Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

My friend Jen and her daughter along with most of my family are coming to ring in the new year here.

After which we'll watch movies, drink some wine and generally fall into a dazed stupor from staying up too late.

I hope all of you have a wonderful First Night (as they call it in Pittsburgh)!

Don't get too drunk and don't do anything that I wouldn't do!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kitties Got The All Clear

We took the other kittens (cats) in for a check up and their shots. The vet shed some light on what caused Coco's sudden death.

I feel a little better about it. I'm not over it by any means by any means but I know that it was nothing any of us could have prevented.

He felt she had some kind of hardening of the heart muscles.

Its still not fair if you ask me. She was just a we babe, but I guess its the circle of life.

I hope the rest of the kitties have longer lives. I can't take losing them like thast.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Favorite Authors

I figured that after I spent yesterday griping about the fact I haven't read enough in the last few months, I'll at least give you a nice list of the authors I really love, so you will remember that I do love reading.

Debbie Macomber: She started out writing for Harlequin, and still does. Her stories are about families, real people. Her romances are light and could really be read by anyone that really wanted to give them a go.

Stephanie Bond: Oo La La! Her novels for the Harlequin Blaze line are hot and spicy, kinda like a good Mexican dish. Her Body Movers myster series is fun and funny a'la Janet Evanovich.

Janet Evanovich: When she writes, I smile. I haven't really been able to figure out what genre she falls in. She's not romance. She's more like humorous suspense. I really wish her books would be made into movies.

Nick Hornby: My favorite British author. His books are often hit or miss with me, but I've loved so many of them, that he has to make this list.

Victoria Holt/Jean Plaidy: May this wonderful writer rest in peace. She really did great suspense and great historical accounts of the royal families of Europe. I've read more of her novels than I can count.

Marion Chesney/Jennie Tremaine: Tilly was the first romance novel I ever read. I love her regency novels. I devour them as soon as I get them.

Richard Paul Evans: Heartwarming stories that stay with you forever. I always shared these with my gram. I hope there are books in heaven. If there aren't...well that's a spoiler for me.

Ann Rice: Vampires Mummies and Jesus Christ. She's written about them all and she's done each topic well. Screw Twilight, this is the lady to read.

So these are some of the authors I love, how about you?

Monday, December 28, 2009

I'm Disappointed In Myself

December 31st is fast approaching and my book tally is sad. Granting I didn't start the book challenge until October, but I've only read 35 books since October?

I really thought I could have made to the halfway point.


I suck.

Things apparently got busier than I thought they would have in the last few months. I hope to make and exceed the goal of 100 books in 2010. Its a goal I know I can make. I should have made the 50. I really should.

I am ashamed of myself.

Better luck next time I guess.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I'm Depressed

My 4 day weekend is gonesville. Christmas and Christmas Eve were lovely but the last two days have been just ARGH! From Coco dying to today just being full of frustration, my 4 days stunk.

I haven't been able to get anything done in the last two days. Not for want of trying either. Its just I'm drained. Too drained to even read.

I'm feeling very whoa is me right now.

Nothing has turned out the way I wanted it.

I just want to vegetate somewhere and pretend that this whole holiday didn't happen. Its such a shame too, because the actual holiday was really nice. It was just yesterday that spoiled the whole 4 days.

Here's hoping the New Year's weekend will be much better.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sleep In Heavenly Peace

Originally uploaded by moodylady
My beautiful Christmas was shattered this morning when my sweet little Cocolocopocowheats died.

We have no idea what was wrong. She was in the basement with my dad, in fact he was erm...on the throne and she was on his lap, as cats have a tendency to want to sit on you when you are doing...those sorts of things. She was purring and happy.

She jumped down off his lap, let out a meow and died.

She was only a little over a year old!

Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!

All the other kitties are ok.

We're all heartbroken. This was like our Itchy come back to us. We all loved her and she loved us. I can't begin to understand why God would give anything that short of a life.

I've lost 3 animals this year. I love them all so very much, Mutchka was painful, but this just seems senseless. She was just a wee baby of a cat.

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Christmas Stash

This here is my loot from Santa and family and friends:

1 Stocking filled with pretty costume jewelry
Doctor Who Series 2 DVD set
3 Doctor Who books
The Buckinghams Reaching Back CD
Erasure Pop Remixed
Some cash!
A box of gourmet popcorn with Coca-cola ornaments
A set of Jack Skellington pens
2 Nora Roberts books
A gift card to Books A Million

Life is pretty good.

I hope all of you had a good and present-filled holiday

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just a quick pop in to wish all my blogging friends a wonderful holiday!

Merry Christmas EVERYONE

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rugalach Recipe

The only reason we made this recipe was because Food Network gave us a quick and easy way to make them.

What you need:

1 pie crust (Pillsbury is best)
1 jar of apricot preserves or the Bakers Apricot filling
I'd say about 1/2 c of either chopped pecans or walnuts
1 egg beaten for egg wash

What you do:

Take a pizza cutter and cut the pie dough into 16 triangles

Spread the apricot from the tip to about 2/3's down the triangle

Sprinkle with nuts and roll up from the big end to the point.

Brush with egg and chill for 30 minutes

Bake @ 325 for 30 to 35 minutes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Missing Monday On A Tuesday

Its the second year in a row that I haven't made it to Pittsburgh once to see the lights, the department store windows and my beautiful trees in PPG Place.

I miss them so much.

I miss walking through downtown, dodging cars and getting hot chocolate or a peppermint mocha at the Starbucks by Heinz Hall.

The last two years have been crazy. Last year it was my depression. This year, its just too much to do and not enough time to really go, along with a car I don't trust going more than 15 miles in.


The sad part is, I have a decent amount saved for a down payment, but I'm nervous about job related things and I wouldn't want to have a car payment and then become a victim of the economy.


Maybe next year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

How Awesome

I'm part of the Harlequin Ambassadors program for Harlequin books and today I got a package in the mail.

In the box were 5 copies of one of the Silhouette Special Edition's Christmas books.

Its called The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle and its by Raeanne Thayne. I've got one extra copy that I can pass off to someone after the holiday if there are any romance readers that would like this story to add to their collection. As soon as I read it, I'll share my thoughts on it, cos there's nothing wrong with a little romance, or a lot of it, for that matter.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Moving Right Along

I finished cleaning the kitchen this morning. On to the dining room. There is a small glimmer of hope that the cleaning may actually get finished before Christmas Eve. That my friends, is a freaking miracle.

Actually the amount of stuff I have for goodwill is insane! Not to mention the stuff that's gone to the garbage!


At least we've decided on the cookies we are making.

Firstly, we're doing Muddy Buddies Chex Mix.

Then coconut blossoms w/Hershey kisses

Peanut butter cup cookies

and then one slovak cookie that I can barely pronounce, let alone spell but it will have some nuts and apricot filling.

I'm also going to make something with nutella and crescent rolls.

At least the food will be good, even if the house isn't spotless.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Killer Cleaner

I'm really kicking but with the whole cleaning thing today. I should have our kitchen as done as possible today. Tomorrow I tackle the dining room.

I'm very very proud of myself right now.

I'm also thankful for the snow.

I know most of the people that got the brunt of the storm aren't but this snowfall as kept me from doing all the extra stuff that takes my mind off the hard stuff.

I even baked a batch of brownies today!

Isn't that freaking amazing?

Aren't you all proud of me?

You should be, cos I'm so damn lazy that this is really an accomplishment. I will do anything and everything to get out of cleaning.

I feel so accomplished. I think I deserve a glass of wine and a good movie tonight!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Top 5 On Friday: Week 254

You guys know the drill. Play along in the comments or in your journal. This meme is created for my site Music Memoirs. Feel free to go there and check out my other weekly memes and play along.

Top 5 musical things that made your 2009.

1. Getting to see Deni Bonet in concert @ Oglebay. It was a wonderful show and a lovely day in Wheeling and @ the park. Its totally awesome that I finally got to see and meet one of the Indie Artists that I reviewed. Truly you should check Deni out if you haven't already. She's fantastic.

2. Mika's The Boy Who Knew Too Much. I never thought one album could make my year again, but this one has. Its so fun and catchy and just adorable. I love Mika and I love this album!

3. Seeing and playing with The ReBeats in OH. I love this covers band and I don't usually like covers bands. Do a google search for them and watch a clip or two. Here's hoping I get to see them again next year somewhere.

4. Getting to meet Sarah Marince one of our Pittsburgh country singers. She's so cute and sweet and has a voice that will knock your socks off.

5. Several of the artists I've learned about through my other job doing CD reviews.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm Making A List

I'm even checking it twice.

I need to sort out what I need to get done before Christmas. Sadly there's still a lot of stuff.

I've got the presents and whatnot sorted out. Everything is bought there. I still have cleaning to do and some grocery shopping that can't be done ahead of time. Then there is the baking, we've decided on making about 3 different kinds of cookies. We're a small family at the holidays anymore. There's no point in going nuts when its just the usual crew celebrating.

However it still means more than usual cleaning.

We're packrats living in a house that doesn't have packratting space. Not a good thing, especially when one of the packrats doesn't like to get rid of stuff! Oye and vey!

But starting tonight I'm going to start getting more cleaning done. Starting in the kitchen and working my way through the dining room to the bedrooms. By Christmas Day, damn it, I will have our house looking passable. We'll never have a better homes and garden type house. Our house is old and neither my parents, nor I make a lot of money to fix things. But I will get it looking better if it kills me. And it just might.

Wish me luck.

I hate holiday cleaning! I'd rather shop. (And at the holidays that's saying a whole helluva lot!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Compilation Of Winter Favorites

Artist: Various Artists
Album: A Cold Winter Night (114 MB)
Genre: Mixtape
Gordon Lightfoot - 10 Degrees and Getting Colder
Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson - Winter Song
Enya - And Winter Came
Cliff Richard - Mistletoe & Wine
James Taylor - In The Bleak Midwinter
Greg Lake - I Believe In Father Christmas
Dean Martin - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Loreena McKennitt - Snow
The Simple Things - Cold
Jane Monheit - I Love The Winter Weather (Medley)
Over The Rhine - Snow Angels
Grey Eye Glances - Our Own Place And TImes
Elaine Paige - The Coldest Night Of The Year
Sarah McLachlan - Song For A Winter's Night
Diana Krall - Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep
Elvis Costello - North
Danny Elfman - The Edward Scissorhands Theme
The Pogues - Fairytale Of New York
Dar Williams - February
Emmy Rossum - Carol Of The Bells
Nick Lowe - Freezing

This Made Me Giggle

Come on, you had to giggle just a bit at that, right?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Mix CD

Here ya go peeps! Happy Christmas. Thanks to Rashbre for the Smoke Fairies!

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Christmas Delights (117 MB)
Released: My 2009 Christmas Mix
Genre: Assorted Genres
Sounds Like: Christmas!
Must Be Santa Bob Dylan
Warm & Fuzzy - Billy Gilman
The Answer - Corrinne May
Christmas Is Finally Here - Matt Dusk
Winter White - A Fine Frenzy
A Silent Night With You - Tori Amos
Jingle Bell Rock - Mitchel Musso
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Colbie Caillat
Let It Snow - The Carter Twins
Silent Night - Gloriana
Shimmy Down The Chimney (Fill Up My Stocking)- Suzy Bogguss
Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming - Sting
Holly Jolly Christmas - Sugarland
Christmas Morning - Hayley Westenra
I Wonder As I Wander - Smoke Fairies
Blessed Is This Holy Night - Jaynse
O Holy Night - Josh Groban
A Scoundrel's Christmas - F&M
Old Night - Dala
Here Comes Christmas - The Nadas
The Gift - Joshua Stedman

Something Pretty For Christmas!

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Dan Van Oss' latest CD The Heart Of Heaven to review and I want to share that review and one gorgeous song with you.

So by all means, go to Mossip and read the review here.

If you like it, leave your comments there, because I know several of the artists I've reviewed stop by that site to read reviews.

This album was gorgeous. I loved the different arrangements of some of the holiday classics and there were a few surprises as well.

Go check it out!

Monday, December 14, 2009

In The Last 24 Hours

~ There was an ice storm that shut down all the interstates in my part of PA for most of the morning.

~ My nephew's car broke down and his mother's car had to be jump started.

~ Christmas shipping envelopes disappeared.

~ Ornaments played hide and seek.

~ Sanity took a vacation.

That was my Sunday into Monday. How was your day?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Night Already?

Its 4 minutes after 10 and I feel like I've gotten nothing done, yet our Christmas tree is decorated and I even made some headway cleaning the room from hell, but for some reason it doesn't feel like I've done enough.

Oh and I totally finished the Christmas shopping. I bought the wine and the jam we wanted to add to my brother's gift and we bought the wreath for the cemetery for gram and grandpap.

I did a lot, but it feels like nothing.

Mostly because I spent a lot of money that I didn't want to spend. That's the purchase of a new printer and extra ink as well as the last gifts I had to buy.

Now if only I could get a few hours of relaxation at some point.

Not much to ask for is it? But somehow it is.

I need time off. Have I mentioned that for the millionth time yet?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Need This Book!

We all know I'm a sucker for girl porn. And the way things have been lately, I need stuff like this to keep me sane.

I had the damn book in my cart when I did my monthly book order from Eharlequin and I got logged out before buying and my whole cart vanished and when I went back to add my books, I forgot that one.


So if any of you would like to buy me a cheap present...this book would be it! Cos I missed it when it was out in Oct and then I kept forgetting it because it wasn't on the main page. Grrrr.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Top 5 On Friday Week 253

You guys know the drill. Play along in the comments or in your journal. This meme is created for my site Music Memoirs. Feel free to go there and check out my other weekly memes and play along.

Top 5 Traditional Christmas Carols and tell us why you like the particular song.

1. O Holy Night: I don't care who sings it most of the time. I just love this song. Its beautiful song and one I've loved since I was a little girl.

2. Angels We Have Heard On High: What can I say? I'm a sucker for the Glorias!

3. O Little Town Of Bethlehem: I love the slowness of this one and the imagery that it creates.

4. What Child Is This?: I like Greensleeves so this is pretty much a given.

5. When A Child Is Born: I'm not sure if this one is considered traditional, but I love it nontheless. If not for The Moody Blues, I never would have heard of this song, and I'm glad that chose to record it, because I've loved most every version I've heard since.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Need To Make A List

I've got so much to do and an attention span of a gnat, and I'm probably being insulting to the gnat.

I have cleaning to do that needs to get done before Christmas.

I have 2 reviews that need to be done and turned in by the weekend. 1 won't be rough but the other that's due first is a bit tricky. I'm not the greatest at reviewing instrumental stuff. Plus I'd like to get some other writing done for Mossip which I've been slacking at for awhile.

I still need to go through stuff for Good Will. I wish my nephew and father could go through their damn clothes. Why must men never toss stuff that they will never wear out? Actually I'm still pondering why I can't toss an old pale blue suit coat of the 1970's leisure suit variety into the fire? Dad, its not as if we would let you out of the house wearing it!

Will probably have to go to the police station to pick up the report on the accident that knocked out our fence. This is not going to be fun or pretty.

Plus I still have the mix CD to burn and mail and I must do that tonight. There's no ifs ands or buts about it. ARGH! I want these CDs in the mail on Saturday. I will share them here later this weekend. If I survive it all.


Christmas is hard!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My Day Started With A Bang

I mean that literally too. Two trucks, a big Dodge Ram and a Ford of some kind duked it out on the corner sending one sailing into our front yard, taking out our fence.

Yee ha!

So much for a nice quiet morning eh?

Now I have to hunt down a police report later today or tomorrow so my folks can get their fence replaced.

This is turning out to be a really great week!


This is not the way I wanted to start my morning.

I can't wait to see how the rest of the day turns out!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Its Beyond Cold

I'm not looking forward to Thursday or Friday when the temperatures dip below freezing here in PA. I also don't feel jealous of those south of me or in the midwest that are experiencing SNOW in larges amounts right now.

I've got too much to do to have to deal with snow! Cold is enough. I hate being cold. I'm not a huge fan of being too hot either, but cold really makes me miserable.

Have I mentioned I hate winter? Christmas and New Year's Day are about the only two good things about it.

I just want to get my warm fuzzy robe on and stay inside for the next 3 months.

A little hibernation is in order, doncha think?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Best Movie I've Seen In Ages

I haven't had much time to do much of anything these past few days. Blogging has been scarce and reading blogs even scarcer. Is that even a word? But Saturday night I took the time to sit down and watch Mrs. Miracle on the Hallmark channel and I'm so glad that I did.

Its a movie based on Debbie Macomber's book of the same name. When I heard about it, I knew it was a movie I had to watch, because Debbie's books are some of my favorites and her holiday books are always the best.

This movie was wonderful. Its the story of a widower with twin sons who are rambunctious. They can't seem to keep a housekeeper. The female character is an owner of a travel agency who is not on speaking terms with her sister because of an event in the past that she considers unforgivable.

Well its Christmas and with Mrs. Merkle (Miracle) both overcome the fears and hurts that have kept their hearts closed for years and they learn to move on, forgive and find love.

A wonderful story! If you get the Hallmark channel, look for a re-airing, its worth watching. If you don't? Go out and buy the book!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I'm Done!

My last two Christmas presents were bought today and now I can concentrate on the mix CD card! Woo hoo!

I've got about half of the mix figured out. I still need a few more songs and then it will be complete. I've even got an image for the artwork, which I found while trolling some stock photo websites.

Woo hoo!

I'm officially broke, but I'm festive and everyone will have a gift, including a few of the members of my online family that I've bought gifts for over the last 5 or more years.

I'm really pleased how everything is turning out.

Here's hoping Dec 25 turns out to be just as lovely as the advent season. I'm excited for it.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

My Tree!

So far so good, the cats have only tried to eat the garland and one ornament so far today!

This is the tree I keep in my computer room. We still haven't put the tree up in the living room yet. Mom's still fearful that the cats will knock it over. I keep telling her they won't. They just want to gnaw away at the bottom branches. They are crazy like that. Better that then when our little malty-poo decides to water the tree.

Funny I thought all of this bad behavior was supposed to be corrected by spaying and neutering.


At least the tree is pretty.

For now!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Top 5 On Friday: Week 252

This meme is created for my site Music Memoirs. Feel free to go there and check out my other weekly memes and play along.

Top 5 dream collaborations. ex: Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues and Andy Bell of Erasure (something I only wish would happen)

1. Justin Hayward and Andy Bell: I don't know what they'd sing together, but I would love to hear it. These are probably two of my favorite voices and they both do sappy love songs so well.

2. Mika and Andy Bell: Just because the video for whatever they did would be so colorful and shiny that you'd probably spend hours staring at it.

3. Elvis Costello and Diana Krall: I mean they are married they really should record together. What beautiful music that would be!

4. Over The Rhine and Grey Eye Glances: Two of my favorite not so well known bands fronted by two very beautiful women with even more beautiful voices. This would definitely be a collaboration that dreams would be made of.

5. Simon Le Bon and Elvis Costello: A dream collaboration, cos I'd like to see Simon learn how to write songs, good songs. Unlike the crap they've been recording lately (meaning Duran Duran...not Elvis)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Do You Know What?

I'm sick of hearing about Adam Lambert. I don't really care about his performance on the AMA's. I don't care about him at all. I don't think he's that great. Didn't when he was on American Idol and I don't now.

What most people need to get a hold on in this country is this: If you want to cause a stir do something sexually or religiously explicit. It causes an uproar. If you push the invisible bar, you will cause controversy. Will it hurt your career. Probably not, which is why all people, probably me too, should just STFU about it. Give it a few weeks....Adam will go platinum, and all will be well in the world.

Janet Jackson is fine...Madonna is fine...heck even George Michael still sells records when he can be bothered to record.

Scandal gets you in the papers, and when you are in the entertainment industry, that's really what you're aiming for. He didn't hurt a puppy or a child, so I'll safely predict he's going to be just fine.

I only wish he'd go away and take all his other Idol predecessors with him

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Thing I Like About My Cats

Actually its what makes me go hmmm about all cats. Why do they want to eat plastic? My older cats ie: the cats I had before last August, don't really give a damn about the Christmas tree. I knew this before I started to put the tree up this year. The young ones; Miss Callie and her babies, think that that tree is an appetizer. This would make more sense if I didn't have an artificial tree.

But nothing makes sense with cats!

I have 2 of the 4 kittens sitting under the tree....and they look as cute as buttons, but then I hear..lick lick...munch munch!

I've been threatening them with spanks for the last two days.

Mind you, threatening a cat is as good as nothing. So is punishing a cat. Cats don't listen. They don't care. They only let us live in our houses as long as we feed them and right now, artificial evergreen is on the menue

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Things Are Looking Up

~ Dad's colonoscopy went well. He just had a small polyp removed. So yay! Even though I had to wake up @ o'dark thirty to take him.

~ Paycheck finally arrived and made it to my bank account.

~ Got a bunch of Christmas books in the mail! Oh joy! I love my books.

~ Found out that Hallmark has made one of Debbie Macomber's books into a movie and it will be airing on the Hallmark Channel on Saturday woo hoo!

However right now I'm too exhausted to care about much of anything except when I'm going to go to sleep for the night.


I really could have used another day off this week...maybe two..or ten.

I'm so very sleepy