Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I found this online and thought it was cute.  And true!

So if Christmas Eve is like floating on a calm sea, peering up into the stars
And Christmas Day is like a rogue wave that knocks you off your feet and envelops you into a deep dark sea of confusion
Then the day after Christmas is like sitting in a puddle, on a muddy shore, picking sea shells out of your bathing suit.
Beat up, tossed around…recovering from a thrill ride, all at the same time.

As excited as I was for Christmas to come, I'm relieved that it's over.  It wasn't the best Christmas we've ever had.  Anxiety combined with unreasonable expectations and too much sugar can make for not much peace and good will toward men.  Or sisters.

All in all, it was a good day.  We scaled way back on presents and that turned out pretty much perfect.  I got a beautiful, warm scarf, a pair of cute pajama pants and Mama found two more of those Fire-King mugs that I love so much!  I started a collection earlier this year and Mama got me a couple more.  I love 'em!  Mama and Daddy got us all a plate of Mennonite cinnamon rolls (yummmm!) and tons of stuff for our stockings.  

Larry got me a beautiful cutting board made from a slice of an ash tree.  I told him it was too pretty to use!  I'm not about to cut that thing.  Here I am counting the rings with him on the phone.  :)  He also got me a set of ABC cookie cutters and a little spyglass monocular that is so strong, you can see a bug on a tree a half mile away!  SO cool!  He got me a President Obama bobble head doll that I absolutely love, too.  He thought I could put him in situations like I did my Spidey.  I'll have to see what I can come up with...

Santa came to see Tabbie Hoffman, too!

This little thing right here was what it was all about, though.  My 3-month-old great niece, Elizabeth AKA Lizzie AKA Bean.  She's so fast just like her mama was so she's teething already and those little hands felt so good to her gums.  

We're really looking forward to sharing many, many Christmases with her.  It's pretty incredible having a baby in the family again.  We had quite the dry spell.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and are excited to see what 2013 brings you.  I know I am!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

It wouldn't be Christmas without Livvy's applesauce cake...

So y'all know I'm a Walton fool.  Always have been, always will be.  I LOVELOVELOVE The Waltons and I've watched "The Homecoming" six times since Thanksgiving, three times this week.  And it's on again tonight.  :)  After the sad, sad events that took place a week ago in Connecticut, I have taken so much comfort in this sweet movie and have been transported to another time when life was simple and people were kind.

So, since I am a Walton fool, I have heard about this applesauce cake since I was four years old.  I've never had it.  I've never made it.  Nobody I know has ever made it.

I decided this was the Christmas that I was going to make Livvy's famous cake.  I got the recipe from Earl Hamner's novel, The Homecoming, and I made it tonight.  

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups unsweetened applesauce


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Remove 1/2 cup flour mixture to a small bowl; stir in raisins and nuts.

Add remaining flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with applesauce, beating well after each addition. Stir in raisin mixture. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.
Bake at 350° for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.


It turned out pretty good!  Crunchy on the outside and really moist on the inside.  Not very sweet, though, so two cups of sugar wouldn't be too much.  I know sugar was a luxury during the Depression and I wanted to make it exactly like Mama Olivia did so I followed the recipe to the letter.  

I like it!  And it only took me 41 years to taste it!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hunk for the Holidays

Always putting business before pleasure, Cassie McPherson works hard for her family's construction business. That might explain why she doesn't have a date for the company Christmas party. But it doesn't quite explain why she's crazy enough to hire an escort for the event or - crazier still - why she's dying to unwrap him like a present . . .

With whiskey-colored eyes and a killer smile, James is one gorgeous hunk who really knows how to fill out a tuxedo. He charms everyone, including Cassie. And when the night ends, the party doesn't stop. As Cassie falls, literally, into his bed, James falls head over heels in love. Now he has to figure out a way to tell her the truth: he's not an escort. He's her family's fiercest business rival. But all he wants for Christmas is her . . .

I've been reading this book this week.  It's such a funny, sexy story and I have really enjoyed it.  When Cassie almost burns his house down with a dried-out tree she bought on Christmas Eve, I literally laughed out loud.  The guys at work surely think I'm nuts.

I started reading Katie Lane's cowboy books earlier this year and was thrilled to find out she'd written a fourth!  I got that one in the mail today from Amazon.  :)  My Christmas present to myself.  Not-so-guilty pleasures are an escape from the stresses of life.  

Hot cowboys don't hurt much either.

Wrapping up!

I didn't put my gifts under the tree this year because Tabbie Hoffman absolutely LOVES laying and sleeping under there.  Since his time to do that was limited anyway, I decided to let him enjoy it as long as he could.  I've gotten up in the middle of the night to find him sound asleep underneath the tree.  So sweet.

Since we drew names this year, I didn't have many gifts anyway!  That was stressful for me.  I don't like this drawing-names thing.  So I got a little something for everybody anyway.  I chose to buy most of the gifts for my family from hard-working Americans who are just trying to survive this year and I hope that I made their Christmas a little brighter.  

Larry always always always makes me 25 Christmas cards.  I got #24 and #25 today.  I so look forward to getting one every day!  He spoils me.  :)

Larry made me this sweet little 3-D Christmas tree, too.  He uses all of his resources to make me feel loved and special.  I truly hit the jackpot when I chose him.

Four days to go!


So, we're still here.  Still got to finish that Christmas shopping, still have to pay the bills, do the laundry and feed the cat. 

Still.  It was a wild day.  Winter came in last night with temps in the 30's and freakishly gusty winds.  Wind that howled all night long and dropped tree limbs and branches all over the yard.  And in the driveway.  Which I backed over this morning, in the dark, on the way to work, and subsequently dragged a limb alllllll the way to the base.  "Thumpity thump draaaaaaaaag scrubbbbbb" all the way.  I get there, park under a street light ('cause it's dark at 6:30!) and pull out a forked tree limb that had to be way too big to be up in there.  Yet it was.

When the sun finally came up over the flight line, we went out there to stare at the sun, which was the brightest I believe I'd ever seen it.  It hurt our eyes to look at it!  Yet we did.  Hoping we'd see a solar flare or three.  We didn't.

We had our Christmas lunch at Golden Corral and it was so nice to just sit down together and eat.  Especially things dipped in the chocolate fountain.  

My poor left foot swelled up again like a softball this afternoon FOR NO APPARENT REASON.  I didn't do a thing to it!  We had a really slow day at work, didn't do much at all, yet my foot looked like this when I got home.

Ice and rest is on the agenda for this weekend.  IF I can sit down long enough.  I still have a LOT to do.

Andrea and I exchanged gifts today.  This is what she got me!  I love this scent from Bath & Body Works!  And for the cute little peace sign car air freshener that you just clip to your visor, she got me the Fresh Bamboo fragrance oil.  It smells so good!  I love it!!

All in all, it was a pretty good day, despite the fact that my hair was blown within an inch of its life ALL DAMN DAY.  Still, we're here, life goes on and Christmas is four days away!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

They had me at the fried okry!

We met down at the Mennonite restaurant in Montezuma yesterday afternoon to celebrate Brian's birthday.  I hadn't been in years but the roast beef was just as good as I remembered.  This was my plate!

And there was also pie.  :) 


After we finished eating, we carried our too-full butts to the bakery for more.  I got a loaf of oatmeal cinnamon bread and a jar of apple butter.  Yummmm.

I have always loved this painting that hangs on the wall inside the restaurant.

Sunset over the silos.  
A beautiful ending to a great time spent with my family.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Secret Santa -- The Finale!

Today was our Secret Santa Reveal and Christmas luncheon at work and let me tell you, those girls went all out!  I made Dr. Patrenos' awesome brownies with the brown sugar crust on top (and I brought home an empty plate!) and Andrea made a spinach dip that was the absolute best I've ever had!  

The other girls, oh my!  There were 16 of us participating this year and they just outdid themselves.  They brought parmesan and lemon pepper chicken wings, meatballs, turkey, ham and four different kinds of cheeses along with tiny pumpernickel and wheat buns for sandwiches, deviled eggs, chicken salad with crusty Italian bread, sausage cheese dip and chips, a cold pasta salad from Olive Garden, shrimp fried rice from a Chinese place in town, a chocolate pecan pie, a Sock-It-To-Me cake and another plate of brownies.  We were stuffed!!

We did our reveal and opened our gifts and I was surprised to find out that I was also Secret Santa for MY Secret Santa!  We had each other.  That was pretty funny.  It happened to two other girls, too.  Wild, huh??

She gave me a Visa gift card so when I got off work, I swung by Old Navy and got three new long-sleeved shirts and a pair of pajamas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Secret Santa - Days Three and Four

I missed my Secret Santa gift yesterday because I was out sick with bronchitis or some mess ain't nobody got time for.  I feel a little better today!

So I got TWO gifts today!!  Yay, me!!

Tomorrow's the finale!  We're having a luncheon with wings, meatballs, deviled eggs, veggie tray, spinach and artichoke dip and whatever else we all decide to bring and we'll do our reveal.

This week has been so much fun!!  It's awful, awful cold on the flight line at 6:30 in the morning when you have to deliver presents on the sly.  Must be why a certain someone we know does it in a wink of his eye and a twist of his head.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Secret Santa - Day Two

Today I got some Ocean Breeze tea lights and a little jar candle, a pack of Reese's Fast Break mini candy bars and a bottle of SoBe green tea!

My Santa's doing gooooooood!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Secret Santa - Day One

A couple of weeks ago, a girl from a neighboring building came to ask me and my friend and fellow co-op, Andrea, if we wanted to participate in this year's Secret Santa.  We said absolutely so last week, all of the girls (and two guys!) from the two buildings closest to ours drew names for Secret Santa.  We had filled out an "about me" form last week to help each other with gift ideas.

We started today!  A small gift every day this week and then the big gift and Santa reveal on Friday at our Christmas luncheon.

This is what I got today!

A candy cane filled with peanut butter cups, a Diet Mountain Dew and box of green tea and a stuffed mousey rattle for Tabbie Hoffman!  AND she put it all in a bag with kitties on it.  So cute!!  And so sweet that she included Tabbie.  I had put "play with my cat" as one of my hobbies on my "about me" form.

Tabbie Hoffman thought it was sweet, too.  Here he is just a lovin' on that little mouse.

Or smellin' on him.  Same thing.  :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Christmas meme

The Christmas song I could listen to even in June (and do!) is A Christmas To Remember by Kenny and Dolly.  I absolutely LOVE this song!!!  My favorite line?  With a fast talkin' lover and some slooooooow burnin' wood.  :)

Hot chocolate, egg nog or mulled wine?  Egg nog!

Scarlett sho' did not deserve this boy right heah.

When do you put your Christmas decorations up?  Thanksgiving weekend, usually on Slack Friday, while I watch Gone With The Wind.  That's a new tradition I started a few years ago.  By the time the movie's over, I'm done!

What are you having for Christmas dinner?  I think we're doing something totally different this year.  Chicken wings!  Everybody is going to bring a pan of different kinds of wings and we'll have slaw and potato salad and chips and whatever else we decide to bring.  I think I'm going to do lemon pepper wings, potato salad and apple cider.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?  Ami and me decorating Mama and Daddy's tree.  We've been doing this for many years now and I love digging through those boxes and pulling out ornaments that I remember from my childhood.

Have you ever gone Christmas caroling?  Yes, I think, a couple times.  To the nursing home when I was a kid and with the church a time or two.

When did you learn the truth about Santa?  I think I was nine.  I was on the school bus and some kids made fun of me because I had written a letter to Santa and had gotten a response and had brought it to school with me.  What did they know?  Santa IS real.  He may not be one man who travels the world delivering presents in one night but he's real all the same, his spirit of love and giving to others is kept alive by millions of mamas and daddies all over the world.  I am a Santa FOOL and always will be.  Mama and Daddy made Christmases so special and magical for us.  They had us completely tore up over Santa Claus weeks before the big night.

How do you decorate your tree?  I currently have a 7-foot faker tree that has 650 multicolored lights on it.  It's in three pieces.  I take it out of the box, connect the three pieces, fluff and plug it in.  I like character ornaments (snowmen, Santas, dolls, bears) rather than balls so most of my decorations are those.  Wooden and cloth, mainly, although I do have a hand-blown glass Winnie the Pooh.  That Tabbie Hoffman has NOT even touched.  He is doing so good with the tree!!

The best thing about Christmas is remembering what it's all about.  The birth of a very precious baby boy who was God's gift to us!  He was HERE.  He is Christmas.  

All I want for Christmas is continued good health and happiness for my family. And maybe some pajamas. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December is here!

I am really excited that December is here!  I don't want to say December is finally here because the older I get, the faster time goes by, or it seems that way, so I'll take life as it comes to me and try not to rush things.

We had a family get-together today but I couldn't go because I had to work and then at the last minute, they called off overtime and sent everybody home for the weekend.  I didn't really have time to get my stuff together and go so I did a little housework, put my outside lights on the fence and my trusty light-up Santa on the porch.  A lot of guys at work were fussing about the overtime but I said I'd much rather they cut overtime than start laying folks off.  They looked at me like I was speaking French and badly.  They are so used to a third (or more) of their salary being overtime.  You just cannot count on that.  The powers that be proved that today.  Nobody knows what's going to happen the first quarter of next year but I'm fine with whatever happens.  I learned a long time ago to just roll with it.  I've been laid off before.  It's really not that big of a deal.

I absolutely love my new job location!  It's like day and night.  Morale is so much better in there and I think I've learned more in the eight days I've been in that building than I did the seven months I was in Rewire.  I'm going to fight with guns and knives to stay right there.  I'll have to move around to various buildings to get all of my training done and signed off on but when it comes to my permanent assignment, right now, I'm loving where I am.

Our family drew names for Christmas and that's going to be a little weird, this being the first year ever that we haven't gotten everybody a gift.  I'm pretty much finished with my shopping and I didn't buy the first thing at the mall, Walmart or Target.  I got everything online or locally, from good old Americans just trying to make a living.  So nothing I bought is stamped "Made in China"! 

Happy December!  Happy Christmas movies, hot chocolate, cookies, gift wrapping and light stringing.  Speaking of Christmas movies, did you know about this??

I'm skeptical.  No way can it compare to the original.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Super Fabulous Schneider Christmas Tree of 2012

Tabbie Hoffman is already watching for Santa Claus.  I told him that Santa will come down the chimney but he said everybody else comes through this door, Santa will, too. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Today I am thankful for my family and I'm thankful that they can flat COOK!  This is my plate today.  I've been absolutely miserable since about eight bites in. Probably won't eat again until Tuesday.

Yum yum!!  Turkey and ham, dressing, giblet gravy, sweet potato souffle, mac and cheese, broccoli casserole, parmesan potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole, sweet potato stacks, peas and a roll.  I think that's it.  I'm pretty sure something else was hiding under there, though.


I'm also thankful to have been born into a hilarious family.  Not many there today even like blue cheese so my sweet potato stacks weren't much of a hit.  They were delicious, if you like blue cheese.  Mama said she didn't know what kind of cheese that was but it was r'urnt and Daddy said he didn't know if he liked blue cheese or not 'cause he's from the country. They crack me up.

I'm thankful for this sweet girl here.  It's so awesome to have a baby in the family again!

I'm thankful for my husband, who loves me with all his heart and tells me so.

I'm thankful most of all for my faith in the Lord's plan for my life, that even when I can't make sense of it, HE knows what's going on.

And I'm very, very thankful for my home, my warm bed and my yoga pants, all of which will be seeing a lot of me tomorrow as I am not doing the Black Friday thing.  I'm doing the Slack Friday thing.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This little light of mine

I've noticed for a week or so that my porch light fixture was looking baaaaaad.  It had a yellow burned spot right in the middle of the plastic.  And bugs.  Lots and lots of bugs.

I decided to get the ladder out today when I got home from work and get up there and at least clean the bugs out.  I took the cover off and the light bulb fell out, still attached but not attached.  Make sense?  The little metal piece holding it in place had rusted clean through and the bulb was just laying on the plastic cover.  

My paranoid delusions and ohmygod, what if perfectly normal fear of fire has intensified since Tabbie Hoffman came to live with me so I decided I was going to disconnect the whole thing and call an electrician to come hook up a new fixture.

Wait a minute.  I am an electrician.  Or at least I play one at the base.  I figured I could try it.  I mean, if I can kinda-sorta rewire an F-15 and install things on the jet like an angle of attack probe (oh, yes, I did.), I can do a simple home wiring job.

So I went over to Lowe's and got a new light fixture, came home, cut the power to the house and hooked that baby right on up!  I hooked up the hot wire, the neutral and the ground and halleluyer, it worked!  

I am so proud.  :)  Two years ago, I would not have attempted such a thing.  I have grown so much, learned so much with my course of study and my new job.  

When I flipped on the switch, I wondered if that was how God felt when He created light and darkness.  Looky here what I did!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Halfway through already??

I cannot believe it is November 16th and I've only written two posts this month!  Not that things are all that interesting in my life but some stuff has happened.  First of all, the election is over, my guy won but now there's all this talk of states wanting to secede from the union.  I think that's silly, childish and speaks of poor sports.  As I've said on Facebook, where's that "love it or leave it" attitude they gave us during the Bush years?  We bleeding hearts didn't threaten to abandon our country, we didn't suggest giving up and giving in.  We dug in and fought hard the next four years.  And, eventually, things turned our way.  I do still have my "He's NOT my president" t-shirt hanging in my closet if anybody wants it.  I'm just sayin'.

Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK.  This month has gone by so fast!  I think my family is going to attempt something we've never done before.  We're talking about drawing names for Christmas.  There are only ten of us and Baby Lizzie but we've always bought everybody a gift (or four).  This year, we want to try drawing names.  I'm on both sides of this fence.  One side is me wanting to get everybody something like I've always done and the other side is me not wanting to lug home a bunch of gifts and try to find homes for them in my tiny 1,000 square foot house.  It messes with the minimalist way I'm trying to live.  Besides, I would love to just enjoy the true meaning of Christmas the way it deserves to be enjoyed.  A baby in a manger and my family together, warm and happy.

Speaking of Baby Lizzie, she came to visit me Monday night!  And she brought along her mommy and daddy.  It was such a wonderful surprise!  I took this picture of her while she was getting her diaper changed.  For modesty's sake, the picture has been cropped.  :)  She's such a sweetheart.  Just like her mama.

I love the "power to the people!" stance she's taking.  Baby girl is sho' after Aunt Ninner's heart.  She doesn't even need to try, though.  She's already got it.

Today we had F-15 Wingman Day at work.  We enjoyed a picnic of smoked Boston butt, baked beans, cole slaw, potato salad, cake and drinks in one of the parks on base.  As soon as I left, and I mean AS SOON as I got off base, I got a speeding ticket.  In that 40 mph speed trap on Russell.  Ugh.  I was going 58.  Oh well.  Merry Christmas, City of Warner Robins!

Monday, I start a new job in a new building to continue my training.  I'm really excited and not at all nervous.  I don't know how long I'll be there until they move me around again but I'm going to soak up everything I can about that particular part of the F-15's stay at Robins.  I registered for school on Election Day and signed up for the five classes I need to graduate in May.  17 credit hours.  That's gonna be tough but I'm determined to get done in one semester.  


I took Tabbie Hoffman for his booster vaccinations today.  He is SO hilarious.  Every time we go to the vet, he does this with his blanky in the kennel.  He doesn't want anybody to see him and he sure doesn't want to see anybody!


Here he is trying to get back IN the kennel after we took him out to weigh him and take his temperature.  He weighs eight pounds now.

 I know this thing has a hole in it somewhere!

 Ahh, there it is.  But what is this lock nonsense??

He makes me laugh every single day.  He's so funny and he has become very talkative in the past week or so.  We have long conversations about stuff.  Today was the first time that a vet actually told me something's physically wrong with his right ear.  It has never looked right.  Ami noticed it right away the day I found him.  It's a little wonky.  Well, it's deformed, from birth.  And the sweet little vet I saw today who looked all of fifteen years old told me that the canal is extremely narrow, which explains the constant ear infection we've fought since July.  Gah.  He's missing an inside fold in his ear, too.  Poor baby. All we can do is keep it clean and flush it out once a week with an ear cleanser to keep bacteria and debris out.  He's an inside kitty and my house stays super clean so that shouldn't be a problem.  Unless he kicks litter up in it, oh my God, does he love to kick litter.

So that just about catches my life up to now.  I'm really looking forward to next week and my new job assignment, Thanksgiving and getting Mama and Daddy's Christmas tree decorated.

Maybe I'll get my tree up, too.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Things I wish I'd known as a teenaged girl

I saw this on another blog and I thought it'd be fun to do!  Never Been Kissed is one of my very favorite movies.  Bless her heart.  :)  

Here's what I wish I'd known at that age.


Your mama is right.  About pretty much everything.  Listen to her.  She and your daddy really DO have your very best interest at heart.

It is perfectly FINE to stay home on Friday nights and watch "Dallas".  It's also more than fine not to have dates.  Girl, God has a love planned for you that you are not going to believe.  Shoot, NOBODY is going to believe it.  I remember Larry asking me shortly after we met how I could possibly not be taken and I told him, "'Cause I've been waiting for you."

It is NOT perfectly fine, however, to wear legwarmers to school every. day.  Not even if you have them in several different colors.  Not even then.

If you want to go to the prom, GO.

Don't be so shy and scared to try new things.  You are sure going to get over this one!  And don't worry so much about not fitting in.  You're not ever going to.  But they're going to love you anyway.  Except during election years.  :)

Don't be in such a hurry to grow up!  Enjoy these years because they are fleeting and precious.  And when they're gone, you are OLD.  

I wish I could go back and just reassure myself that it really is going to be all right.  And all those things that were the absolute-end-of-the-world-oh-my-god-how-will-I-ever-survive-this really weren't and you will.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

But there will always be pie

Is it just me or did October zoom by???  Just like that, it's gone.  The fair, gone.  Pumpkins, carved and hopefully thrown in a compost somewhere.  Costumes thrown in toy boxes for rainy dress-up days.  Leftover candy?  Now there's my problem.

This week has totally kicked my ass and it's only Thursday.  I woke up around 2:00 yesterday morning feeling sick to my stomach and I couldn't keep anything down, not even water, until late yesterday afternoon.  I called in sick for my F-15 class that I'm taking this week, which is VERY good, by the way, crawled back into bed and didn't get up until after 3:30.  I had a temperature of 102, body aches, chills, hallucinations that it was the chipmunks in my backyard that had brought me to this lowly place, I cannot remember ever feeling so bad.  In my life.  

I scared poor Tabbie Hoffman half to death.  The first time.  By the fourth time, he was like, "Do you MIND??  My GOD, woman, I'm trying to sleep." 

I don't know what it was.  Stomach flu, food poisoning (I did have chicken salad from the pizza place on base for lunch Tuesday), just a friendly visit from da debil, I don't know.  I just know that it was SO BAD and I'm still not quite right yet.  I didn't even feel like doing trick-or-treat last night so now I have this huge bowl of candy.  The guys at work will appreciate it next week.

So November's here.  Lots of good stuff going on this month!  The election will be over, thank God, the final (thank God) installment of Twilight will be in theaters, there'll be pie, cooler temperatures, my beloved yoga pants, crunchier leaves and thinking about Christmas.  And there will be pie.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What a week!

And I sure am glad it's over.  This has been a very stressful week for my family.  A very stressful ten days, actually.

Ami and Brian's kitty, Augie, who had his big boy surgery the same day as Tabbie Hoffman, died on the 17th from some as yet unknown illness.  The very next day, their kitty, Simon, came down with like symptoms, terrifying them and throwing their lives into a tailspin.

After a week of fluids and antibiotics for Simon and sleepless nights for all three of them, Simon is showing some improvement.  His extensive distemper test results should be back Monday.  We continue to pray that he will fully recover and soon.

Because we suspected distemper, and since none of the kitties had been vaccinated for it, I took Tabbie Hoffman to the vet Thursday just to make sure.  He wasn't showing any symptoms at all but I thought if he tested positive as well, then we'd know for sure that the boys picked it up at the vet's office that neutered them.  And then hell hath no fury...

Tabbie's preliminary parvo virus test was negative and I went ahead and got all his shots right then and there.  

There were some bright spots to the week, though!  I was taken off light duty so now I can get back on the plane and work and then I went with some friends Thursday night to a private screening of Jeff Foxworthy's new movie, Crackerjack.  It was such a cute movie!  Faith-based and absolutely hilarious.  I loved it.  It should be in theaters by next summer.  Larry and I had a pretty big and exciting day Wednesday, too.  Gettin' closer!

This week, I'm looking forward to things settling down.  Simon will get better and stronger and my sweet exhausted sister and brother-in-law can get some rest.  Halloween will be here Wednesday night and I'm all candied up.  Well, except for some Reese Peanut Butter Cups that didn't make it.  Tabbie Hoffman has a cute Spider-Man costume to wear (IF I can keep it on him!) and I have classes all week so no work.  Yay!!

Oh!  And we have cooler temps coming!  In the 30's at night.  I'm really looking forward to that and to some boring, normal, uneventful, glorious days.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oatmeal Cashew Cookies

One of the girls at work gave me a huge container of organic thick rolled oats and another of whole cashews today so I thought, hmmm, oatmeal cookies!

I had never made oatmeal cookies with rolled oats before so I poked around on the internet until I found a recipe for them and I tweaked it a little to suit me.  I used honey instead of white sugar and since I used a stick of salted butter, I left out the salt.
Oatmeal Cashew Cookies

(Makes 2 dozen)

3/4 packed cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 

In small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon and salt.

In another small bowl, combine chopped cashews with 1/2 tablespoon of the flour mixture.

In large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, water and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, then oats and nuts.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to a few days. (Very cold dough will need to sit at room temperature for a bit to become more scoopable.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop scoops of dough 3 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Press down with fork and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until brown around the edges but still a little soft in the center.

Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

They turned out pretty good!  Not too sweet, chock full of healthy stuff and I think I'll have a couple for breakfast tomorrow with my coffee.  :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

A week later...

Wow.  I can't believe it's been a whole week since I wrote a bloggy thingamajiggy!  Tabbie Hoffman did great following his big boy surgery.  He's just about completely healed and has been a holy terror his usual sweet little bitey energetic self since the night of.  We were having issues with him scratching the sofa until I put double-sided tape on all the spots he likes to scratch and gave him a brand new soft clothy-like post of his very own to scratch.  The second such post I've gotten since he's been here, what??  Three months today??  He seems to like this one, though.  He also likes the tasty-chicken-crunchy-outside-soft-inside nom noms he gets when he scratches THE RIGHT PLACE.  Mama happy, Tabbie Hoffman happy.  :)

I added it up.  Between vet visits, medicine, toys, scratching thingies, food and nom noms, I have spent close to $800 on him!  In three months.  Whoa.  That boy gon' have to get a job.

Speaking of a job that SOMEBODY IN THIS HOUSE has to have, I go back to the doctor Thursday and I'm gonna beg, plead, cry, cuss, bribe, promise to vote Republican, do absolutely whatever I have to do to get him to take me off light duty!!  I've told people at work that IF I ever get hurt out there again, nobody will EVAH know it.  Not even if a bone is stickin' out.  They make too big a deal outta things.  I've been on light duty since JULY 25TH.  Ugh.

I am moving to another building next month to continue my training and I have this huge block of training hours (200!) that I have to get done before I can go.  Do the math.  200 hours divided by 40 hours = 5 weeks.  I transfer November 17th.  That's 5 weeks.  This training is in the WIT section of our hangar, that's the Wire Integrity Tester, where they get planes that were just rewired, hook them up to a tester and run a report to see what works and what don't.  Then they fix the stuff that doesn't work.  I started over there last Thursday.  And I actually got back on the plane to do it!  It felt great to be working again.  Not just cleaning the hangar and reading my books.  

I'm really excited about this move!  I've never loved rewire.  The job's not that bad, it's more the environment and the feel of the place.  It's depressing.  Like there's a dark cloud hovering over the building.  Nobody's happy in there and it shows.  They don't take pride in the way the place looks and that drives me nuts.  And what's so sad is it wouldn't take that much to turn it around.  Some really good people work in there.  A little cleaning up, a little incentive, a few bonuses thrown around here and there and you'd have a totally different place, a totally different vibe.  Anyway, I'm ready to see how other buildings are managed, to see if the grass is actually greener, you know? 

But I gotta "GET ON THE JET!", as my buddy Rambo tells me constantly.  I'll get there.  Friday.  Maybe.

Monday, October 8, 2012

If it ain't broke, we still fix it

Tabbie Hoffman had his big boy surgery today.  Ami and Brian were taking their Augie and since I had the day off, too, I decided to go ahead and get Tabbie's done, too.  To just get it over with.  He did great, though!  Much better than I did.  I squalled on the drive over this morning and then when I had to leave him there.  What a sap.

That boy acts like nothing's even happened.  He's just real sleepy.  We got home and after a few cuddles on the sofa, he got down and went to his litter box.  He's been sleeping most of the time since we've been home and he'll get to eat in another hour or so.

Like he even NEEDS to eat!  He weighs 6.8 pounds now!  He weighed just over four pounds August 24th when he went to the vet for his ear infection.  I think we're both gonna go on a diet.  :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Where I'm from

Brandy nudged me to do this meme so here goes!

I'm from clotheslines, hound dogs and snapping beans on the porch, back before Buckeye came along.

I'm from home-cooked meals, gardens filled with squash and 'maters and kick ball in the backyard.

I'm from swing sets and Bugs Bunny, Judy Blume and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I'm from "Good night, John-Boy" and Fonzie jumping that shark.

I'm from a BB in the butt on Christmas morning, biscuit toast and snow ice cream.

I'm from lightning bugs and honeysuckle and "bundling up" 'cause it's cold.

I'm from Southern Baptists who eat their dinners on the grounds and "Jesus Loves Me" --- just as I am.

I'm from a daddy who is my training wheels, a mama who is my rock and a beloved uncle who doesn't know me anymore.

I'm from Miss Edith's "I swannee" and Miss Sarah Belle's "stories". 

I'm from my Granddaddy's ice blocks and my Paw's stubbly chin.

This is me.  And this is where I'm from.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fill in the blank Friday!

I haven't done one of these in a while!  Today's blanks are all about firsts.

My first memory is of me and Ricky at the ages of three and two sitting on the front steps of the house we grew up in, the day we moved in.  I remember Daddy and Uncle Jiggs moving furniture in and Mama having to get us out of their way.  

My first love was my husband, Larry.  I have always been so thankful that I didn't have to kiss a lot of toads to get my prince. 

My first favorite color was purple.  I used to love anything purple when I was a kid!

The first time I really felt like a grown-up, I was nowhere near grown up!  I was ten and Mama let me start supper.  Fried chicken.  That ended up burnt on the outside and bloody on the inside.  Needless to say, Mama had to take OVAH. 

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is feed Tabbie Hoffman.  By the time I wake up, he is bouncing on my head for his can.

The first record/cassette/CD I ever bought with my own money was obviously a record.  A 45.  Michael Damian's She Did It.  In 1981 and I was 14.  I already loved him as Danny on Y&R and I saw him on American Bandstand.  I ordered the record from Tiger Beat magazine.  I still love, love, love me some Danny Romalotti!

My first car was a 1984 Chrysler LeBaron.  June Bug, I called her.  I bought it at Paul Walsh Nissan in Macon when I was 19 and Daddy cosigned for me.  The payments were $209 to C&S Bank.  It was tan with chocolate velour seats and I loved it.  Right after I got it, I was going out to Garden Valley to pick up my friend, Lisa, and she, Audra, Ami and I were going to the movies in Americus.  I hit a huge washout in the dirt road and bent the A-frame.  The steering wheel never was right after that.  I was poor as a church mouse back then and when it came time for new tires, I bought them one at the time from Davis Tire Company in Montezuma.  Every week when I got paid, Mr. Davis sold me a tire.  After a month, I had a new set!  That was a good car.  I brought Odie home to die in it and I drove to see Larry for the first time in it.  Ami and I both got teary when I traded it.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


This little black piece of plastic doesn't look completely shot out, now does it??
And it sho' don't look like it ought to cost $265, now does it??

It's a brake switch for my Altima.  My 4-year-old-less-than-46,000-miles Altima.  My car has a push button start.  You press the brake and then press the button and it starts up.  Last summer, it started doing this weird thing where every once in a while, the brake would lock up on me and the car would not start.  After I spent 10 minutes in 115 degree summer heat, I took it out to the dealership and they'd never heard of such a thing.  Said it was something I was doing wrong, that I wasn't pressing the brake pedal right.  Even though, I'd BEEN pressing the brake pedal right for three years.  It seemed to get better until I started wearing my boot cast three weeks ago.  I could not get that car to start.  Yesterday, every single time I tried, it took me forever.  The last straw was leaving Dr. Kinnebrew's office at 6:00 and it took me 30 minutes!!  And then, I had to call the dealership in tears because I was so frustrated. 


I had to push my 1998 Altima back into the driveway one morning.  That was the last straw for that one.  This girl ain't pushing no car.  And this girl ain't gonna be hotttttt if she can help it.

The guy in the service department at the dealership (yes, that fine Nissan dealership out on 96) told me it was the brake switch.  When I reminded him of last summer and "it's something you're doing wrong", he said it wasn't.  It's a Nissan thing and they see it all the time.  But there's been no recall and of course, my car is out of warranty.  OF COURSE.  Last summer, it wasn't.  Grrrrrr.

He says it's $265 if it's JUST the switch.  If the wiring harness has gone bad, too, that's another $300.   Are you kidding me??!!  Now I can say I know a little bit about wiring harnesses since that's what I do (or did before THE FOOT) for a living nowadays and I knew it wasn't the harness.  It would do it ALL the time if there was a short in there. 

I was going to take it Saturday and just do the $265 but I thought better of it. A couple of guys at the base told me they'd do it for free, bless their hearts.  I called the good folks at Express Oil Change to see if they would do something like this and they said YES!  I've always taken my cars there for oil changes but I didn't realize they do other stuff, too!  So I took it to them after work and thirty minutes and NINETY-SIX dollars later, it's fixed!!  That's a whole lot better than $265!  And we ain't even gonna talk about the "other $300".

They gave me the switch and I'm keeping it with the receipt just in case Nissan ever does the right thing and recalls the aggravatin' devil. 

Sure hope your week's been better!!  :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The greatest of nieces

Our Baby Elizabeth arrived yesterday making me a great aunt!  And in the process, making my kid brother a GRANDFATHEROHMYGOD.

Lizzie Faye blessed us with her presence at 4:24 yesterday afternoon, tipping the scales at just over seven pounds and stretching her little legs way out making her an impressive 20 inches long.  I hear she has a head full of hair and her mama's lungs.

We're planning a get-together this weekend so we can all nom on her legs.

Here's a pic!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

United we stand

Today marks eleven years since 9/11 and I've seen "United We Stand" all over the place.  On restaurant and church signs, on my Facebook news feed, I even saw it today on somebody's back car window.  

What's sad is we DON'T stand united.

In the days and weeks following 9/11, our country pulled together.  Our grief and heartbreak quickly burst into the strongest display of American pride I'd ever seen in my life.  People hung flags off their front porches, people stood in line to donate blood so we'd have enough on hand if there were any survivors, people hung red, white and blue ribbons on trees, people were kinder to each other and crime went down.  I dare say we LOVED one another.  Wow.

It's no secret that I cannot stand President Bush but even I thought he did a great job leading us through those dark days.  

According to CNN today, President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 6%.  That will probably change tomorrow.  It fluctuates.  My point is that we are pretty much split right down the middle.  And it's getting so ugly already.  Republicans won't talk to Democrats and Democrats won't talk to Republicans and other parties won't talk to either one of us.  

I will never vote Republican.  I believe if I did, my heart would just fall out of my chest right there on the gym floor of Thomson Middle School. 

But just because I can't do it, I sure don't hate people who can!  I don't even dislike people who vote Republican.  I see stuff posted on Facebook and I don't usually comment because I try to be tolerant of all people, whether it's political or religious or the way they live their lives.  I'm okay with this big old melting pot that is our beloved country.  I don't get that same courtesy, though.  I get hateful "Obama sucks" comments and I get "unfriended".  The unfriending part is okay with me because after all, are we really friends??  Not usually.

I've made a decision -- to not let these next two months stress me out and make me all angsty about the election.  I've decided to just smile when somebody says something nasty about President Obama but more importantly, I've decided to spend more time outside and enjoy this beautiful fall weather we've got coming, I've decided to read my Bible more and to pray hard for my country, I've decided to love on my Tabbie Hoffman even though he probably doesn't need MORE squeezing and I've decided to call my mama and daddy more.  

This election is not going to control my life.  I know where my loyalty lies and I know who has my vote.  I really don't need to know anything other than that.

I think the best thing we can do to honor the 2,977 victims of 9/11 is to try to get through this election with the American spirit we had eleven years ago.  

Fly a flag on your porch and breathe that crisp fall air.  You'll feel better, I promise.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

You know it's fall when...'re in Georgia and the humidity drops below 60%!  We got that today so no matter what the calendar says, fall is ON.  At least at my house!

Even Tabbie Hoffman enjoyed his very first fall-like day, playing in a sunbeam by the window.

We had another visitor this morning out on the patio.  I opened up the blind before I left for church and saw the prettiest (and the ugliest!) kitty!!  Beautiful, gorgeous fur and eyes but a face that would make Hello Kitty say goodbye.  Dayum.  That's an ugly cat!  (Note the leaves on the patio.  Yes.  FALL.  :D)

Tabbie Hoffman didn't seem intimidated by this kitty like he did the black one. Maybe he felt sorry for him. He's got his paw up on the glass in this picture like he's saying, "bless your heart, you so ugly."

I love this picture! Like he's asking him, "why you at my house?" Ha! I ran this kitty off with the water pistol but soon after, the black kitty showed up. Got him, too.

Tabbie Hoffman has the sweetest little disposition.  He's still a little bitey but he's pretty much stopped clawing altogether.  He's developed a bit of a smart mouth, though.  If I get on to him about something, he always comes back with "mew mew" or "mew mew mew".  I tell him, "Don't you sass me, boy!"  We have so much fun together.  It's hard to believe it's been eight weeks today that I found him. We've been through a lot together with his ear and the respiratory infection that he had.  He seems to be completely over that, though, thank goodness.  He's a mess.  And a complete joy.