Monday, December 6, 2010

I totally changed my mind about the Presidency but . . .

I totally take my hat back out of the ring and I'm no longer worried too much about Palin. I saw her show. I could only take about 5 minutes of it though and that is what eased my fears that she might just win the hearts of all republicans. It would be impossible, even considering the tiny little hearts of republicans. Her speach is forced while trying too hard to appear unscripted. Her jokes are not funny. Her joking around is even "less funnier". She is degrading to her family members. And where is her son? I see her grandson. But where is the kid?

I've seen several large motor coaches and the one they are using is not meant to live in, not even for a few overnighters. It is a luxury touring coach not unlike the Coach USA buses. Where's the kitchen? It's all sofas and windows. Nobody has seat belts on and her grandson was not in a carseat, he was crawling around next to Bristol. One moose on the highway and that baby is chum for Todd's next fishing trip. Oh, but I digress. That's the Tea Party way -- smaller government. Keep government out of our lives. If one wants their family free-flying through the motor coach with its huge full body ejection windows then who am I comment. Hey, remember when we were filming our reality show and a bald eagle hit the windshield and dad freaked and jammed on the breaks and three camera men went flying all the way to the front of the coach and cameras went through the front window and dad ran him over two of those guys and the rest of us ended up on the pavement. Man, that was great. Too bad about the kid though.

I'm too sarcastic and I don't wish anything bad on them but I can't possibly be the only political pundant to have noticed this. People, please, speak up. Save the Palen children.

Speaking of the children, I will have the grandkids for a four day weekend and hopefully will be able to post some cute pix.

So until next week or so, take care and stay warm.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm thinking of running for President of the United States of America

I know this is "our" retirement blog but this now appears to be part of retirement for me. I've been thinking. Sincerely - I'd love to throw my hat in the ring for President of the United States of America. Da da da da da da da da da da da . . . da da da da daaa da da da da da da. . . you know how the music goes.

I think that just considering it opening might help me get my book published, oh, and a ghost writer to help me finish it. This would allow me to follow up with a second book within 12 months. Perhaps I'm reading into this but it appears to me that considering running for the top office adds opportunities, time and money up the wazoo.

I honestly qualify for the job. I'm old enough, a born citizen and am female - which it appears is the next big step in American politics. Let's evolve people! Additionally, I am willing to accept ridiculous offers allowing for me to build up my coffers for the campaign.

I know that my family and I could put out a riveting reality show. We are "real" Americans. You couldn't be more American that us. I can prove it too. My husband and I are both on our second marriage - average. We have been married for more than 30 years - well above average. I have four children, two from each marriage - average. I have MS and type 2 diabetes - average disease quota. While living in Wisconsin I actually and truly hunted for deer and one season shot three on opening day - again above average. Unlike the current Presidential wannabe, my hunting cloths were torn and dirty and blood stained - super extra points for being super extra real!!! (Additionally, I wore a blaze orange knit hat that turned my blond hair to straw, super real). I have pictures fishing on our pontoon boat on an inland lake in Northern Wisconsin (less than 1 hour from Canada). I actually am seen holding my catch in my bare hands making faces, not pretending to be loving it. Very real!!! I get out of cleaning the catch of the day through whatever means possible - really? We tried two years of living in RVs, snow birding it during winter. This didn't work for me. We now live in a real house in N. Las Vegas, NV, the foreclosure capital of the United States. Having taken advantage of someone's misfortune to get ahead puts me in a slightly smarmy light I can see Arizona from the Stratosphere on a clear day.

As for the rest of my family, I have four daughters. One daughter is a lesbian. Another served our country as a Army medic in Iraq and had to defend herself, killing for her country. One daughter married a Filipino and has two children. One daughter is a skilled computer geek working for a nationally known hospital. One daughter married a Mexican in her mid thirties. One of our daughters has ADD and is severely dyslexic. One daughter works in human resources in a high paced industry. One daughter lives with us, works and attends a local college. My husband is retired from an auto manufacturer which fell apart and revoked many of our medical benefits. We are a bit sour over that. I worked for over 25 years as a legal secretary and am now medically retired. We appeal to many demographic groups.

My platform is democratic, somewhat conservative and I would be able to reach across the isle in that I am Sagittarius, meaning I was born under the happiest and friendliest of zodiac signs. I have a live-and-let-live attitude and am seldom angry but when I am, I am told I can be hurtfully sarcastic. I just don't see it. Further, my brother is a republican and my best friend from high school is a republican and works for a high ranking southern republican in the senate or house or something. If lower taxes and tax issues are the only reason to be a republican I might switch, but I honestly feel they have hidden agendas and frankly most of the republicans are scary. Face it, winning or losing they have nasty faces. When they do smile, they are still scary.

I am not photogenic and have never won a beauty contest. I do, however, twirl a baton. I am more than willing to have my party dress me in the most flattering and appropriate cloths, at whatever cost, and shamelessly admit it. I have never been mayor or held office but I always wanted to and often talk about it, especially during the nightly news. I can go with the flow so why not go for the top? And I understand there is plenty of room for looking foolish, stupid, ridiculous and defensive. I am not now or ever will be afraid of Katie Curik. I can be awestruck by famous people. I wouldn't be ashamed to admit that my best reading is done in my private library. If I am caught off guard by the press I'll admit it. Frankly, they have more experience than any of us and usually know what the answers will be before the questions are asked.

My first promise? I promise to never lean with one elbow on the podium. Secondly I promise to never ask "hows that workin' fer ya?". Finally, I will never ever ever say "man up".

I do not acknowledge the tea party. Tea Parties are for little girls in fuffy skirts who talk to bears and eat imaginary food.

I was an extremely average high school student, have a 4.00 at UWM for an English course I took and a 4.00 at MATC for a medical secretary certificate.

I would hire from my pool of experts. I.e., I have several friends who are capable of pulling together improntu cocktail parties and more than a few friends with strong opinions, often times offensive. I am still looking for an uber wealthy Cheney-esqe asshole and am looking forward to the results of my "should I run" poll.

Well I'm off. I'll be busy exploring my options for venues to officially announce my candidancy. I can almost hear hail to the chief.

P.S. I wrote this all by myself and I did use spell check in the proofing of this document.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grateful for family

I've discovered mobeous knitting, that is, knitting on circular needs with an intended twist so the scarf has a permanant fold. It's fun and entertaining. I've also made some cuffs, that is, fingerless gloves. Lots of fun! Especially since people like them. It is fun to knit but then it is more fun when it is appreciated. That said - on with family news.

Family came "home" last week. Tracy and Jennifer flew in and Rachel, Darrell, Mackenzie and Darrian drove from California. We were together for almost 5 full days and we had so much fun, food and laughs. Tina and Jorge weren't here and we missed them although it is a good thing Tina wasn't here because her mother had a heart attach and it was a blessing she was home. The grandkids didn't fail to entertain and they are getting more amazing by the day. I noticed that Mackenzie is very bright. I can't explain what I mean, I know she's bright, but she uses information she's picked up in such suprising ways, more complex than I would expect at her age. Her hair is long, her eyes are beautiful and when she smiles her dimples are not too deep, not to small, they are just "enough". And Darrian, he is starting to talk alot and is the cutest thing inte world. I love the way he says water and cars. His r's are drawn out really cute. His brown eyes are huge and when he smiles he does melt your heart. Hugs and kisses are heartwarming. Since they were here the week before for a wedding celebration in Darrell's family I got to have them here some extra nights too.

I wish . . . but don't we all. I wish I could have all of them close to me all the time but that darn Rachel marrying a California boy went and made life more . . . exciting? I'm loving Las Vegas's weather. I am suprised how warm the house is without running the furnace. Of course, we only had temps in the lower 40s a few mornings but we warm up during the day. Having said that, I'm chilled. We don't have tons of friends but Tim is working part time and I enjoy the quiet life. When the kids are here, it is busy enough. I need to recoop. Our neighbors are very nice though and it is unusual to know and speak to your neighbors here so we are lucky. It is odd that people can live next to someone for years and never speak to them. It seems that is the norm here.

My folks are moving into an apartment on December 1. A broken furnace forced them to make the decision and leave their house but they really can't deal with maintaining a house anymore. Tracy and my brother, Dennis, are helping them get their stuff sorted, packed and moved and for that I am soooo grateful.

The tree is up for the holidays and plans are for a very quiet one at that but ooohhh, isn't it cozy. We could go to California and celebrate Christmas Eve with Darrell and his family but we'll pass this year and plan to do that again in the future. Their family is huge, everyone gathers at Auntie Dave's where the decorations are over the top and there are presents galore, Philipino food (and it is soooo good), laughter and children everywhere. Throw in a white elephant gift exchange with the adult cousins and some holiday beverages and you are in for one fun night. We went 2 years ago and our faces were so sore from smiling.

Please enjoy the pictures of the kid's visit and I'll post again soon.

Love, me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Monsoons Have Arrived

Rain has arrived in Las Vegas! Evidently, it's gone too. We've waited and waited and finally we have thunder, lightening and downpours. The weather made Tm's day. Storms and rainy days are some of his favorite things. The worst of it hit while I ran to the store. While inside the noise of a storm echoed through the building and everyone looked around asking "Is that thunder?" I went outside to find a downpour. On the way home I drove through standing water (not dangerous kind) and hesitated before going through rushing water (the dangerous kind). Turned the corner at the end of our block and drove through a lake. I figured I would beep and Tim and I could drive around a bit and see all the water but he was busy taking a movie of it on his cell phone and didn't want to go out and about because he had a tuna casserole in the oven. We've seen rain here in the form of rain drops, enough to make the air smell fresh and turn the concrete dark from rain but that's all. We see storms that don't hit the ground because the air is too dry. We see the mountain tops turning white from the snow. Now we finally see rushng water, rescues, power outages, all so thrilling. Let's not forget the falling temps! The temps never got out of the 60s yesterday - far below normal but change is nice.

Saw the neurologist yesterday and am awaiting an MRI - don't you just love being MRIed? I just hate being confined and having to "keep it together". I think the scariest part is the though of freaking out and losing the "breath evenly, keep your eyes closed, go to my happy place, breath evenly." Also, going back on 3 shots a week. No big deal, nothing out of the ordinary.

I am looking forward to some visitors. Jackie's friend, Shelia, arrives tonight and after months and months of nonstop sunshine and clear skies, we'll be under clouds. I love seeing clouds, my squinting wrinkles get a well needed break. Shelia however, isn't expecting clouds, she was hoping to "get a little color". In another few weeks Jennifer and Tracy are coming. It will be shortly before my birthday and they'll miss it but we'll have an early Thanksgiving dinner with them and get out and about and of course, Rachel, Darrell, Mackenzie and Darrian will be included. Rachel plans another trip here in November too so I'll get plenty of grandkid visits in. This means I'll have to have the Christmas tree up in early November. Hmmm, how can I stand all the joy?

Life has been quiet and almost boring but I have to post something - next time I should have more lively "stuff". Until then, love and kisses. Diane

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Picture for Ravelry

I'm having a problem with my Patrick Green drum carder and have this posted only for the picture. If anyone at Ravelry can help me figure out what is making my pure white alpaca come out gray and filthy, let me know.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Just a normal update

I've been remiss again in blogging - I consider it my duty if to nobody but myself to keep this blog alive. We had been extremely busy for a while. We traded in the Jayco on a Winnibego C Class and we traded in the big truck on a Ford Edge (which can be flat towed behind the Winnie). Just days after buying the Edge we headed to Wisconsin to pick up stuff we had in the trailer in Stone Lake, stuff we can use here. Most important were the treadmill, which is getting tons of use, and my spinning wheel, which is getting tons of use too. I converted a pile of cottswold into about 10 skeins. The cottswold was already carded and I had forgotten. It was the first wool I prepped on my Patrick Green carder. Cottswold is best used for slippers or rugs or stuff that requires a really tuff yarn. Now I'm working on white alpaca and what a mess, it is like angora in that it sheds and floats but it will make lovely "stuff" in the end.

Tim got a job and that's good. He's driving a few times a week for Medcure, a company that does surgical training. His cargo? Corpses. Yes, there is a bit of a creep factor but he loves to drive and being active in retirement is extremely important. I enjoy the quiet time too because then I can play or work or water palm trees or write (which is a very selfish hobby) or just anything my heart desires. Not that I can't do that with Tim around but you women out there know exactly what I'm talking about.

I know I posted our trip but I have to review for my own sake. After our trip to Wisconsin we had a week to get ready for a cruise to the Mexican Riviera which included Puerto Vierta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas - I know I butchered those spellings. We had never been on a cruise before and what fun it was yet I don't think I'll be cruising again too soon. It isn't expensive (although it feels like it). Seriously, where can you go for a whole week for $700 a person, all inclusive. Add to that however, your excersions. The cruiseline sets them up and they are pricey. We learned that you can walk off the ship and pretty much the same excersions from locals for a fraction of the cost. Ships cost for snorkeling in Cabo $79.00, local cost $20.00. The difference? We were taken to the beach on land's end in a water taxi, had to jump over the side into the water to get out and then crawl back in when they came to pick you up. Cruise excersion version - large catamaran with 100 people and ladders into and out of water, alcohol and snacks. Not worth the difference. The dress up dinners are truly a treat and we discovered you can order 2 main courses. Yes folks we could have had two lobster dinners, all included in your $700. We had a balcony in our room and did not have that "closed in" feeling at all and Jackie stayed with us. Rachel and her family were there too. Darrell's sisters and folks were there. I loved the time with kids and grandkids.

We saw some unforgetable sights and experienced alot of "firsts". I lost my glasses in the pacific ocean when a wave decided to eat me up and Tim lost his RX sunglasses. We body surfed in huge waves and were tossed about the beach like rag dolls. I wasn't strong enough to get up and out of the surf so I got a little more beat up that the others. I washed off the sand but at in the cabin I filled the floor with the sand that was in my suit. We all died laughing. That was an expensive swim but I had never experienced that type of surf. What fun!

We returned home on the 20th of September and I'm still recovering from chasing around.

Jackie is going to be working as a CNA (finally) pretty soon. It took a long time to transfer her CNA to Nevada. She'll be working per diem and more than doubling her income. She found a job at the vet within 3 days of arriving here so we are grateful that she did have work. She's doing excellent in school. First quiz, an A.

Next on the horizon, nothing much. We are looking forward to Jennifer and Tracy's visits. Tracy should be here at X-mas and Jennifer should be here for Thanksgiving (or thereabouts). It's time to just enjoy home and maybe take a few side trips in the Winnie.

That's all folks. Love, Diane

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cleaning Up Loose Ends

Tim and I just spent 11 days on the road and saw a few sights on the way to Wisconsin in order to get stuff we had in our trailer in Stone Lake, WI. I missed a few old friends at Sand Lake RV park but caught up with a few others and that was nice catching up with them. We got back safe and sound, emptied the U-Haul and now my dining room and living room look like I'm a hoarder. Tim put his shoulder out and is in great pain, slowly recovering. I can't sleep. It's 5:30 in the morning and I'm back to washing cloths that smell like moth balls and breaking down boxes. Ugh. In a week this mess has to be cleaned up, put away and we will be leaving for Long Beach to get on a cruise ship, oh yeah, ahoy matey. Having never been on a cruise I'm both excited and apprehensive. The best part so far is getting some new makeup and cloths, including a "little black dress" for the formal Captains dinner. Jackie wears bare minerals and we had to find a store that carries it here. It wasn't easy but we did find such a store - Ulta! I have never been in such a fabulous makeup store. Sure, it had creams and lotions and pretty pretties but the makeup was amazing. This wrinkled old lady had fun browsing and eventually fell to temptation and bought a bare minerals starting kit. It was my "coming of age" store. A real eye opener. I'm old - I'm not getting any younger and the wrinkles are here to stay. I started using anti-aging/wrinkle cream a while back and frankly, I don't think they work. I'll see if the bare minerals make me look less blotchy, less wrinkled and less "old". Jackie also helped me shop for cloths - very helpful indeed. I saw my grandma while shopping. Amazing! She was in the mirror. I wasn't sure at first but yep, there she was, the elbows and arm skin gave it away. I've walked like her for years now, I get out of the chair like her and now I'm morphing into her - only I think I'm fatter - great! When I'm not feeling sorry for myself I have been spinning some heavenly white alpaca and that is almost as good as it gets. I missed my spinning wheel, I missed the fiber in my fingers and I missed the mesmerizing, relaxing motion of the wheel. Come back again for real blogging, not midnight rambling. Love to all, Diane.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Little Road Trip

We're making progressing in the "life style change". Our fabulous truck is gone and we are now the proud owners of new Ford Edge and looking forward to going to Wisconsin on approx. $300 worth of gas, not $1,100. In logging the first 100 miles on the car it was a bit disturbing to see we were getting 9 mpg. Then slowly it edged up (maybe that's why it is called an Edge?) and last night at 111 miles logged the dash was showing 25 mpg. Excellent! I'll try to keep records for the first month or two and see how much of a gas savings we have. I would have insisted on the Escape Hybrid - electric car that used electric under 47 MPH except to charge the battery. How cool would that have been? However Tim's head was close to the roof and it was very tight for leg room, he would have hit his knees all the time on the dash. Good excuses. However, if you are going new you might as well check out the electric cars, it isn't out reach financially. We are heading out later this morning and are going to check out the Great Salt Lake, since we never saw it, or at least I haven't. Then on to Yellowstone for 2 nights and we'll get in some sight seeing at Custer's last stand and try to see Devil's Tower. After that, it is straight to Stone Lake to gather up lots of stuff we left behind, like a big TV, tred mill and alas, my spinning wheel. We'll have to rent a U-Haul trailer. Then down to Milwaukee, see family, shhh dont' tell Mom, I'm going to try to surprise her, and then home. Zoe is off the hook for traveling but Rocky is making his road trip debut. Looking forward to posting pix of our trip. Later gators-Go Pack, Love, Mummy and Diane

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Following bloggers

I've rediscovered the joy of just paging through blogs, next blog, next blog, next blog and so on. Lots of fun and pretty interesting at times. Then along came yahoo news and directed me to This chic buys resale dresses, limit $1.00 and remakes them - she's doing this for a year ala Julie and Julia. Some of her creations are amazing. Now that sound like alot of fun. I might just try it I do however, have dogs so considering that Zoe sheds a small dog a day and both of them lie down on anything I'm involved with at floor level, I'm limited for cutting space. I could go to the spare room though for laying out and cutting. Jackie's cat has access to it and she'll leave if I hiss at her, louder than she hisses at me.

Night before last Tim and I found ourselves out and about long after dark. It is amazing how beautiful all the lights are out here. At night, this doesn't look like such a big city since darkness and mountains frame the valley. I guess it really isn't that big. We were out after dark on the 4th of July too, we were coming down from Mt. Charleston and watched the fireworks for a bit. They were going off everywhere and it was amazing. 90% of them were illegal. According to the news, homeowners should have nothing that leaves the ground so I figured why bother spending $$$$ if they are going to skitter around the ground? I guess nobody paid any attention to the laws. Bye for now. Love from Mummy and Diane

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It was a dark Saturday morning

Actually it is a dark saturday morning and I am up earlier than usual and can't get back to sleep on the couch so I turn to my trusty companion, my new BF, Dell. A few days ago I submitted my blog to the search engines hoping I would get some fresh hits for the book. My keywords were extremely common, I couldn't think of anything truly unique. So in the darkness of the wee hours and out of curiosity I decided to put the title of my book "Resurrecting Clara" into the yahoo search. To my surprise several items with Clara and Resurrection came up. One lead me to a blog about an old but snazzy motorcycle named Clara. There is hit for The University of Santa Clara and resurrecting auto graveyards. One interesting hit is another blog with references to resurrecting photos of Clara Bow. The Philipinos have an award called Maria Clara -- those are the names of my main characters. How odd. Another link to an author, Elizabeth Letts, got me nervous. It turns out she has a book with a main character being Clara who works in labor & delivery and somewhere the word resurrecting comes up in the book. A 1993 movie, Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, resurrects people, one whose name is Clara, and that is just a bit disturbing. There were several more hits referencing Santa Clara County and Univeristy of Santa Clara, all "resurrecting" something or another like neglected heritage, etc. It was actually interesting. But I became bored with that. Then I googled me. Intelius knows me. And anyone who reads this too! At least they charge for the meaty information. I don't have any criminal records but maybe some of the other Diane Puzas do. Lester Buildings, the builder of our barn in Edgerton, has our barn and names on their website. We won an award for it, well they did but we designed it. I didn't realize until now that it is on the internet. Having once been involved in the Babydoll Sheep industry I am out there as an officer, but those days are far behind me (but the fiber addiction still lingers). And then there is Kathy Miller's Soap Making pages. Her pages were the place to go for reliable information. I once made a bar that wrinkled so bad I made it into her "botched batches" section. I had totally forgotten about that. It was interesting to see how many Puzas there are in this world. I have never met another one outside of Tim's immediate family. And folks, Mario Puzo is not Mario Puza, although I must have seen it a dozen times in the hits. Have a good day. Bye, Hugs and Kisses to all who want or need them. Mummy and Diane

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Friday Rant

Okay, we are here because of me and we did buy a home with an HOA but it isn't gated and the fees are dirt cheap so how bad can it be. Right? Well 3 times now, since May 27, we've received notices. The last notice involves our driveway which we had approved by the association. We sent drawings, contractor information, approvals by both neighbors blah blah blah. So today's letter states we are in violation because there isn't a drain down the center to direct flood waters to the street. I cant' wait to see a flood here in the land of the dry and drier. I know, it will flood during the monsoons which are actually during this time of year but I doubt we'll flood our neighbors out and when it rains we run outside like kids to enjoy it. We have yet to see more than 1/100th of an inch. So at Tim's behest I took a walk up the street and the next 3 houses all have RV parking and all have the exact same pitch as ours (you can compare by the bricks on the walls) and none of them have gutters down the center to divert flood waters). Not one! And our neighbors, whose RV parking is directly next to ours seperated only by the wall, is exactly like ours. The picture doesn't do the pitch justice because of the angle and the shade but it is about a 3 inch pitch for the entire stretch from back to front.

If that didn't fry my beans enough, there is another paragraph addressing the trees we planted behind the walls - which trees can be seen from the common areas. Dahhhhh. They are trees. We are of the understanding that what we do behind our wall is our business - it is not considered a common area and by what I've seen, most people don't give a rat's ass what is in their yard. As for our yard, I can't wait until the short trees start showing over the top of the wall. Landscaping in the front has to be approved and that sucks because most gardeners I like, me included, get a bug up their ass and want to put in flowers immediately. If I see a nice plant and want to have it, I buy it and plant it. I don't want to have my neighbors approve it and sign forms indicating their approval, fill out 4 HOA forms and submit with drawings for their approval. Oh, I should do that. I should have everyone just shower them with garbage. I should go through all that for a geranium plant. Signatures, drawings, the whole 9 yards. Oh just the thought of it calms me down. I feel giddy with revenge!

Our concrete fellow called and assured me there are no codes in the City's laws that require these drains unless, for example, you are putting a pool next to a patio and then you need a drain because both concrete sections are going in 2 different directions. But the drive has a pitch and that's all it needs. Now if they would have gotten on my case to get that gait painted, I would have understood. Bye for now from both of us, Mummy and Diane

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Ramblings and a 2nd Blog

A good friend, who chooses to remain "anonymous" asked if I got busy with gathering soap supplies. The answer is yes. I have plenty of fragrances and I have been spying such goodies as goats milk, coconut oil, coconut milk and fancy oils but have yet to locate good old fashion lye. It is pretty much off the shelves because it is used for making meth. I can't imagine ingesting lye in any form but it is an ingredient and the lack of it puts my soap making on hold. I think I have to order it on line but that is in bigger bulk and I'm not looking to buy more than 1 pound at a time. That said, I'm anxious to get going started up with making soap again. First of all, the house always smelled really amazing. Second, I was hard pressed to find people who didn't like handmade soap so it is always appreciated. Artistic expression is endless with soap. I hate to create the same thing twice. Mom suggested trying put it out in the "little shops" here in Vegas. I said "Mom, they don't exist here in Vegas" and that was hard for her to understand. At least I haven't found the small gifty cutsie type of shop you can find all over the U.S., except here. I think the closest I have spotted to a gifty cutsie shop is a Coach scratch and dent shop with purses at close to no discount. And if you really want to drop your jaw shopping, Caesar's Palace has unbelievable shops. The first time I was there was the first time I ever saw shop about 200 square feet with 5 items showcased and no prices. AND, it was staffed with 3 sales persons dressed in black to move these 5 items. Being born, raised and aged to near perfection in Wisconsin my first thought was HAHAHAHAHAHA. My second thought was . . . I had no second thought.

Speaking of a good laugh I hurt my throat really bad last night laughing at Tosh.O on the comedy channel. I laughed so hard I couldn't inhale and when I did it sounded like a sports car burning rubber on asphalt. Oh man, I think I "skinned my throat". I have a dry cough as a result of this dry patch of tissue on the left half of my throat. I was alone at the time and that was a good thing because if Tim had been there he would have been laughing at me for laughing so hard that it would have made it impossible for me to recover from my breathlessness and I might just have passed out. The injury, however, was well worth the jokes and I will risk injury again!

As if this blog, knitting, putzing and watching dogs isn't enough to humor me on an hour by hour basis, I've decided to begin a blog dedicated to my longest running passion; my novel. I've been working on it and when it is fully up and running I'll send a link.

By the way, I stepped outside and the weather is fabulous. It is 7:20 a.m. and the temps are in the 70s, it's rather chilly and oh so fresh. Lovin' it.

That's about it for this morning so bye for now from both of us. Love, Mummy and Diane

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sometimes I get to thinking

I have a lot of time to think. Too much time. Sure, sure, "I think, therefore I am". Therefore I am my ass. New econimic news is soooo depressing and I find myself changing channels so I don't have to listen to it. Naturally, it turns my thoughts to earning some money but more to the point, to be out in the world, being productive, being around interesting people and doing something I really like in order to provide all that. I'm too young to be home BUT with this economy and MS, it is a sort of dead end waste of good thinking time.

For a while I thought I would make cupcakes and cakes. We could have a homegrown family business called "cakes in bad taste". We could put distasteful messages on them. On the other hand, I have grandchildren now and I can at least learn to make fabulous cakes for all the holidays and milestones in their lives. That's a lot of cake. I started with a fabulous white cake from scratch (triple sifted flour) which is toted as the best white cake ever. Lacking round cake pans I used two 8x8 brownie style pans. I cut the cakes down the center, cut the tops off so they would be flat and built a loaf cake much like the tortes that are in the bakery departments at the market. The cake tasted like fresh nilla vanilla cookies and was very good. Holding everything together was my home made butter cream frosting. I forgot to let the butter reach room temperature so I put it outside at 9 a.m. to warm up because it was 101 degrees already. I figured 5 minutes would do it but not quite and the butter cream frosting had speckles of solid butter in it. Tasted awesome though. Then on to the fondant. Not at all my forte. I might have discovered a new method of creating bricks. I turned to the internet and perused the troubleshooting sites for fondant and discovered several sites which assured me this wasn't going to be easy. I took a small amount and continued to add crisco until I had a wad of stuff at a consistency sufficient enough to make flowers with, sort of like play dough. And I created a beautiful rose. It had, however, been so handled I didn't even want to put it in my mouth. Most of the articles stated fondant does not taste good so most people peel it off and eat the cake with the butter cream frosting. Not so. I discovered powdered sugar and crisco is the "goo of the gods". Within in the week I am going to be attempting "marshmallow fondant" which is supposed to be easier to make and work with. We'll see how that works out.

It's not just cake and cupcakes that gets me thinking. Every now and then I hear a success story involving food like 2 guys with a lunch wagon. They invested in a used food wagon, supplies and a vendors license. A bazillion gazillion sandwiches and dollars later, they were sitting pretty. I thought about what I do well in the kitchen and frankly, not so much. Tim is the cook here and that's more than fine with me but, I can make a truly fabulous corn chowder. Now, could I make a humongous vat of corn chowder and serve it up by the cup with a huge hunk of french bread and expect to make money? Granted, the corn chowder has all fresh and pricey ingredients, like heavy cream and Canadian bacon. I could add up the cost of ingredients, calculate the volume of the finished product, divide that by 12 oz servings and see what kind of profit it would create but that's cyphering and "cyphering" and "thinking" are two different animals indeed. I'll have to think about it.

I'm on day 5 of the Atkins diet and these cake and chowder concepts, all carbs mind you, are devilish details. I think I need some sugar to help my mind work properly again.

So, moving away from food I fantasize that The Gates Foundation will dump a chunk of cash on my lawn so I can lease a storefront and properly stock a shop. I have the perfect one already picked out. It's in the middle of a shopping strip mall parking lot in the Aliante area. Three sides of the building are glass. I would fill the inside with fiber, tables and chairs, a few rocking chairs, samples, books, supplies, knitting needles (hordes of needles), wheels, looms, yarn from all over the world and of course a coffee machine, scones and mood music that would hypnotize for hours. I've searched and nothing in Vegas holds up to world class yarn shops, one in particular in Tempe AZ would be a good example. But, maybe there aren't enough knit freaks and fiber addicts here to support such a "home away from home". What am I saying; what am I thinking? Build it and they will come. Fiber addicts and closet knitters exist all over the world, and Vegas is no exception (I would think).

I think, therefore I am. Good day from both of us, Mummy and Diane

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some Pictures for Y'all

I have been so lax in keeping up with everyone and that saddens me. But . . . since pictures are worth a thousand words I'll be making up for it here. Since March we . . . . bought a house, rescued a dog from the desert, played with family, celebrated Jennifer and Jorge's wedding, bought some furniture, welcomed Jackie (who traveled from Wisconsin to Vegas by herself and kuddos to her for that!) to live with us while she goes to school at College of Southern Nevada (she starts in a few weeks) discovered Mt. Charleston 30 minutes to the west (with its very cool temperatures) and Valley of Fire to the east. We bought a tiny hot tub, king bed, bedroom set for Jack, living room set, had a patio cover put up on the southside of the house, planted 8 palm trees, had solar screens installed, security system installed, water tests, sold our pontoon boat, Zoe had 7 teeth pulled and Rockie was neutered, Tim put his shoulder out cleaning the grout around tile, we are trading in the Jayco on a Class C and selling the truck. Tim turned 60, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and are looking forward to a cruise to Mexico in about a month (with some of the family) and I'm dieting for obvious reasons. I keep trying to get back to writing the great American novel and look forward to getting my spinning wheel from Wisconsin. Tim wants his treadmil and might have a nibble on selling the trailer we have in Stone Lake, WI.
We've just been busy. So hope everyone is healthy and happy and stop back again soon, I'll hopefully be posting more regularly now.
Love to all. Mummy - Diane

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nanna's House

Who knew? Who would have thought I would prefer Vegas over Wisconsin? Life leads us in odd directions at times but being a Grandma has changed what I want out of life. So poor Tim agreed and here we are in a nice sized house in North Las Vegas and just finished up our first of hopefully many visits with Rachel and her family. We did catch Darrian's cold and if his throat was half as raw as mine, I am impressed with how well he held up all that time. I feel rather bad for him.

We still see jets, stealth jets and all sorts of military aircraft but they are much higher here and do not rip the lining out of my ears. Did you know there is a pig farm right in the center of this valley? If you go to Goggle and find 5th and Ann in Vegas you'll see it. My point? We can occassionally smell it. We are in monsoon season and our winds are now coming from the gulf instead of southern California and with the winds is the smell. I'm grateful to the realtor who pointed it out during our hunt and can' timagine those who bought right by it.

In addition to the Grandkids, Tim and I have been able to enjoy a few outings in this area. We have tried to make a habit of going to Mt. Charleston on Sundays and enjoy the cool air and sights, food and art sales. Last week we went to the Valley of Fire have plans to visit Red Rock Recreation Center soon. Another point of interest is the new bridge of Hoover Dam. I understand it is almost finished and that should be a real amazing bridge. I would prefer to admire it from the lower, original road.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bring Back Human Beings . . . please

I sat down to do something important on the computer and totally forgot where I was headed. So I made a call and was greeted by a computer, yippee. With so many "I'm sorry, can you repeat that?" or insisting that my name is t i a m e instead of d i a n e I have a whole knew beef. Living right over the path of Jets at Nellis Airforce Base is becoming old, and I'm going deaf. Add to that totally throwing the voice activated systems out of sync completely and having to wait to make calls you are just dying to make in the first place puts business calls at the bottom of list of things to do. Lower than low, buried and forgotten. Bring back humans, create more jobs, even minimum wage jobs where people can work from home - please bring back human beings.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Heat and overcoming it

So we've had a bit of heat here. I'm worried about Zoe - she gets overheated in spite of the air conditioning, which is obviously not strong enough to cool down a tin can on the desert floor. I can't wait until we are in our house. We have a long term goal to have a pool but we can shamefully fill a kiddy pool and plant our boiling selves in a foot of water if need be. It will be cooler in the house, anything is cooler than the Jayco. Hot with wind this afternoon, heat tomorrow and then a cool down in temps for the next several days.

Speaking of tomorrow, we see our loan officer and hand over a few more pieces of information to update or application and hopefully find out the date of the appraisal. Then we have the inspection -- I can't possibly see anything really bad showing up. Stay tuned, I will be eating these words I'm sure.

So to pass the time I have two projects. Create a new budget and knit. After a coin toss the sweater won so I picked up a sweater I had been working on (for well over a year). I had mastered to pattern but all the increasing and decreasing and maintaining the pattern for necklines and armholes proved too intelligent for me I turned the sweater into balls of yarn and started anew. I am going to finish this one regardless of the progress and then donate it. Once I am in the house I will be able to create items for felting. That's my forte. I felt, therefore I am. There is something to be said about old top loading washing machines.

Tim is still in the middle of the road about living in Vegas but I'm sure this is a good move. I've always backed away from holding my ground and this is new for me. At least we have Stone Lake to fall back on when things get really hot here. We will have to rethink some of our previous choices and scale back (i.e., gas guzzler truck vs. anorexic car).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2nd Star on the right leads to Las Vegas, NV

I apologize. I have been terribly remiss in writing on my blog and sharing retirement adventures. Frankly, I suck at writing regularly and I suck at being an adventurous retiree. My grandmother gene is overriding all other genetic fixes and being near Mackenzie and Darrian trumps winters in various and sundry places. Some of the friends I've met will be with me always but move over for the kids. They won. Don't ask what I will do if gradchildren show up in other parts of the U.S. I'll deal with that when it happens.

I believe we may trade in our Jayco for a Class C once all the dust has settled with the house but that isn't until after we close, which will be toward the end of May. We may still take off for a few weeks now and then, who knows.
Jennifer and Jorge were married here in Vegas on April 20, 2010. The Flamingo's garden provided a beautiful backdrop and we had so much fun with family and friends for about a whole week. Tracy had to step in and help out with the flowergirl/ring bearer but it was adorable. The bride was stunning.
Jackie will be living with us while so goes to school, Rachel and the kids will be back and forth from LA and Jennifer and Tracy love playing here in Vegas so I think I'll be happy here. I'm sure Tim will too once he gets used to the idea and forgets about the crime rate and water shortages.
Love to all. Diane