Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Email List..

Ok, one of my oldest friends (well, she did just turn 50 but I meant longest around - 40 years now) sent me this. I'm not sure if she remembers that I was bred a Jew but I remember she's 1/2! So, Sharon, here's my answers.... (That's Sharon and her darling son, Dylan, on the left)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Usually Safeway shopping bags. If I feel like going fancy, I add a twist tie...Isn't it the gift that counts? Oh, wait, it's supposed to be the thought....I always get that wrong

2. Real tree or Artificial? Had a Chanukah bush once but, with 5 dogs running around anything with bark inside the house is way confusing (pun fully intended).

3. When do you put up the tree? ** See #2 above.

4. When do you take the tree down? ** IF I put up a tree (you're not listening....), it would come down after the first dog pee...

5. Do you like eggnog? ** Is this a Jew question designed to throw me? Of course I like eggnog - but, I prefer to just hold the eggnog and serve the brandy

> *6. Favorite gift received as a child? ** Ah, one I can answer. That would be our first basset, Wrinkles, given to us for Chanukah when I was 6. Mom and Dad put a red bow around his collar. They gave him to the family but, it was clear from the very first day that that dog was mine - the start of many bassets. In fact, I used to raz Dad that it was his fault I'll always have a smelly, thick headed basset instead of a nice Lassie-type dog.

7. Hardest person to buy for?: Sophia. She's just impossible!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Me. I find it quite easy to spend double my daily allotment on myself during the holiday shopping trips.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? ** I'm not exactly sure what this is but I sleep nude.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Ha ha ha. This is a great one. Requires no response.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Tough call but, an ex-relative (thank the Lord for small favors) once gave me a 3" stone carved elephant which wasn't even from India. I wondered about the statement underlying..

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Well, I don't watch many movies but I think that SNL skit about Chanukah Harry is pretty hilarious

13. When do you start shopping? I actually shop all year. See #8 above.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Um......NO (is that the correct answer?). I have, however, been the receivee of a few - see #11 above

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Candy corn - No, WAIT - wrong holiday....Potato Pancakes.

16. Lights on the tree? WHAT TREE????

17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh, that would have to be that Snoopy song about the Red Baron. You know the one - it la la la, um, hmmmm, hmmmmm, hmmmmm....Well, everyone knows that song...

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home, home, home!

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's (and don't cheat by looking them> up)? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet ,Cupid, Donder, Blitzen &> Rudolph -

Note to readers: I stole that from Sharon's answer. But, it just figures that she'd remember them all. She's the type who practices all year. I'll bet $20 she knows the Dwarfs too.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? ** Ok, just ONE more time - THERE IS NO TREE.

*21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? I'm the type that sneaks around and opens them prior to Xmas, if I can find them. The problem with this is that the givee usually knows about this as I 're-wrap' in Safeway bags...

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Getting generic Xmas cards. Hate those things. Don't even open them.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Eh, I'm a fan of blue.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner ? Candy corn.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Here's Sharon's reply: Sounds corny but Peace and Prosperity and Good Health (and, the thing is, dear readers, she's being truthful).

Sounds just like her, doesn't it?

Me? I have my eye on this diamond necklace down in the islands...or maybe that fancy BMW.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Oh, I pray no one.

27. Who is least likely to respond to this? See #26 above.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Well, Mom and I are always very thankful for each day we have together and Thanksgiving was no different - the food was just better. John, his folks - Sonny and Rose - and Mom and I enjoyed the expected turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and a few new dishes thanks to John's crew. As Sonny says - we spent 2 days cooking and we spent 15 minutes eating. True, sort of. But, what was different this year is that the guys willingly got up and cleaned the entire kitchen afterwards, leaving us ladies to languish at the table with pumpkin pie, chocolate chess pie, and nice fresh coffees, all the way around – just as it should be! Bobbi and I swapped side dishes - she was mashed (potatoes) and puffed (cheese); I was sweet (potatoes) and stuffed (mushrooms).

Mom's eyes are sensitive to light right now so the picture at the top is the 4 of us wearing our sunglasses at night. John, as predictable, was napping when this was taken. He misses all the fun. The other picture up top is Sonny, totally blinging out.

John and Sonny spent about an hour de-mousing the kitchen by fixing the holes behind the cabinets. Why on earth I hadn't figured this out, oh, 12 years ago when I first started having mice problems is beyond me. Hopefully, Mickey and Minnie will not be guests in the kitchen again. One nice side effect of having the mice around though is that I have to fully clean every cabinet at least once a year. Means that I throw out the old stuff (to make room for the new...).

Took Sonny and Rose up to the attic today to see the old house up there - when my house was remodeled many years ago, the roof on the second story was raised about 4 feet over the old, original tin roof of the farmhouse so you can see the old house up there. Quite interesting and, if I get around to it, I'll snap a picture to post. It's really a very cool attic. Speaking of which, Mom and I think that the ghost is becoming active again - at the very least, something is going on and this time, it's not mice or raccoons. Killian has not alerted though so I'm a bit leery of calling it the ghost as he hasn’t been around for about 2 years now. Killian is the only dog that alerts and follows the thing around when the ghost is around. Not sure if that’s a measure of his intelligence or stupidiness….

Mom is the only one to have actually seen the ghost. She ran into him in the upstairs hallway a few years ago when she was coming out of the shower, wrapped in a towel. Interestingly, I specifically had not told her about the ghost as didn't want to spook her (pun intended). She saw him on her own and was not the least bit put off about him being there. Dad, on the other hand, did not like the dude. The ghost used to grab his ankle in bed. I always thought Mom was goofing on him but she swears it wasn't her. He’s a very warm spirited ghost though. I’ve had people who claim to be psychic tell me about him when they’ve walked in the front door. And, I specifically remember coming to this house when my friend, Sherry, owned it back in the 80’s. I remember coming in the front door and feeling an overwhelming feeling of welcoming. That’s what this old house is…great place. Well, except for the mice (grumble, grumble).

While I was up in the attic, ran across a box of old photos and yearbooks that Dad must have stashed up there. Have spent a few hours scanning in some old pictures and will work with Mom to identify who is who. A lot of our family background is not known as we originated in Russia (Minsk) and, evidently, there’s not a lot of information available about the original family. The pictures are fun though. I have noticed that I do suffer from 4th child syndrome in pictures though – there’s a thousand pictures of #1 child, Mike. There’s 2/3 as many of #2 Ron. There’s 1/3 as many of #3 Steph. And, little Lori? Well, there’s 3 so far, in toto…hmph….The good thing is that I still look like myself (anyone every see that Bill Cosby routine about ‘don’t I look like myself?’ If not, find it on the web. Funny…. Anyway, even in the pictures of when I was 2 or 3, I still look like Lori, only littler. Don’t get me wrong – I was never little. The other picture down there is my Bubie, Dad's mom, Fannie Burdoo nee Zivirin. I still have gorgeous watch which is hanging around her neck. I believe she was around 18 in this shot.

Oh, update on Mom - when we went to the doctor last week, he removed the two most irritating stitches which we though would help with the pain. It did, but temporarily. She's still not up to her game although, after 2 whiskey sours yesterday, she reported that she no longer cared. Back December 15th after another very long 3 weeks.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Didn't have any new pictures uploaded so chose one of my favorite of Killian - note to self: Never leave Killian with Bobbi and a can of mousse.....
Well, where last we left it, Mom and I were going back to the eye doctor for, we hoped, stitches removal. No go. We have another appointment this coming Tuesday where, hopefully (fingers crossed), she'll get the stitches out. She's still in a fair amount of pain which I've been dulling with tylenol #3 (having used all of the percocet she had). I joined her in a tylenol #3 party two nights ago when a large wooden bowl (thanks a lot, Uncle Al...) fell straight onto my foot. Thought my toe was broken but appears to only be a painful bruise. Sure am glad it ended up being just a bruise - would have been a huge bummer to try and hobble around the house with another broken toe.

Sophia and her sister are coming over today to hone their oatmeal/raisin cookie making skills. Her sis is heading to Australia to visit her friend and said friend has requested oatmeal/raisin cookies. So, we'll be in the kitchen most of the afternoon. I'm glad they'll be here as Mom really does perk up when others are around. I tried to get her out last week to go shopping with me, but she was so pitiful looking when I asked her to come with me that I caved in and let her stay home.
John set me up with a nice fire in the new woodstove before he left this morning to head back to WV. The dear is working with his father on completing the basement of the Mansion West (that would be the cabin in WV). Should be very nice when done. It's something I've wanted to do from the very first day I bought the place. I'm thinking of taking Mom up there over Christmas - we did this last year (Bobbi came up) and had a great time, just relaxing. It's so pretty up there. And quiet...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, another delayed posting but I have a good reason – Gert’s been keeping me quite busy post-surgery. Surgery didn’t go exactly as planned – the cataract was so bad that she hemorrhaged while the operation was being performed. The doctor told me it would be 20-25 minutes and 60 minutes later, I was really getting concerned. The nurse at the counter continued to assure me that she was fine so I went back to my book, still uneasy. Well, she was ‘fine’ but not quite ‘dandy.’ I went to the recovery room where she was all bandaged up and cracking jokes with the nurses so I felt better, although she reported that the doctor, during the operation (where she was awake), said ‘Uh oh – we have a problem…’ Maybe not the best bedside manner ever. Anyway, she’s had quite a bit of pain during recovery, prompting 2 additional visits to the doctor to check the healing. She’s healing as expected at least. Aftercare includes drops every 4 hours which she was not the least bit interested in learning how to do herself. So, my days are based around 4 hour windows – at least it forces me to plan activities while I’m usually much more of a free-spirited girl.

John was instrumental in moral support during the first week of aftercare. He stayed right here by our sides, making runs to stores, dealing with dogs, making dinner, etc while I focused on Mom. She’s feeling much better now and has another follow up visit today to the doctor. I’m hoping he can take the stitches out soon as they’re creating daily discomfort still. But, I think we’re past the worse of it. Hopefully.

I find it interesting that we Burdoo women tend to lose our sense of humors when we’re ill. It’s the first thing to go and the first thing to come back. Returning humor means we’re on the mend. The other night, after I had chided Mom for quite loud burping and no ‘excuse me,’ (well, we weren’t born in barns….) she was in the kitchen where she let a loud one rip. I was in the livingroom and just decided to let it go. She tottled into the livingroom a short while later, sat down with a loud sigh and said ‘I have a question – if someone burps and no one hears it, does the someone still have to say ‘excuse me? Is it like a tree that falls in the forest and no one hears.’ After laughing, I replied that I’d heard it, loud and clear. She looks at me and says ‘Oh….. . Excuse me.’ Needless to say, we rolled.

Worked on a new oatmeal cookie recipe which John deemed ‘cookie store worthy.’ Mom liked them too, but I could tell that the original oatmeal/raisins were still the favorite. Eh, it’s good to mix it up once in a while. We’ll see how Sophia ranks them as I froze some for her. She’s a fan of almost anything baked.

John and I are mixing up a batch of wine which should be done around the holidays – problem is we set it up in the corner of the living room to ferment and the entire living room now smells like a winery. Not bad at happy hour, not so good during early morning coffee...

Our Christmas mice have returned…sigh. Mom saw one run across the kitchen floor 2 nights ago with 3 dogs in close pursuit. Of course, not one of the dogs let out a bark to alert me that anything special was going on. Nice. They bark like crazy at ‘intruders’ walking on ‘their road’ but a real threat in the house? Nah, they’ll just deal with it themselves – Not.

Anyway, upon close inspection, it looked like it was just one mouse (I’m pretty good at judging numbers…usually) and, this mouse must have liked alcohol as it had nibbled on a bunch of my wine corks. Interesting. Never had an alcoholic mouse before. So, I set traps.

Got up this morning and slowly opened the drawers to check the ‘take.’ Had 2 unfortunate suspects which I ceremoniously dumped in the trash outdoors. Opened the last drawer (where the corks were stored) and found myself peering eye to eye with Mickey, in the (living) flesh. And, he wasn’t the least bit perturbed by the drawer opening as he kept nibbling away at the peanut butter on the trap. He was tiny, a baby. I slowly closed the drawer, feeling pretty badly about the expected demise of said baby.

Sat in the living room waiting a while before re-checking. I opened the drawer and found him, still alive, but his little paw was caught in the trap. Oh good grief. Ugh. This wasn’t good. Not good at all, especially for me, the ultimate animal lover. I was torturing a mouse....

I quickly considered the options – death by drowning (couldn’t), death by trash (just really couldn’t allow it to starve to death, in pain, in the trash can), death by broken neck (since, in a past life, I’d killed quite a few lab mice, I know how to do this but have put those skills behind me..) a trip to the vet (a ridiculous option, even to me). So, apologizing profusely, I threw a kitchen towel over the entrapped beast and took the entire bundle outside to the far side of the driveway where I pried the trap open and let him go.

Now, Mom and I live on 1.68 acres. You’d think, with all that land around, he’d take off for wide open spaces. After all, in all of those Disney specials, the mice are dancing in fields, moonlight shining on their furry heads. But, Nooooo…this was no Disney mouse. He ran quickly, listing heavily left, right over my foot (leaving a small trail of blood…ugh), straight back to the safety of his nice warm house. This mouse probably had never been outside, dancing on two feet in the moonlight. And, I couldn’t catch up to him so, now, I have a handicapped mouse in the basement somewhere. I doubt that his crushed paw will stop him from re-entering the cork drawer so, tonight, I shall put out a small dish of wine for him…..poor thing, he deserves that much.

Ah well… long as he stays out of the good Bourbon, I suppose that’s ok for a bit. I do plan on having a sit-down talk with the dogs today though. They evidently don’t understand the rules…If Barley was here, he at least would have howled, but he's 'on vacation' with John's folks up in West Virginia. Figures. The one time I need his loud voice, and he's away....

Monday, November 3, 2008

On turning 92 and such musings...

Well, my 'baby' hit 92 on the 28th! The grand day was celebrated with a small gathering of friends and family at the Mansion East. Everyone brought a dish and, of course, Sophia provided the mainstay of food with her chinese fare - had ribs, coleslaw, cornbread (that was my contribution), along with delicious fried rice, 5 spice chicken wings, and assorted accountraments. A great time was had by all.

The day came too quickly though as I had just returned from our trip to Florida the day before. Luckily, John's folks are back in town for the winter and helped out with assorted duties making the house ready for company. Sophia had stayed with mom the last 2 days John and I were gone so the house was already looking pretty spiffy (thanks a million, Sophia), but, with 5 dogs around, there's always something to do (sigh).

Now, the trip to Fantasy Fest was just da bomb again this year. Bobbi and I had rented a gorgeous condo, smack dab on the water this year. It was a far cry from the townhouse of last year as it was just totally gorgeous and huge. Bobbi and her sister, Debbie, beat us down there but we made up time on Wednesday when we finally got there. John was totally amazed at the sights and sounds of the town as it's quite wild during Fantasy Fest. Pretty much anything goes and, well, anything went! Had a total blast. John and I left the day of the big parade as neither of us is into parades or crowds. So, Friday and Saturday found us safely ensconsed in a hotel right on the beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't what you'd call 'cooperative' but that didn't stop us from having a great time. It was nice to just sit by the sea and unwind. And, we did quite a bit of sitting and unwinding.

Today is cataract removal surgery for dear Gert. Her left eye is totally blind from a very hard cataract that has to come out. The eye doctor told us that she was lucky it hadn't turned into an emergency situation and shattered as it was that bad. So, off we will go for an app't at 10 and surgery at 11. It's really not that difficult a surgery and, since I've have lasik and am familiar with eye surgery, I've been able to quell some of mom's uneasiness about this one. Really not particularly concerned. There will be some aftercare needed but, hey, that's what I'm here for! We've spent the last 3 days putting drops in every 4 hours (anyone see that My Name is Earl where he has to put eyedrops in the old lady? It's kind of like that only my old lady doesn't bitch about it. Great episode though).

Ok, will add pictures to this post later. Just wanted to get it done and off my 'desk.'