Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

,Wow. Here it is the end of the year already. And, even though the year is not quite over, we've already made many plans for the coming year. This living in the present concept is one that, in all honesty, I still have difficulty with!
2008 was a full, full year. We'd hoped going into it that it would be better than 2007 was. Thinking back, I'm not sure I remember why we thought 2007 was so awful. I suppose that is one thing about the past; it never seems as awful the further away from it you get than it was when it was right there in your face.
So, 2008. Some good things, some yucky things, sad times, great times. Although I captured most of this in our annual holiday letter, it seems fitting to document some of these events right here on my Blog.
Poor Lucy underwent treatment for heart worm. Pretty icky stuff and we had to keep her quiet and calm for about six weeks. Man, was that tough. Also, Clyde underwent several chemo sessions. We joked that we were going to pay for Uncle Chuck's (our vet) next car! Seriously, Chuck and all the others at Tri Vet were wonderful to all of us during this difficult time. We had a visit from dear friend Peri. Mr. B made us a few gourmet meals, Peri tossed back a few Gin martinis and she got to see several members our our family, including the newest (at that point) Kendal. Oh, and Peri and I saw probably the best movie (IMO) of the year, "Juno".
Mom and Lucy took off for a two week trip to Florida to visit with Mom and Dad B, Father and Margot and Mom and Dad T. We had a fantastic time, despite the fact that poor Mr. B was not with us. Unfortunately February brought a very sad time for us as well in that we lost our Sweet Pal Clyde after a brief (but valiant) fight with colon cancer. Good old Clyde lived a full, long 15 1/2 years.
March, for the most part, was one long dreary month due primarily to Mr. B being in the midst of tax busy season. Thankfully, we finally re-rented our townhouse out and we had a nice family gathering at our house for Easter. Frankly, I don't recall much more about March than this. Sorry if I slighted someone by forgetting something :-)
Like most of March, the first part of April basically sucked lemons. But, it improved vastly around the 12th beginning with a memorable baby shower at Piedmont for Jon and Shannon, followed quickly by my trip to Missouri with mom and Lucy to see the Laura Ingalls Wilder home and museum in Mansfield. Mom and I always travel well together and this was no exception. Thank God by the time I returned, Mr. B was done with busy season and ready for a much calmer May.
Looking back, May turned out to be the month for wine festivals. We went to Rock of Ages Cork and Pork Festival in early May and then to the annual NC wine festival at the end of the month held in Tanglewood. We stayed an extra day and golfed. We also celebrated our 3rd anniversary in May and breathed a huge sigh of relief when we got the news that Lucy was heart worm free.
The highlight of this month was certainly the long awaited birth of my brother and sister in law's twin daughters. Also in June, Mom and Dad B visited and The Kid turned Sweet Sixteen. We traveled to Puerto Vallarta for a week long vacation (this was a hit and miss experience!) Oh, and our hardwood floors were finally replaced. They looked fantastic...until September :-)
Most of this month was spent in last minute preparations for the big family reunion at the end of the month/early August. Additionally, we started our own LLC (small business) so that I could do some HR consulting work for an old pal. We also went to a few Bulls games (although it seemed the majority of our games got rained out!) I was roped into to joining the Durham Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors as Secretary (this has proven to be one of those AFOGs!) Sister Kathy came to vist (for the reunion) the last week of July and the reunion began July 31st out at Falls Lake.
The first few days were tied up with the reunion with the official event being held at our house on the 2nd. The rest of August was spent in either recuperating from the reunion or getting readjusted to "working" (this I put in quotes as I'm not really sure that is what it's been; but, yes, I did earn my first pay check in over five years!) Mr. B celebrated a birthday!
Another relatively slow month with the exception of Kendal's first birthday party and Mr. B working hard to meet busy season part two's deadlines. Also, quite a bit of consulting work and DSO activities.
Margot came for her annual fall visit and we, as always, had a smashing time (even though Mr. B was still slaving away at work). Margot and I kept ourselves occupied, though. We all went to the World Beer Festival where we hooked up with Jon and Shannon and their girls and had a super time. Towards the end of October, we headed to Southern California for a ten day vacation (something I am still blogging about). What a memorable time that was. It warmed my heart!
After returning home from our vacation, we turned our thoughts to the holidays. Also, as Mr. B predicted while we were in California, I found our two new family additions a week after we returned at a local Pet Smart. After a week of waiting, we brought Pete and Lily, brother and sister kittens, home on November 15th. November was sort of an icky month for me health-wise but everything turned out okay! Thanksgiving at mom and dad's was extra special, too.
The first part of this month was all about the DSO's Holiday Pops concert on the 5th. Once that passed, I was able to relax a bit and look forward to my annual birthday dinner (made especially for me by Chef Mr. B) and Christmas. We decided to host Christmas this year at our house. Although it was not quite the same without Mom and Dad B, Jon, Shannon and the girls, or either of my sisters, it was still special, especially as our newest addition to the family, Nathaniel and Analee's daughter Holly Noelle, born just three days before Christmas, was with us (she slept the entire time, but, she WAS with us!)
In recalling the year here, I've realized it really was more good than bad (with the exception of the economy, which, since I can't do anything about, what is the sense of wailing?) And, it is certainly going to end on a most different note than usual as we are going to a Carolina Hurricane's game tonight with several members of our family. This is a first!
Here is hoping that 2009 is a wonderful year for us...for our families...for our friends...and for all of you whom I don't even know, but who faithfully read my Blog.
Mrs. B

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our California Adventure Part Four

Wow. I STILL have not finished up this series! Best hurry up as we're off for a mini vacation to Edenton NC next week and I'll have to write about THAT!)
Mrs. B
We did go see the museum at the resort yesterday afternoon; not a lot to see. We thought about eating dinner at the resort restaurant but realized we had sufficient leftovers to eat on. So, yet again, we ate in. Ok by us (especially since today in LA we stuffed ourselves!) We finished watching "Leather Heads"; last night; it was fine but not fantastic.
It was great seeing Debbie and Pam again today! Why is it that you miss people more when you see them? The three of us had wonderful times together all those years ago and many special times one on one.
Anyway, we left the resort this morning around 10:30 am and met Debbie at Lido in Redondo Beach (one of my favorite old haunts) at 12:30 for lunch. Other than her being being a tad bit self-conscious (understandable, but, IMO not warranted because she really looks fine (and SKINNY)), all was well. We had a nice lunch, then, went back to her place until 5:30 when we met Pam at Kincaid's (unfortunately, a few other folks who said they might come did not show up).

Mrs. B and Debbie

Pam looks fantastic; hard to believe she'll soon be 64 years old!
Debbie and Mr. B at Kincaid's

I'm glad we made the trip up there even though it was a two hour each way drive and that Mark was willing to do the driving AND sit through all of our gabbing!
Now we're relaxing after our evening cigar on our balcony and gearing up for our 10:24 am tee time tomorrow...
...Golf was ok. I really need more practice, though. It was, at times, a frustrating outing! But, it was a lovely day. In fact, we've had perfect weather our entire trip.
Fountains Course
Mr. B putts
Mrs. B...does something, not sure what!

Peri and Michael got to the resort around 3:45. We went out to dinner to Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido. Stone had been at the World Beer Festival in Durham last month and we liked their beers. Their restaurant is a nice place; huge! It's in a somewhat unusual setting (industry park). We got lost trying to find it AND getting back to the resort. The food (and beer) was excellent.
Us at Stone

Peri and Michael spent the night with us (since we had the extra bedroom) and we all stayed up too late chatting and drinking wine.
Tomorrow is our last day! Kathleen has helped us plan a group wine tasting party starting at Thornton Winery (the champagne place) for lunch. Michael has some suggestions for wineries off the beaten track (it can be quite crowded in Temecula on a Saturday). Should be a fun day!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Bit Of A To Do

So, yeah. Christmas Day was fun. We had a wonderful visit with mom and dad and then later Nathaniel, Analee and their children. I posted pictures on Facebook; will get around at some point to adding a link under "Mrs. B's Stuff" on this site.
One of the presents Ms. Goose received from her Uncle Jon and Aunt Shannon (and the girls) was a big gingerbread man made out of rawhide. Oh boy!
As is typical of her, she carried it around in her mouth a while and then left it lying on the floor. She will do this with a rawhide bone for several weeks (carry it around but not chew it) .
Our bad, though. We forgot it was lying on the floor. Several hours later, Pete ventures downstairs and walks over to it and sniffs at it. We were all sitting around the dining room table and were not paying attention.
Well, Lucy WAS paying attention and she, upon seeing Pete over by HER chewy, ran over and growled at him in a most ferocious manner. Pete scampered safely away and Ms. Lucy got her ass thrown out in the backyard.
So, the bottom line is, Lucy cannot have any sort of goodie or chewy at all when the cats are around (or any other animal, for that matter). I am surmising that this protective/possessive behavior of hers arose from her time being a stray when she likely had to fight other creatures off for scraps found near garbage cans, recycling bins, etc. She is not this way with her toys or even her dinner and water bowls.
In our household (and any household we visit), this is completely unacceptable behavior and Mr. B and I know we have to work with her on this and it goes beyond just not letting her have something. We've been dithering about taking her back to school (again, our bad for not doing it sooner). This recent episode, combined with her recent untoward behavior towards cousin Maggie the dog at Thanksgiving, has cinched it. She's gotta go back to bitch school.
In the meantime, she's spending a great deal of time outside. Like a dog should, I guess. Maybe we've pampered her too much, I don't know.
Thankfully, Pete is ok. She didn't attack him so much as she stood over him and growled at him. Unfortunately, cats have very long memories and he's not terribly willing now to forgive her behavior. Before this incident, they were pals. He'd cuddled with her on her bed, sniff her, rub her, even play with her. Now, he is very cautious around her and looks over his shoulder as he walks by her. We're hoping that over time (and with Lucy being on her best behavior) he'll forget soon enough. It is sort of sad, though, to see their friendship come to such a screeching halt. I really wish he would have let her have it with his claws across her snout. That might have been sufficient detraction to keep her from ever doing anything like this again.
As for Lily, she could care less. She strolls by Lucy with her tail in the air and pays her no never mind at all.
Sigh. Drama!
Judging from these pictures taken earlier this afternoon, Pete is not terribly traumatized!

And neither is Lily!
Mrs. B

Friday, December 26, 2008

Counting Our Blessings = Giving To Others

In early December, we received the annual request from Mom and Dad T. regarding what we, The B's, wanted for Christmas. Last year we ended up with a check card, that, along with a gift from Mom and Dad B., we used to celebrate our 3rd anniversary at Magnolia Grill several months later.
This year, Mr. B and I (as previously mentioned) decided to cut back on our holiday expenditures for one another. We budgeted for a nice Christmas Eve dinner and a few gifts to exchange Christmas morning.
So, we get above referenced email and it made me think. What do we REALLY need, anyway? Yes, we can ALWAYS find something to buy/splurge on. Then, I remembered that, when I was reading The Wall Street Journal (I've got that subscription on hold right now; talk about a waste of money otherwise), I would on occasion see an advertisement for an organization called The Smile Train. Each and every time I saw their ad, I'd think to myself, "Now, that is a worthy outfit". Basically what they do is provide free cleft surgery to kids (in underdeveloped countries, mostly). In addition to immediately improving their health, it gives the kids beautiful, normal smiles.
I asked Mom and Dad T. if they'd mind terribly if we combined the money they were giving us (in lieu of a physical gift) with money we would have spent on them and make a donation to The Smile Train. Now, talk about a meant to be; I sent Dad an email one morning and that very afternoon, they received something in the snail mail from The Smile Train.
Long story short, they felt it was an excellent idea.
So, a few moments ago, I made a sufficient donation to provide one child with a new lease on life.
Talk about smiling! I feel GREAT about this!
We also received gifts of cash/gift cards from Mom and Dad B. and Father and Margot. Being in a generous mood, I allocated some of their gift(s) to another worthy organization, The Cancer Recovery Foundation Children's Project. This outfit provides all sorts of help and assistance to kids with cancer and their families.
Maybe it's been all of the sentimental Christmas music I've been listening to for the past several weeks that brought this spirit of giving on; in particular, "Count Your Blessings"; but, I just felt the need to acknowledge MY blessings by helping those that are not so fortunate.
Mrs. B

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Preparing for the Festivities!

Since The Kid is going to be out of town for Christmas Eve (as usual), it will be just me and Mr. B. He proposed to me that we have a fairly modest Christmas gift-wise this year and splurge on a nice Christmas Eve meal. Sounds good to me.
So, tonight we're having:

Standing Rib
Spinach Salad
Gorgonzola Potatoes and Peas

A VERY VERY VERY Nice Bottle of Red Wine (saved for just such an occasion!)
Not a lot of food, but, GOOD food. And, good wine! But, no worries about lack of food quantities for us as, this year, we volunteered to host Christmas dinner. As it turns out, it will be a smallish crowd as my brother Jon and his family are visiting with his wife's family this year in PA. But, we WILL have a brand new addition to our family in attendance with our very recently born niece Holly Noelle (along with her parents and her big brother Kendal). Plus, my mom and dad and, likely a variety of pets (at least our three!) So, six adults (mom and dad B, if you're reading this; know that we will miss you (and Fritz) very very much this year!)
We decided to build the dinner around an excellent baked ziti dish that Mr. B makes. It is actually an old family recipe of his ex-wife, but, since it really is tasty, we'll try and forget that. He's probably made enough adjustments to it by now to call it his own, anyway. So, an Italian themed dinner! Here is what is on the menu for Christmas:
Antipasti e Pani
Italian Meatballs
Shrimp Salad
Italian Bread with Olive Tapenade, Pesto and Herbed Olive Oil Dipping Sauces
Fried Mozzarella with Antipasto

Primi, Contorni e Piu Pani
Baked Ziti Southern Italian Style
Asparagus with Prosciutto Chips
Garlic-Cheese Biscuits

Sparkling Water
Variety of Beers and Wines

Cranberry Shiver
Pumpkin-Butterscotch Brownies
Chocolate Polenta Pudding Cake
Apple Mead
Yeah, we'll probably have to literally roll out of bed the following morning!
I also decided it would be nice to use our various china sets and silver for dinner Christmas. I'm in the midst now of polishing, rinsing off dust, etc. But, it's worth the effort in order to have memories of at least three of our grandmothers surrounding us as we dine (My Grandmas W and C and Mr. B's Grandma W).
Oh, BTW, Pete and Lily have FINALLY discovered the Christmas Tree. Yesterday I saw Lily under the tree gleefully scooping water out of the tree stand with her paw. Said water went all over the gifts. Thankfully, nothing that can be water-damaged. Needless to say, I used the gifts to put up a blockade around the tree stand. This morning, both Pete and Lily were running and taking flying leaps and jumping into the presents. I decided (since nothing really can be harmed) to let them do it because if I kept stopping them, they'd only get more determined. Now, about an hour later, they are not paying the tree any never mind!
Ok, well, this is it for Mrs. B until after Christmas!
Happy Holidays!
Mrs. B

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kitties Fighting

Sorry...been real busy and not able to think much about blogging. Here is another video of Pete and Lily (with Lucy watching...)

Mrs. B

Friday, December 19, 2008

My First Home Videos! Turn Your Sound On!

Our Crazy Dog Lucy!

Subjects being Lucy, Pete and Lily, of course and video capability courtesty of Mr. B (new camera for my b-day).

They are a little rough (Father, it is killing me not to put quotes around "rough"...oops, just did it :-) ) but I'll improve. One thing I've already learned is I have to stop talking well before I hit the off button because the last things I said were cut off. Also, videos longer than 30 seconds or so take forever to upload so those I'll just have to show y'all later. Turn your speakers on if you want to hear my inane commentary.

Pete and Lily

Oh well. Enjoy (and please forgive the messy upstairs...we've got tons of cat and dog toys everywhere!) Mrs. B

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dinner Conversation Cards

These cards came in a package I received from Omaha Steaks yesterday. When I saw them, I thought to myself, "Perfect! My next Blog topic!"
Here goes!
Would you rather drive an expensive sports car or be driven in a limousine?
I assume this means for life as opposed to a one time choice. I think I'd prefer to drive myself as a rule (or have Mr. B drive the sports car) rather than having a chauffeur drive me around all over the place. Although I have to admit not having to ever worry about getting annoyed at other drivers again or finding a place to park, etc., could make the limo option a tempting thought (so long as I didn't have to pay for the gas!)
If you were offered a free recording contract, would you take it?
Now, who would say no to this one? Even though I'D never be the one doing the singing, I assume I could find someone I know that would jump at this opportunity (and I'd take a fair cut of whatever money they earned).
If you had to give up one of your senses, what would it be?
I hate this question! I'd give up my ESP abilities before I'd give up any other (I do believe we all have some sixth sense). If forced to chose between the other five, I guess I'd pick the sense of smell.

What is the naughtiest thing you remember doing as a child?
Probably a toss up between ripping up a neighbor's mail or throwing M&Ms into another neighbor's pool. At least these are the two worst things I got caught out on!
If you were offered free cosmetic surgery, would you do it?
Hell yes! Especially if the offer included Lasik.
If you could live one year as the opposite sex, would you?
I don't think so. I may end up liking it more than being a female, then what?
Would you rather be smarter or better looking?
Smarter. Hands down. We all know looks fade. Smarts might, too; but chances are you'll be a lot older before that happens and you wouldn't know enough any longer to care, anyway.
Would you like to climb Mt. Everest?
I'm thinking probably not!
Mrs. B

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

45 Years: A Brief Pictorial of My Life (So Far)

Me before I was born (with mom, obviously!) 1963
December 17, 1963
December 1969 Age 6
1973 Age 9
1980 Senior in High School Age 16
1984 with Father, Ann and Margot Age 21

First Wedding Day 1991 (we don't need to see HIM!) Age 27

Camping 1995 Age 31

The Tower of London Age 34
Venice, Italy Age 38
Verona, Italy Age 39
Durham, NC Age 40
2nd (and last!) Wedding Day (we'll show Mr. B!) Age 41

With My Goose December 2008 Age (almost) 45

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Office Holiday Party

So, yeah, I'm gearing up for Mr. B's office holiday party tonight. Judging from the one last year, this should be fairly fun. At least we'll get to hang out with our friends John and Marilyn; share a few drinks, eat some (probably) more than decent food.
While out walking Lucy this morning, my mind ventured off down the path of contemplating all of the office holiday parties I've been to over the course of my life. And, there have been many.
Back before I even graduated from college I worked at a small manufacturing company in San Diego. They made radar absorbent material and were, in essence, a subcontractor to some of the big defense companies. I was there in the mid eighties, back when smoking was still allowed in office buildings, as was alcohol. Because it was a relatively small outfit, we typically held our party AT the office. Usually everyone would bring in a dish to share and we probably had some sort of gift exchange. I don't quite recall ALL of the details but what I do vividly remember is the vast quantities of alcohol that would flow. One year (I think it was the year the movie "Cocktail" came out starring Tom Cruise), we had a real hoot and holler pushing people backwards onto the conference table and pouring cocktail concoctions down their throats. This was also the year when "the boss" chased me into the back of the plant with naughty thoughts in mind (this wasn't the first or the last time he did this; another thing that amazes me in looking back (especially with an HR mind frame); WHY did I ever put up with this?)
Flash forward to my years at TRW. I don't think I missed a holiday party in the 17 years I was there. Most of them were held off site in the ballrooms of nearby hotels. These all sort of blend together (with the notable exception of the time my ex husband and I stayed at the hotel for the night and I got stinking smashed, he pissed me off, and I called hotel security on him; this was BEFORE we were married and I probably should have thought later that my subconscious was likely trying to tell me something). A goodly number of the parties held during the TRW years were planned and coordinated by yours truly so you can imagine how wonderful they were! Seriously, my first job at TRW was at "Sector Staff", which meant all of the Vice Presidents attended the parties. My boss at the time, The Crazed Psycho Bitch from Hell, had a reputation for throwing spectacular parties; a rep she was not about to let me ruin. So, MONTHS before the party (as in June or July) we would start to plan out every little detail. By the time the party occurred, I was a wreck.
Much nicer were the parties we planned when I was working for my pal Col. George in Colorado Springs. His wife Jean would make lovely wreaths that we would raffle off and we typically held the party at a nice hotel, once or twice at The Broadmoor! And, there was always a Conga line going once everyone had sufficiently relaxed. Then, George and Jean moved to Omaha so I ended up attending two holiday parties each year; one in Omaha and one in Colorado Springs. The last party I attended in Colorado Springs was memorable in three ways. One: It was the final party I went to with my ex husband, Two: I danced crazily around the dance floor to the tune of "La Vida Loca" with the security manager from Falcon Air Force Base (Ken) and Three: I actually won a door prize; something that NEVER EVER happens to me (usually); it was a nice bottle of Chivas Regal with two rocks glasses that said "2000" (it was Christmas 1999). I later drank about 1/3 of that bottle in January to give me courage when I handed my ex our divorce papers.
I don't want to forget to mention that, in addition to our holiday parties at CSEO, Col. George also, on his own dime, took his direct reports out for a very very nice lunch; again, usually at The Broadmoor; a tradition his successor also maintained.
And, how could I not mention a party that I did NOT attend but I ended up hearing more about than I care to discuss? Our sister division up in Denver had a real barn burner one year. A bunch of people got thoroughly trashed (whilst most of the other attendees stayed relatively staid and sober, including my HR counterpart). The site manager; a stout, loud toad looking man named Pete (oh God, PETE; sorry, my Pete!) encouraged the drunkards to start a mock strip tease while he acted the emcee. Problem was, a few people took him seriously, in particular, a very pretty young woman who began running around the dance floor, lifting up her skirt, and flashing her panties (which, thank the Lord, she had on). Well, after the party, more than one employee called the Legal and Ethical Hot Line and yours truly was called in to do an investigation. I might add that this was not the end of my involvement with Pete. He ended up working in the same division I was at in my last stint with the company. And, he drove me absolutely nuts.
My final job at TRW brought some of the more unique variety of parties. The first year, it was held at one of the nearby hotels. My VP (a shy man) refused to go so it was hosted by one of his VP Program Managers. This meant that mostly only program people went (something that caused quite a bit of fracas which eventually meant we stopped having those types of parties in our division). The first year I was there, one of my male co-workers invited me to go with him. Not a date, per se, but, we did arrive and depart together. I can tell you that for the rest of the time I was there, rumours always followed us.
My VP (Ed) decided the next year ALL of his employees would attend so we had it in the cafeteria. Sounds sort of cheesy, but, we had a large committee working on it and it turned out quite nice. And, we had killer door prizes.
Alas, even THAT was too much for Ed so, the next two years we had quiet holiday luncheons at a very nice local restaurant. Oh, and there were also the HR luncheons I had to attend (although us HR weanies got a lot of crap over that since each employee was only supposed to attend ONE holiday party per year and here were the HR fools going to at least two, sometimes three. What can I say? We were popular and always asked to attend people's parties).
Now, several years after "my" last office holiday party, I now attend parties as "the spouse". Let me tell you, it's quite a different role to play (but one I think I'm good at). And, it is SO nice not to have to be the "person in charge", but, rather, to sit back, sip a glass of wine and enjoy the company. Last year was very amusing for me because, apparently, the person who planned the party did not order sufficient food. So, about 1/2 way through the evening, the wait staff started to bring out huge bowls of french fries and platters of quesadillas. Mr. B's boss (and the other partners) were mortified (all of them being extremely "genteel"; they should thank their lucky stars that site manager Pete from Denver isn't around) and I know the gal planner got an earful later about it, but, frankly, the rest of us didn't much care. I was thinking that, with the amount of alcohol being consumed, that type of food was probably a good thing!
So, tonight we'll be back at it; celebrating the holidays with Mr. B's work associates, a few friends, and many people I hardly know at all (maybe the woman who demanded a glass of milk with her cake last year will be there again?)
As for me, all I have to worry about is what to wear!
Mrs. B

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Little Brother

...and co-"sufferer" in having a b-day so close to Christmas...and here we are eagerly anticipating the birth of his daughter, who we will welcome, amongst other things, into the mid-December birthday club!
This picture was taken in 1977; I think maybe Christmas Eve. So, Nathaniel was 2 and I was 14.
Mrs. B

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Picture with Santa

This was the first time I have ever taken a pet (let alone THREE) to have a picture taken with Santa. But, the organization where we got Pete and Lily from, Hobbes House Feline Rescue, was having a fund raiser today at Pet Smart where 50% of the price of the photo went to their cause.

So, off we went!

First of all, Pete and Lily's foster mom Christy was there and she was SO excited to see them, in particular, Lily (she had wanted to keep Lily (AKA Velma J.) but she and her husband already have four cats of their own (in addition to all of their fosters)). Brian, her husband, seems to miss Pete (AKA Scooby) the most. BTW, Christy, in anticipation that we'd show up, actually had Christmas presents for the kittens.
Anyway, we decided it would be easier for all of us to be in the picture of Santa. As you can expect, we couldn't get one shot where everyone "looked good" (or was looking at the camera).
This is the best of the bunch! Everyone looks okay; and Lily looks as though she's whispering "Get me the you know what out of here!" in my ear.
BTW, Santa is Brian (their foster dad)! As we were leaving, Mr. B jokingly said, "Are you sure both of them are in the carrier?"
Mrs. B

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lily Has Two New Nicknames... a result of an incident early this morning.
Both kittens love to be in the bathroom when we are in there. Lily loves water and Pete just wants to be in there in the way.
Lily also likes to jump up onto the toilet and then spring from there onto the vanity.
So, this morning, Mr. B stumbles in there to do "his thing". I'm half-asleep in bed when I hear him exclaim, "Oh shit!" he comes running out of the bathroom with a towel trying to catch Lily who had jumped up onto the toilet and...fallen in (just her paws, thank God).
But, funny, to some extent!
After clean up, Mr. B comes back to bed and I said, "Well, now we're gonna have to change her nickname to "Pee Paw".
He said, "Yeah, or...
Ha ha!
Mrs. B

My Psycho Cell Phone (And The Kid's Cell Phone Saga)

About a year and a half ago, I stupidly bought a LG Chocolate Mint phone ("mint" meaning it is green). Why they called this particular model "Chocolate" is beyond me, but, anyway. A month or so before I got mine, The Kid got the red "Cherry Chocolate" version. I thought it looked pretty cool (which is always a very bad reason for buying anything as I should have learned when I bought that piece of crap Karman Ghia 20-something years ago).
Roughly six months ago, The Kid started having trouble with her phone. Basically, the four primary "controls" on the front of the phone stopped working. Well, they are critical to the function of the phone so, she went into the Verizon store to try and get it replaced. Thus ensued a big bro ha ha whereby she ended up with a new phone (same model and color) BUT her old battery AND she got charged $50 to "switch the service to the half-new phone". We managed to get that $50 refunded, BTW.
Well, the old battery (which previously had worked just fine in the old phone) did not work in the "new" phone (it wouldn't hold a charge). Luckily (we thought), she had her truly old phone (the phone she had before she got the first Chocolate) which had worked just fine but, of course, she had wanted something "cool" when her two years were up. This time, Mr. B switched the service from the "new" Chocolate to the old old phone (free of charge, BTW, if you do it on-line).
After a month, she in essence wore the buttons out on this phone with all her text messaging (she sends/receives HUNDREDS UPON HUNDREDS of messages per month; which is why we went to the unlimited text messaging in and out of network plan).
So, Mr, B transferred her service to HIS old phone (a very uncool (not even a camera) but still functional phone.
Not too long after that, she started to complain that IT wouldn't hold a charge. Frankly, I thought she was just embarrassed by it and was gunning for a new phone.
Then, her friend gave her one of HER old phones so Mr. B transferred the service to it; a much "cooler" phone.
Alas, this one also won't hold a charge and half the time the charger does not work (I witnessed this myself).
Enter the discussions (pleas) for a new Voyager phone. She's up for a new phone in April or a new phone at discounted pricing next week. Mr. B decided that since she's been doing so well in school, we'd help her pay for the new phone but she had to wait until next week (hopefully it will be cheaper).
All along I was thinking how lucky I was that MY Chocolate phone was doing ok; I don't particularly care for it (I won't ever buy a slider phone again) but, it's serviceable enough.
Maybe a month ago, my phone started to do really weird things. Namely, it calls people on its own! Yes, seriously! Its favorite people to call are Mr. B and my dad, however, if I call someone (or someone calls me), it will immediately call that person back after we hang up. Some other things (which are happening more and more frequently) are; when I open up my contact list, it starts cycling through them at high speed and won't stop until I close the slider. The other day it sent a text message to Mr. B before I'd finished writing it (he rec'd a message from me with "D" and that's it (I was going to ask him a question starting with "Do")). Now, two of my four primary buttons on the front only work from time to time.
So, it seems I, too, will soon be in the market for a new phone. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good phone?

In the meantime, don't be surprised if my psycho phone gives y'all a call one day!
Mrs. B

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lucy and Lily

As I wrote this entry's title, I realized I'm already doing what my Father used to do with me and my sister Ann; which is refer to us as "Ann, I mean Amy" or, "Amy, I mean Ann" with Lucy and Lily! Hmmm...maybe I should have named Lily "Repeat" or "Repete" or "Lil Pete" but, frankly, I don't think her personality would have fit those names. She's a fairly demanding little creature (and a little hog at that). She's sure to become the Diva of the household, as evidenced by these pictures of her "sharing" Lucy's bed the other night.
Note Lucy's look of resignation!
It IS nice that Lily is no longer "afraid" of Lucy (although I'm not so sure she was afraid so much as irritated). They probably won't be as close as Lucy and Pete seem to be (who cuddle a lot more together, Pete plays with Lucy's tail, rubs up against her and accepts Lucy's "kisses") but, this is a start and we were very pleased when Lily climbed up onto the bed with Lucy on her own. Of course, the fact that the bed was in front of the fire might have had something to do with it!

Lily thinks about taking a bite!

By the way, the nickname I'd first bestowed on Lily, "Wee Wee" (because she was so incredibly small when we got her) is not going to be appropriate much longer if she keeps up with her eating habits. Now, I've taken to calling her "Weeze". This is a subject for another entry; how animals (and people) end up with the nicknames they get!

Lily...not quite as "Wee Wee" as she was four weeks ago!

Mrs. B