Friday, February 27, 2009

Brilliant Concept, Difficult Execution!

There are a few companies out there who have come out with protective rubber tips to place on your cat's claws in order to prevent them from doing damage to your furniture or accidentally scratching your puppy. Mind you Olly hasn't scratched Bertie as of yet but I have witnessed a few swats and the thought of him catching her in the eye is quite scary.

De-clawing is completely out of the question as Olly tends to venture out when he gets the chance to sneak out the front door. I've done some reading about these rubber nail tips and read an online tutorial. It looked so easy! Both the owner and cat looked like they were actually enjoying putting them on/having them put on.

So tonight I bought the rubber nail tips. According to the tutorial, it was gonna be "Easy Peasy!".

I secured Ollie in my lap and have to dig through his very, very furry paws to find the nail. Once I have located the nail, I discovered that I can't see. So I stop, put down the cat and hunt for my glasses. I locate the spare glasses because who knows where my regular reading glasses are.

Back to square one, I secure the cat in my lap, grab a rubber tip and then discover that the spout off the glue needs to be cut. Down goes the cat and I can't find any scissors (mind you, I sew and have scissors everywhere but can't find one) and I begin to scream out for someone to help me find a pair of scissors.

My daughter comes out and brings me a pair of hemostats (I use these for turning thin tubes of fabric). Five minutes later, I find the scissors and again I pick up the cat, pick up a rubber tip. Squirt the glue on his claw and he screams and hisses and bites and scratches! Oh.Hell.To.The.No.And.Ouch.Too!

My glasses fly off my head and I discover that I have successfully adhered the rubber tip and the glue tube to the top of his paw! Ollie looks now looks like he should be floating in a jar in some freak show circus.

At this point, I enlist the help of my husband and tell him to grab a sweatshirt (to wrap the cat) and come and help me. He walks into the living room whilst putting on his sweatshirt (!!) and I look at him with cockeyed glasses and rivulets of sweat dripping down my forehead and through clenched teeth inform him that the sweatshirt is to wrap the cat in.

Again we begin. The cat is hissing and meowing like crazy and his breath stinks like he's got a whole school of fish in his mouth. Finally after a moment, I get the first tip on. We were successful in adhering seven tips to this guy. I think we are all a little emotionally spent after this ordeal.

Next time, I'll gladly pay the $30 fee the cat place charges! Evidently, the cat they used in the tutorial must be strung out on some heavy tranquilizers.

Arancini - Yum!

To serve 4 you'll need:
  • 1 1/2 cups rice
  • Half a packet of saffron (a few pistils, about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano (freshly grated, not from a can)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 pound (300 g) ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 a small onion
  • A packed quarter cup dried porcini
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella or fresh, soft provolone (if you're in Sicily you will want to use canestrato fresco)
  • 1 cup fresh peas, boiled
  • Flour
  • Bread crumbs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • Organically grown orange leaves (optional, as garnish)

Begin by preparing the filling:

Finely slice the onion and mince the garlic, and sauté the mixture in the olive oil until it wilts. Stir in the ground meat, continue cooking until it is well browned, and then stir in the wine. While it's evaporating, dilute the tomato paste in a ladle of warm water and stir it in. Season the mixture to taste, and simmer it over a very low flame for a couple of hours, adding more warm water or broth as necessary to keep it from drying out. Towards the end of the cooking time, steep the dried mushrooms in boiling water for a few minutes and coarsely chop them. Stir them into the sauce too; cook it for 15 minutes more and it's done.

While the meat's cooking, simmer the peas until they're tender. Then remove them from the fire, drain them, and let them cool. Dice the mozzarella into half-inch cubes and combine it with the cool peas.

The other thing to do while the meat is cooking is prepare the rice: boil it in abundant, lightly salted water, and while it's cooking lightly beat two of the eggs. When the rice is done drain it. Transfer it into a bowl, let it cool slightly, and stir in the beaten eggs, grated cheese, and saffron. Let it finish cooling.

When everything else is ready, lightly beat the remaining eggs and season them with salt and pepper. Then, preheat your oven to 350 F (180 C). Next, make the first arancino by taking two small handfuls of rice and shaping them into hollow hemispheres Fill the hollows with some of the meat, and some of the peas, and mold the two halves together to obtain a smooth-sided rice ball about the size of a small orange (1.5 - 2 inches in diameter). Roll the arancino in flour, dredge it in the beaten egg, roll it well in the breadcrumbs, and fry it in abundant hot oil. While it's cooking begin with the next, and when the one that's frying has become a golden brown drain it on absorbent paper. When you have finished frying all your arancini, heat them through in the oven for five minutes, decorate them with the orange leaves if you choose to, and serve them piping hot.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just Another Day at Cute Puppy Headquarters

My little gal is sportin' her latest acquisitions from Pet Flys, Inc.

For quality pet apparel, carriers, toys and other cute items, visit their site:

Projects - Animated Style

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Houston! We have erection!

They told me "it" would happen but that one floppy ear had me sweatin' bullets. Being a Virgo, I tend to feel a little unsettled if something is out of proportion and this little gal's floppy ear had me very unsettled. When she first came, it was flopping ::gasps:: backward. About a week later, it moved to the forward flopping position.

This morning I woke up to find out that the "un-floppy ear" fairy had worked her magic and my little gal's right ear was standing up nice and straight....just like her left one!

She looks a little confused in the photo. That's because this evil pet owner, took this picture was taken at 4:45 am and woke her up from a dead sleep.

We are still working through the name "situation". We have tentatively decided on Bertie and are kinda throwin' it around to see if it sticks. I have to admit that now I feel funny calling her Bertie instead of "puppy".

I have fallen in love with this little gal and now fully understand why people love this charming, little breed.

Where Oh Where Has Customer Service Gone...?

Last week, my family and I decided to go out for dinner. After driving around, we ended up at “Schmarie Shmallenders”. While hubby parked the car, I ran in to get a table. I walked up to the podium where a host and waitress were engrossed in deep conversation. The waitress was sitting on the arm of the couch twirling her hair and chewing gum and ranted about how hung-over she was. The host nodded in agreement and remarked that “the party was hecka sick”. They never looked up at me ONCE.

So there I stood and stood and stood. Bear in mind that I was no more than 2 ½ feet away from them while they were NOT doing their job. Now at 5’9”, I’m hardly “not” noticeable. Here I was, a customer waiting to be acknowledged by people whose very livelihoods depend on customers.

I stood in front of that podium thinking how absurd the situation was. I thought to myself, “should I wave my hands and risk looking like a spastic mime or was a throat-clearing in order? Hmm….what to do?

Being that I am me, I took the unique way out and in a voice dripping in sarcasm, I declared “Welcome to Schmarie Shmallenders. How many in your party, m’am?” Two sets of eyes looked up in horror and the apologies began to stream. I felt victorious as I was finally led to my table. I told my husband of my witter maneuver and he laughed and said "Great. I betcha every employee is gonna spit in your plate." Suffice to say, I chose to eat from their Salad Bar that evening(which is another post in itself, but I digress.)

Just a few days later, I was at the airport waiting for my puppy’s flight to arrive. My daughter and I looking to kill some time, went to the gift shop. While I stood in line at the register with items for purchase, two cashiers babbled on in their native tongue NEVER once acknowledging my presence!

Finally, I just blurted out “Hel-lo? Do you see me standing here WAITING to purchase something, Miss Cashier Lady?” My daughter practically melted. The cashier, not aware that she was being talked down to, muttered something to the affect that she "was busy and to wait a minute" and she continued to talk and giggle in her native tongue to a co-worker. I carefully set my purchases down on the counter and waited. And. Stewed. When her chit chat was over, she finally began to ring my items up without looking up, without an apology, nothing. Did she thank me for shopping with them? Did she wish me a nice day? Nope.

Last vent (I promise). WHY DOES NO ONE KNOW HOW TO COUNT BACK CHANGE? When I first started working (a million years ago) at Emporium, we were trained to count change back to the customer. If the purchase was $14.87, we handed the customer 13 cents and said "fifteen and five makes 20. Thank you for shopping with us. Please come back soon."

Nowadays, change is plunked into my grubby mits and the change is NEVER counted back to me and worse yet, the only "thank you" I hear is the one coming from my mouth when they hand me my change!

Other than moving to an "uncharted isle", or never shopping again (which my husband would love), my only option as a consumer is to continue being treated insignificantly or shop online (which I do at every available opportunity!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

I got animals comin' out of my ears!

Anyone who owns a cat knows that they think everything that comes into their home belongs to them.

Here's Olly in the puppy's new doggie carrier which just got delivered today.

He looks just plain silly in a pink dog carrier.

As you can tell, the puppy could careless. All's well as long as she has her chewie. Which incidentally, is almost as big as she is.

She's a good little puppy. I think we lucked out

Our cat Bella would NEVER lower herself to be placed in a dog carrier. (You can see Olly just peeking out of the box behind her. This is the box that the pet carrier arrived in.).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ugh....................Rain Damage (again!)

It's raining, it's pouring, our ground floor toilet has mud coming up through the toilet and shower!

This sounds "expensive"!

Oh, the plight of the homeowner!

Crazy Cat

If our cat sees an empty box, he will hole up and just lay there for hours.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No Name

This little baby "needs" a name. She's been with us for four days now and she's an absolute doll! A nameless doll.

For the life of me, I can't come up with a name!

I feel like I need to take my time to find an appropriate name for her.

There are certain conditions that must be met when naming a pet. I must be able to add an "ie" or "y"to the end of the name. We have a "Max" who I refer to as "Maxy Waxy". We have a Petey and an Ollie and a Bella whose expanding girth justifies the moniker "Belly". There's one exception to this rule and that's Fiona whom I usually refer to as "Feefers".

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. What am I gonna call this little gal? I like Lulu; no one else does. I liked "Mini (Pooper); no one else did. I even tried to go all celebrity and tried out Bronx, Brooklyn, Paris, and London and I received a nix, nil, nein and no from the family.

One of my kids wanted to name her "Zorah". Zorah! What kinda name is that? I 86'd that idea with a curl of my upper lip. So for now, she's just "Puppy" or "Puppy Wuppy"

Cleaning House

Over the last few months, I tried to get caught up in the whole Facebook craze. For those of you not in the know, Facebook is like "My Space" on steroids. People/Co-Workers/Former Classmates look you up and send you a "Friend Request". Of course, you accept because it's natural to want friends. Also, to be honest, it's quite a stroke to the ego to think that others are thinking of you (cue Billy Squier's "Everybody Wants You"). It's all a sham. They don't want you. They just want to bump up the count of their "friends" which essentially equates to boosting their "fan base".

Then the weirdest thing, their "friends" want to add you as a "friend" and to quote an old shampoo commercial "and so on and so on and so on....". The oddest part yet, after you accept this person's "friend" request, quite often, you never hear from them again............not directly anyway.

But before you know it, you are inundated with emails detailing everything your "friends" have posted on Facebook. If they add pictures, you get an email notification. If they add more friends, you get an email notification. If they post a remark, you get an email notification. If they join a group, you get an email notification. EVERY TIME YOUR GAWD DAMN "FRIEND" DOES ANYTHING, YOU GET AN EMAIL FOR. EVERY.GAWD.DAMN.THING.

Quite honestly, it was getting to be a real pain-in-the-@ss to open my email account and see tons of emails from Facebook about my "friends". Some of my "friends" felt so important, that they felt the need to post the fact that they "woke up" Ta-dah! Others posted about making soup, having a glass of wine and cleaning house! To be quite frank, if I was that interested in EVERYTHING they were up to, wouldn't we have just stayed friends? There's a reason friendships/acquaintances end, lack of interest, folks. We'll dot "i's" and cross "t's" at the next reunion or when we run into each other in REAL life.

Last night, I "cleaned house" and I ended several "friendships" with my "friends". On Facebook, if you "unfriend" someone, they don't even know it. I'm willing to bet that these folks don't even realize that I've vanished. Just like a puff of smoke, I'm gone.

Didn't even have to twitch my nose. All I did was click the "x" next to my "friend's name". Done.Finito.The fat lady sang.

The hardest part - - I "unfriended" my kids. Don't get me wrong. I love my kids but it was getting too easy, too convenient, to communicate via Facebook or via text and with them, I'd rather communicate in person so, I gave them the boot too. I also booted their "friends" that "friended me"- the only relationship I want to have with young adults are the with the ones that share my bloodline.

It feels so nice to have an inbox that is not taken over by what I equate to even more junk. For those of you who are still my "Facebook" friends, behave or I'll go Houdini on you as well.

Friendless and Happy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stila Creme Bouquet - FINALLY coming back to a store near you!

Jeez Louise. Stila's gotta get on the ball. Their Creme Bouquet sells out faster than (insert witty euphemism here).

I sent an email inquiring begging and pleading with Stila's Customer Service (see a copy of my email below) to see if the scent had been discontinued. Here' s a copy of that email:

Dear Stila,

Will the fragrance "Stila Creme Bouquet" EVER be made again or I should I abandon hope and seek a brand new favorite?? This is the 2nd time production has stopped. What is the problem? It can't be that it doesn't smell terrific. Every time I wore it, I received nothing but compliments.

What gives folks???

Desperate to Smell............."Pretty"

They responded favorably:

we do expect a shipment in sometime this month, You may want to check back on our website around the 25th. The problem is we can not keep it in stock fast enough, it does take sometime to produce. I do apologize for the inconveniece.
Thank You,
Stila Customer Care

All's I can say is whoop-dee-freakin-do!! Funny the things that thrill me nowadays.

One more cute puppy pic

"...........takin' care of business and workin' overtime....."

Yeah, Whatever…

Hubby said......

"No MORE dogs, Angela!"

He wants nothing to do with the puppy and he certainly wasn't caught napping with a puppy on his chest.

I think it's time dear hubby realize that there's a new sheriff in town who stands about five inches tall and weighs just over a pound and a half.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Went to an Art Exhibit Last Night

You know what the best part of the art show was? Leaving! An art aficionado, I am not.

They were featuring works by Bertho (NOT pronounced Bertho). I was corrected by a snooty gallery employee with a borrowed French accent, it's pronounced "Bair-Toh").

And some odd stuff by Deyber:

What I liked best about the exhibit , is that a gallery employee brought his Basset Hound Luigi who was as interested in the exhibit as I was.

There was one artist's works, I thought were nice and that was someone named Liudmila Kondakova:

I felt like outta place. Kinda like this guy:

Harvey Needs an @ss-Kickin!

Wow! I came across this vintage Folger's commercial and my jaw almost dropped!!

I'm glad I'm not married to a "Harvey". He'd be dead.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chuck the Cemetery Chicken

For those of you wondering, Chuck the Chicken is alive and well and roaming freely throughout the cemetery. He never fails to glance at my hand to see what treats I have brought for lunch. Today, it was a Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax Bar. What can I say? I'm on a diet!

Yesterday, my co-worker brought Chuck grapes and apples and canned cat food (chicken variety!) for the feral cats who have befriended Chuck. My stomach jumped when I watched Chuck the chicken go all cannibalistic and eat the cat food =(

I can't believe I've just devoted two paragraphs on the daily life of Chuck the Cemetery Chicken.
I honestly need to get a life

HONOLULU by Alan Brennert

(click on photo to enlarge)

After reading Moloka'i, I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of Alan Brennert's newest novel "Honolulu" to arrive on my doorstep!

Mr. Brennert writes with such passion and depth. If you haven't had the chance to read Moloka'i, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book as well as Honolulu!

Mr. Brennert's book tour for Honolulu has been finalized, with readings/signings set for

Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and, appropriately enough,


If you'd like dates/locations, visit his site at:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Here Chicky, Chicky, Chicky!

These are photos of my friend feeding "Chuck the Chicken". Actually, being that we are city folk, we aren't quite sure if he's a "Chuck" or a "Chuckette".

During lunch, we've been taking walks at work and a few days ago, we came across a Rhode Island Red chicken who we believe was left at the cemetery.

He/She is very friendly. Here are some pics of my friend actually feeding him/her flax seed chips, grapes and apples.

You won't see pics of me feeding him/her as I have re-discovered my innate fear of (live) chickens.

eBay Feedback for: 350153350717 or "Nightmare Transaction from Hell"

If you've ventured on over from the link on my About Me page on eBay, here is the situation with respect to the above referenced transaction. In an order to protect private information, I've hidden the seller's personal information.

eBay sellers like this one are the reason I mainly buy on or I hate to even waste time ranting about this but damn this guy really got under my skin!



Just sending you one final email so you know where I am coming from. From your emails, I am getting the impression that you think I am being difficult. I, on the other hand, think that my concerns are valid.

Here's how I see things. You had an item listed for sale on eBay. After reviewing the item, the price ($24.99) and shipping charges ($9.00), I opted to purchase the item. Are we in agreement up to this point?

Once the listing was over, I received the following email from you:

Hi there thanks for bidding if your zip is xxxxx. Please send a Money Order/personal check or Certified Check in the amount of 33.99. Please (Note) I do hold all parts paid for with personal checks for 7 to 10 days before shipping. Please let me know you got this email some emails have not been getting thru lately. Sorry I Do not hold parts to long before re-listing if the high Bidder. (#1)Did not let me know he's or she is going to send the money. Or (#2) If money is not received in a reasonable amount of time. Please note because of postal rate's by the OZ they are estimated as close has I can sometimes before packing Items So sorry no refunds on S/H costs. (Note) some listings have a set shipping cost.
Please send money to.

I will take (Credit Cards) with Pay-pal but Understand (NOT) Thru ebay. This is only offered for buyers that would like this service for one reason or other. I do prefer money orders please if in USA. Because of eBay and pay-pals fees that keep going up if your going to send the money with credit card thru (Paypal) PLEASE add 4% to the total or just send a money order/check (please)understand this is the only way I will take paypal its not offered to ebay sales. This 4% is as close to what they charge me as I can get for my paypal business account. Please Note t
otal is item /shipping costs together norm this is very close to the costs of a money order. You can send payment to my email address xxxx thru pay-pal. Please Note you must go to pay-pal on the net again I do not Use pay-pal on EBay. OR I can send you a request from pay-pal for the money.

If your sending the money to me in the mail please (Note) NO P/O Box's and please include An Item Number and an EZ to read address (Please).If you have a problem with an item from me please let me know asap.
Thanks for your time reading this and for bidding. PLEASE CHECK OUT MY WEB SITE THERE MIGHT BE MORE PARTS FOR YOUR CAR THERE. xxxx

Had you listed these conditions in your auction listing and if eBay allowed your policies, I would've taken them into consideration BEFORE bidding/buying your item. There's a good chance, I would've even accepted your terms because my husband needed the mirror for his car.

While I agree that eBay's/Paypal's ever-increasing fees/polices are taking a direction that is not beneficial to most sellers, as members of eBay, we are bound to follow their policies if we wish to use the site.

According to eBay's policies, here's the problem I had with this transaction. You requested an unauthorized form of payment and then you wanted to add a 4% charge for a credit card fee. I had no option but to file a complaint for your payment surcharges and refusing the accepted payment policy. Here's eBay's take on these topics:

"Payment Surcharges - Although sellers may offer a discount to the buyer for preferred forms of payment, sellers may not charge eBay buyers an additional fee for their use of ordinary forms of payment, including acceptance of checks, money orders, electronic transfers or credit cards. Furthermore, some forms of payment surcharges, such as credit card surcharges, are forbidden under the laws of many states, including California. Please see the complete Payment Surcharges policy."

Accepted Payments Policy

We want to make sure buyers on eBay are offered safe, convenient online payment options.

That's one reason why sellers' listings can offer buyers only the payment methods allowed on eBay.

Payment methods allowed on eBay:

Sellers must offer to accept one or more of the following payment choices:

· PayPal

· Credit or debit card processed through an Internet merchant account

· ProPay

· Sellers can offer to accept payment upon pickup too.

In the interim I did receive cryptic emails from you which were quite difficult to understand :

Your right ridiculous remove the - feedback. This is not fair to me the terms ask to work together on sales.But you did not want that I also asked you could send the money. 
this paypal started stuff just for me I did not change you move to fast.

Only after I filed a claim with eBay, were you willing to revise your terms. Once you agreed to the terms you had listed in your auction listing, I paid immediately.

And what did I get for paying? An Unpaid Item Strike - which by the way, was reversed immediately once I provided the Paypal receipt to eBay.

To be honest, I am tired of dealing with the barrage of your cryptic emails. For me, this was a very poor experience with what appears to be an uneducated (at least with respect to eBay policies) seller. The feedback I left for this transaction was factual and I will not remove it under any circumstance.

No response from you is necessary and is not welcomed. As a matter of fact, in order to ensure that I receive no further contact from you, I have added your email address to my mail program's spam utility. A "sanitized" copy of this email is being added to my About Me page so that prospective buyers can understand the feedback I left.

Good day.