About Me

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I live on 6 deeply wooded acres in the boonies of Middleville, MI. I'm married to an amazing man, Brian. He's pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me. I'm a big animal lover. I have 5 cats; Bella (6), Cognac (3), Georgia (3), Maggie (2), & Auggie (8-9mos.) We recently lost our kittens, Aesop & Amelia, to a battle with Feline Leukemia. I feel the need to mention them. They were amazing beings that showed unconditional love like no other cats I've had. I also have Cheech (9) that I'm fostering. We have two puppies; Charlie & Henry. Having a blast! I'm a dabbler in photography, photo shop, & crafts. I'm kind of a bookworm/nerd/geek. Yes, I have read the Twilight Series. No, I'm not obsessed. I love Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, C.S. Lewis, and L. Frank Baum - among others, obviously.

Friday, December 18, 2009

So, A Lot Has Been Happening... Let Me Explain.

Where to even begin. This week has probably been the most insane week Brian and I have experienced in a long time.

Last Saturday Brian and I were in our living with Aesop, Bella, Georgia and "Amazing" Amelia (that's what we've been calling her - you'll see why later on.) And out of nowhere we hear Cognac screaming in the kitchen. He was running away from the food bowl. Brian and I noticed about eight months ago that Cognac would make that same noise here and there when we'd pet him. At that time we thought maybe he had an inner ear problem. He would go a while without making that noise, so it was kind of pushed to the back burner. Well, after we got the kittens Cognac made that noise again. So, I asked our vet what he thought it was one day when Aesop and Amelia were in for a check up. He said he wasn't sure but that we should go home and try to get him to do it again. Well, we never could. Anywho, after that had happened this past Saturday while he was eating, it dawned on me that he probably had a bad tooth - this whole time. So, I knew we'd need to call the vet first thing on Monday morning. On Sunday Cognac did it again - twice.

The first thing I did on Monday morning was call our vet. They wanted him to come in that morning at 9:40 a.m. Since my work deadline was on Monday I couldn't leave, so Brian drove Cognac to the vet. When he got him there the vet tried looking into Cognac's mouth. But Cognac wouldn't let him - he wouldn't let us either when we tried. But he said that from what he could see there was blood in the back of Cognac's throat. Our poor little man.

We called the vet later that day and he said he'd have to work on Cognac after office hours because it was really busy there. Later that night he called and we were told that Cognac had a lot of infected tissue in the back of his throat and that he had removed it. He said he couldn't find what had caused it either. And he said that Cognac could come home the next day.

So, Tuesday we picked him up. And it was so sad. His mood instantly changed. And he was so happy to see us. But he had a lot of dried blood around his mouth. He talked to us the whole way home. I was surprised it wasn't painful for him.

Tuesday night we were supposed to be testing driving a truck. I opted to stay home with Cognac because I wanted to make sure he'd be okay. I wanted to be sure that he wouldn't be coughing up blood or anything since it was dried around his mouth. So, Brian went. He absolutely loved it. This was the vehicle that we spent six months looking for. We got it from Smith and Doster. Mike Smith, who my family has known for over 20 years owns it and runs it. He's the best mechanic I know. I also got my focus there. And I get it serviced there as well. Mike gave us a super deal on the truck, too. We later found out that it was because he likes us a lot. :)

Anyway... Here it is...


It's amazing. And so comfy. Brian's Dad had always let him borrow his truck for the winter. But we found that sometimes there were scheduling conflicts on when they wanted to use it to when we needed it and vice versa. So, Brian and I decided that we needed a 4x4 vehicle that was ours. It took six months to finally find one that was an amazing deal. And Mike even threw in brand new snow tires.

With stuff going on with Cognac, getting a new vehicle (doing the run-a-rounds for it), Christmas shopping, and general business that goes with both of us working full time and house cleaning, we have been trying to remember the good/funny/relaxing moments...


Georgia showin' off her boobies.


Amelia being a perfect, adorable circle. (Please excuse the excess kitty hair on my Christmas mat.)


Brian finding a funny item in the store.


Bella on the computer. We joked that she was skyping with the cats from my parents house. (I bet she really doesn't miss them though.)


"Amazing" Amelia getting on the coat rack.


Both kittens sleeping peacefully with me. (Not the most flattering picture of me, but oh well. They're cute.)

And we're trying to stay warm in the snow with some hot chocolate.


I also need to bring up that my Goddaughter is the cutest kid in the world...




I like how she's grabbing the present, too. Like, "For me, right?"

Anyway, that's all for now.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving / Birthday / Turkey Induced Coma

So, today was Thanksgiving as well as my birthday. It didn't even seem like a birthday since I did so much cooking.

Lately at work I have been pretty swamped.
Like, really swamped. This is a project that has literally consumed me for months and resulted in overtime:


So, I was pretty surprised that HPS had flowers delivered to the office as a birthday gift.





Usually on the day before a holiday our CEO lets us leave the office early. It's not something that I count on. But it is really nice of him to let us go home early. Though, yesterday he did not. And knowing what all I had to cook for today was kind of stressing me out because I didn't think I'd have enough time.

At about 4:50 p.m. I had more flowers delivered...


In my favorite color, too...



Can you guess from who?


That's right! My husband!

After receiving those, my mood had lifted. I got home and cooked like it was my job!

I made my birthday cake, a spice cake, chocolate cookies, and homemade cranberry sauce.

That was probably the most fun thing for me to make this season.


I boiled water and sugar until the sugar was completely dissolved. Then I added in fresh cranberries (rinsed) and covered it with a lid. Cranberries pop when heated, so it's best to cover it. Then as that was simmering I squeezed the juice out of a whole orange and a half a lime and added that to it and let it continue to simmer.

I didn't take a picture of the finished product, but it was AMAZING. I'll be making another batch for the McKinley Thanksgiving that we'll be going to on Saturday. So, I'll get the finished picture then.

After making it homemade, I don't think I'll even consider the gelled can stuff again.

I woke up at 6:15 a.m. this morning. Showered and got ready for the day. Brian let me open my gifts then, too. So, I fiddled around with them for a little bit.

Then I made homemade chex mix!


That's always a favorite for my Dad... And he did enjoy it. For seasoning I used unsalted butter, worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and progresso Italian bread crumbs. Sooooooo good! Sometimes I make a spicy chex mix for Brian by adding in Tony's Creole seasoning. He likes it.

My Mom arrived while I was making the chex mix with the ham. Yeah, my family cooks ham and turkey for Thanksgiving - It's weird, I know. Let's move on...


We used pineapple, maraschino cherries, and cloves to cook it. Mom later made a glaze out of water, clove honey, and mustard.

Our menu was pretty impressive:
1. Turkey
2. Ham
3. Mashed potatoes with gravy
4. Au gratin potatoes
5. Cranberry sauce
6. Stuffing
7. Biscuits
8. Cheddar biscuits
9. Pumpkin pie
10. Lemon birthday cake
11. Spice cake

Mmmm.... Stuffing... *drool*


I did forget to make homemade green bean casserole. I was so mad at myself. Oh well, it's not like we starved without it.

My birthday was pretty busy. There will be some celebrating tomorrow since I can rest and not cook a ton of food.

That's about it. I hope everyone who reads this had a good Thanksgiving, too. Preferably less busy, though...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Too Funny

This weekend Aesop was sleeping on my lap while on his back. I was playing with his tail. I stuck it straight up and it STAYED that way. :) So, naturally, I took pictures. I laughed so hard I had tears.



That's pretty much it for now. I just had to share this.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Is It With Me And Blogging This Week? Can I Stop?

It's Tuesday.

Brian and I are currently watching The Office Season 3 on Netflix. This show is so well written. Some of the underlying jokes are hilarious.

Tonight I did some baking.

I made some cheddar biscuits:


And some peanut butter cookies:


I've also been exploring the features of my camera...


What's that you ask? More pictures?
Okay, if you insist. (I'm just really excited about this new camera.)



I love this. When Amelia is out, she is OUT.


I know, I know... This is a post without a picture of Bella.

Here are some good Office moments:

Jim dresses as Dwight.

Jim "wraps" Dwight's desk.

Dwight and Andy duel!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I have seen a lot of status updates on facebook where people are supposed to list something that they are thankful for every day. I have decided to list 100 things that I find amazing and am thankful for.

Here goes...

I am thankful for: (In no particular order, of course.)

1. Being married to my best friend.
2. Watching kittens play.
3. Having my favorite movie on and being able to quote it.
4. Having family near.
5. Watching a child's mind work as they attempt to do something they've never done before.
6. Love.
7. Friends.
8. My Mom.
9. My Dad.
10. My brothers.
11. My upbringing.
12. For having known a strong and wondrous woman, Edna Hayes. She was my grandmother and best friend as a child.
13. God.
14. Freedom.
15. My husband and the bond we share.
16. Having a job in this economic decline.
17. Having a roof under my head.
18. Music, in general. And its ability to brighten one's day.
19. Having a warm shower.
20. Being loved, having love, sharing love.
21. Autumn, and the inspiration that the colors bring to me.
22. My In-laws; Brother, Sister, Mother & Father.
23. Waking up and hearing birds singing outside.
24. Warm morning coffee.
25. Hugs.
26. People being honest.
27. Our soldiers.
28. Technology.
29. Indoor plumbing.
30. Wearing a scarf that I handmade.
31. Good health.
32. Freedom of religion.
33. My pets and their affection for me.
34. Knowing when to quit.
35. Being financially stable.
36. The sound of the rain drops hitting my windshield.
37. Mobility.
38. Being an adult.
39. Knowing that I always have my husband's support and unconditional love.
40. Books.
41. Living in Michigan and seeing wildlife.
42. People that don't abuse their animals. And people who spay/neuter them.
43. Search and rescue teams.
44. Photography.
45. And with 44, creativity.
46. Kind strangers.
47. Gentlemen being able to show me that chivalry isn't dead.
48. People who actually take the time to read my blogs.
49. People who don't treat me like I'm an afterthought.
50. Fresh fruit.
51. Pumpkin carving.
52. Homemade cooking.
53. Days off from work.
54. Fleece blankets.
55. Reclining chairs.
56. Bike rides in the summer.
57. Fireworks.
58. An ice cold beverage.
59. Reading in the tub.
60. Trustworthy friends.
61. Classic cartoons/television shows.
62. Tupperware.
63. Chocolate.
64. Baking goodies.
65. Snuggling.
66. Sitting quietly reminiscing of my favorite childhood memories.
67. Learning something new.
68. The internet; basically having the world and my fingertips. And Netflix is pretty cool.
69. Dreaming.
70. Watching old black and white movies.
71. Health insurance.
72. Receiving cards/notes for no particular reason.
73. Falling asleep with Brian.
74. Cats that sleep on me.
75. Comedy.
76. My gut instinct.
77. Eating popcorn while watching a movie.
78. The first snowfall of the year.
79. The pitter patter of little footsteps.
80. Finding cat footprints on my car.
81. Baby giggles.
82. Medical breakthroughs.
83. Small towns.
84. Air travel.
85. Shopping.
86. People who donate.
87. Art.
88. Sleeping in.
89. Staying up late.
90. Recycling.
91. Fresh water.
92. Being alive.
93. Warm, fuzzy socks.
94. Blowing gum bubbles.
95. Soap.
96. Generosity.
97. Air conditioning.
98. Traditions.
99. Fresh air.
100. Smoke free zones.

I guess I normally take some of these things for granted. It literally has taken me a couple hours to randomly think of things that I'm thankful for.

I'm glad I took the time.

Bloggin' Is Cool

So, Brian bought me a new point and shoot camera. I've been taking more "on the go" pictures. I was pretty hesitant to take my Canon a lot of places because it's so big and I didn't want to break it.

He got me a Samsung TL225. It's technically a Christmas present... But him and I are both so bad at making the other wait.

Would you like to see some pictures?

Brian's monstrous egg burger at Bob Evans. We ended up having really bad service there. We shouldn't have to wait 15-20 minutes for a water refill. And since Brian can't really eat without something to drink, his food was cold by the time he was able to eat.

We think that Aesop is getting a fully developed eye and pupil now. It's not as sunken back as it was. And we can see a pupil now, where we couldn't before. In the future the vet suggested getting his third eyelid removed. As of right now, I'm not interested. Mainly because he is fe leuk positive. And it'll attack any infection in the body. And I'm worried about having to neuter him in a month or so because there's a small possibility the incision could get infected. Hopefully it'll go swimmingly and he'll test negative when we get them back in to be tested in about 5 months.

Now, I think Amelia is one of the sweetest little kitties I've ever come across. She's fragile, yet tough. And she's not afraid to play dirty when Aesop attacks her from behind.

Saturday we spent the whole day with Robert. He's been working hard and we hadn't seen him in weeks. We hung around in Gaines and went out to eat. Then went shopping at Target. After that we came back to our house and watched Land of the Lost (movie.)
And since it's one of his favorite meals, I cooked lasagna.

Bella is gorgeous. Cognac still feels the need to attack her from time to time. It seems like I'm squirting him with water every other day. He adjusted completely fine to the kittens... And will even play with them... So, I don't get it.

Here are a few sleepin' kitties...




Lastly, yesterday afternoon, Sara came over with Natilee.


We watched Yo Gabba Gabba with her for a little bit. Natilee's face brightens up with a huge smile.

That's all for now, I s'pose.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beware Of Sleestak

Since Brian’s birthday is two days before Christmas, I gave him the idea of celebrating his birthday with/around mine. My birthday is on a holiday, though not a major gift giving one. Mine wasn’t so fun growing up a lot of times because I have two little cousins that have birthdays two days after mine. So, when our family did get together for Thanksgiving, birthdays were merged together. Anyway, I let Brian open his birthday gifts early. I went with a Sleestak theme. I got him a Sleestak bobble head, Sleestak coin bank, and the complete series of Land of the Lost on DVD that came in a sweet metal lunch box.

Now, me being a huge bobble head lover, the bobble head is my favorite.


It has the tail, too!


But, they’re all pretty neat. :)


We went and saw the movie in the theater earlier this summer. It was funny, not great, but good. I’m a big fan of slapstick comedy, especially when Will Ferrell is involved.

We’ve gotten some really good pictures of the kittens lately, too. They’re incredibly playful and enjoy playing on the cat tower that Brian and I built. I’m actually afraid they’re going to fall off of it. And when they happen to be playing too rough and bump their heads, they seem fine. So, I’m pretty sure that they are durable. Aesop and Amelia have taken to both sleeping on my pillow… But only when I’m trying to sleep. So, I have only a few inches of pillow to rest my head on. Amelia has the loudest purr I’ve ever heard come out of any cat. She purrs right by my face while I’m trying to sleep. Perhaps that’s why it’s so loud…? ;)

Brian and I have been really busy at home, as well as at HPS. I worked 5 hours this past weekend trying to complete a project that seems like it will never be completed.

Yesterday we got our flu shots. And I’m about 90% sure that the nurse injected it right into my muscle. This is probably the worst I have felt after any shot. It hurt as she was injecting it, too. I’d never had a shot sting so badly. Brian said his seemed fine. His arm is a little sore today. Whereas mine feels like my arm will fall off.

My birthday/Thanksgiving should be pretty good. My family is coming over to our house and we’ll all be cooking. Brian’s Mom said it was okay that we didn’t get together until the next weekend so that I can spend my birthday with my family.

Also, New Moon comes out in theaters on November 20th. So, we’re going to try to go see it on Black Friday. Hopefully it won’t be too busy. I don’t care how “evil” people think those books are. They mimic Shakespeare sonnets.

Anyway, here are those pictures of the kitties…