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.

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…





Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So Many Emotions

A couple weeks ago we found out that the four kittens and their older brother (from another litter) have tested positive for feline leukemia.

Now, this brought back some pretty painful memories from 2004. Where a vet that my family went to lead us to believe that our cats were vaccinated for it. They were not. On September 14, 2004 we had to put down my kitten, Muggins, who was only 8 months old. We got him on July 12th of that year, along with Bella. On September 20, 2004, not even a week later, we had to put down one of our cats, Annie. We had found out that our vet was a liar and we had Bella, Bocephus, Mitzi, and Buddy that tested positive. We found that out after we had switched vets. One of my main concerns at the time was my cat, Alley. She had cancer and was most at risk. Alley tested negative and was vaccinated right away. In February of 2005 our cat, Buddy, passed away from it. Bella later tested negative and was vaccinated. Leaving us with Bocephus and Mitzi. Mitzi and Bocephus lasted the longest with it. It doesn't effect older cats as badly since their immune systems are stronger than that of a cat a year old or less. So, Bella testing negative before 1 year was a miracle. Oh, and another lie that vet told us: "Old cats can't get it. Don't worry." Yeah... Bocephus was 14 or 15 at the time. Mitzi was 6 ish. Buddy was about 4.

Oh yeah, and the thing that sucks about this: No cure. It's a waiting game.

So, when Aesop and Amelia were going into the vet for their distemper vaccine we had them tested. When I found out, I immediately started tearing up. They are so young. How can they be so active and playful? Our vet also informed us at Georgia and Cognac were not vaccinated for it in June. Umm... Are you kidding me? That was why I made the appointment. I keep track of my cats and their vaccines. I'm not an idiot. I called them in June to make the appointment because they were due in July. And since we'd be busy in July with the wedding, I wanted it done and out of the way.(As a matter of fact, Bella was vaccinated for it on my way to taking her to her new home.) So, not only was I worrying about Aesop and Amelia living, I was worried that Georgia and Cognac would test positive. The next day I discovered a lump on Aesop's stomach. I cried... And cried. The following Thursday we took Georgia, Cognac, and Aesop to the vet. The vet didn't seem too concerned about Aesop. He said tumor growth doesn't happen in cats this young. He said it was probably from the distemper vaccine and that we should watch it for a couple weeks. He also didn't seem too concerned about Georgia and Cognac. He gave them a booster shot. I had worked myself up so much for that appointment, too. I was so relieved.

I'm also filled with happiness. These kittens are so amazing and full of affection. In my mind, they aren't dead yet. And Brian and I are doing all we can to boost their immune systems. They are getting the best food available and medicine. Hopefully if I can keep them active and healthy their immune systems can fight off this leukemia. I mean, it worked for Bella, and we didn't know what to do at that point because we were just learning about fe leuk. Plus, their Mom is positive and she's around 5 years old... Hopefully she passed on a good immune system to her kittens.

Also, coming back from their appointment we noticed that Aesop's eye looks like he's developing a small pupil. It'll be interesting to see how that unfolds.

Here are a couple new pictures:


Aesop does some pretty funny things with his front paws. I've noticed when he's sleeping on my lap that he'll take a paw and cover his nose with it. Paw huffing?

I've been dreading this post because I didn't want to seem too emotional and/or cry while writing it. I'm feeling a lot better about them now. We'll be getting them back in to see Dr. Seidl in about 5.5 months. He wants them re-tested. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and they may be negative. And if not, I guess we'll keep trying to beat this.

I just hate this waiting game... So much. It's not fair to them. But, putting myself through this emotional agony because there's a slight chance they'll live is totally worth it in my book. Maybe we'll get lucky. It just sucks because this is the one thing that we can't protect them from.

Also, the prettiest butterfly, ever...

In 3... 2... 1...





Natilee's first Halloween.