Prissy and Sassy" were behind glass. As soon as hubby and I looked in we both said "oh he'll get too big" and immediately walked away. I then began to look at some of the Jack Russell Terriers they had. It was hard to look however, everytime I picked a dog up and tried to set down with it...another dogs face would be right there. There was no way to get to know a dog. "Kingsley" kept scratching at the glass at us, but he was "too big"...we left empty handed.

        About 3 weeks later we stopped in a pet store and saw this dear little beagle (my husband's favorite breed). We hadn't really wanted a small puppy, but he was adorable. However, his price tag was $500.00 (and that didn't include papers, shots or anything really). We decided that was too much to fork out. When we got home I got back on Molly's Rescue site and low and behold...there was a one year old beagle - "Beasley" as they called him. We decided to go up the next day.

        We got there right as they opened with a ton of other people (the place isn't very big), there was a lot of commotion going on. "Beasley" immediately began howling and never shut up the whole time we were there - we immediately decided Beasley was "too noisy". However, their in the corner behind the desk was a little brown dog. He was very shy and wouldn't come to me...but I immediately recognized him as "Kingsley" - but hubby said I was wrong "Kingsley" was bigger than that. However, we both liked this particular dog, and the staff confirmed that it was indeed "Kingsley"; and that that was all the bigger he would get. It didn't take us long to decide that we wanted to take him home. It became an ordeal, not because the adoption process is long but mostly because of all the commotion going on in the place due to a group of children showing up to volunteer (in the mist of all the other customers there). While I was doing the paperwork, the staff bathed and frontlined "Kingsley" (who by the way, was already neutered and had initial shots). Hubby was holding him when a lady approached him asking if that were "Kingsley" and if so were we planning on adopting him. Hubby quickly told her that yes the adoption was in progress. He then directed her over to "Kingsley's" sisters (she did adopt one of them by the way). Adoption in hand, we went home with "Toby" (yes, I changed his name).

        I'd like to say this was an easy process. My cats weren't happy and I went into an immediate depression for about the first the point that I wanted to return him. But in the end it all worked out, and I wouldn't give him up for anything!!! And as it turned out, he wasn't "too big" after all.

        Sunday, November 5, 2006


        I believe in God. I believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and if you accept Him as your saviour, you'll spend eternal life with Him.

        I don't always, however, believe in church.

        I grew up in a Lutheran Church. Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church on Cleveland Avenue in Hagerstown, MD to be exact. It's a nice little church. Most of the people that go there have been there forever and their children, grandchildren etc... follow. So the church has a lot of history.

        When I was little my mother forced us to go to church to around age 11, then we stopped. When I was a senior in high school I returned, join the church and became a Sunday School Teacher. I eventually did a 2 year church study - The Bethel Bible Series - and myself along with the others in the class had great fun running Vacation Bible School with all our knowledge one summer.

        Things don't always stay real happy in a church. As the years went by I went from being active to just attending to just not showing up at all. My nephew was taking the 2 year confirmation class, completed the first year with no problem. However, when year 2 arrived there was a new teacher, a retired pastor - Pastor Dave. Pastor Dave was old school. One Sunday my nephew forgot his Bible. Pastor Dave asked him where his parents lived (I assume had it been close he was sending him home to get it). Christopher answered honestly "Dad lives here, Mom lives there". Pastor Dave's response was that IF his parents really cared for him, they would still be together." According to Pastor Dave, Christopher has a low self esteem, needed good role models, etc... I don't think I need to tell you where this is heading. Christopher never became a member, and with the exception of my mother...none of us returned to that church.

        Years go by, I meet my husband and we joined Ringgold Church of Christ in Ringgold, Maryland not far from the house. We got married there. It's a larger church and more contemporary. The people are very friendly. My husband played drums in the praise band, I joined a Sunday School class. We were very involved. My faith grew and I looked forward to church once again. That is until the last presidential election. Mind you, I knew where the church stood on this issue and the issues at hand. And that's fine, they have that right. But then, don't I have that right too? One Sunday, for some forgotten reason, Hubby and I attended different services. The service that morning was about "Abortion". A touchy subject I know, and I knew what the church's opinion of it was. I never however, expected the sermon to become a political opportunity for Bush. Summing up the sermon the Pastor said, "only one man stands on the right of these issues, and if you vote otherwise your house is not built on a christian foundation." Ummm...what???? Did the pastor just tell me that in order to be a christian, I must also vote republican??? Oh yes, I think he did.... Needless to say, our dealings with that church ended.

        I'm writing of church today, because I'm on my way back to Christ Lutheran Church today. They've been through quite a mess in the past 2 years which resulted in over 1/2 the church leaving to start their own church (they basically tried to change the church from lutheran to baptist - long story). Christ Lutheran is rebuilding. I hope I can be part of that.

        Saturday, November 4, 2006

        Becca The Betta

        Back in 2005, we got Betta Fish for Secretary's Day. We learned fast that the Betta in Vase fad shouldn't exist. The fish and the plant both get oxygen from the water, thus meaning there normally isn't enough oxygen for both. Normally the betta dies. We also learned that the tiny little bowls that are sold for bettas are cruel. Would you want to live in a tiny confined space like that? Once we had more adequate housing for our bettas they thrived.

        We did have some downfalls though and when we'd lose one we'd just replace it with another. Eventually we became pretty good at detecting illness and in some cases curing it.

        One day one of my co-workers came in with a "female" betta whom her daughter named "Bella". We loved Bella. Bella had more personality than her male counterparts. You could actually hold one of those freeze dried bloodworms overtop of the water and she'd jump up to get it. Actually you could hold anything up above her bowl and she'd jump for it. Bella did tricks. Everyone would come into the office to see the fish that did tricks. We enjoyed Bella for about a year before she went to fish heaven. Bella ate alot and probably over ate herself to death.

        Though female Bettas are less colorful and do not have the beautiful long fins that the males do, they are beautiful fish. They are also hard to find, so I was somewhat surprised today when I walked into Wal-Mart and saw 3 females sitting with the males on a shelf. I picked one up, dubbed her Becca and she now is living happily in a much larger bowl in the kitchen. She'll go to work on Monday; everyone will be thrilled. She may even do tricks!!!

        Thursday, November 2, 2006

        Thanksgiving Dinner

        Each year my husband and I alternate between his family and mine for Thanksgiving. It originally started because he had his children every other year, so when he had them we spent it with his family. The children are grown now, one being 21 and the other 19; so that isn't a big issue anymore, but we've continued to alternate this particular holiday.

        The difference between my family and his is that my family gets together at my parent's house and share the holiday. His family waits until the last minute to make a decision - will it be at his Mom's or at his sister's in Winchester? Will everyone be able to attend? Should we eat at a restaurant like his mother has wanted to do for years? I love these people dearly, but they are the most unorganized people when it comes to holidays.

        So since this year is our year with his family, I made the decision early - we'll have it at our house. Now I've started the task of a good housecleaning (of course, you'd never know it by looking at it) and seeing how to prepare a large meal ( I normally only cook for two). Hubby will help with the housecleaning. The first order of business was the carpet in the hallway. We have cats. My dear sweet Samantha (whom we had put to sleep 3 years ago) had an issue with leaving clothes on the floor. I would often sort my laundry into piles in the hallway - she'd pee on them. Needless to say, despite all the cleaning you do..cats can continue to smell the urine, even when you can't. After Samantha, the other cats just chose to pee there. While housebreaking the dog this year - he chose the same area as well. So though we probably have adjusted to the odor, I'm sure visitors pick it right up when they walk in the door. So my big cleaning project this year was to rip up that carpet. We had done this in the spare bedroom a year ago revealing a beautiful hardwood floor. This floor continues throughout the house.

        Now I'm no dummy. Cats have been peeing in this area for sometime. Wood and moisture just don't mix. But hubby was certain with the great amount of padding under the carpet that the damage would be minimal. I on the other hand was certain there would be noticeable damage. Boy, was I ever right. The smell is gone, but that floor has huge dark spots on it. I'm beginning to think we will have to replace boards. And since we've pulled up the carpet, hubby seems to have no more interest in the project. See the dilemma? Thanksgiving dinner, icky floor in hallway? Hmmmm......

        On a brighter note, I've decided to follow the Holiday Guide here:

        for our holiday meal.

        Wednesday, November 1, 2006

        Almost Forgot!

        It would of been terrible had I not remembered.  I signed up for this:

        And today is the first day!!!  I'm to post everyday this month.

        I don't have much to say today.  My posts this month will consist of the Thanksgiving Meal I'm cooking for my husband's family (my first big meal ever) and old photographs.  I'm making my family photo dvd's for Christmas, so I'm coming across alot of memories.  Of course, there will also be the usual chitchat about work and such and of course, Kevin Spacey!!!

        Saturday, October 14, 2006


        I lost one of my best friends today. Her name was Phoebe and she was one of my precious guinea pigs.

        I got Phoebe a little over 5 years ago at the local Petsmart. I had gone in and seen this dear little brown and black guinea pig with crest on her forehead. That was Chloe. When the sales lady handed me Chloe she began talking about one of the other pigs in another cage. She pulled out and handed me me a white ball of fluff. She had longish hair (though not quite as long as a long-haired one), was all white except that her face had a black and brown type mask (like a raccoon). So Phoebe and Chloe came home with me. Chloe was only with us a year and a half, she was a little runt and never really grew; so her life expectancy wasn't very long.

        Phoebe continued to live within my female guinea pig community. She was always very friendly and a breeze to clip nails. About 3 years ago, Phoebe developed a skin condition. She had to be quarantined from the herd and bathed frequently in addition to her medicine. Needless to say, Phoebe and I became quite close during that time. She loved the hair dryer after a bath. Though her skin condition cleared up, her hair she had lost didn't come back (which is unusual); so she looked quite pathetic; but she stayed the mild mannered pig that she was.

        Six months ago, Phoebe's hair grew back! It seemed very odd to have come back after all that time, but all her hair came back and she was once again the beautiful pig I had purchased. Before vacation I had to have one of Phoebe's cage mates, Molly, put down due to tumors. Within the next 4 weeks, I lost B.J. (who was my oldest) and Tweek (my long haired). Since they say things happen in threes; I had hoped my pet deaths were over.

        About a week ago, Phoebe didn't come out from underneath her cage shelf for her morning carrot. She was lying on her side, but did take the carrot when I put my hand under the shelf. Through this past week she would get up and move slowly, her back legs were not very usable, but she continued to eat. Yesterday, she was so soiled I had to clean her; I then made the call to the Vet, as I knew it was time.

        This morning Phoebe left us and is in a much nicer place free from pain and with fellow companions that had left earlier. Being a Christian I fully believe there's a place in the afterlife for animals, though I know Christians who do not believe that. But if that were true, what purpose (other than food) would these animals serve for mankind? "The Forty Days of Purpose" by Rick Warren was a Church study that was to show you, your purpose in life. This teaching says that this life is preparing you for what God has planned for you in Heaven. It says that whatever your most passionate about, is what your purpose is. My passion has always been animals. I hate to see them suffering and it angers me the way people just toss them away when they become too much of a burden. If my passion is animals and that passion is what my purpose in heaven is to be...then there has to be animals there. I had done a search one time on "After Death Experiences"; it seems that all children that have had one always talk about going through the place where the animals are.

        And the Bible tells us the following :

        Genesis : 9, 13-17
        I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
        Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between Me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
        Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
        So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between Me and all life on the earth."

        Revelation 5:13
        "And EVERY creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and ALL that are in them, hear I saying, "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the lamb forever and ever."

        Genesis : 9, 13-17
        The same fate awaits man and animals alike.

        (Ecclesiastes 3:18-21 TEV)
        "I decided that God is testing us, to show us that we are no better than animals. After all, the same fate awaits man and animals alike. One dies just like the other. They are the same kind of creature. A human being is no better off than an animal, because life has no meaning for either. They are both going to the same place -- the dust. They both came from it; they will both go back to it. How can anyone be sure that a man's spirit goes upward while an animal's spirit goes down into the ground?"

        Animals are Innocent
        (Romans 8:21-22 KJV)
        "Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."

        So see, God loves us all.

        Monday, October 9, 2006

        Kevin Spacey

        I absolutely adore Kevin Spacey. Actually that probably is no surprise to regular readers here or my close friends. I don't know what it is about that man, but he just does something to me. My husband handles this "crush" very well, even to the point that Kevin's show in Atlantic City was my Christmas gift back in 2004. He also overlooks Kevin as my computer desktop (home and work), Kevin's voice when the computer boots up, the Lex Luthor figurines on the computer desk and the many trips to 7-11 he made to get me Lex Luthor slurpee cups. Yes, I'm that addicted.

        One of the best things about being a Spacey fan (other than Kevin himself) is the friends I have met via the internet. You would think at my age (42) I would be all by myself, after all aren't star crushes for teenagers? But you'd be wrong, I have met more woman in and around my age with the same infatuation.

        Kevin lives in London and is the artistic director for the Old Vic Theatre. He currently is in the play "A Moon For The Misbegotten" there. A good many of my internet friends have been traveling to London to see this play. I, of course, do not have this luxury. Jen and Joanne left this past Saturday. They attended a special production at the Old Vic on Sunday that included a reception afterwards. They got to meet Kevin, they got to shake his hand, they got to drink champagne with him!!!! They were attending the play tonight, they will go to the stage door for an autograph and picture afterwards, then they will spend time at The Pit Bar and more than likely he'll be there. I'm very happy for them.....but I'm raging with jealously!!!!!!

        The play may come to Broadway in the spring. That will be my chance of seeing it...but I doubt the chance to meet him will present itself.

        I must win the lottery to get to London.

        Monday, October 09. 2006 Kim wrote:
        Okay, L, if it does come to B-Way with Kevin, you can most definately meet him. You get there early, locate the stage may have to ask around to find out where the actors exit after the play. After the show is over, you high tail it to that door and wait. Trust me, I have met and gotten autographs from folks such as Linda Lavin, Mandy Patikin etc, all by waiting by the stage door!
        Reply to this
        Saturday, October 21. 2006 getout77 wrote:No, you don't have to win at the lottery. Well Stratcat, you have 2 months left to pack your luggage and fly to London DON'T MISS IT! Is it so expensive to get to Europe? Ask from your husband as a Christmas present, yeah!

        Tuesday, October 3, 2006


        "People will forget what you said,
        People will forget what you did,
        But people will never forget how you made them feel."

        I pulled this quote from the new Reader's Digest. It says it is quoted by Maya Angelou (you'll have to look her up on the internet - I had to).

        Every once in a while a quote catches my eye and sticks in my head, like this one did. As everyone that reads here knows, the past few weeks of my life have not been good ones. To be honest, they have not gotten any better. I'm getting ready to leave for 3 days of training for a job I'm not even sure I want anymore. I always have prided myself in my work, I've always enjoyed my work. But in the past 4 days of work, I've come to realize that I could really care less about the place. Things have been put into motion that make no sense. And people that I thought I could trust or were my friends, I've discovered are not. So the quote caught my attention because:

        1. Something was said. And though I know what was said, I no longer remember it word by word.
        2. Something was done. Yes, it happened, but precise details no longer exist.
        3. How you feel. Yep, I know how I feel. I know how I felt from the first moment it started.
        I know how it has felt each moment, and I know who has made me feel this way.

        So the quote's'll remember what it was all about but overtime the details will blurr. But that feeling and who brought it on, you'll never forget it. It's forever etched within your mind and heart.

        Don't think it's true? Think back to the times your feelings or pride have been hurt. Do you remember the exact details moment by moment? Bethcha' don't. But I bet that old hurt feeling is coming back, bet some of you even have tears in your eyes. Bet some of you are cursing me for making you feel that way again.

        I just hope that when someones remembers how I made them feel - I made them feel good.

        Tuesday, October 03. 2006 Kim wrote:
        Yup, love that quote and have heard it before. It really does say it all. I suppose that life is made up of those little blips in the road, but often they are never pleasant. What I try to remember though, is what I learned from them.

        Wednesday, September 27, 2006

        Because Nice Matters

        My cousin Chris and I were always very close in our childhood. When her parents divorced we lost track of each other for a good many years. As adults, by some odd coincidence, we ended up living in the same area. So naturally our friendship picked up like it never was gone in the first place.

        Several times a month we get together and go to the movies. The car ride from home to the theater is our "catch-up" time...the what's happening in your life right now. We both seem to be going through some aggravating times at work these days, and one day as she's ranting over something she made the comment that she was having a sign made that says "because nice matters" to hang at work. I was very impressed with that, I liked it.

        I made a small sign with those words and hung them above my desk at work. No one has commented on it, but I know they see it. I wonder if they stop and think about it, like I did when Chris first said it.

        Today while on break, I was on the internet checking the various postings on the Kevin Spacey fan boards (since I don't smoke, this is my smoke break). There was one thread talking about the Old Vic Theater blog that had posted a few home made videos of behind the scenes events. The blog started but then ended rather suddenly and no more videos had been posted in quite a few weeks. Some fans were contemplating posting and asking for more. I innocently suggested they may want to start an email campaign to the email address on the site. So it surprised me somewhat when a "new poster" blasted my idea because of the extreme pressure and workload that Kevin is under. You know, one of those "holier than thou" fans who think he walks on water and everyone should bow down before him (I like the man, but don't view him as a god).

        I posted back that obviously it wasn't Kevin doing this whole site, he had help and that writing an email saying that the videos were well liked and you hoped to see more wasn't "pressuring" the man to do more. Within 5 minutes (I'm not kidding you) she had another post, pulling quotes from mine and of course bashing them again. She even had the nerve to suggest that I don't know what it's like to be too busy to take a break nor have pressures in life (oh yeah, like anyone that reads here doesn't think the past few weeks of my life have not been crap). My temper immediately hit the ceiling, so I began a post back...then out of the corner of my eye I caught the sign: "because nice matters".

        Well I did leave a post, a nicer one than what I originally wrote and ended it with a "let's agree to disagree". After all I may of been arguing with a 12 year old and "nice does matter".

        Tuesday, October 24. 2006 Sarah wrote:
        Read your post on that site and thought it an excellent reply.
        Whats wrong with letting the people involved with the blog that its appreciated ? Yes Kevin is busy but he is extremely aware how important keeping the interest up in the VIc is. Besides he looked like he was having a ball being let loose with a camera!
        And yes nice does matter !

        Monday, September 25, 2006


        Like most people, I have a cell phone.  Unlike most people, the phone is not continuously attached to my head.  I can drive without a cell phone, grocery shop without a cell phone, work without a cell phone, eat out in a restaurant without a cell phone and go to the movies without a cell phone (don't get me started with that one).

        My post that mentioned my flat tire prompted a comment from my dear friend Kim about a flat tire we had many many years ago while returning home from King's Dominion (amusement park for those unfamiliar) with a group of friends.  Approximately 45 minutes from home we got a flat tire and there was no spare (I know what you're thinking...but it WAS Kim's car and not mine.  In her defense, she had told all of us before hand she didn't have one).  A cell phone would of been nice to have then, but they only existed to the we all had to walk to the next exit in search of a phone to call home.

        I attended my aunt's funeral today.  There was only a graveside service.  My aunt had been in a nursing home for sometime and had not attended a church in quite a while.  So the minister had been provided by the funeral home.  I have attended funerals where the minister was unfamiliar with the deceased and though they lack that personal touch, they normally are appropriate for the situation.

        This minister apparently came completely unprepared.  He not only lacked personal touch, he lacked Biblical approach as well as prayer.  But what was most annoying was approximately 45 seconds into the service, his cell phone rang!  He immediately said "Sorry about that, I don't know who'd be calling me now" and proceeded to look.  I almost thought he was going to answer it, but apparently common sense finally took over and he said "Sorry, I'll set it on vibrate".  Immediately after the service (which lasted less than 5 minutes) he was returning that call.  Needless to say we were all appalled, especially my two cousins.  The one said she was going to call the funeral home tomorrow and complain, she didn't want to have a "scene" graveside - though she'd of been justified.

        Have we become such a bad society that we cannot go ANYWHERE without a cell phone?  What is the real need for this?

        See even Kevin has one!!! 

        • Tuesday, September 26. 2006 Kim wrote:
          I hate cell phones. I had one for years, because Chris insisted as I was commuting for work, but a year and a bit ago, I finally won the argument that I didn't want one. Sometimes not only do I not want to be found, but I am just someplace inappropriate (like the pastor in your post) where the ringing of a phone would be tactless. I'm actually amazed that there are not more cell phone related accidents as it seems my driving is always being impacted by some goofball driving while talking.
          So sorry about your aunt...and your pets. This has not been a good month for your family!
          Reply to this
        • Saturday, October 07. 2006 sarita wrote:
          GREAT pic of Kevin!! thanks!!
          Reply to this
        • Saturday, October 21. 2006 getout77 wrote:
          You are right with the cell-phones. But sometimes a cell-phone makes your life easier. Remember once Kevin durring a play (as I remember it was The Iceman Cometh) quiped to a spectator whose phone rang for some seconds: "tell him we are busy!" and he continued to act...
          OMG!!!! that is an amazing picture!
          Reply to this
        • Tuesday, October 24. 2006 Sarah wrote:
          In your life you get maybe a handful of calls that are really important - the rest can wait.Switching a phone OFF is an option!!!
          Reply to this

        Sunday, September 24, 2006

        Maybe It Should Be Weeks From Hell

        Every since vacation life has been crappy. While on vacation my one aunt died. She had been fighting cancer for quite some time. From my past two blogs y'all know my one cousin died. This past week another aunt died!!! This leaves my Dad as the only surviving sibling in his family.

        Prior to vacation I had to have one of my guinea pigs put down. A week later another one died. The week after vacation another died.

        They say things happen in three's. So hopefully this is the end of death in my life for a while.

        Work's been especially crappy. For those that do not know, I do office work at a County Detention Center. We've been at almost full capacity since before vacation. Where we normally run 325-350 inmates, we are now averaging 415-430. Inmates have increased, staff has not. So, obviously, everyone is over worked and not in the best of humor.

        Last week I was to do the deposits for the commissary while the guy that normally does that was on vacation. On Monday I had a migraine (a bad one) so I had to call in. On Tuesday I was able to do a deposit but was developing a sore throat. By Friday it was a full fledged cold with fever and at Noon I called it quits and went home. Needless to say my work is extremely backed up. So I'm not looking forward to going back tomorrow.

        Wednesday, September 6, 2006

        It's Not Easy Getting Older

        It's never easy getting old. You can't avoid it as it happens to all of us. There's more health problems, aches and pains and such. We just don't have the activity level we once had. But I find the hardest thing about getting older is that you attend more funerals.I have a cousin who is "special". For those unfamiliar of him - he's handicapped in terms of he can't walk, talk (though he can make sounds) and has the mentality of an infant. So he's "special".Though "special" is just a nicer way of saying he's "not normal". He is in fact "special" in many different ways. He does communicate in his own way. Of course, you would have to be around him to understand his communicating, but he can communicate.I can remember at a family picnic one year, one of my other cousin's young daughter was afraid of him. Actually most young children would be if not around him for periods of adjustment. I remember my cousin trying to explain to his daughter in terms she'd understand and apparently "Poor Rodney" became her "term" for him. As she adjusted to him through family gatherings, she'd always say that "Poor Rodney". I didn't think much of it back then, but when I think of it now - it's insulting. The child was taught that because he was "special", you should feel sorry for him, and that's wrong. And though, I'm sure it was not intentional to teach the child this, it still was not the proper way to do it. Rodney has a good life. He has a good family that have cared for him for 45+ years. They love him...we all love him. I'm thinking alot of Rodney today, as my sister called me yesterday at work to tell me Rodney had died in his sleep. His parents had found him in the morning; and as my sister and I cried...I realized how very much he had touched our lives and why hadn't I realized that before?Yes, Rodney was "special".

        Tuesday, September 5, 2006

        The Start of Autumn

        Well it's that time of year again!! I must once again get back into the exercise and diet routinue. Though I've tried this off and on again and again, I never seem to stick with it. But this time I'm determined!!!

        I renewed my Curves membership and readjusted my goals at . For those unfamilar, Curves is a circuit training workout for women and Spark People is a "free" website loaded with health and exercise information and a personal diet plan. If you've ever used the Weight Watchers website, Spark People is in the same order as that, with one difference - Spark People is FREE, you have to pay for Weight Watchers.

        Actually today, I didn't do too bad...though I ate a little more calorie wise then I wanted to, it was still healthier eating and I was really afraid I would go on an unhealthy binge if I didn't eat something!!! Although Spark People will give you a menu plan (and options to make changes), I have chosen to do my own menus (and their site calculates the calories and such). I'm kind of following the Curves diet which I did 2 years ago with a few differences - but healthy ones. Plus the dog and I just walked a mile, so between Curves, the Walk and the better eating habits - I'm off to a good start!!!

        Sunday, September 3, 2006

        I absolutely love the beach. Myrtle Beach, SC is where we spend vacation the end of August. We stay in a little family run hotel on the beach and it is a very relaxing time for us. This is one of the pictures I took this year. At the end of August you are past their high season but there is still enough going on to keep you busy. Someday we hope to be living there.