Light My Ire

I knew something was wrong even before I opened my eyes ‘cause I wasn’t pinned down by 30 pounds of Tuna and Dreamsicle. Opened one eye and confirmed my suspicions: My living room was lit up like a Christmas tree at 2 a.m. and I knew that I hadn’t left lights on. I grabbed the flashlight (felt the need for a weapon) and peeked around the corner. There sat Tuna on the cat tree, light switches obviously not in their usual positions. Took this photo. Moved the cat. Moved the cat tree. Turned off the lights. Didn’t get much sleep.

Ode to My Washer

Anyone who has ever lived without a washer and dryer has a special affinity for the appliances once they’re on hand–especially if arduous trips to laundromats are woefully inconvenient. The new washer in my apartment has so won my heart, I can’t resist writing it a sonnet:
Oh, Whirlpool Duet, your wringer cycle,
Fills my day with laundry bliss,
There’s never soggy towels to mourn,
So you deserve a great big kiss.
My power bill stays small and tidy:
fewer spins mean lower bills,
If only you could fold the clothing,
I swear, I’d put you in my will.

And They Lived to Tell About it

Disgusted by vitriol spewed by political rivals? Are you of the opinion that politicos have done such irreparable, reciprocal damage, there’s no way bi-partisan cooperation will be seen in our lifetime? Mosey over to the Discovery Channel tonight to catch Rival Survival. Producers dropped senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) into the ocean with a crap load of gear and provisions. They survived by their wits for six days because they had no other choice. Tonight’s show (yes, they kept their clothing on) is worth a look-see if you’re desperate for signs that bi-partisan detante is possible. (

Easy Pumpkin Tiramisu

Imagine this: It’s just you, a big spoon and the leftovers…!
-In a large bowl, whisk together a 15-oz can pumpkin puree, ½-cup each brown and white sugar, ¾-tsp. each ginger and cinnamon, ¼-tsp salt and pinch of nutmeg.
-Beat 1-1/2 cups each marscapone cheese and heavy cream until soft peaks form.
-Whisk 2 cups cold brewed coffee with 2 Tbsp. sugar.
-Individually dip two, 7-oz. packages of lady fingers into coffee.
-Place a layer of lady fingers into a trifle bowl; top with pumpkin mousse.
-Repeat ladyfinger/mousse layers. Refrigerate overnight.
-Top with whipped cream and garnish with shaved chocolate.

I Think This Means I’m Officially Home

UI homecoming
This year’s homecoming experience at U of I felt like my reunion, too. Ex-husband Michael graduated from this university and I have certainly made the area my new home. The day was perfect: warm and sunny. Autumn-orange trees paid tribute to the alma mater, reminding me that I must invest in orange garb since University of Georgia red doesn’t cut it. Thanks to Denise, alum extraordinaire and the world’s best houseguest (she let Dreamsicle nap between her legs!), I felt like part of the scene—minus hangovers most “real” alums sported by the time the big football game kicked off.

So Close, I Could Almost Touch It!

condo deal
When the call arrived late Saturday advising me that my short sale deal crashed and burned just 48 hours before Monday’s closing date, I was too numb to react. A condo owner is suing the building over balcony repairs. The lawsuit spooked the new lender. They pulled out. It’s the latest bizarre twist plaguing this sale. Attorneys and title company magicians will try some fancy footwork tomorrow to see if they can keep the deal alive, but no guarantees. I’m sure there’s a lesson to be learned here. If I figure out what that lesson is, I’ll let you know.

Tinker, Taylor, Shaker, Shake

DJs seem incapable of going an hour without playing Taylor Swift’s latest tune. I need mental floss to dislodge lyrics that are driving me mad:

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play,
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake,
I shake it off, I shake it off.
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break,
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake,
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake,
I shake it off, I shake it off.

Shake it off? If only I could.

I’m Happy with $22 Extra

SS check
I’m betting fellow Social Security recipients didn’t race to the store for champagne when news broke that checks would increase $22 in 2015, but I’m happy to see any raise, so no whining from me. Here’s what I can spend this amount on:

-4 bottles of really cheap wine (or 2 bottles of not so much)
-One produce-heavy grocery trip
-Lunch out with friends
-Enough cat food to last a month
-An outfit that’s on sale
-A gas station stop
-My water bill
-Nearly 2 months of cell phone bills

What would you do with an extra $22 per month?

‘Tis the Season to be Crabby

I was couch shopping last week when I felt the unmistakable throat tickle and then began providing lodgings for a nasty branch of the Mucus Clan. Even my appetite crashed and burned. The cold/allergy/whatever wasn’t debilitating enough to send me diving under bedcovers, so I carried on, carted tissues everywhere and crabbed aloud to anyone willing to listen. I tried Coldeeze, but the cherry-flavored zinc lozenges are nauseating and made me feel worse. It’s day 8. I’m feeling better today, but I’m not saying that aloud because I have it on good authority that the creepy Mucus family has ears.

Who’s In Control? Not Me.

Who needs a husband when fights for the remote control have become a morning ritual around here between me and the cat? If Tuna doesn’t happen to like what’s being said on MSNBC, he’s been known to change the channel or press the mute button. I’m pretty sure he’s an Independent who has taken a dislike to Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough’s obnoxious interruptions while on air, but I can’t be sure. Of this I am sure: I know better than to try and take the remote away from him when he’s surfing. I have claw marks to prove it.