"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived."
-Jean Luc Picard

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

We are still moving (ugh!)and will take another load over a little later today and then find a place to have some T-day dinner. Mr. Hairball and his minions will do the heavy stuff like furniture tomorrow while I work on sorting out all the boxes so they are all in the room they belong in. We are both very physically and mentally tired from the whole moving saga. I've got an old injury that is saying "STOP GOING UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS 5000 TIMES A DAY!!" at the end of each day as I hobble home. Going up and down them a couple of times a day is okay right now but, the numerous trips involved in moving are hard on me. When we are ready to buy a house it will be a one story house as my difficulties with stairs will increase with age.

Some new people moved in next door to us at our old place and if last night is an example of a normal night for them, I'm glad we are leaving as they must have been playing football inside their townhouse as I kept hearing running and thudding noises. No point addressing it now and we want to keep on their good side for the next few days. It's hard to park the moving van perfectly straight out in front so that it is not encroaching onto their half of the carport/driveway area. If they won't complain about the driveway issue, then I'll live with them being noisy for a few days.

I better get busy packing and loading. Enjoy your holiday and for those who will be shopping on Friday, wear your low heeled supportive shoes and be careful out there!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hells bells, I got carded at the Mega-Mart!!! *faints*

Well, the lease is signed on the new apartment and we have taken some things over already. I'll be doing this throughout the week and leave the bigger things for when we get the moving truck and Mr. Hairball's minions. I stopped by my local Mega-Mart and bought some drinks for said minions. Hopefully in between drinks, pizza, and cold hard cash, the minions will be adequately compensated for lugging our furniture up and down the 'stairs of doom'.

I bought some Shiner Bock as well since that is the usual beer served at gatherings among Mr. Hairball's colleagues. As I was checking out at the Mega-Mart with the beer and several varieties of soda and some bottled water, two gentleman got in line behind me and started unloading their cart. The cashier then sheepishly turns to me asks me for my ID since I was buying beer. *snorting laughter* This was absolutely hysterical to me even after I saw that the register was prompting the cashier to do so if the customer appeared to be under 40 years of age. Um, just barely! *grins* Then the two gentlemen behind me told me and the cashier that they picked her lane because they liked my choice of beer! *big grin* I decided not to burst their bubble by letting them know that I haven't even drank a beer in years and will give whatever is left to one of Mr. Hairball's colleagues.

Tomorrow's activities will be: taking back the inspection papers so I can get the mail key, stopping by the moving truck rental place to verify our reservation and adding a dolly to it, taking several packages to the post office to be mailed, and making the above mentioned 9000 trips between the old and new place to take smaller things over.

I pulled out some chopped up smoked sausage out of the freezer today. In the morning I need to chop up mass quantities of garlic (We love garlic!!) and saute half of it in some olive oil, add some red wine and the smoked sausage, and let that simmer for a while then dump that in my trusty crock pot with some tomato puree and various seasonings and let it simmer all day. I need to pick up some romaine lettuce and crusty french bread and a couple of other things I forgot to get when I was at the dreaded Mega-Mart. For the bread: mix up the rest of the chopped garlic with some butter, a little olive oil, grated Parmesan, and Italian seasoning. Slice up about half of the french bread, spread with the garlic mixture and put it under the broiler for a bit after your spaghetti is boiled and drained. (It's your bread so play around with it and put whatever you want on it.) DON'T FORGET THE BREAD AGAIN AND BURN IT LIKE YOU DID LAST TIME AND TRY TO PASS IT OFF AS CAJUN STYLE!! Sorry, I'm not so good with the broiler! * Hairball shakes her fist and gives her broiler the stinkeye* Caesar salad is some tasty goodness with this spaghetti. Unless I get a burst of energy and make up the dressing tonight, I'll just ask Mr. Hairball if he'll make up some of his "measuring is for sissies" vinaigrette for us tomorrow night or *looks both ways and whispers* use some of that bottled salad dressing I have squirreled away in the pantry.

A good week to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oooo, I'm packing my life away...

As I wrote in an earlier post, the Hairball household is moving this month. This is the second move for us this year and we REALLY HATE MOVING!! The packing is going on as I write. Okay, not *literally* as I write because I am just not skilled enough to type and pack at the same time!

On Tuesday, our household was invaded by a swarm of real estate agents representing the agency that the townhouse is listed with. They quickly walked through looking at everything the place had to offer and left. One of them tripped and fell as the living room offers the "feature" ( I say it's a bug myself!) of a sunken living room. I was very flustered by this but luckily she was not hurt by the fall.

We live on a busy street and parking is at a premium as you can't park on the street. Our unit is attractive in this sense as the owner paved over the little lawn out front so you can park three regular sized vehicles out front if you park them close together. That said, the townhouse around the corner from us, (same exact floor plan but different exterior) has been on the market for 4 months now and I don't think one extra parking space is going to do that much for helping to sell this place in this complete and utter crap fest of an economy.

In summary to this rambling mess, I will be busy packing and dragging things from upstairs down to the first level so that we can start taking things over to our new place on Friday. Last week I was pushing boxes of books down the stairs as I was so tired of climbing stairs. I also had an accident on some stairs years ago, and I occasionally get panic attacks while going down the stairs. Have I mentioned that our new place is on the second floor? *sighs deeply* I guess God is telling me it's time to really start working on this issue.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pumpkin Cake

I cook and bake a lot so be prepared for recipes to show up. This one is in honor of my dear great-aunt who will be 91 this week and is suffering from advanced Alzheimer's disease. When I eat this, I'm a kid again sitting at her kitchen table looking out the window at the wildlife that surrounds the home she and my late uncle lived in for many years. I'm writing it down exactly as she wrote it so I'll try to clear up any questions after the recipe.

Pumpkin Cake
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsps soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1.5 cups pumpkin
1 cup Crisco oil
4 eggs

Mix med 4 min
1.5 cup powder sugar
1/4 cup oleo or or one stick
1 small cream cheese
vanilla 1 tsp

Oven 350 cook about 30 min

Okay, the ingredients above the line are the cake and the ingredients below the line are the frosting.

The "sugar" is the granulated kind and the "flour" is all-purpose. For "Crisco oil" she means vegetable oil. (I usually use canola myself.) When she says "pumpkin" she means the plain canned pumpkin puree not the "pumpkin pie mix" you can buy these days. When she says "soda" she means baking soda. Anyway, place all the cake ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat them at medium speed for four minutes then pour into a 9x13 baking dish ( you don't need to grease the pan) and bake in the oven on the middle rack for about 30 minutes. Test it with a toothpick and when the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.

"powder sugar"is powered sugar and "oleo" is margarine (I use butter.) "Vanilla" means vanilla extract.I can't remember seeing the 3 oz size "small cream cheese" that she is refering to lately and I normally just buy a 8oz brick and cut it half and save the rest for toast or something. I'm using 1 oz more than she does but, I like it that way. So for the frosting place your softened margarine or butter in a mixing bowl with the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and the vanilla extract and slowly beat that together till it's nice and creamy. WARNING: If you don't mix it slowly your mixer will scatter powdered sugar everywhere, or as my late grandmother would say, "From Hell to breakfast". Trust me you don't want that! *grins*

Let your cake cool and frost. Store uneaten portion in the refrigerator so it will keep better.

****edited to add**** I don't usually grease the cake pan as I don't remove it from the pan after baking. We've also gotten into the habit of scooping out cake with a big spoon and serving it in bowls. We tend to dirty up forks and knives pretty quickly in a normal day in the Hairball household. Because of this, we have adopted the bowl and spoon routine for most desserts that require utensils . If you plan to remove the cake from the pan then you will need to grease and flour your pan. Sorry for any confusion!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random thoughts on 01/20/2009

I know Obama supporters will be filled with excitement and McCain supporters will be deeply depressed when January 20th rolls around. I encourage you to take a moment and write down a few lines about what you did on that historical night and exactly how you felt when the results were announced. Tuck them away in a safe place till 2012. Did your hopes or fears come to pass? Be patient, time will tell the story.

I enjoyed looking up what Wikipedia had to share about January 20th. I'm old enough to remember when the 52 American hostages were released on that date in 1981. On a personal note, 01/20/2009 will be my 40th birthday. Shh, don't tell anybody though. My mother doesn't want anyone to know she's old enough to have two children in their 40's! *grins*

Housing woes....

We moved here in June from out of state. Because we couldn't afford a scouting trip for housing, we rented sight unseen and only signed a six month lease in case it was really bad once we got here. Our lease is up at the end of November and we had decided that the place was fine and would sign a year long lease or even an 18 month lease if the owner would go for it. We'd like to stay put for a while and work on saving money so we can buy a house for us and the kitties. Then the property manager emails Mr. Hairball to say that the owner has decided to sell the townhouse we are renting.
*throws random objects across room, sticks out bottom lip, and sighs deeply*

The property owner would be happy for us to stay until it is sold but, we'd have to let people in for showings and when it sells we would only have 30 days to vacate. You know it's one thing to go through the whole "living in a house that's on the market Hell" if it is your home but, it's a whole other ballgame when you are just the tenants. After scraping through two months without any money coming in, we had finally put some money back in the savings account and had started thinking about using some of it to leave town and spend some time with our families during Christmas break . Now, most of that money will be spent on moving expenses. So, we will be spending the holidays at home again this year. *whine*

Because the whole packing and moving extravaganza is happening the last week of November, I won't even be able to cook Thanksgiving at home. Even those years when we would dine out on Thanksgiving, I would still make us a mini-Thanksgiving earlier in the week
(turkey breast, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie) because we love the leftovers and I like to cook. *grumble, grumble*

Gone too soon...

This is a picture of my cat who died of cancer on 06/05/2008 at the age of ten. We miss her terribly. Mr. Hairball's brother gave us a big cat tree/kitty condo thingy last Christmas because he knew it would probably be her last Christmas. She loved the highest perch and if one of the other two cats got up there, she would chase them down and let them know that was *her* spot. Nowadays, the other two never get on the highest perch. Mr. Hairball says they know it still belongs to her and they leave it alone out of respect. I don't know if that is true or not but, I like the thought.

I'm not cool enough to be a blogger...

It seems that everybody and their dog has a blog these days except me. I have things on my mind just like everybody else but, sometimes I struggle with finding the right words and I have days where correct grammar and spelling are simply beyond my abilities. I set this sucker to private and I'll see how it goes. I'll do some posts and if I think they are halfway decent, then I'll open the doors to a smirking public. What will I write about?? Well, like most people, my interests are varied and different things are a priority to me on different days. Let's see what happens okay?