Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Anniversary of Sorts

My dad passed away seven years ago today. In some ways, it seems like such a short time ago, but in many, many ways, it seems like forever.

There are many reasons why I'll never forget that day. But one big one stands out in my mind: it was the day that God sent angels to take care of me, my mom, and Richard.

Not angels like the ones you'd think of traditionally - the ones you see in drawings with wings and harps -- but angels here on earth that He knew we'd need. People who all showed up right when we needed them, and too many of them to be coincidence.

The first one is my mom's minister Horace. I was outside the hospital making some calls, and when I came back in, he was waiting at the elevators and we went to the room together. When we got to the room, we found out that Dad had passed -- quietly, because he had been in a coma for a few days prior. Horace was able to be with my mom while I went to the nurses station, and he stayed with us for hours afterward.

The next angel who came is my friend Linda. She arrived right after Dad passed and stayed with us until we got everything finished up at the hospital and got back to my mom's house. I don't know if I ever told her how much I appreciated what she did for us that day and what she and her husband Jim and son Mark did for us by staying at the house with Oscar during the funeral, but (since I know she reads this) I am now. Thanks, sweetie, and much love.

The other two angels are our choir director Jerry and his wife, Charlise. Dad passed about 4 on a Sunday afternoon; evidently Jerry looked at Charlise about 4 and told her "We need to go to Rome." They showed up an hour later as we were making arrangements with the funeral home and it was such a blessing to have them there!!

So today is a bit of a somber day for me. Life changed radically when Dad died, and the adjustment has been hard. I miss him so much every day. I want to tell him that I accomplished the goals that he wanted for me: I got my CPA license and I now own my own business. I know he's watching me from heaven, and I hope he's proud.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In case you were wondering...

...what happened with the Caps for Connor, please go to Beth's blog for a full wrap up!!

I managed to get two knitted... many others knitted many more.

Thank you to everyone for their support

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Kind of Sports Car Are You?

I'm a Dodge Viper!

You're all about raw power. You're tough, you're loud, and you don't take crap from anyone. Leave finesse to the other cars, the ones eating your dust.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Is this really necessary?

A bath? Really? How humiliating.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Culinary Misadventures

Those of you who know me know that I refer to myself as "home-economically-challenged": that is to say, I'm not really at home in the kitchen. Unfortunately, when I do decide to try to cook something, I have this annoying habit of picking something that's not the easiest for a beginner. It's the same way I approached piano lessons as a child. I'd get a piano book and immediately turn to the back and learn to play the last piece in it. Then I figured I was done. The other piddly stuff in there was bor-ing. So we'll say that working up to a skill set is not my strong suit.

I found a recipe for sea salt caramels. Looked good. Looked reasonable. I assembled ingredients: cream, butter, sugar, Karo syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt. Check. Recipe called for a large stock pot and a candy thermometer. I grabbed the largest pot I had out of my cookware set and broke the seal on the candy thermometer package and went to mixin'.

Cook for 10 minutes on high heat and bring to a boil while stirring to melt butter and dissolve sugar. Check.

Reduce heat to medium high and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, till temp on thermometer reaches 248. Check.

Except...well... nobody told me what happens when cream, sugar, butter, and corn syrup start simmering. Things expand. In spite of every blasted chemistry and physics class I've ever taken, this thought never occured to me.

And when Mt. Vesuvius blew up all over the stove, I realized their definition of "large stock pot" was "bigger than the pot I had". Exhibit A:Note the caramelly goodness all over the sides? Yeah. Mt. Vesuvius erupted. We grabbed the pot off the burner and tried to get things calmed down.

So I think... well, I'll keep a better eye on it next time... so I put it back on. Alas, I'm a slow learner. The same bloody thing happened again. Exhibit B:See Richard's hand cleaning up caramelly goodness from the eye of the stove? At this point, I fear we're going to have to call in someone to repair the stove as that particular eye will no longer light of its own volition. Exhibit C:I like to call Exhibit C the "cha-ching for the stove repair people shot". Note that this shot was taken in mid-cleanup. Caramel makes very quickly when the mixture lands on a hot stove-eye (just in case you were wondering).

So we figured that the volume of the goop we were working with was greater than the volume of the container, and we'd better take some out if this experiment was ever going to succeed. Richard diligently ladled out caramel mixture, and we resumed simmering for what seemed like an eternity at that point.

But the temperature finally reached the magic 248 and we poured the mixture out onto well greased parchment paper and left it to set. I had no idea what it would taste like, considering all the consternation, but actually, it's some pretty tasty caramel.

It oughta be. I have a feeling it's gonna be some very expensive caramel when everything's said and done!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Shopping...

Yeah. I went to the mall. Evidently it was "Stand in the aisle and stare" day and I didn't get the memo about it. I got out as fast as I could because I decided that yelling "Move your fat butt" a) wasn't very polite and b) wasn't in the spirit of the season. But there were some folks that did not know the meaning of "Excuse me.... excuse me... EXCUSE ME!!!"

I swear I'm trying to be in a good humor about the season, but it doesn't help that the two people I need to buy gifts for are the two most difficult people to shop for on the face of the earth.

My mom: I get that she has all the junk and tsotchkes anyone could ever want and/or need. However, I'm not about to go up to her house for Christmas empty-handed. So each year I end up on a quest for the person who says "don't get me anything" trying to find some simple something that might possibly tickle her fancy yet not clutter up her house. This is easier said than done.

My husband: I love my husband dearly. I cannot imagine life without him. But buying presents for him drives me nuts. He provides a list, and says he's open to surprises, yet when said surprises are presented often goes "Oh. Thanks." and tosses the gift to one side. One year he did that with a rather expensive jacket and I stopped festivities right there and then. It reminds me of the Friends episode where they're buying birthday gifts for Rachel, and her boyfriend Tag buys something that's not on the list. "Don't ever go off the list" they tell him. (Geez, I miss that show. There's so many life applications in it...).

So today I went to the mall. I went off the list at hubby's request to try to surprise him (without buying gift cards, since he specifically requested that I not give him those). I came up with something. We'll see. I shopped for Mom for a few things in addition to the mitts that I'm knitting for her. Again, we'll see.

Believe it or not, I have to go back to the mall tomorrow, because I forgot something I was going to get for Mom. I can't believe I was so stupid as to have to go back on a Saturday, but we'll go early and get out. Besides, they're practically giving the place away. Srsly.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rain, Rain...

...a rainy night in Georgia. At least it looks like that's what it's gonna be right now. Don't get me wrong: we need the rain in the worst kind of way. Problem is the cold front coming in right behind it... which may lead to ice... an encounter with which wasn't the kindest to my behind last Friday.

Was headed to Rome to see Mom, and as usual, I stopped at one of the local Starbucks to fuel up for the trip. This isn't the usual Starbucks that Richard and I frequent; as a matter of fact, this one isn't known for it's incredibly efficient staff, if you catch my drift. At any rate, I pulled into a choice parking space in front, grabbed the purse and stepped out of the Hummer to get my coffee...

...only to find myself sitting on the asphalt right on my adequate (I'm not so naive as to say "little") behind. And I landed hard. With absolutely no memory of what happened.

Then I saw the black ice.

So I crawled on hands and knees over the ice to find some place with traction so I could get up and assess the damage. (Several days out, I'm now incredibly annoyed that nobody inside the Starbucks, which was full, lifted a finger to help me. So much for the season of goodwill.) I went up to the counter and told the person that they had a problem, because there was black ice in front of their store, I had just fallen, and they'd better do something about it before someone really got hurt. The genius beside her said "Oh yeah, there was a sheet of glass out there all last winter."

Really, Sherlock? Think ya should have done something about it?

They gave me a free latte, and Sherlock followed me out with a yellow cone. He got to my car and allowed that "Gee, you really can't see this, can you?? Let me help you to your car." I'm no fool; I put my latte in on the other side of the car before taking him up on his offer. He did put the yellow cone in the parking space so nobody else could use it till things thawed out.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. I awaken to find out that I am sore in places I didn't know I had. I couldn't go to my stitch group's annual gingerbread house construction day at Vicky's. Even on Monday, sitting all day at continuing education was painful (even more than tax law normally would be). And we'll just say my rear end is a delightful shade of blue and dark purple.


At least I don't think there's any permanent damage, either to my body or to my dignity. But if there's ice again this week, I'll be taking it very easy when I'm out.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm curious...

When I look at the FEEDJIT feed associated with my blog, I find that most of the hits are associated with this post. People from all over the world are looking at it. It's really pretty kewl.

What is it about the post that you find interesting? The cute dog? The sentiment? I'd like to know!

Leave a comment and tell me what you're thinking. :)