Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lucky Me

Lucky me! I received an expresso/cappucino maker for Christmas. It actually was an effort to economize, since I discovered hot lattes at the drive-thrus at Mickey D's and Dunkin' Donuts, and had to have one almost every time I drove past.

Now I get to have a luscious latte anytime I want - and I get to enjoy looking at it all pretty in one of my glass mugs, instead of hidden in a styrofoam cup with a snap-on lid!

The only thing I need to do is get the hang of that little frothing thing on the side - I swear I look like that Bounty commercial of the couple and the mess they make with their cappucino maker - only 10 times worse. I did discover that if I don't clean it immediately after steaming the milk, it will suck up an entire cup of water, and you will sit there for 30 minutes waiting for the steam to run out!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

If Animals Could Talk

With the cold weather, the animals like to pile in bed with hubs and me - last night was a three dog (plus one cat) night.

Got some cute shots of our cat Sheba and Casey. They are quite the pals.
I can just imagine what they might be saying to each other:

Casey: "Hmm, your perfume is delightful - what's it called?"
Sheba: "Essence de la jolie chatte - you like?"

Sheba: "Casey, hold still - you've got a little schmutz on the side of your nose."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Casey, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The youngest puppy in our dog pack is Casey, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, who is about 8 months old.

It all started when my daughter and I began to visit a nearby puppy store on Saturdays, while Jim went to Orlando to do yard work at our old house. We talked Jim into going one Sunday afternoon. As he walked by the CKC spaniel cage, the little girl pup stood up on her hind legs to be picked up. Jim obliged, and she snuggled next to his neck for a long time. When he started to put her down, she tried to hang on to his shoulder. We went back several Sundays in a row, and by then, Jim was completely smitten. We took her home in September.

Casey loves her peeps and always wants to be in someone's lap. She expects to ride to school each day to drop off and pick up my daughter. She practically does backflips when Jim gets home at night. What a great addition to our family!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Meet Angel

This is Angel, our 9-year-old Pekingese. She's the old lady of our dog pack. She's quite a sweetheart, for those of you who've heard that Pekingeses tend to be snippy little dogs.
She was very fascinated with this box of
papers...I finally figured out that I had dropped a few kibbles of the dog food into it as I was scooping the food out of the bin. The last straw for Angel was when I set the empty dog food carton into the box to go out for recycling. She climbed into the box and curled up as if to say, "No, I can't bear to part with it!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

2009 Recap

I feel like a slacker for not sending out cards for the 2nd or 3rd year in a row. However, I love getting cards from family and friends, especially those with a letter highlighting everyone's year. So although it's a tad late, I thought I'd give you a recap of our 2009 (it will probably help explain why we haven't sent out cards :o) )

January began with Jim in job-hunting mode. He had lost his office manager job at an Orlando engineering firm in Sept. 2008, following a company merger. What would normally have been a little bump in the road took on sinkhole status as the economy took a nose-dive in Oct. 2008.

Realizing that the job market in Orlando was pretty bleak, Jim begin looking nationwide for a similar job. We decided in March to put our house on the market to prepare for an eventual move. In April, Jim accepted an offer from Greenhorne and O'Mara to be their office manager in Clearwater, FL.

We decided to take our 5th wheel to a campground in Largo, FL so that Jim could stay there during the week, and come home on the weekends. During the summer, my daughter and I began to spend a week in Largo, and then come home for a week.

By August we decided to stay in Largo full-time so that our daughter could take a couple of classes at a local private school, while continuing to be a homeschooler.

After 8 months of listing with an agent, we decided to take our house off the market. And to make a long story short, our next-door neighbors decided to rent our house and we signed a purchase agreement with them to close on or before June 9, 2010.

After we close, we'll be able to purchase a home here. We've run across a house that's finished on the outside, but just studs on the inside. We've love to get in and finish it ourselves. Timing is important, so we hope it will still be on the market when we get our money out of our old house.

We added a new member to our family in September, Casey the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - she's a little doll! That puts us up to 4 dogs, 1 cat, 1 guinea pig and 2 robo hamsters.

So that's our year in a nutshell. We feel very blessed. We're all in good health, Jim has a good job, and our daughter's in a good school. I'm doing local craft shows twice a month just for fun, and have a shop on Etsy called CellChic.

Hope everyone has a happy and prosperous 2010!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Continued cold

OK, this is just TOO cold for Largo, Florida - the temperature dipped into the 30's last night...I'm having to wear socks with my sandals - haha.

Everyone likes to snuggle up inside with the (electric) fireplace going, and stay warm as best they can. Sheba, our cat, has a couple of nice strategies:

If alone, Sheba curls up into the tightest ball that she can - she's hardly recognizable as a cat!
It cracks me up how she invariably tilts her chin skyward when laying like this.

If there's an available lap, Sheba will opt for that, stretching out in a "boneless kitty" fashion. Not only is it a good deal for her, but the lap provider gets warm, too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all!!

Just returned to our snug camper with a popcorn shrimp basket from DQ - I originally headed there craving a chili cheese hot dog, but opted for the shrimp at the last minute...maybe it's a teenier bit of a healthy choice.

Glad to have the holidays over, and get back to "normal" - as normal as you can be in a 5th wheel with 3 people, 4 dogs, a cat, a guinea pig and 2 robo hamsters. It is so COLD here in Largo - today is in the 40's...I know that sounds whiny to a lot of people in colder climes, but this is FLORIDA!!! Your blood gets thin after being here a while.

Did a fun craft show last Saturday - the Ybor City Saturday Market. I've signed up to do the first Saturday each month. A lovely lady who is the daughter of a classmate of my Dad's came by the booth - Dad had sent her some Vallagret cheese from Miss. State. He gives them out to family at Christmas and had an extra that he wanted her to have. We had a nice chat - she enjoyed telling me a story about how, not long before her mom died, her mom and aunt were on speaker phone with my dad...she said the two little old ladies sounded like they were fussing over which one my dad belonged to. Nice lady - she also purchased the first phone charm of the day.

Donna (left) and Bonnie say "Cheese" - Vallagret Cheese, that is.

Listed my latest phone charm - a Finesse Tech Deck skateboard, which can be removed from the cell phone, played with, and put back on. Skateboard fanatics would LOVE this.