Friday, December 23, 2011

One-Armed Christmas and Kind Hearted Friends

Because my left arm has been out of commission, the usual blitz of Christmas Cookies that springs from my kitchen didn't happen this year. Instead, Julie, Paula and I got together to assemble and decorate pre-baked gingerbread houses. Yeah, yeah, I know -- pre-baked? Me? The cookie freak?

It was A LOT more fun that I thought it would be! We all brought different candies which was SO COOL. Way, way, way more variety than any gingerbread house I've ever made on my own.

Yeah, I missed the smell of baking gingerbread... BUT Paula made tollhouse cookies while we played Santa's Bakeshop, and Julie cooked up a batch of her Mom's lip-smackin' sebeggi sauce. The house was filled with mouth-watering aromas, and it sure smelled like Christmas to me! What a lucky bunny!

And all I had to do was show up and have fun!
Having a flipper has some occasional advantages!

Having kind hearted friends is even better :o)
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Felines Navidad

Christmas Came Early!

I got the pink fiberglass cast removed last Wednesday!

WooHOO! What a delight to take a shower without a plastic bag taped over my arm! Got a custom splint and started therapy that same day... I am well on the road to recovery :o)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I Wanna Build One of These!

We have a truckload of squirrels living in our yard -- an obstacle course would provide a lot of entertainment! My favorite part is the squirrel-propelled rocket in the tube!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Varmint!

I just love this picture. It's a couple years old, but still great. Sometimes, I swear, Leo poses when I've got the camera set up. He's a ball of trouble and fun in a little furry suit!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Too Warm for a Christmas Tree?

Now that it's December, I'm itching to get a Christmas tree -- but the weather is so warm it feels kinda wrong. I don't need it to be snowy... just cold and frosty. Maybe by next weekend it will cool down enough to need a jacket and gloves. For now, I'll just admire this handsome hound and his festive fir!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Left Arm 3.2

Here is the current upgrade to my Left Arm. I took the picture with some flowers to make up for the scary x-rays I posted of Left Arm 3.0

In case you're wondering, I'm considering my original equipment Left Arm 1.0
The 2008 upgrade to Left Arm 2.0 was carpal tunnel release.

This latest version features a radius 5mm shorter, flanked with a titanium plate and fourteen screws, AND the nifty pink cast I just got today!

It'll change again in a couple weeks... you know how those pesky upgrades are!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for:
my hardworking, sweet hearted husband
my sister's exceptional cooking & doctoring skills
my brother's much appreciated care package
the love of family & friends
and modern medicine.


These are x-rays of my left wrist taken during/after surgery.

I'll be driving the metal detectors at airports crazy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

That little bone is named the lunate.

The little black one in the middle. It should be white like the rest of the bones. Instead it looks like a blank spot, because the lunate in my left wrist isn't getting enough blood. How obscure! Of all the thousands of things that could go wrong, what an odd ailment! Kienbock's disease. Humph.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back around 2003 I created my original website for some of you may remember it's nice, clean layout and easily navigated portfolio pages. It was really easy to build using Mac software and hosted through .mac, and blah, blah, blah-yeah-you-know-I-love-Macs. Last year when I found myself unemployed, I had a financial panic attack and didn't renew my .mac account or pay to keep my domain name.

When I came to my senses, I wanted my domain name back. After much ado, is mine again. Still trying to cut corners, I've been re-building my site with the freebie software provided by the discount registrar. It makes me want to gouge my eyes out! Oh Apple 'websites for dummies' I miss you!

It's not finished, but humor me PLEASE and go take a look. The discount software is bringing out my inner demon... just ask Michael. Check it out, gimmie some clicks (so I don't have to see those other posers when I google 'zulustudio') and I'll have the warm fuzzies like a good bunny.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This is Pittsburgh Steelers Country, Baby!

Michael's got guests coming for game time... hopefully the Steelers will bring their A-game and I will supply the A-nachos! I make some kick-a$$ nachos, kids -- so if you're in the area round kick-off, stop in!
WooHoo! Go Steelers!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm trying to think of it as "Jewelry for my Bone"

So far, it's not really working.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm a Bad Blogger.

But I'm good at other things -- like making Halloween costumes! And staying up too late the night before unpleasant appointments. And poor sentence structure... and cake decorating...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Biker Dog!

We were at the 25th Annual Old Truck Meet in Barrington today and saw this happy pooch in a custom made motorcycle "dog car" trailer! Doggles, helmet - he was ready for the open road! We saw some really cool old trucks... photos to come...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Lawnmower that Broke My Heart

When we bought our house I was so excited to get an old fashioned mower... the kind I remember from when I was a kid. I had fantasies of clipping our mossy front yard to the quiet swoosh of the reel - blades whirling - bits of grass fluttering. One day at work I ran out to a nearby hardware store at lunch time and bought a reel mower. So impassioned, I had to have the floor model because it was pre-assembled and I could use it as soon as I got home! The afternoon dragged while I day dreamed about moss, tender grass blades, dappled sunlight and my new swooshy mower.

When I finally got home that evening, I pulled the mower out of the trunk and hurried to the front yard. My first few strokes were smooth and lovely -- the blades and the grass danced. And then -- CHUNK. stop THUMP. stop CHOMP. stop. THUNK. stop

The very trees I intended to do-si-do my lovely new reel mower around thwarted my every stride with their BLASTED ACORNS!

Thousands and thousands of acorns. Each one catching in the whirling blades. Dozens of wheel barrows of acorns every Autumn. The mower I longed for, useless under the canopy of mighty oaks.

It's been a long, tough breakup. I keep hoping things will change. Every once and a while I pull it out and give it a whirl. And a THUMP. And my heart goes ker-plunk.

Almost ten years ago I rushed home with That Mower - a school girl with a new crush. I'm almost over it. I'm finally gonna sell it. And when I do, I'll buy some Ben & Jerry's and sit on the mossy part of the lawn and chuck acorns at the great, big, sassy squirrels.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm ready to go back here now...

RRRRRAaaaaAAAHHHH! Stupid Passwords.

Stupid Hackers that make Stupid Passwords necessary.
Blah, blah, blah, letters and numbers and shift lock,
and minimum characters,
and type these distorted, fuzzy, WTFDTM characters,
and too much to freakin' remember!

Michael, wanna know why I don't post more often? Half the time I think of something worth writing I can't find the password to get on here! By the time I find the little scrap of paper I've got it written on, I'm frustrated and have lost all motivation. I could make a make a list... but isn't writing down all my "secret passwords" in one place defeat the whole idea of them being secret?


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hum: It's Beginning to Feel a lot Like Christmas!

We got back last night from a week of camping in New Brunswick... and it felt like Christmas. No, it didn't snow, although it was in the high 40s a couple nights. We had so much new gear it was like opening Christmas presents all week!

First there's the 2005 Aliner, the cutest, hard-side, origami lotus, pop-up camper you've ever seen! One person can have it set up and ready to rock in less than 1 minute - I kid you not. Once we got up to Kent Junction, within minutes of being on the camp road we saw a bear. We've seen quite a few over the last five years and lemme tellya - having a chomp resistant sleeping space is a wonderful thing! Not that a determined bear couldn't bust into the camper - but at least we'd have a little bit of warning and a fighting chance. Mmmmm... Aliners... crunchy on the outside, meaty on the inside!

Then there was Michael's truck. He sold the Ranger and bought a used F-150 and it's perfect for towing the Aliner. Since it doesn't have a cap, he got a new tool box to keep his chain saws dry and secure. We had a variety of camping gear from Charlie and the previous owner of the Aliner that was new to us as well. Different cookware, storage totes, extra lanterns, a folding kitchen table/rack... luxuries that made it feel like Sky Mall camping!

It was Christmas in June out there in the woods. Grateful, peaceful, vigilant. Thank you notes for our gifts were sung by the swaying leaves and carried star bound by the camp fire's smoke.

Here's the trailhead of our camp on St. Joseph Road,
with the truck and camper tucked into the trees.

I'm standing across the road from the trailhead looking north...

and here's the south view. It's heavenly out there in the woods!

This is the Aliner parked in the driveway at home, and Michael posing nicely for some reference of scale. I think it needs a "Hershey's Kiss" pennant flapping from the peak!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Our backyard... what's left of it!

Michael has been a very busy beaver! Literally! Now that the trees are down, he can cut them to length and split some fire wood for our imaginary wood stove. We're leaving a couple of the trunks long and I'm going to try and find someone with a Wood Miser we can borrow. I would love, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to build some nice bookcases with oak milled from our back yard!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hey Dr. Pierce, is it too late for me to be cured?

Rats! The copyright is 1903 so I guess I won't be collecting that $500 any time soon. I'm in a manic spiral of research and learning curves, fueled by financial fear... and I think I may be beyond cure! I'm an obsessive hound that keeps nibbling my hiney, nibble, nibble, nibble, nibble...

I can't stop! AAaaahhhhHHH! Nibble, nibble, nibble, nibble!

I'm over-tired and delirious. I need to go to bed.

But I'm WIDE AWAKE and my brain won't stop nibbling...

... nibble, nibble, nibble...

Friday, April 8, 2011

The latest reason why I love Navy Federal Credit Union

I know it probably seems weird to love a financial institution, but I do. I was a young girl when my father was active duty Navy. He opened a Navy Federal Credit Union 'share savings' account for each of us kids. All five were encouraged to save a portion of our after-school job earnings. I'm pretty sure I was still in high school when I opened my first checking account. Upon graduation and my first full time job, I applied for a Visa card. It doesn't seem like much, but that was the 80s, before the credit card industry mutated into the abomination that it is today. NFCU was the only lender who would give me a 'real' credit card, not a savings secured credit card. I felt like they believed in me, a working class kid... they were on my side. Then, at the tender age of 19, NFCU gave me my first new car loan - with no co-signer and the absolute best interest rate I could find anywhere.

The years roll... more car loans... lenient terms when I was unemployed... increased limits on demand when I was living large... debt consolidation... financial advice... first time home buyer education... exceptional mortgage services... unbelievably easy refinancing... I could type all night. Anytime I've needed them, they've been there... and on my 25th anniversary as a member they sent a Thank You card. No, no -- Thank You.

I've been banking with NFCU all my life and they consistently provide the best rates, most accommodating customer service, and fiscally responsible management I've ever experienced. They've never had hidden fees and tricks that raise credit card interest rates. They don't sell mortgages. They don't take stupid risks. They do take good care of their members. Especially right now: Navy Federal Credit Union to Cover Pay During Shutdown

Oh, NFCU... you're my childhood sweetheart.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Feelin' squirrely

This is me! I'm just a squirrel in a flying nut-mobile! That's how I feel lately when working in my office... like I'm burrorrowing. It's all good, just a lot of things going at the same time and a lot of tail chasing. Nutty is just about right, sometimes.

This is one of my favorite Kinder Surprise toys and it just seemed like a good time to take a break and have a bit of fun. I know I'm WAY too old to be so delighted by toys, but how can anyone resist something as cute and clever as this?! In my next life I want to come back as a toy designer for Kinder.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bye for now, FB.

Sleepy with the sheepy time. I've decided to put my Facebook page into hibernation for a while. Just another phase in my ongoing love/hate relationship with technology. Maybe it's because I've been on Ebay and Craigslist so much lately and it's bringing out my inner misanthrope. Maybe it's Michael's fault 'cause he's such a hermit and you know what people say about "The longer a couple is together, the more similar they become."

I wouldn't mind a little hibernation myself. Raw weather = PJs + books + an orange varmint. Alas, that is not in today's equation. I hope my Monday works out to be: USPO + MarketBucket + housework + Tilton = a good night's sleep. Those sheepies haven't been my friends lately. Hopefully it will all add up tonight.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Peanut Carrot Cakes

A couple of weeks ago I made a bunch of small carrot cakes for my mother-in-law's birthday. (We have an ongoing joke that Peanut is her favorite GrandCat, so I made a marzipan version as a cake topper.) Since then I've been craving carrot cake but not the HUGE calorie count. I've figured out that shredded carrots tossed with toasted walnuts, raisins and shredded coconut tastes almost as good as carrot cake, with just a fraction of the calories. It's a nice salad... now if I could stop thinking about the cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


It's alive!


So, I've been toying with the idea of re-starting my blog. Partially because Gram isn't interested in Facebook and won't open PDFs - so I can't share photos with her electronically. Partially because there are people who used to read my blog and comment, and I lost touch with them when I stopped blogging. Mostly because I miss the longer format of blog writing. As Facebook and Twitter distill thoughts into fewer and fewer words, I find myself feeling verbose and defiant.