Saturday, January 31, 2009


The maximum amount of snow I can allow to accumulate in my driveway before my 4-wheel drive Dakota gets stuck: 20 inches.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


  • I went to a funeral on Monday. I have a lot of fond memories of Mrs. S. I have regrets that I didn't visit as often as I should have/wanted to.
  • I haven't seen anything in the news about this, but have seen it around the blogosphere: Pope Benedict un-excommunicated four renegade bishops which John Paul II had excommunicated. One was Richard Williamson, who doesn't believe that almost 6 million people were killed in the Holocaust. I can't believe that someone who denies the horror of what happened could be allowed to have such a high any post in the Catholic church. I've been to Auschwitz Birkenau. Even with the place empty, you can *feel* terrible things happened there. Anyone who doesn't believe in the atrocities that happened has no business preaching peace and word of God. This is also the same guy who said that The Sound of Music is "soul-rotting slush" and doesn't think that women should wear pants or shorts. The decision by the Pope doesn't give me much confidence in his judgement.
  • How am I supposed to feel when I see someone who hasn't been having very good luck lately and I decide to spend money that I don't have to get that someone something that I know will make them happy and cheer them up... And the first thing they say after how much they love the gift is to ask if I would be mad if they gave it away?
  • And then there are some people that you just shouldn't try to help out. I don't want to say "I told you so" because that means that the very awful thing that I was trying to prevent has happened. But it will.
  • It's not looking good for Dad.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I did some more research and hit pay dirt - It was a huge wave of relief that came over me when I found out that I don't have to worry about getting flood insurance. Yay! It's really nice not have to worry about the possibility of that future expense. I have enough on my plate as it is now - financially, that is...

This morning going to work, I saw what appeared to be some guys grooming the snowmobile trails. This wouldn't be so surprising to me if I had seen this at some public park, but this was along someone's front yard.

Most of the snowmobile trails around here seem to go through private property. From what I understand, the snowmobile club of the area obtains permission from the land owners to set designated trails through their property. I see the signs all over the place. I just figured that when someone wants to go snowmobiling, they just follow the signs and go. I thought that the trails were made by the snowmobiles as they traveled through the area. I didn't realized that the trails were actually groomed. Pretty cool.

This picture is like what I saw. I got the picture from

And to continue my blogging of non-related items, my friend Ginger sent me this... I thought it was pretty neat - it's a morphing of all of our presidents. I couldn't stop watching their eyes!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Boy is it cold out! It's weather like this that I don't miss driving a truck for work. The worst part was the mornings. It was bad enough getting up early in the morning and getting into a cold car only to get to work and start over again getting into a cold truck. Brrrr. Nope. Don't miss that at all!

I've been grumbling about what I've been paying for kerosene. Today I picked some up and paid $3.99 a gallon. My sister in Batavia only pays $2.91 a gallon. I thought I was really getting ripped off until I stopped at Home Depot to pick up a few items. Just for the heck of it, I looked to see what they were charging - I almost fell over when I saw that they wanted over $42 for a five gallon container! And that was their 'New Low Price". Yikes!!! Don't get me wrong - I love my Home Depot, but *that* is crazy.

I love that you can really tell that the days are getting longer now. When I get out of work now, it's still very light out. I feel so much more like doing things when I get home now. After my last post, I am really getting the itch to start up my garden again :)

And after my frustration of not being able to find particular pictures I was looking for, I took some time over the past couple of days to organize my picture files. I was sad to see that I did not take very many pictures in 2008 in comparison to previous years. I need to start taking pictures again. I still wasn't able to find the pictures I wanted, but I did find a lot I had forgotten about. I have to say that looking at pictures on my computer just isn't the same as flipping through a photo album. I miss my Mittsy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I like lists - I always have. They help me keep things neat and organized and I like things to be neat and organized. Even if a list isn't about getting things done, I'm still attracted to them. Like this one I got from Busy Bee Suz - which is part of an alphabet meme.

Here's how it works:

Leave a comment on this post and I will assign you a letter. Write about ten things you love that begin with said letter. Post the list on your blog. When people comment on your list, you assign a letter, and the game continues.

I will only assign a letter if you request it, so don't hesitate to comment...

I was given the letter G and here is my list:

1. Garden

I really enjoy my garden from spring right up until the frost kills everything. I love eating stuff fresh from the garden - especially tomatoes. Mmmm! I also plant corn, cucumbers, green beans, strawberries, lettuce, sweet peas, green peppers and rutabagas. But the rutabagas are for my Mom - she likes them a lot. I've also done potatoes, pumpkins, watermelon and raspberries. I haven't had much luck with the raspberries, so I'm giving up on those this year.

I spent all morning looking for mid-summer pictures of my garden, but I couldn't find them. I guess I need to be more organized :(

2. Grandma

She died when I was in high school, but I loved her a lot and still miss her. She was someone I could count on to love me no matter what.

3. Ghosts and the paranormal

Ghost Hunters, ghost stories, ghost movies - I love them all! I do believe they exist.

4. Green

My favorite color. There is a shade to match my every mood.

5. Geocaching

I love hiking. I love scavenger hunts. Geocaching is the perfect marriage of the two. Looking for caches has taken me to places I never knew existed - some of them practically in my own backyard! I've seen beautiful vistas and met some pretty cool people through Geocaching. Plus it's really great exercise. I have a travelbug that made it all the way to Denmark. I just wish I could read Danish so that I knew what the logs that are being posted about it say :)

6. GPS

The tool most important to Geocaching. I recently got a new one, but haven't had the chance yet to give it a thorough tryout. There are some people that Geocache without a GPS, but I think it's more fun with one.

7. George

That's George as in "Where's George?" I love to register and mark all my $1 bills with and track them wherever they may go. It's fun to get the email that lets me know that someone has one of my bills and see where it is at the time. I have one dollar bill that went all the way to Italy! I think I've only found five or six bills marked by someone else - they are as much to find as they are to send out :)

8. Granola bars

They are what start out my mornings!

9. Great Lakes

I love having two of the five Great Lakes - Erie and Ontario - practically in my backyard. I love visiting Niagara Falls which connects the two. The Great Lakes contain about one-fifth of the world's fresh water, which is reassuring to me given the state of the world. When I was little, my uncle used to have a boat and would take my family out on Lake Erie for rides. I'm not much of a beach person, but I love walking along the waterfront - especially early in the morning or when the sun is going down.

10. Global Warming

I don't believe in global warming. But looking at the single digit temperatures we've been subjected to all week, I wish there *was* global warming!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

99 Things

I've seen this in several places and it looks like fun - so here we go :)

The items that are bold are ones I've done...

1. Started your own blog.

2. Slept under the stars.

3. Played in a band.

4. Visited Hawaii.

5. Watched a meteor shower.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

7. Been to Disneyland/world.

8. Climbed a mountain.

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo.

11. Bungee jumped.

12. Visited Paris.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.

15. Adopted a child.

16. Had food poisoning.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.

20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.

24. Built a snow fort.

25. Held a lamb.

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a Marathon.

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice.

29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run.

32. Been on a cruise.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.

35. Seen an Amish community.

36. Taught yourself a new language.

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.

39. Gone rock climbing.*

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David.

41. Sung karaoke.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

47. Had your portrait painted.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theater.

55. Been in a movie.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China.

57. Started a business.

58. Taken a martial arts class.

59. Visited Russia.

60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies.

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.

65. Gone sky diving.

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.

67. Bounced a check.

68. Flown in a helicopter.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.

71. Eaten Caviar.

72. Pieced a quilt.

73. Stood in Times Square.

74. Toured the Everglades.

75. Been fired from a job.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.

77. Broken a bone.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.

80. Published a book.

81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

88. Had chickenpox.

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury.

91. Met someone famous.

92. Joined a book club.

93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby.

95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.

97. Been involved in a law suit.

98. Owned a cell phone.

99. Been stung by a bee.

47 out of 99 - Wow! I feel like a pretty well-rounded person :)

There are a lot of things on the list that I've always wanted to do and I will. Someday. Conversely, I see a bunch that I have no desire whatsoever to accomplish!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sticker Shock

I couldn't believe it when I discovered yesterday that it would cost me over ***$400*** if I wanted to buy 34 gallons of antifreeze. Obviously I haven't purchased anti-freeze in a while. When did it become so crazy expensive? ¡Ay, caramba!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Last week my Uncle came over to help me with a house project (have I ever mentioned that I have the best Uncle in the world?). As I was working, stuff was getting in my eyes. My Uncle said that I should probably be wearing safety goggles. I agreed.

Fast forward a week. Yesterday to be exact. I was continuing work on the same project. Not wearing any safety goggles. Raise your hand if you know what happened.

Yeah. I got something in my eye and I couldn't get it out. I was in agony all day. Eyewashes didn't help. Visine didn't help. I couldn't even see anything in there that I could try and pick out. I don't know how doctors remove stuff from an eye that you can't see and I was really afraid that I was going to find out. Fortunately, whatever was in there worked it's way out overnight. My eye was pretty crusty this morning and is still sore, but at least I can see without pain. Yay!

My Dad was moved to another facility and we went yesterday to visit (driving while it's snowing is *not* fun when one of your eyeballs isn't working!). He is not a happy camper. I feel horrible that he can't be home, but there is no way he can come home until he is well. He really needs to concentrate on getting better and not being miserable because he's not home. I wish so much that I could make everything better.

Well, back to work on the house. With my safety goggles on.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Mayfly Project 2008

I can tell that days are getting longer - I've noticed that it's not *quite* so dark out when I've been getting out of work the past couple of days. Yay!

I've just learned about The Mayfly Project. I think it's a pretty neat idea. At the end of the year, you're supposed to look back and sum up the last year of your life in 24 words. Keeping the number of words small is supposed to help zero in on the things that really mattered.

Here is my 2008 in 24 words:

New job.
Back feeling better.
Dad sick.
Baby chickens!
Progress on house.
Single again.
Got Travelbug from faraway.
Chickens gone.
High hopes for 2009.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I like the area where I live. It's rural enough with farms around and lots of privacy, yet within a twenty-minute drive I can visit any of three malls.

I totally understand that it's harder and harder for farmers to keep farming. It's hard work and I'm sure not very profitable - especially being in New York State. I still find it sad to see more and more farmland being sold off and it's happening with increasing frequency.

A 50+ acre piece of farmland near me just went on the market. I know that it's going to turn into another housing development. More construction traffic will be in my way going to and from work while the buildings go up and then the extra traffic will still be there from the people who move in. The best I can hope for in that situation is that stupid-driver people won't be moving in.

I like the ruralness of my area and I wish it could stay this way forever... well, at least for as long as I'm here :) I like driving roads free of stop lights and stop signs. I like watching the farms along those roads change every season over the years... What are they planting there this year? So *that's* what soy beans look like! The farmers planted their corn already? That's my cue to get mine into the ground. Watching the wheat fields rolling and waving in the wind as I go by is so calming. Seeing the farmer harvest the corn is such a cool thing to see - I count myself lucky when I catch them doing it. The big rolls of hay in the fields are like postcard pictures. Even when the fields are just plowed and still empty, they are nice to drive by - especially when they are full of geese or wild turkey looking for corn that got missed.

If I wanted to live in the middle of housing developments and people with perfect lawns, I would have chosen to live in Amherst or Cheektowaga - not that there is anything wrong with Amherst or Cheektowaga. I grew up in Cheektowaga. But I choose to live away from that. I hate the idea that I don't have the control to keep my area the way I like it. I wish I had the money to buy up all that property to keep it from becoming wall-to-wall housing. Or worse.

As it is, let me have my open spaces.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


This was sent to me by my friend Ginger - I thought it was brilliant!

Uncle Jay Explains: Year End!

Friday, January 2, 2009


Wow - what a difference a job makes when it comes to finding change. Last year I did an experiment by saving all the pennies and other change I found and tallying them all up at the end of the year. I did the same thing this year. Most of 2007, my job entailed a lot of travel between a lot of retail locations. All of 2008, I worked in one building every day.

2008 total: $1.86

The breakdown:
.25 - 2
.10 - 9
.05 - 1
.01 - 41

I found a penny yesterday at Tops, so I'm going to save any found change again this year :)

I'm sure that my total would have been higher if I liked shopping and visited retail locations more often. As it is, I hate shopping and I avoid malls and the like as much as possible.

That being said, I had a very successful shopping trip today. I needed to pick up a birthday gift, and I needed a couple of turtlenecks and I had $50 gift card for JCPenney so I thought I would combine the trip to the mall. It turned out the JCPenney was having a fantastic sale. Thanks to the gift card and a $10 off coupon, I got for myself $182.27 worth of new clothes for only $1.04 out my pocket - how cool is that???? Maybe if all shopping was like that, I wouldn't hate it so much.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year

2009 is here.

I think it's interesting and funny that they had to add an extra second to the end of 2008 to keep the time right.

I don't know what to think about the new year. I'm optimistic in that I have a lot of plans and ideas that I can't wait to do/implement. On the other hand, my Dad isn't doing good. I am really worried about him. I don't want 2009 to be the year I lose him. I'll be doing a lot of praying this year, I think.

Changing the subject to TV, one show I really enjoy is Project Runway. I loved season 4 where Christian Siriano won. I just came across this SNL sketch of the show - I thought it was hysterical fierce :)

And going in another completely different direction: I don't want to live where these things do. The little ones creep me out - I can't imagine finding one like this!

Happy New Year to everyone :)