Monday, December 28, 2009

The "This Time I Really Mean It!" Campaign

Margaret over at Nanny Goats In Panties has thrown down the gauntlet! Yes, she's challenging us to write our New Year's resolutions like we really mean it! For real! Fo shizzle!

Nanny Goat in Panties

So, here's what I came up with...

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for a Cat Lady Without Cats:

1. Go to work on a regular basis (an improvement over 2009)

2. Put money IN to savings account instead of just taking money OUT. (see #1)

3. Dress for success... limit Pajama Day to weekends only.

4. Stop falling down stairs. Avoid Emergency Rooms... there ARE actually other ways to meet new people.

5. "Strive for 5"... that means 5 servings of vegetables per week, doesn't it? (They made it so much easier once they classified ketchup as a vegetable.)

6. Limit Dr Pepper intake... I think "Strive for 5" in this case means no more than 5 servings per day... seems doable.

7. No matter how cluttered things get, always keep a pathway cleared to the refrigerator.

8. Be kind to animals... to paraphrase Homer Simpson, "Hickory's the kind of dog you have to feed every day."

9. Avoid Death and Taxes and Gifts of Unwanted Kittens....

10. Find a reason to smile every day!*

*This elite cadre of humor specialists can help you get your funny on and make you smile: Quirkyloon, Nanodance, Indigo, nonamedufus, Otin, Jayne, Subby, moooooog, Me-Me, EolistPetite, Scotty, Kirsten, Pearl, KaLynn, Phillipia, Ettarose, Vic, frigginloon, NGIP, Reffie, Brian, Knucklehead, idifficult, Peach Tart, Maelstrom, Julochka, Michelle, Nancy, Spudballo, Madame DeFarge, Willow, JennyMac, Lee the Hotflash Queen, K a b l o o e y, Vodkamom, JD, Gumley, Comedy Goddess, Summer, Skye, Redhead Ranting, Kristine, Jules, rxBambi, Ace, Old Silly, Kathy, Baino, Lisa, Chrissy, AngelMay, Open Heart, Mike, Little Ms. Blogger, Gayle, Debbie, VE, Jenn, Tiggy, Chelle B, Mad Dog, Ann, Bianca, Amy, CB Jones, Chester the Jester, and many, many more! (See why I get nothing done all day... who has time to work!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Here! It's Here!

Whether you're ready or not, Christmas does come. I probably could have been ready on time, had I not been reading all the excellent posts from the HBDC Christmas Humor Carnival participants. Those funny folks over there just keep distracting me! Seriously... go check them out! It's the best holiday gift your could give yourself!

But, all kidding and humor aside... I really did get that pesky tree decorated and some presents wrapped to go underneath it. And I even baked some Christmas cookies... although Vlad finished them off a couple of days ago.

Here's how the tree turned out....
(It's actually taller than Vlad... it touches the ceiling)

Let me point out that there are no cats on the tree. (Remember, I'm a CatLady Without the Cats.) And zombie decorations were mighty hard to come by this year... I think Quirky bought them all long ago. But here are a few of my favorites...

Remember the socks inside of socks? My dear friend, Lisa, knitted these teeny-tiny socks for my tree:

Our friend, Bill, painted this bird...
Aunt Dorothy used to use ornaments to decorate packages... here's one of my favorites from her.

This one is my absolute favorite... my grandma made it for me...
it's a teeny-tiny baby bunny inside of a walnut shell.

I bought this fish ornament for myself just because it's silly looking...
it would be perfect for Otin's tree since he likes fishing so much!

Another friend gave me this heart, which is perfect for the
tree and reminds me of the many friends I love...

The monkey sock ornament reminds me of my grandma, too, because she used to made us monkey sock dolls for Christmas when we were kids.

This little bear was a gift for Vlad from his
Grandma Luci when he was a baby.

So what's under the tree this year? I still don't know because Vlad is working until 3:00 and I promised not to open anything until he gets home. I'm such a good mother!

The most important thing of all is that this day represents the love I have for my child, my family and my friends. And that's why I love my eclectic assortment of ornaments... they represent all of those I hold dear.

So, my holiday wish for you is that your life be filled with friendship and love! Thank you for bringing such joy into my heart each and every day!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas with the Cat Lady (reprise)

Today's HBDC Christmas Carnival entry is as applicable today as it was exactly one year ago when I first wrote it. (No, I don't learn by my mistakes.) All advice is freely given... no charge to any of you, my bloggy friends... because I'm in the holiday spirit now. So, without further ado, I give you...

Christmas with the Cat Lady

So... here it is, December 23 and not only are the stockings NOT hung on the chimney with care, the tree is not yet in the house and there are no gifts wrapped in sparkly paper. Either this is the home of a confirmed atheist or non-Christian, or there's something dreadfully amiss.

Or, could it be that there's something far more sinister afoot?

Perhaps this is a move to delay the biggest holiday of the year for blatant economic advantage? (Something only a cat lady would think of.)

Just imagine... your friends take pity on you because you just haven't found the time to enjoy the holidays as they SHOULD be enjoyed. You let them know that your life has been far too traumatic to let you even THINK about preparing for the holidays. You tell them your spouse has left you, you've just quit your job, all your retirement fund just went up in smoke with the economic downturn and the electric company has just turned off your heat for non-payment of your bill. (Never mind the fact that the spouse left 4 years ago, so that's old news, you haven't really quit your job, you never had any money in a retirement account anyway, and both the heat and cable TV are still working fine, thank you very much... a cat lady's cable would never be disconnected!)

Here's what happens...

~Your friends come shovel out your driveway for you so you don't have to be a shut in for Christmas.

~They stop at the pharmacy to pick up and pay for your anti-depressants so that you will be in a good mood.

~They take you to the Boy Scout Christmas tree lot to buy you the last tree available at this late date.

~They all invite you to join them for Christmas dinner. (So you don't have to cook.)

~They ply you with free alcohol to boost your spirits. (And even send you home with an extra bottle for the New Year.)

~They spend the afternoon stringing popcorn and cranberries for you to take home to put on your spindly Christmas tree. (What ever you do, don't let them see the lush fir you have waiting in the garage.)

~They buy you token gifts in an effort to help you feel better about yourself. (So you don't have to buy all those gifts and wrap them up for yourself to pretend like you have friends and loved ones.) Meanwhile, they refuse to allow you to get them anything, as you're so emotionally and financially destitute, thereby enabling you to maintain a healthy bank balance.

~By hitting up several friends, you can amuse yourself for the entire day and bring home enough
Christmas dinner pity leftovers to eat for a week. (Or more, if you have a large freezer.)

Once the festive day is over, you can happily return to your own abode, drag the hidden tree in from the garage and begin decorating. By this time, all the stuff in the store is on sale so you don't have to spend as much for gifts, you can get festive holiday wrap for next to nothing, your fridge is nicely stocked and the pesky relatives have all gone back to their own homes without bothering you. You can ring in the New Year, enjoying more peace, joy and prosperity than you ever could have, had you actually followed the traditional schedule.

Isn't that what the spirit of Christmas is all about anyway?

P.S. If you are a friend, or know any of my friends, this is not really about me. Please do invite me over for Christmas dinner!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gingerbread Shenanigans: One More Time.. With Feeling!

In honor of the HBDC Christmas Carnival, and in honor of it being my blogoversary and all, I thought I'd repost this little ditty to celebrate...

And that's what happens when a CatLady has way too much time on her hands during the holiday season. Now, get out there and blow something up this Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The HBDC Christmas Carnival Begins!

The HBDC Christmas Carnival is in town! And the timing is perfect! Just yesterday I decided it was (finally) time to get into the Christmas spirit. So I talked Vlad into going with me to chop down a Christmas tree. None of that pre-cut, needles-falling-off, kindling at the Boy Scout Christmas Tree lot for us! Every year we go to the same place, Stokoe Farms in Scottsville, NY, just south of Rochester. Being the he-man and she-woman that we are, we blaze our own trail to find just the perfect tree. Lucky for gimpy me, the trail that was blazed also has a tractor pulling a wagon to take you over the rough parts.
(Here's Vlad enjoying the tractor ride as his mother once
again embarrasses him by taking pictures of him in public.)

Success! After searching for about three whole minutes, we found the perfect tree. Isn't it amazing how, as you get older and the weather gets colder, it takes less time to agree on what's the "perfect" tree.

When you get back to the barn there are free home-made cookies and hot chocolate to be enjoyed. Definitely my kind of place!

For the younger set, there's a straw maze that is built out of several hundred bales of hay. It stands about 15 feet high and is filled with tunnels that kids can crawl through. Occasionally, some even find their way back out. They keep a guard at both the entrance and exit, though, to make sure the same number come out as went in. Spoil sports! We saw several parents trying to sneak away while their kids were lost inside. Vlad and I decided to forgo that part of the festivities. Truth be told, we just don't fit too well between the bales anymore. Not to mention the fact that that's one scary ass giant fake snowman in the picture... no way was I going near that!
(Straw maze photo is from Stokoe's website.)

Then it was time to strap the world's most perfect Christmas tree onto the top of the car, (those kayak straps come in so handy,) and wheel it on home, where the Wonder Dog awaited our arrival. He was so enthused, he actually woke up from his 18 hour nap to see what we were doing.

The tree we got is tall enough to touch the ceiling in the living room. Already the house is filling with the aroma of Douglas Fir. Now, on to the decorations...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Blogoversary Time Already! or Great Moments In Stalker History!

Well, folks, in two more days it will be exactly one year since the CatLady was born*. (December 22, 2008... a day that shall live in infamy.) Where did the time go? Seeing as how on Blogoversary Day I'll be regaling you with a Christmas post in honor of the Humor Bloggers Dot Com Christmas Carnival or just in case I somehow manage to do myself in before Tuesday, (seeing as how I'm so klutzy and all,) I shall take this opportunity to say,

Thank You!

Thank you, and you, and you for making the CatLady what she is today. You might be thinking... "WTF? How did I, personally, help her get to where she is today?" There are far too many of you to thank specifically, but know that I keep you all in my heart and mind, (mostly wondering how the hell I met up with so many people who are as strange as I am.)

But in the meantime, here are a few of my

Great Moments in Stalker History...

Nanodance at Callithump Thunderblog was the one who convinced me that blogging would be a good idea.

Sister Phillipia was the first stalker who I didn't actually know to sign on as a follower... silly nun!

Quirkyloon gave me my first blog award. Hooray for my Zombie Quombie Queen!

Mr. Roth, the master spy and surrealist also known as IndigoWrath, was my first Foreign Correspondent.

Moooooog over at Mental Poo taught me how to do motivational posters, as well as a whole bunch of new terms for naughty bits.

I got my first captioning award from nonamedufus, that Canadian master of humor.

Ettarose at Sanity on Edge was kind enough to tell me she likes my bloggy hugs and that she thinks my blog is awesome.

Otin taught me about the joys of theme days, beginning with WTF Wednesday. (He also scares the crap out of me with his spooky stories!)

Jules at MeanGirlGarage sent me my first blog contest prize in the mail... the Li'l People!

Margaret at Nanny Goats In Panties sent me my NGIP pens... even though I wasn't one of the first ten commenters to request them.

Subby at basstuna taught me how to swear like a sailor... without actually using any swear words.

Nancy at f8hasit named me as a Follower of Note.

Maelstrom at Nothing to See Here, Move Along! was my 100th Stalker!

Pearl told me I was full of Honest Scrap over at Pearl, Why You Little...

Julochka at Moments of Perfect Clarity is the first blogger I actually sent money to... buying a couple of her amazing photos via Etsy. (NO! I'm not sending money to all of you!)

Comedy Goddess gave me a ray of sunshine with her Posts of the Week award.

Kirsten at The Soccer Mom Files confirmed my suspicions that Mom Likes Me Best when I won her caption award.

MadMadMargo at The Screaming Me-Me turned me into a Cat Woman and made me actually look HOT for the HBDC Anti-Injustice Campaign video.

JennyMac over at Let's Have a Cocktail told me she thinks I give good blog.

Jayne, who is lost in her thoughts injaynesworld, called me a "real" writer.

Kacklin' KaLynn gave me a Best Blog award.

Jen over at RedheadRanting sent me cookies, fudge and bourbon balls in the mail!

The rest of you have given me endless cyber hugs and moral support over the past year and I treasure each and every one of you!

Here's lookin' at you, kids!

Happy Holidays from the CatLady and Hickory the WonderDog!

*I reposted my inaugural post below for those of you who may have just tuned in.

Reprise: A Cat Lady is Born

Monday, December 22, 2008

10 easy steps for becoming a crazy cat lady (without the cats)

In taking a step back to review my life as the New Year approaches, I find that I have become a crazy cat lady... without the cats. How does this happen? Let me enlighten you...


1. Stop doing your dishes.... there's really no reason to do dishes until you have nothing left to eat off of. Then you can simply polish up a fork with a your shirt tail.

2. Always drop things on the floor when you enter your home. Why use up extra energy to locate where the things actually belong? Being a cat lady is all about conserving energy. Besides, that way you'll always know where everything is... in the pile just inside the door.

3. Don't make your bed... you're just getting back into it the next night anyway.

4. Don't bathe too often... it allows the natural oils on your skin to maintain that youthful glow.

5. Never, ever vacuum... all the pet hair on the floor and furniture actually adds to the insulation value of your home.

6. Don't go outside unless it's really necessary. (For instance, like if the house catches fire.) This keeps the warm air inside during the winter months, saving on utilities.

7. Don't answer the phone. It's usually just someone who either wants to complain about something or who wants your money for some obscure reason. Be sure you have special ring tones for individual friends you MIGHT want to talk to. Limit yourself to three ring tones... saves on having too many people who actually know who you are. A special ring tone for family members is especially important. They may want to try to save you from being a crazy cat lady, so it's best to avoid them.

8. Watch LOTS of TV. The more senseless the program the better. Talk shows are particularly useful for building your self esteem. (They demonstrate how many people are crazier than you are.) Remember, no matter how many other bills go unpaid... always keep the cable bill paid up... there are so many more possibilities for trash TV on cable than there are on regular TV. (Although, I would also suggest paying the electric bill so you have the juice for running the TV.)

9. Talk to yourself frequently... remember, you are your own best friend.

10. Always remember... there's absolutely no reason to actually have cats... simple black construction paper silhouettes in the windows will do just fine. Much better to have a dog who will bark at strangers who try to come to the door to extricate you from your abode. Plus, the dog is always glad to see you... cats could care less.

So there you have it... even if you maintain the facade of being a normal person in public, you too can become a crazy cat lady at home. No one ever has to know... which makes you an even crazier cat lady than the usual one.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This week's Theme Thursday topic is History. (Be sure to go check out everybody who's participating. You'll be glad you did!)

Just this past Monday I received a packet in the mail from my dad. It's a copy of his memoirs... his recollections of the past 84 years. It's not something that would mean anything to the average person, but for me it's history. I don't know if there's anything in there that I haven't already heard. (At least there was no forewarning of deep, dark, hidden family secrets.*) But, we could always get lucky!

My parents were born in 1925... the Roaring Twenties, when these chicks were hanging out being cool:

My parents lived through the depression and World War II... their formative years... and that certainly impacted the way we were later brought up. "Waste not, want not" was a way of life. (And perhaps planted the seeds of my hoarding, cat lady tendencies.) We learned not to buy anything on credit and to never spend more than we earned.

I'm sure that in reading my dad's memoirs, there will be insights into how he became the man he is today. A quiet man, until you get to know him. Somebody who enjoys a good joke. Somebody you can count on.

I have a feeling his story will be one of the best Christmas presents I've gotten in a long time... and one that Vlad and I will appreciate in the years to come.

Thanks for the history lesson, Dad!

*And not to worry... I'll let you know if there's any good "dirt" once I've read it!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm in Heaven!

No, I didn't finally crap out... but I am in heaven after receiving a sample goody pack from Jen over at Redhead Ranting.

Her fudge is out of this world! (Hence the heavenly reference.) Rich and creamy and full of walnuts. Yum! The cookies are delicious as well... I ate every last crumb.

However, those Bourbon Balls... they are to die for! (Again, heavenly reference is appropriate.) I confess, I've never had bourbon balls before, so I don't have anything to compare them to, but I do know this... they really hit the spot! Although, admittedly, it's probably best not to enjoy them with a glass of wine. They'd go best with a delicious cup of tea or coffee.

But don't take my word for it... you can get your own by going to Jen's blog and ordering a box of these goodies. Perfect for taking to that office party or to your mother-in-law's house. Beware, though: Jen will hunt you down and do bad things to you if you claim you made them yourself... she knows where you live because she has magical powers!

Order yours today!

(Please note: The author was paid in fudge, cookies and bourbon balls for this blatant pimping of Jen's goodies... and it was well worth it!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stockings Inside of Stockings

Okay, how did it get to be the middle of December already? It seems like only yesterday it was Thanksgiving and then I was falling down the stairs and it's been pretty much of a blur ever since. I guess clunking yourself in the head can do that to you. But, enough of that whole business. I've graduated from crutches to a cane to walking on my own most of the time. Guess that means there are no more excuses for not getting into the holiday spirit.

Now that Vlad's gotten older I have to get a little more creative about holiday gifts. Not because he knows where I stash them and I need a better hiding place, but because he's the type of kid who doesn't ask for much. It used to be easier when he was little. Get him a whole mess of trains and Legos and stuff and he was happy as a clam. So far, all he's told me he wants this year is socks. Somehow I think it's going to be a real let down on Christmas morning if all he gets is a pair of socks in his Christmas stocking. Stockings inside of stockings.

Even my Christmas wish list is longer than that. I definitely need some more ideas... soon!
Because it's going to be really embarrassing if he gets me more gifts than I get him.

Bad mother! Bad mother!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

How appropriate that this week's Theme Thursday topic is SNOW! The snow is currently blowing off of Lake Erie into Buffalo and then on into Rochester. Oh, boy! Another season of daily drudgery is upon us.

Now, don't get me wrong... I love snow. Especially when it's new and pristine and I don't have to go out in it. I used to even enjoy cross country skiing back before I lost my ACL and MCL. But after awhile it gets kinda old. Especially when it turns to slush and then refreezes and the snowplows start piling dirty snow up into steep banks along the sidewalks. Here in Rochester, we actually have sidewalk plows in addition to street plows. Both are great additions until they leave the rock hard ice barriers across your driveway that are near impossible to shovel away.

But this year's snow season in particular is looming over me like icy death. And no, I'm not exaggerating. I mean after all...

Have you ever tried shoveling snow on crutches?

I rest my case!

Now, please stop listening to my bitch fest and go over and visit the other bloggers participating in Theme Thursday. You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Get By...

How apropos that this week's Theme Thursday topic is..


My friends have come out of the woodwork this week to help out after my fall. I have awesome friends both locally and in the more global online world. One thing about blogging is that no matter what the hour of the day or night, you can always feel in touch with somebody. When I wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep, I know I can reach out and connect with a fellow blogger. Reading about what's going on with somebody else, getting a chuckle or guffaw, being inspired by some nuggets of wisdom or reading a response to something you wrote makes you remember how connected you are in the world. And that's what having friends is all about. To connect to other people is to be alive.

I can think of no better way to say "Thank You!" than to share an oldie, but goody.

Love to you all!

Now, please share the love and check out the other Theme Thursday participants by clicking on this link:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Helps Having Friends in High Places!

In the continuing saga of my pitiful existence...

It turns out I have friends in high places! Always handy! That's one of the advantages of living long enough to have accumulated a variety of acquaintances in a variety of professions. My physician friend had his office call up the orthopedist's office and got me an appointment for this afternoon. Yay!

Of course, the orthopedist was looking at me funny and I know what he was probably thinking... "Stuck up bitch made me open up a spot for her when she had a perfectly good appointment for next week!" He kinda looked like this:

House has Zombie eyes! Run!

But not quite as scary as House. I'm sure House would have just called me a "whiny butt" to my face and walked away after knocking my crutches out from under me with his cane. But this guy was more polite. He didn't say a thing. Maybe it was his way of protecting his self esteem by not admitting my friends were more important than his friends. Whatever...

But, to be fair, he was very nice and told me he thought I had been managing very well in the last 5 years since I tore my ACL & MCL. He said I could get rid of the immobilizer, but that I had to keep the crutches. GRRRRR. I hate crutches. But since the immobilizer was causing a rash on my leg, I suppose the crutches are the better choice.

And, I get to go back to physical therapy for a few visits to strengthen what muscles I have left in my knee. Physical therapy is kind of like torture as far as I'm concerned.

Wikipedia photo of torture
rack in the Tower of London.
I remember seeing this the
last time I had PT.

Seriously, this is probably what I have to look forward to.

I'll most likely be attached to all sorts of implements of torture over the next few weeks. Damn!

Plus the doctor gave me a note so I could go back to work. He actually asked how soon I wanted to go back. While it would have been nice to have a "get out of work free" card, it's also good to make some money to pay for all the medical expenses I'll be incurring, what with the emergency room visit and PT and such. So I'll be heading back in tomorrow after PT.

Besides, left to my own devices, I'd probably just fall down the stairs again at home anyway from complacency and sheer boredom. Going back to work will keep me out of trouble.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yes, I'm Still Among the Living... and I Have Some Pretty Awesome Friends!

Two days after my fall, I'm developing a pretty nice shiner. Funny how the blood from the bump on the temple is now coming to the surface in the skin around my eye.

Oh, yeah! That's attractive!
I wonder what it will look like by tomorrow?

The knee's feeling much better, but I still hate wearing the immobilizer and my right knee is starting to feel pretty sore from doing all the work for the left knee. I finally heard back from the orthopedist's office... they can see me next Thursday at 2:30. WTF am I supposed to do until then? Now I have a call in to the secretary to try and get some info on how soon I can go back to work. I don't want to risk losing the job I just got because of a stupid fall.

Turns out the Wonder Dog is freaked out by the crutches... he shakes nervously as he looks past me toward the open door that is the magical entrance to his personal backyard commode. I'm getting pretty tired of crutching my way to the door just to have him look at me for 5 minutes and then turn around and go back to fer-flump on the living room floor. Not to mention the fact that his rather large body always seems to be right where I'm trying to navigate. Thank god I don't have any cats to get underfoot as well!

But, I actually love my dog... he's just a pain in the ass at the moment.

The good news is that I managed to get myself up and out to the chiropractor yesterday. Nothing like slamming your head into a wall to throw your back out of whack! But she did many wondrous things for my back. I love that woman!

And the outpouring of concern from friends has been lovely. Thank you all! It makes me feel so cared for. My friend Suedojane even brought me my fix of Dr Pepper last night. Ahhhhh! Suedojane makes some awesome videos about artists... here's one for you to check out:

And tonight Nanodance is bringing my my evening repast. The excitement of wondering what it will be leaves me all tingly inside! I wonder if she'll bring me some of those weird ass Buddha's hands? All I know is that food that you don't have to cook yourself always tastes so much better!

Buddha's hands... Nanodance knows all about these... she's seen them in real life!

Time for my afternoon nap! I'll wake myself up in four hours to make sure I'm not dead. Later!
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