Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve????

I'm planning to spend a comfy, cozy evening with my family -- my best friend, husband, lover, Stiva.  And quite possibly, our dear friends Kyle & Jason, depending on their schedules.  We shall dine at our favorite place -- Yip's Restaurant on the 9 & 20 in Rensselaer.  If they had a web page, I would add it, as they are the most awesome restaurant around here.  Very warm, very welcoming, and the food is first rate!

They say that what you are doing at midnight on the new year is what you will be doing all year long.  Now I'm not superstitious, mind you, just cautious.  (Think Barney Fife!!!)  I can't think of anything more that I would love to be doing all year but enjoying the blessing of a warm, safe home, with a sumptious dinner in my tummy, snuggled up to my best friend after an evening with other friends. 

I reiterate, God Bless Us, Every One.

I'm guessing that whatever the plan, Theo & Tuffy will be napping through the whole event.  Oh, to see life through a dog's eyes!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've Been Away

I'll spare you the details.  Suffice it to say that I was debilitated by an infection in the human kidney, causing me weakness, lethargy, pain and whatever else you might use to explain it.  I have returned, no thanks to medicine, but all praise to our Lord and the human research into herbal and natural remedies.  Today was my first full day back at work.  I know a lot of people take "being sick" and doctoring lightly.  Not so here.  I'm pretty sure I would have to be pretty bad off before I would put myself in a doctor's hands.  I thought about it, but it didn't get that far.  I did visit the co-op though, and thankfully, that is as far as I have needed to delve for illness assistance in a long time.  They hooked me up with just the right (holistic) stuff!

Anyway, I'm so sorry to have been away, but I'm back now.  The wind was UNBELIEVEABLE this morning!  It knocked Theo right off his feet.  In my bare feet and bathrobe, I made the decision to holler for Steve rather than run into the frozen grass on my own, having barely shaken off my own fever.

At any rate, we're all resting comfortably tonight.  Please be witness:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh, He's Having a Hard Time

The big guy is having a hard time tonight accepting the fact that Daddy went to bed, and Mommy is still doing really important (food) stuff.  Oh dear.

Probably, Stiva will ask that I remove this shot of him asleep as soon as he sees it, so if you get to take a look, you're privileged!

Soldiers Angels

Tonight, 2,059 soldiers without an angel.  I'm just sayin'.  With President Obama's plan to send 30,000+ soldiers in harms way (I'm NOT criticizing!!!) the need will be incredible.

Again, I'm just sayin'.

If you are comfy in your home tonight, and not thinking of/praying for a deployed soldier, ask yourself why.

Adopt a soldier today.  It could just be the child of someone you know.

Gingerbread Boys vs. Gingerbread Girls

You know it's almost Christmas when the gingerbread folks are being decorated.  This year, I have a need for more gingerbread boys vs. gingerbread girls.  And YET, I am compelled to create as many gingerbread girls as boys.

What could this mean?

I could go into a discourse as to the relevance of real feminism (women using their God-given gifts to be their best) as opposed to Steinemism (women acting like men).

I'm making a decision to stick with gingerbread.  I'll make a boy for every boy on my list and a girl for every girl on my list, and a couple of extra girls, because I need to stick up for my own kind!!!

Oh, and did I add that my dearest of spousal unit's added a new layer of linoleum to the kitchen at the Haney Place?  I know, nothing here is supposed to look like it's past 1959, however, I'm pretty sure it looks like l959 ghetto-style.  God bless us everyone!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bonnie's Snowflakes

Bonnie Purdy was a dear friend to our family.  She had her funny ways, but who doesn't.  She taught my mother to quilt, among other things.  She was a wonderful neighbor, and a wonderful resource.

Yesterday, my own dear mother passed down to me "Bonnie's Snowflakes".  I will cherish them.  You can see for yourself.

Oh boy, the last day off before Christmas!

The last free day before Christmas, and big doings around here.  I am so thankful that my children will be with me on Christmas Eve.  This may just be the last time they are all around me at one time.  After all, Anth may be deployed and Stephanie (having finished school by July) is talking about moving to the West Coast.  So I intend to make the most of it.

Today is cleaning, decorating, candy-making and baking in spades.  And thinking of everyone I need to remember for Christmas.

Kim will be staying here for a few days (HOORAY!!!) and at least, for one evening, I will have them all here, and Nonnie too.

The end of an era, methinks.  And I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.  Any suggestions for awesome holiday yummies?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

We make our own.  No, seriously.  We're a middle-class suburban household, and we make our own laundry detergent.  The last batch I made lasted 6 weeks, and that was for four adults, two dogs and one cat (we wash their bedding a lot).  It takes 10-15 minutes every 6 weeks or so to make your own, and it's environmentally friendly, and smells fresh and sweet, to boot.  Also, it doesn't make you itch like some national brands.  You could always add your own essential oils -- anything you like to make it smell good to you.  Oh, and did I mention that six weeks worth cost me under $1 to make???!!!???  That's right, under $1!!!

Here's the recipe:  (From here:  I'm not stealing the recipe, just bragging on it.  That whole website kicks a**!!!

What Ingredients Do You Need?

You will need 3 basic ingredients; a soap of some sort, washing soda and borax.

The Soap: The most typical type of soap to use is Fels Naptha. It is an old-fashioned type of soap usually found in the laundry aisle. The other options for soap are Ivory or another brand called, Zote. Any of these will work. I use my own homemade soap and find it works quite well and I do have this for sale in my Country Store. If you use Ivory or your own homemade soap you will need to use the whole bar.

Washing Soda: This is not to be confused with baking soda. They are not the same thing. Washing soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate). It is a white powder. Its purpose is to help remove dirt and orders. The brand to look for is Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. I find it in the laundry section of my grocery store. Many people have a hard time finding this locally. I know you can purchase it on-line, even through I would also suggest asking your grocery store manager if it would be possible for the store to get it for you.

Borax: Borax is a naturally occurring mineral: Sodium Borate. It is a white powder. It’s purpose is as a laundry whitener and deodorizer. The brand to look for is 20 Mule Team. It comes in a 76 oz. box. You should be able to locate this in the laundry detergent aisle. Again as with the washing soda, if you cannot find it ask you store manager or look online.

The Recipe

Now that you have assembled all the needed ingredients here is the recipe:

Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha or other type of soap, as listed above
½ cup washing soda
½ cup borax powder

~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load.

**A few things to note about the soap**

~The finished soap will not be a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel that has been accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.

~The soap is a low sudsing soap. So if you don’t see suds, that is ok. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.

Optional: If you want your soap to have some sort of scent you can scent this with ½ to 1 oz. of essential oil or fragrance oil of your choice. My favorite scent is orange essential oil.

Free at last!!!!

My Mom just had her last follow up appointment with her opthalmic plastic surgeon today.  Her LAST appointment with this man.  It's the end of an era.

This poor woman has had four eye surgeries since late in May.  Two corrective procedures for ectropion (lower eye lid turning out).  Just think -- 45 minutes each of cutting, burning, stitching.  All while being wide awake.

Also, two cataract surgeries.  I know folks think "oh, cataracts, piece of cake".  But if you're 85, having four surgeries, two including anesthesia over a couple of months, it's really a big deal and would wear any of us out. we stand, free at last, and to quote a great man, "Thank God Almighty, we are Free At Last" !!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Out of the mouths of puppies

It's no secret that I have a seriously elderly dog named Theo.  He has been a blessing to me in so many ways.  Firstly, he laid down his life for me in a real way in his offer of protection of me and my home right from the first day he came to stay.  You see, he had been in a bad way for a long time.  I had recently experienced a stalker.  The good Lord brought us together.  We needed each other.  We were both (just a little bit) crazy with this whole security thing.

Theo has epitomized what it means to me to be a Christian.  I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he would break through any barrier, even death, to be at my side.  Isn't that how we, as Christians, should look at our deaths?  I mean, the process of death may not be pleasant or easy.  I strongly suspect that the process of birth was not pleasant or easy for any of us, but the good Lord has mercy on us and we don't remember that whole process. 

But on to today...if Theo heard my voice at the other side of a door, any door, he wouldn't hesitate.  No matter what his condition, no matter how rotten he felt, he would know there was that joy of love and reunion on the other side of that door.  He could knock that door down.  He would scratch, bite, or do whatever he had to do to get to me, on that other side.

How much the same it is that we, as Christians, should look upon death.  It is NOT the end, not a cold grave, not if we KNOW who is on the other side of that door.  We should gleefully knock down that door, not fear it, not turn from it.  We (hopefully) know what is on that other side, and if we really know, we will welcome it.  No fear, no worries.  Pain?  I don't know.  Maybe.  But joy?????  Yes!!!  Just like the reunion of Theo and me, so would the reunion be of me and my Savior.  Safety and glory at last. 

Just what is filling my mind on this bleak, but blessed, December day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This is a serious post --

I got an email that there were 2009 soldiers on the waiting list for an angel.  I just checked, and still, there are 1962.  Ok.  Let's talk.

I have spoken to so many soldiers that needed a kind word or just some indication that the bullsh** that they're going through is not for nothing -- not for an ungrateful bunch of candy-asses and know-nothings.

I don't usually speak like this, but for goodness sake, go to and adopt a soldier.  If you only knew the heart-wrenching stories that I have heard, you would do it.  These are REAL PEOPLE, just like you and me.  They're not super-heroes, although they do turn out to be.  They're not immune from the cold and the heat.  They have feelings, and they miss their families.  They need root canals, for pete's sake!!!  They cry.  And most important of all, they put their lives on the line every day for YOU and ME!!!  And we don't deserve it.  It is our right, but it should feel like a privilege.  But to most of us, we just think we deserve it.  And in that respect, we are wrong.  It's ALL OF OUR FIGHT.  Not just the enlisted, or their families, who are so heavily impacted.

I heard from a soldier this week who said this:

"I had to tell my wife last night before anyone could get to her that my truck in the convoy got hit with a roadside bomb last night. Everybody was ok but definealtely a wake up call. First time for me and again I hang out the top of the vehicle, so a pretty scary moment. I had to tell my wife because if not she would here it from someone else who would blow it out of proportion and she would have a fit. "

Let me tell you something about this man.  This is a family man, wife and three children, salt of the earth, who joined the army because, due to the recession, it was the only way he could be responsible for his family.  And he was almost killed. 

I'm standing here and challenging each one of you to decide that your minor inconveniences are NOTHING in the grand scheme of things.  I know we all like to complain and whine.  But I'm DONE, I tell you, and don't any of you DARE whine in my presence.  I won't have it, and that's just the way it is.

I have adopted three soldiers.  I pray for them every day.  And send them really lame stuff.  It's lame, and I'm not ashamed.  But they KNOW that someone is caring a great deal about what they do.

And if you don't care about why you are living in a free democracy, maybe it's just time you started thinking of something other than yourself.

As I said, I don't often speak like this.  But desperate times call for desperate measures. 


Monday, December 7, 2009

Spousal Unit's Post

My Spousal Unit (Stiva) has requested his own post tonight, and given the fact that he made a love song to me tonight, how could I refuse!!!

Here is the tree, completed.  Nothing Martha Stewart.  But genuinely old stuff...20's, 30's,40's, and such.

And then, of course, the little angels sleeping.  God bless us, everyone!!!

It's almost Christmas

It's very sweet.  In bringing out our own cherished and protected decorations, we've unearththed some things belonging to our foster boys.  Makes us smile, makes us grimace.  Makes us remember, but most of all, makes us pray for those blessed dear little ones, so badly used, so easily cast away, that our dear and precious Savior created for a purpose. 

Troy Armory - And Santa!!!

I was blessed to be able to attend the Christmas Party at the Troy Armory yesterday.  Even Santa was there, although I hate to be a name dropper.

My dear son Anthony was our host, so we won't find fault with his "smirk" at having been able to score two full plates of food.  Bless his heart -- I am thankful that the US taxpayers are sharing his food bill with me!!!  And that is his dear bestest of friends, Destiny, in the background.  Don't let looks deceive you.  Those aren't Destiny's pieces of pie -- he made her take pie so that he could have seconds!!!

God love him -- I'm so proud of him!!!

Oh Joy, Snow!!!

I'm kinda late.  It was a great weekend.  But FINALLY, we got some snow.  I was going to record the precious silence of falling snow, but instead was engaged in a conversation with my dear friend, Sylvia.  So enjoy the snow, and the blah-blah.

Friday, December 4, 2009

God Bless Us Everyone

I finished watching "A Christmas Carol" tonight.  God Bless Us, Everyone.  "I will honor Christmas past, present, and the future!!!" thus spoke Ebenezer Scrooge.  What does this mean?  I'm taking from it that I will learn from the past, live in the present, and work toward a better future.  Is this what everyone takes from this?  I don't know.

I've had a blessed past, I won't deny that.  Not a "perfect" situation, but in God's hands, and the outcome was just plain blessed.  I was offered for adoption, lived with a foster family for a while, and was ultimately adopted by some seriously wonderful people.  They gave me a wonderful childhood and young adulthood.

Now, to the present.  I don't have a particular amount of angst anymore.  I've been accused of being angsty in the past, but not for a long while.  I am pretty much contented.  The last time I was accused of being "of angst" was by Sister Charla Commins, Catholic Charities of Warren & Washington Counties.  It was just ten years ago.  I asked for a raise in pay, and Sister Charla informed me that, although the person before me had fewer responsibilities and more pay, I was out of line in my request.  So....

My last day of work was Christmas Eve, 1999.  I was the ONLY staff on hand.  I was trying REALLY HARD not to let that door hit me in the ass on my way out.

So it was whatever was closing time.  My desk was cleared out, there weren't any counselors around.  It was me, me, and only me.  I was just on my way out the door.  I'd even sent it to the answering machine when....God help,me, that phone start to ring.  It rang, and rang....I knew I had no reason to answer it.  After all, it was Christmas Eve, I was done, quit!, and it was my oldest son's birthday.  And I had lots of my own kids waiting for me at home.

At any rate, I answered that blessed phone.  There was a woman on the other end who had just been released from jail.  She had just gotten her kids home with her, and she had nothing, including food, for Christmas.  I could have taken a message.  I could have just hung up.  All I remember is about 2 or so hours hooking this poor soul up with some meagre blessing for the next day.  No thanks to Catholic Charities.  I seem to remember that the Salvation Army was her benefactor.

I'm not judging Catholic Charities (although they FORBID me from telling anyone I would pray for them, because they took state and federal funding).  I prayed for them all anyway.

I guess this is just my Christmas musing. 

God Bless Us, Everyone!!!

On reading this post back, the blessing is that I took a job with NCES the following week. Which means, that ten years ago this year, this month, I met the best friend I ever knew, and my partner, best friend, mate and lover.  My dear Stiva!!!

Happy Anniversary Stiva!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Three Ghosts???

To quote internet speak, ROFLMAO!!!  My spousal unit says "enough" we need to go to bed.  Then proceeds to speak ever so kindly and gently to the canine units.  "C'mon doggies, want to go out little doggies" when I can clearly hear his head screaming "c'mon, let's go, I want my bed, doggone it!".  I asked him if he had an ulterior motive for speaking so kindly and sweetly, and was informed that he was visited by three ghosts in the night. 

Little does he know, that I have DVR'd "A Christmas Carol" and that's what we're about to watch once we get all comfy in bed!!!

I repeat, ROFLMAO!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Dog Song

So....if you come to the first annual just post holidy party at the Haney just might be blessed with the newest song  -- The Dog Song -- something like this --

Theo was a good old boy
Worked hard all his life -- that's still his joy
Momma bought you a paw print bed
Go lay down and rest your head

Tuffy is a dandy boy
Dances in a circle when he has to void
When he's happy, licks Theo's peepee
Don't poop in the house, little Tuffy!!!

I know -- you're all crying for the sheer deep emotion of it.  I know.  It's ok. 

O Cozy Night

I know that's O Holy Night (one of my favorite carols) but tonight it's a cozy night.  Dinner's done, Steve (was) playing his guitar, and I'm in the kitchen, watching Little House's "A Christmas They Never Forgot" followed by "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" while baking cookies.  They all need to be done by Sunday night, because my packages are going overseas on Monday morning.  Steve is currently out on a mission to bring home some serious ginger, bless him on this rainy night, last year's ginger having been found somewhat lacking in "gumption". 

Hey, if you are deployed, and you're unsure whether you're getting a Christmas package from me or not, you DARNED WELL better let me know by Sunday night!  Nothing would give me more pleasure than to know that, despite what you're suffering already over there, I add to your suffering with a nice fat box of Christmas cookies to share with your buddies.  You already know my email (or if you don't, you can always reach me at and let me know you want a cookie attack!!!

Witness -- Gingersnaps!!!

We're planning the First Annual Just Post Holiday Party at the Haney Place for January 9.  If you want to come and haven't gotten an invitation, just let me know.  There will be a lot of good folks, good food, good music (!!!) and just plain good clean fun going on.  I hope it's the first of four (until we move) such parties, and I know I look forward to seeing you there.