Saturday, December 31, 2011



Happy New Year - click here.

Friday, December 30, 2011


The other day I stopped at Sheetz to get gas and went to a "flex fuel" pump... I was reminded of the last trip to Florida when we had the rental car... I've been trying to delete things off my phone to see if it would work any better... I came across those text messages between me and Sue trying to figure out if we could put regular gas in the car... There were also texts from the same time between me and Dee about Mum...her asking me if she was going to make it home...the dreams we both had that night... the apricot and dulce de leche crepes she made and talk of mum's blueberry rolled pancakes with powdered sugar... 11 days away from the pup... just stuff.

I never had any sisters of my own. Not that Carey and my cousins, Debbie and Barbie, weren't sister-like growing up - as well as my sister-in-laws through all these years - married and before. The loss of mothers and puppies and babies and husbands and family has been catching up with me lately...

I saw these little girl shoes in Target the other night - they were just thrown on an almost empty Christmas shelf.
Everything went through my mind in the instant I saw them... every emotion that was possible... and it brought me right to that night - alone in the bathroom - when I was trying to summon up every female spirit - human and canine - that was ever in my life. There's a lot I have to say about that and some other things. I think I should just keep my mouth shut for now. I fear if I get started I'd be typing my way straight through 2012!

We had a lovely girls lunch at Sue's today. She is a spectacular hostess. Honestly, I debated on whether or not I should go. It wasn't that I didn't want to - just if I should be there. I'm glad I went. Thanks, Sue. ;-)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I made mention that we got in the car to go to dinner at 6:12. I left to go home at 12:06... I have no idea how I got home. It was the weirdest ride. I felt like I was in the car but not actually driving. I only remember the blackness of the road and seeing one other car behind me. I passed by the bank and the changeable message sign said 12:16. I would have been home earlier but I drove around to hear the end of a song and when I got home I pulled my phone out of the charger and saw this:
What is this "261" shit trying to tell me?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011



Tuesday, December 27, 2011



1. Mexican Christmas was here and gone...
I hardly took any pictures of Christmas Dinner - not really sure why. I realized it at the end of the night and opened up my camera bag and found a cookie in it. Dante put it there. I don't know if I was too consumed in the kitchen confusion or if it was all the sangria I drank... kind of sad I don't have any food pics.

2. We had some food mishaps... forgot to put a few things out and just as the Zapata's were leaving, Debbie realized we forgot to serve the choco tacos! WTF? Take a look at the bottom shelf, too... after all the searching I finally found it! Funny thing was - I didn't really need butter for anything so we never took them out! ;-)

3. Lily was a little mama and very curious with Deluca... she didn't fuss at all even when he was fussing. I think she wanted him to move over so she could snuggle in the car seat.

4. Aunt Joyce was reminiscing about our Breakfast/PJ party Christmas and Dave's hot chocolate with the candy canes. This year I used the peppermint marshmallows!!!

5. We always stored my Grandmother's handmade aprons (from the 1930s-40s) with our Christmas things... most of the Christmas stuff is still at Dixon House. I found this cute little apron at Pier One. Thought it fit well with our theme.

6. I obviously am trying to fill some void(s) in my life by overbuying for Christmas... I warned them before we went downstairs to not start with me about having too many gifts to open.

7. The Dad got a Wii for Christmas LAST YEAR. Yes, I said LAST year! Terry set it up for him this Christmas and the bowling started - complete with Twin's Nick Perry impersonation.
(One of my childhood memories is from the mid 70s and us having dinner at Hoffstot's with Nick Perry and sitting on his lap at the table.)

8. I'm still a crazy book buying girl. My stack was small this year, though. I have books I bought for Christmas last year re-packed in the amazon boxes they were shipped in. I have no place to put them. I had to limit myself this year... two of these are Lily's - yes I buy my dog books - and sometimes read them to her!

9. Aunt Gloria bought this course for me... I debated on doing it and am still stressing about it because none of my supplies are here and I have limited space to do anything. I'm going to have to make it work, I guess. Seems like a great class.

10. Lily was a crazy dog while opening her presents.
She completely ripped open a bag of treats and partially destroyed the prop I bought her for her pictures. Santa Paws brought her all kinds of cute things...
In the middle of opening presents she took a cheap little dog brush from Marshalls and ran upstairs with it. I guess she really liked it. She's a strange little pup.

Monday, December 26, 2011



And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. ~ Roald Dahl

Sunday, December 25, 2011


¡Viva México!

I can't say this day went off without a hitch... I was up until 4 am last night wrapping presents and did nothing else. My lack of prep and use of my signature post-it notes to arrange my dishes showed! Not the freak out of last year but I did have to be restrained a couple times. ;-)

This was our 13th year of themes...
1999 - Soul Food
2000 - Chinese
2001 - Luau
2002 - Western
2003 - Carnival
2004 - Italian
2005 - Hanukkah
2006 - Soup & Sandwich
2007 - Comfort Food
2008 - Polish
2009 - Breakfast Pajama Party
2010 - Appetizers
2011 - Mexican

Here we are now and the party is over... It's 1:30 am and I'm here with coffee and pizza frite. We strayed from the theme a little on that one but it's not Christmas without pizza frite!!! Glo is in another room sleeping... The Dad is in another reading his new food porn and The Bud is passed out from a night of drinking too many Grrronas. :-)
She always had a problem controlling her licker. ;-)

Saturday, December 24, 2011



I have NOTHING ready for tomorrow. Just can't seem to get with it tonight. I apologize in advance to the people that will be here - this can't possibly turn out ok! I have a few more presents to wrap and I think I am quitting for the night and will just worry about it all tomorrow.

This poor puppy is stressing a little too... I don't think she has been feeling well the last couple days and now it's like she's on the third grade playground trying to pick her team for volleyball!
Glo wants her to sleep in bed with her and keeps telling "RoseBud in Norfolk" stories... The Dad is jealous because she's not with him and keeps whistling for her... from time to time, the Bud jumps off one of the beds to find me and looks at me with this "make it stop" look on her face. I know, pup, I don't like it either.

On a positive note - my choco tacos look cute all in a nice little row.
Here's hoping I become more enthusiastic about all of this tomorrow.

Merry Christmas to all... and to all... a good night.

Friday, December 23, 2011


I wish I had some elves right about now. At least some sous chefs in santa hats! I got a late start today but was out running around all over the place... I have a couple more gifts to get tomorrow and a little more food and I am officially done. I'm running really behind on everything. I think it's safe to say - I will never be the type of girl that is ready for anything. I shop until the end and cook until the end and no matter how much planning goes into it - I'm out rushing around like a crazy girl. I have my work cut out for me this year... if I manage to stay up for the next 48 hours - I think I can get it all done!

It's 2:50 am right now... going to redo my lists and work up my food time schedule. I didn't plan on starting my soup so late but I did so now I'll be up for awhile!
I don't know if you can tell from this picture but that's a restaurant size pot...I think I may have to eat some in a little bit at my 3am feeding so I can stir it. I cut it a little close there.

Anyway, a few days ago - the day of the really bad rain - I saw this in the yard...
I thought it was someone's garbage can lid at first - well I thought it was a UFO honestly - and then I thought it was some insert for a can or something. I didn't pay much attention to it. Today, The Dad realized it was the cover to the attic exhaust fan so there's been a HOLE up there for a couple days... I don't know how much water or what critters or birds or whatever got in there!?!

I guess some elves did come over to check things out...
That's not one of Santa's reindeer on the roof - that's Michael with a flashlight...

He and Kenny came over and covered the hole for now until we can get someone out here. I doubt they will be able to come out before Monday...
Thank God for them for coming to the rescue and getting up on the roof... the entire time without putting their cigars down!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I remember the year my mother died... we decided we weren't going to put up a Christmas Tree. David's mother said I had to have one and gave me a little baby tree... I'm sure I have it's picture somewhere. I'll never forget that tree. I thought about it at Sam's tonight when I saw these.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I got caught in a strange rain storm as I was leaving Oakland today. I wasn't even thinking and went down Washington Boulevard... from one end to the other it just got worse and worse. You can't tell from this picture but by the time I was half way through water was already in the middle of the road and on the sides...
Allegheny River Boulevard was just as bad if not worse. I have to admit I opened the glove box and got my Life Hammer out. I didn't think I was going to make it home. It was the first I noticed the trees on Washington Boulevard too... I guess a lot (way back) fell or were uprooted from that last storm when the people died. Who would ever think you could drown driving down the road?

On a lighter note - just because she's so cute... here's Lily Bud playing with my pig timer
You would think she didn't have any toys of her own.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011



1. I got my second parking ticket tonight. I had to go to Pinskers to get some kosher wine for a gift. It was packed and I guess I didn't make it out in time. I got this for myself for Hanukkah. I used to wear a red string bracelet some time ago. My "medals" haven't been helping me much lately so I thought I would add this. From the time I was born I had a black ribbon (from my Grandmother) and a red ribbon (from my mom's Jewish friend) tied to my crib... when I got older I pinned medals to my clothes almost every day of my life - a cornicello charm, a mano cornuta charm and a red and black ribbon. In fact, they are poking me right now through my pocket in my jeans. Ouch. ;-)

2. I'm struggling to get everything done or at least scheduled to get done. There's still so much to do - shopping, food shopping, cleaning, cooking, packing things in bins and storing them in the car for a couple days! I'm starting to get a little stressed. Even though we would typically still be doing the floors or in the shower when the first guest arrived, David and I were always so good at the planning and being in sync with the party prep. There are so many non - holiday things going on this week and unexpected doctor visits - there's just not enough time to do it all. I'm trying though. I don't think I've gone to sleep before 3 or 4 in the last week. I JUST WANT TO GO TO BED! The Dad has been cooking for two days - he is hosting a party at work tomorrow - I have to make signs for his buffet line now and find his DeLuca apron - last seen here! ;-)

3. I put money on this target card because I wanted the snowman!

4. Looks like I really messed up my phone... can't get email on it when I'm out - it comes in at home some times - I guess through wifi. I can't send or receive texts either... I think it's safe to say- techie I am not.

5. From time to time I help my imaginary son with his homework over the phone. The other night we went over items for an emergency kit for his wellness class. Totally love this site. I'm going to get a bin (or two or seven) and put a few things together. That's one of my new year's resolutions I plan to actually accomplish. I've been "preparing" a disaster kit since September 11th. so wish me luck.

6. Does anyone watch Homeland on Showtime? I only watched the finale and the episode before it but I think I'm pretty much up to speed. Good show. The character's storage unit number was 1026. After that I must have seen those numbers (one way or the other) 20 times... I'm still a little freaked over the dream about my mother the other night and the other weird stuff that's been going on. I still think there are "people" checking in on us... though some things are being explained a little (see 7 and 8.)

7. Glo's doctor wanted me to bring her in on Monday... there have been too many hallucinations and strange behavior over the last few weeks. It is dementia for sure (at times at least) but they are trying to rule out other things too... I'm going to be very busy for awhile trying to figure out what is going on with everyone - including the pup... ;-(

8. Poor Lily has been blessed with the pug eyes! She needs to be on drops now. She has darkening in her eyes... I've been reading about it and am getting more and more concerned. Our favorite internet pug, Merry, started with that and has gone blind. I read it can happen as early as 3 so I'm concerned. Wondering now if the reason for her freak outs is (at least) partly because of her vision. She's been looking really sad lately and I hate that.

9. I thought the cinnamon M&M's would be a good fit for (Mexican) Christmas. I think they are only available at Target. They are delightful. I didn't know they made these. I don't shop at WalMart much, though, so I may have missed them. I think they were only available there. Why are the eyebrows of the M&M "people" on the outside of their hats, though???

10. Go to google... Type in Let It Snow. Wait a second. Then watch... play in the snow before you defrost it. ;-)

Monday, December 19, 2011


Shopping Saturday was surprisingly not busy at all - no matter what time (early or late) no one seemed to be out. Yesterday was a different story. Lily and I picked up Cara and we went shopping - it was super busy and crowded everywhere. Cara went to the mall while Lily and I went to the pet store to get her picture taken with the most disheveled Santa around.
Lily is a little disheveled herself but she always looks fetching so no big deal. You can tell a difference with the amount of money you pay for photos... This one was $10 and half of it went to charity... I guess they don't have a lot of money to spring for an authentic looking Santa or props!

Though last year wasn't much better, I guess.
This Santa was a woman, actually.

Her picture package for her first Santa encounter at South Hills Village was $45. This guy may have been directly from the North Pole, though, so money well spent. ;-) Next year we are going back to the mall!
Just so we have all of The Bud's Christmases present and accounted for - here she is soon after we got her - just a little bitty baby.
Anyway, after the photo we went back to the mall and got Cara and did some more shopping - She would sing to her while I went in to some stores and vice versa. Lily had a good old time. She loves being out and seeing new things - she's such a good little pup.

Lily did her own shopping too (she made me go in for her, though) and we ended up at Moio's to get some cookies for her peeps and a little something for us. ;-)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Everyone is making fun of me because of my infatuation with lamb butter... which then led to turkey butter which has been freaking everyone out because it just sounds gross every time I say it.

I bought lamb butter for Easter... and then looked everywhere for turkey butter this year - which I never found. It was sold out everywhere I went.

I am now on the hunt for snowman butter (or even Christmas tree butter) which I'm not sure exists but I think would be incredibly adorable if it did. I had visions of me hoarding snowman butter and throwing as many as I could into my cart like I was on Supermarket Sweep. That vision never came to fruition. I did buy a very cute circle mold with a pug in the middle so it looks like we will be having pug butter this Christmas.

Anyway, I had a very strange dream last night and woke up (literally) screaming...

I was driving in the car - my mother was in the back seat - no one else was with us - we were coming from a glass show or a glass making class. I couldn't understand anything she was saying but I remember looking back in the rear view mirror and seeing her. She was speaking clearly but I didn't understand the language or the words weren't making any sense... it went on for awhile. All of a sudden I remember hearing something break and I assumed something we bought fell in the back of the car and broke. I remember looking back and seeing her sitting there looking a little strange and I continued driving. All of a sudden I felt something and realized she had a shard of glass and was rubbing it on the back of my neck trying to either etch something into it or kill me.

I screamed and asked what she was doing and she just said "Lamb of God" while she continued to do it.

Then I woke up.

So - that's my six degrees of lamb butter:
Lamb butter - Turkey butter - Snowman/Christmas tree butter - Pug butter - Dream - Lamb (of God) butter. ;-)

Saturday, December 17, 2011



Friday, December 16, 2011


...only thing to do is jump over the moon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011



I was up late on the computer. Lily gave up on me hours before and went in with The Dad. Around 3:30 am I went in to kiss her goodnight and she jumped off the bed and followed me in. She jumped on my bed and freaked out!
I grabbed the flashlight and tried to calm her down but she kept trying to back away from something. She wouldn't go to the bottom of the bed at all and kept trying to climb on the pillows on top of my head.
All she did was bark and whimper. Now, The Dad is a freaked out too and keeps saying there's a ghost in the house. He took her outside and she came back in and started barking at me and wouldn't step in the room. Why wouldn't any ghost attached to me be dog friendly? I don't know what's going on... but this little pup is seriously afraid of something.

Cara and I went to Aunt Gloria's tonight to take her shopping and go to dinner. We walked into her apartment and she looked terrible but was ready to go... It was after 6 and she was starving. She asked us if everyone left or if they were still out there. We were confused and asked her what she meant... She said that there were a bunch of people outside... kids running around and playing... the ladies had picnic baskets and were setting up the food and the guys were standing around talking. She said she saw them through the window and then she looked again and there was a guy with glasses looking in her bedroom window. She described everyone, what they were wearing, etc... I specifically asked her what clothes they had on to see if they were in Victorian clothing or present day or something... she said present day. She got in the car and said that there was someone standing in front of her neighbors window looking in... and on our way home she said there was someone in front of the car. We were driving on 28. When I got there I remembered something she told me a couple weeks ago too. She said RoseBud was there. I asked her what she meant and she said RoseBud was on the couch and then told me that her little embroidered pug/teddy bear pillow was moving and barking. I don't know if she is just hallucinating or death is approaching or "people" are coming to visit... This is all getting a little weird.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011



I shouldn't really complain because there are many single moms out there that manage to work and take care of their home and responsibilities and cart their children around to where they need to go just fine. Though not my children, the dad and glo and the bud are under my care and, of course, had every unexpected "necessity" in the last week. This is all proving to be too much - along with my own stuff on top of it and Christmas on top of that. I really need to get organized here. I'm starting to spiral out of control.

I met with my therapist this morning and he yelled at me because I didn't have my phone transferred yet. I told him I was working on it but was having computer problems. I have 57 more photos (out of 241) to email and save to a jump drive before I can do anything - so I'm in a bit of a panic over it. There are only 24 hours in a day and I'm up the majority of them and I still haven't had time. Correction - made the time - to finish. There's something wrong with that. I feel like there is a countdown clock tick-tocking away and some alarm is about to go off any minute - well in the next couple days, I guess. I would like to drop everything and take care of all these things but I haven't found a way to do so... if anyone has any suggestions - let me know.

I was up most of the night last night and, when I was ready for bed, The Bud started growling and barking at something again for a long time...
... then she seemed to follow it into the computer room and barked at it some more - at least 20 minutes. There was no stopping her - she seemed really mad.
... Then she kind of stood guard.
Dog fight? IDK - I'm wondering if it's RoseBud checking things out and wondering what's going on here.

After my appointment, I did opt out of a not so necessary day with Glo today so I could try to finish shopping at a quicker pace - I didn't do so great. Well, I never stopped - from morning until night... just didn't meet the deadline. So I was back here dragging in a car load of bags and rewriting my list for tomorrow.

I'm debating on just dropping the phone in the sink and calling it a night. So instead of doing what I should be doing - I'll share some photos from my day....

Note to self: never go to toys r us again. It's trashy and dirty and not one of the employees - which I'm sure were all holiday help - were, in fact, helpful. I talked to four different people and not one of them knew what they were doing. If it wasn't for these two things in my cart (which I randomly came across for ME!) I would have left. ;-)
I totally felt bad for this dog who must have working parent(s) and was put into doggy day care at PetSmart. He just looked so sad and totally wanted to go home.
Snacks while you are shopping are a good thing...
... and that "baby in the cart" picture looks like a spider.

Yeah... more marshmallows. So? And another best invention in my opinion: those 3M hooks.

"Tis the Cheese'n?" Not really. I have not been able to find the winter Kraft mac and cheese. ;-(

I don't know what these Skylanders are but, every time I pass by this display and push that button, I think I want them.
And here's one I took last week...
Awwww. $5.99

And this, my friends, is why I have so many photos on my phone.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


TOT - TEN ON TUESDAY (randomness)

1. I bought a new shop set for PDP...
Puppy dogs and flowers = what more could I ask for?!?

2. Yay for Fear Factor's return! If I didn't have to eat yucky stuff or do the underwater stunts I would totally do it. ;-)

3. LOL

4. I have somehow managed to be virtually cluttered... my laptop, photos, and some of my Pinterest boards are a little out of control. I need to start organizing within my boards. I'm going to start with Food Glorious Food.

5. Quite possibly because of #4 - my email hasn't been working on the laptop for weeks. Actually months. I've been using the web version but now that isn't working. Maybe it's the iCloud thing??? It's taking me forever to email myself all the photos on my phone because I can't sync it. I need an IT guy - STAT.

6. I really thought I would be better organized and ready for this Christmas. No such luck. Still so much to do!!!!!

7. I was cleaning out the bar and found a 25-30 year old bottle of Tequila that Uncle Jim & Aunt Marie brought back from a trip to Mexico. At least it fits our Christmas theme! I also found a surprise - this little light changing smore guy holding a star. He was still wrapped up in the bag I brought him home in. I got him in Deep Creek... the bag must have gotten shoved behind the bar when we got home.

8. I watched Dexter for the first time the other night when I couldn't sleep... I like him but thought most of the other acting was horrible. I watched Homeland Security for the first time too - that was good. I seem to only watch television after midnight anymore besides a few elimination/kick off shows. Which reminds me... funny clip of Bill Crawford talking about watching tv.

9. New day dawning...

10. awwww ;-)