Saturday, December 29, 2007

River cracks me up!

This is what happened this morning as I came out of the mudroom/bathroom area that we are using to quarantine the new kitty. River is my African grey parrot, and he has the intelligence of about a 6 year old. He speaks in complete sentences, and completely understands what he is saying. He amazes me daily, and I adore him.

River: What's in there?
Me: A kitty. Do you know what a kitty is?
River: Nope.
Me: It's like a dog. Like Sunshine and Harvey but smaller.
River: Oh. Cool!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Kitty and me.

Here are kitty and me...she looks big in the pics, but I'm sort of runty myself, so together we both look about the right size. Doesn't she have pretty tiger stripes on her face??

Ok...names. Come on folks. Help me!

Look who came to live with us!

This little girl joined the family today. The vet guessed she was 10-12 weeks old until he looked at her teeth. She has all her adult teeth, so he thinks she must be closer to 5 months old. Poor thing lived on a farm with about 200 other cats. The farmer didn't feed them, but just threw out old leftovers and whoever ate, won that day. Luckily for her a construction worker saw her limping and asked if he could take her. I saw the sad story on craig's list yesterday, and you may know I have a soft heart (and even softer head) for a sad animal story. So I emailed them today, and the people who took her in met me at the vet's office. She has a bum leg on her hind right. The vet thinks she was bitten by something and it's infected. She has an upper respiratory infection, ear mites...basically I came home with 5 different meds and if there is an open orifice, I have a cream, or drop to put in it. My vet told the cat that she had just won the life lottery by coming to my house to live. :)

She is really sweet. She just wants to cuddle with you and purr, which is amazing since she is for all intents and purposes a feral cat. She is a calico, and her markings are really pretty. The orange parts of her are sort of tiger striped, and she has white feet and chest.

Now, the hard part....what to name her?? Part of me wants to call her Vegas because she beat the odds, or something like that. Maybe Phoenix...dunno. Suggestions?

P.S. my allergies haven't started yet, but the vet did just give her a bath. We'll see.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Picking Scabs

My father called me this morning on my cell phone and invited himself over. I told him I wouldn't be home from work until 4:30, so he of course said that he would be at my house at 4:30. I'll have no time to decompress from work, or belt back a couple strong drinks...he'll just be there. In my face. In my home. In my life. Ugh.

My father and I have had a troubled relationship at best. This is actually the case with both of my parents who both suffer from a variety of mental problems. My mother is a paranoid schizophrenic. My father is a compulsive liar. He's also the most selfish person in the world. I like to tell people that I was raised by's not that far from the truth, and frankly wolves are probably more nurturing.

Anyway, my father left when I was 11. That part is good. I was much happier once he left. I hated all the fighting. They fought in whispers when they thought I was sleeping and it made for a very stressful childhood. Once they separated I no longer had a divorce or the fighting to worry about, and it was actually better for me. My father moved to Texas and my mother had sole custody of me. He really only called me once a month if I was lucky. I had to spend a month there in the summer, per the custody arrangements. He didn't take any time off work for my visit, so I spent a month every summer at his house in Texas alone watching television. It was a very lonely way to spend my summer vacation. He was the king of broken promises, which is a big deal to a little girl. He promised to come up and visit me for my golden (13th) birthday. We made plans to go out to dinner, he gave me a time that he would come and pick me up for my birthday celebration. I sat on the front steps of my mother's house for a couple of hours before I accepted the fact that he wasn't coming. My birthday is October 13th, and I didn't hear from him, not even a phone call until November 15th.

I tried to let bygones be bygones. I am an adult now, and don't need parents to take care of me anymore. He's old, and has had a couple of heart attacks and a stroke. The problem is every time I try to forgive and move on, he fucks up again. Two years ago, I was in the midst of my own health problems. I had just gone through 2 miscarriages in the span of 4 months. (I didn't bother to tell either of my parents) I had just been diagnosed with a genetic clotting/autoimmune disorder. My father told me he had cancer. My friend died five years ago of cancer, so I'm pretty well versed in cancer terms, treatments, etc. His story didn't add up, but I felt guilty doubting him, because who would lie about something like that?!? Well, I kept asking questions, and he kept having answers that didn't make sense. Finally I told him that when he came up for Christmas, I would take him to the Mayo Clinic for a second opinion. Well, guess what? Turns out he didn't have cancer. He claimed they ran a new test and he didn't have it. He lied about it and played this out for about 4 months until he realized he was about to be discovered in his own web of lies. Some people are just toxic to be around. They rob you of your energy and kill a little bit of your soul every time you let them in. My parents are toxic to me.

So, would anyone like to adopt a 36 year old girl? I am kind, generous, loving, funny (can be a little snarky) still sort of cute, won't ask for money, or move back home....all I ask is that you aren't fucking nuts. That's not a lot, is it?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it, and to everyone else...Happy Tuesday--a day off is always a good thing, right? :) Love to everyone who has enriched my life this last year!


Christmas Survivor

Yesterday I picked up my contraband pies, and prepared myself for a fight. We went to Nick's grandma's at 5:00 and brought in our pies. We told her we brought pie, and she said, "We aren't having pie." I said very matter of fact, "I am." She told me, "I'm not serving pie. You'll have to take it home with you." I replied that I'd be happy to take home any left overs. Then she tried to tell me that there was no room in the refrigerator, and I told her that it was cold enough outside, and we could just keep them on the front step until dinner was over. She told me to go put them in the car, and I just ignored her. After dinner, I asked who wanted pie, and pie was served, much to the Christmas Nazi's dismay. You could tell that it pissed her off, but she was out of ideas on how to put the kibosh on the pie. I'm actually quite surprised that she didn't completely blow her lid. She's a bit of a control freak, and doesn't like any idea that isn't hers. Score 1 for the good guys! I took back Christmas.

Today I got up and made a tasty cinnamon bread for breakfast, and we watched cheesy shows on cable. Then I took a little nap on the couch. I got up, took a shower, and we went to see Sweeney Todd. I liked it, although it doesn't hurt that Johnny Depp is pretty to look at. :)

We had planned on having Chinese for dinner, but apparently the Chinese have assimilated and are closed on Christmas Day. WTF?? Had I known I would have to fend for myself, I'd have bought more that giant sized Toblerone candy bars when shopping. :( So for Christmas dinner, my choice is hot dogs, PB&J, or a frozen Mexican pizza, Nick also thinks there might be a Hot Pocket at the bottom of the freezer. (Those are Nick's icky foods, except the PB&J--that's all me...) I guess I do have some leftover pie. I *am* all about nutrition, aren't I?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Got the tree up today...just in time.

Aren't purple velvet stockings traditional??? Well they are in my house! We have them for us and the pets, unfortunately Pottery Barn discontinued them, so the dogs have to share one. Poor babies. Where the tree is, is usually where River's cage is. The window sits just above the top of his cage--yep, it's that big! (and I have a bigger one in the basement I've been toying with putting him in) He is displaced right now. He's not really in the kitchen per se, but the entire main level is one room, so he's more in a sitting area just outside of the kitchen. It's hard to label areas of a house that doesn't really have walls.

I procrastinated putting up the tree more than usual this year because this awful woman, Ann broke all my favorite ornaments at the Art and Craft sale last month. The part that really chaps me is that she didn't even say she was sorry. People are thoughtless and stupid.

The other pic is also our Christmas card this year. Many of you should be getting it in the mail any day now. It's Nick and I when he played Santa at Petco two weeks ago. I should have taken it earlier...this was the very end of the day. We were both tired, and "Santa" wasn't his freshest after having a million dogs on his lap that day! :)

The Christmas Coup d'etat

So, I went yesterday and placed my pie orders. I also called a couple of key family members to tell them of my plans for a good old fashioned Christmas Coup! I've ordered the French Silk and Candy Cane pies as was my plan. I then called Bonnie (Nick's adorable aunt) and Kim (the cousin guilty of the original pie offense) and they are both going to publicly support the dessert plan, as is Nick if he wants to continue living indoors. ;) If she doesn't want dessert, fine. As for the rest of us, we are having dessert.

The plan is set. I've already been practicing what to say to Nick's grandma when she has a fit. I'm debating between a few different things. Some are nice, some are passive aggressive....we'll see how I'm feeling when it happens. Right now I'm leaning towards, saying in the sweetest voice possible, "Bringing pies on Christmas is a nice thing to's not something to get mad over." The other option involved me telling her I wasn't going to tolerate being made to walk on eggshells every Christmas and she needs to check her nasty attitude at the door or I'm not doing this anymore.

Yesterday we got the beginnings of a nasty winter storm. It started raining and by morning it was pretty treacherous. I had to run a few errands, like go pick up a package at the post office at 7:00 am and run a friend to the airport at 9:00 am. The airport is about 30 miles away and the driving was really bad. I saw probably 25 cars in the ditch. Luckily my SUV (sorry Michael and Kevin--but I love it) has All-Wheel Drive and handles really well in the snow/ice. Of course I also have the good sense not to be driving 80mph during a blizzard either.

Then I came home and found a gift bag on my porch. My friend Melissa gave me all kinds of hair care products! Yay! I love products! I got Aveda Rosemary Mint conditioner and shampoo, and Be Curly shampoo and style cream. Handy since curly hair is a nightmare most of the time! I love Aveda products! Since Aveda doesn't test on animals, and their headquarters is here in Minneapolis, I used to be a product tester when I was in college. They would put strips of tape with cotton with products on them and I would wear it for a few days, and come in to have them see if I had a reaction to anything. For a 6 week trial I would get $150 gift certificate to use towards Aveda products. Oh yes, us "product whores" will always find a way to feed the addiction! How's that for going off on a tangent?

Anyway, I was tired yesterday afternoon, and decided to take a little nap. There is nothing more satisfying than a nice afternoon nap when the house is all quiet and you're all alone. I woke up at about 5:00 when Nick got home, and we turned on the tv to watch the news. Good thing we did, because there was a commercial for a store at a mall that I had volunteered to do gift wrapping for charity at. I saw the commercial about 40 minutes before my scheduled shift! I lurched up, asked Nick if I had "nap hair" and grabbed Sunshine (our greyhound) and headed out. The roads were really slick, much worse than earlier in the day. I gift wrapped from 6-10 last night, and generated a little money and interest in greyhounds as pets. It's cool that Barnes and Noble lets us bring our dogs into their store.

The winter storm is continuing today. It's really windy and cold, and the snow is blowing all over. Yuck.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Reliving Christmas Past

Okay, so I must have some suppressed memories of Nick's Grandma's craziness, and sadly they are flooding back. I had completely forgotten that 2 years ago, Kim (Nick's cousin) made the terrible and unforgivable mistake of bringing a French Silk pie for dessert on Christmas Eve. Nick's grandma flipped out. Wanna know why? You would think that maybe she already had a special dessert planned or something along those lines...nope. It was because we weren't having dessert on Christmas Eve, only on Christmas Day. WTF??? NO DESSERT ALLOWED ON CHRISTMAS EVE!!

She was in rare form that day. This was also the day that she decided the kids were too noisy. Now being childless myself, I have a low tolerance for child noise, but I have to say they weren't misbehaving or noisy in any way. So when it was time to sit down to Christmas dinner, the Christmas Nazi said, "You know what the best part about eating is? NOBODY can talk!" And with that we sat and ate our dinners in awkward silence. Merry Effing Christmas!

You know what I decided? I'm bringing pie. I'm bringing both Candy Cane and French Silk! Screw it. It's Christmas, and precious little brings me joy like a nice dessert. If I have to put up with her maniacal bullshit, then there will be dessert involved! I'm taking back Christmas, oh yes--there will be dessert. Nick's afraid...very, very afraid.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh the horror!

I just found out that the person everyone in the family hates isn't going to be at Christmas. Now this may sound like a good thing, but it's a tragedy in the making and here's why. Nick's grandma, AKA the Christmas Nazi, absolutely HATES Dave, and he's usually the one that gets yelled at. I always try to sit next to him because, while I hate him as much as anyone else, he is a safe haven. As long as Dave is there, he is most likely to be the one to take Nick's grandma's wrath. Now it's anyone's guess as to who is the target. I think I'll start drinking now in preparation.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A little Holiday Capitalism

So, I lucked out and found 3 Guitar Hero III bundles for the Wii console. Yay me! I was going to keep 1 for us, but they seem to be in demand, and I can wait a couple of months if it means I make a little profit. I put them on Craig's list, and sold my first one today. I made $30 for zero work. I like that. They seem to be going up in price the closer we get to Christmas, so here's hoping it's a Merry Christmas to me! :)

Otherwise, I've just been shopping like a fiend. I've gotten a majority of it done, so that's a burden off my shoulders, mostly. Tonight I got our Holiday cards done at Costco. I usually get a pic of Nick, me and all the pets. I didn't have the energy this year to deal with trying to get all the pets to look at the camera at the same time, so I just did one of Nick and I when he played Santa at Petco. He looks a little like a deer in headlights, but oh well. It does the trick, and that's all that matters to me anymore. Does it fill the quota? Yes? Good.

It's almost over. It's almost over. Repeat...take a deep breath. Did that work? No. Have a drink.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Productive day

Well, I was productive last night. I did get some of my Christmas shopping done, so that makes me feel a little less tense. I also found Guitar Hero III for the Wii. The Target near me had a ton of them, and now I regret not buying more to put on ebay.

This morning I was a tiny bit out of breath, but not bad at all, and it went away once my workout was done. I think I've officially survived the "green tea incident!" I do like to drink the Lipton Diet Green Tea with Citrus, but it's not so concentrated like the extract.

Today we have our employee sale at work! I hope there is something cheap and sparkley for me to have! Although I sure don't need to spend any more money right now. That's ok, most things are between $25-$50 at the sale. If it's REALLY EXPENSIVE it might be $100 or so. It's funny how your judgement on what's "expensive" when you're used to wholesale.

Anyway, I better go...I'm being a bad girl at work. :)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Lesson Learned

So on Saturday I bought some Green Tea Extract to sort of jump start a little weight loss before Christmas. I took it Saturday, Sunday and this morning. I read the label and believed it was safe for me to take even though it warned against people with "bleeding disorders" taking it. I have a clotting disorder, not a bleeding disorder so I thought it was okay. Well, when I worked out on Sunday I got a little more out of breath than normal, and it continued for most of the day. I didn't think that much of it because I have bradycardia, and sometimes my heart doesn't beat fast enough for me to get enough oxygen and it makes me short of breath sometimes. (My heart gets down to about 42 beats per minute and I have to wear a heart monitor sometimes to make sure it stays above 40 bpm, if not I will need a pacemaker...I'm an 80 year old in a 36 year old body) Anyway, I attributed the shortness of breath to the bradycardia and really didn't think much of it.

I went to work out today, and only 3 minutes into my workout I was really short of breath and dizzy, but I pushed through it and did my 30 minutes. I was really breathing heavy, and 2 hours later I still was breathing too heavy to breathe through my nose. I started to get a little scared, and googled "green tea extract and shortness of breath." Well, I found all kinds of warnings about it saying that if you have any blood disorders, or are on birth control pills, or blood thinners including aspirin therapy, or taking sudafed, that you should NOT take the green tea extract with it. Well, I took all 3 of those drugs yesterday, I have a blood disorder, and a heart disorder. I got really scared and started debating whether it was better to wait another hour and call my normal doctor who knows all the stuff wrong with me (everything) or go to urgent care. I decided to call a friend who is a doctor and ask her. She assured me I would be fine, and then lectured me about taking an herbal supplement without consulting a doctor especially with all my various health problems. It was stupid of me to do that, but green tea extract seems so harmless I just didn't think it could hurt me. Lesson learned. As Walt would say, I'm a delicate flower. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ignore it, maybe it'll go away.

So, I should have done Christmas shopping today...but in typical procrastinator fashion, I ignored it. Instead, I watched Office Space, Legally Blonde, worked out on the treadmill, and went to see The Mist at the movie theater. Then when we came home I watched Survivor.

I also had some sinus problems today, and had to take some Tylenol Sinus, which is about the only thing that helps me. I need the good kind from behind the counter. The funny thing is, since they started putting it behind the counter, I am always paranoid that they won't sell it to me. I'm not sure why that is...maybe some good old fashioned Catholic guilt. (not Catholic anymore, but raised Catholic, and the guilt thing stays for life) I can't imagine a person less likely to make meth with the pseudoephedrine than a 36 year old woman from the suburbs, who's worst crime is having a lead foot, but I'm always sure their going to deny my drug purchase. In fact, one time when I was buying it, Nick hadn't shaved in a couple of days and had on a stocking hat, and I made him stand far away and pretend not to know me. I thought he looked a little shifty that day, and might stand in between me and my drugs. :) I'm crazy like that.

The movie we saw was good, but this trashy man sitting in our row a couple of seats away kept burping really loud all through the movie. (I leaned over and said, "Your mother must be so proud." He ignored me.) I hate people. Why don't 95% of people have any clue how to behave in a movie theater. Listen up people: It's NOT your living room. Behave like you are in a public place. Don't talk loud, don't burp loud, and for crying out loud DON'T answer your cell phone!!! Seriously! I'm also the bitchy lady who will say something to them. If you want to talk loud, wait until it's on DVD (which only takes a couple of months) and watch it at home!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas=Stressmas! Holly needs to vent.

Ok, first off let me apologize for complaining about how stressful I find Christmas. That being said...I'm still gonna complain.

I always enjoyed Christmas until I met Nick and his family. In my family, you just buy for your immediate family, and something for the little kids. It's fun, you pretty much buy what you want for whomever you want. In Nick's family, you buy for everyone. His parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins...everyone including everone's freakin' pets!! Jesus, where does it stop!?!? It makes me crazy, and I literally start feeling tight in the chest towards the end of October in anticipation of it. The stupid thing is when I'm dreading something like this, I ignore it. I could have shopped 2 months ago, but I didn't and here I am 10 miserable days from D-Day, with no presents. I get overwhelmed and go to the mall, where I just wander around in a daze, accomplish nothing, and go home frustrated. Then while at the mall, I see stuff I like, and buy it...making the holiday that much more expensive! I completely understand why suicide rates are up this time of year. (Don't go calling any hotlines, I'm not suicidal.) It's just such a money grubbing, stress inducing holiday with his family. There are over 20 of them, and we are expected to spend $30 per person. I asked if we could just draw names the first year we were married, and his grandmother said, " FINE, maybe we should just cancel Christmas!" I should have said yes to that once in a lifetime offer. ;) Also on Christmas Eve, we all are on our very best behavior and completely walking on eggshells because his bitchy grandma is just looking for a reason to scream at someone. The best part of it is you never know what might set her off. It's always something minor and unexpected. (I always expect her to come out and start beating us and screaming, "No WIRE hangers!!") It's honestly the closest thing to a hostage situation that I've personally experienced.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoy some aspect of the holiday. I like to make holiday treats. I enjoy the music. (Especially this year--thanks to Walt!) I like to donate to different charities. I just bought a bunch of Karen Neuburger slipper socks (Love those!!) and donated them to Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly for holiday presents for the elders. (There are over 10,000 elders in the Minneapolis/St Paul area who have 1 or fewer social visits per month, and they provide social interaction for the elders, and holiday meals, presents, cookies, flowers etc.) I volunteered to be the photographer and Nick was the Santa at the Fridley, MN Petco for their Pose your Pet with Santa event this year. Our store took the most pics of any store in the COUNTRY, with the money we raised going to Greyhound Pets of America to help more greyhounds be placed in permanent homes. So I like some aspects, I just hate all the pressure and expectations.

To me Christmas should be about doing something nice for someone unexpectedly. I would far rather go out to lunch with a friend I haven't seen in a while, or have a spa day with a girlfriend. Instead it's about filling a quota. Must. Buy.

Anyway...peace, love, goodwill to all...and all that other crap.