Sunday, December 31, 2006

Merry Christmas, ML...

I bought my house while I was home on leave from the Aleutian Islands. My CO called and told me that my orders had come through and I was being transferred back to Whidbey Island. SCORE!!!!!

I was so excited, And had my down payment already saved and in the bank. I went house looking, got a realtor, and told her what I wanted. There were several available, and 4 of them were being built. I went and looked and bought my house that day! It was not finished yet, but would be by October 1st which was the time I was transferring out of Adak! PERFECT!!

I got home and had to wait three weeks for closing, and then it was MINE!! I had a brand new house, with brand new appliances and carpet. WHOOT!! I felt like a queen!

I decided that I would cook thanksgiving dinner that year at my place, and my household effects were due to arrive way before then.

thanksgiving came, and I loaded the Oven with the Turkey, and everything was going along fine. UNTIL...I started to fix the potatoes, the peas, the green beans and the gravy all at the same time. One burner was fine, two were fine but three or more and the whole top went out. GRRRRRRR I got creative and made it through dinner, and then called SEARS the next week and they came out only to tell me that they could not find anything wrong. (be here next Thanksgiving Butt Head!!) SO I assumed it was just a freak coincident. Christmas dinner and the same thing happened. I called Sears again and they came out and replaced two of the burners. I did not cook a big dinner again for several years, and when I did, the same thing happened.!!

After the third time SEARS came out, I just said to hell with it, and only cooked with two burners.

FOr the past 2 years I have had to baby the stove along, because even the big burner wouldnt work. I could get it to work by pulling the burner out, then re-installing it, turning it on and then hitting it real fast and hard with my hand to see get it to spark. If it did not spark, it would not work. I did it real fast because I did not want to get burned on the off-hand chance that it WAS on. Bob would watch me go through this routine everytime I fixed him dinner. When He questioned me about it I told him I needed a new cooktop, but could not afford it yet. The oven worked fine.

Until this Thanksgiving! It worked just fine, but Now the self-cleaner will not work, because the buttons on the front broke off and are gone. WHen THAT happenend I dont know.

Yesterday I went to FOrks to see Tim, (tomorrow's story) and was gone all day, and when I got home Bob had gotten the new stove and had installed it for me.

Isn't it PURRRRTY!!!!

I had a built in-drop in stove before, and this is a stand alone. SO we had to cut the cupboard to get it to fit, but it works just fine!! I was sooooooo excited!!

It is a Whirlpool convection oven with self-clean oven. (gotta have that) and the glass top cook top. I LOVE it. He was gone when I got home, but I called and thanked him profusely for the Christmas/birthday present.

THen I turned around and saw the MESS!! They had used a sawzall to cut the cabinet, which is what I expected, but there was sawdust EVERYWHERE!! in the cupboards, on the counters, in the food, in all the appliances, all over the floor...I WAS PISSED!! I had a royal hissy fit at the mess. ( a week off of ZOloft...waiting for payday) So as tired as I was and hurting so bad, I rewashed all the dishes that were in the open dishwasher, then moved everything off the cupboards and washed them down again, and then the floor had to be scrubbed.

I was calling them every name in the book!! Why would 2 grown men instal a stove and leave such a mess? Well I should have known...It was Bob and Ron! Ron is a handy man by trade, and does this for a living, albeit self-employed. Ron is also the downfall of Bob. Ron says that perfection just gets in the way of Good enough! SO Bob has chosen that as his mantra also.

I called DOnna because I was pissed and wanted someone to just let me rant, I NEEDED to rant!! Hell I wanted to KILL SOMEONE!! (Not taking your meds does that ya know)
All DOnna said was MOM! It was FREE!!! ok, so I'm an ungrateful Bitch! ANd I feel so much better today, after getting meds, cleaning up the kitchen and taking a good hot shower and then taking some Tylenol PM and THera-flu. I woke up just fine, went in and cooked an omelet on my BEAUTIFUL NEw Stove.

Now I am waiting for Bob to come over for New Year's Eve. I am cooking steaks on my brand new stove in my brand new oven under my brand spanking new broiler.

Life is good!! (THANK YOU LORD for ZOLOFT!!)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Don't you just know that dog would just love to chomp on that kitten? His master is probably standing right there and teling him to STAY!

I have seen this series of pictures before and lost them and tonight got them back again.

I am doing my bi-yearly cat sitting, for Tippie-Canoe, and Tyler-too. (yep, that is their real names) And Tyler has found a safe haven from the back of my closet on top of a comforter. Safe and warm too. Tippie on the other hand has discovered the DVR and perches in it all day long. WHen she gets down off the perch she slowly looks around and if she sees another cat or Sadie, she growls. Does not run, just walks around and growls, as if to say, "I am Kittie, hear me growl!" She is a seal point siamese and older than a kitten but we dont know how old. She is a sweetheart though, and as soon as Bob walks in the door, she is on him like he was cat nip! SOOOO Funny!

Tyler is the kitten that was adopted with Tippie. They found each other in the cat store, and were inseparable! Tyler is NOT Tippies kitten, but they both think he is. He is just over a year old and a big black sweet baby boy! He purrs and drools all over you. HE puts his nose right up against my arm and starts purring and making "mud-pies" and just goes limp. THat is until Sadie discovers that I have him on my lap, then it is black streak followed by blonde streak, followed by GRRRRRRRRRR as Tippie runs after them both to save her baby. My house is like Disneyland to them. Dottie says they LOVE to come over here when she goes back east.

Loki and Sadie play chase all over the house, and will settle down with the rest of the animals and cozy up to each other in front of the fire.

Once the fire place is warm and the spot in front of it is warm too, then all bets are off as to who is the aggressor and who is the victim. Who ever gets the warm spot first wins. Then all is calm in the Chandler household, and peace once again prevails.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas Eve thoughts...

Christmas is a time for reflection. At least always has been for me in my adult years. When I was a very young adult not yet married, I loved Christmas Eve. I still lived at home, but I worked and I had my own car. I would save my money and go shopping on Christmas Eve. Oak Harbor was a lot different then, it only had one main street, Pioneer Way, and the stores were built out over the water on the South side. These were the old style buildings with wooden floors and high false fronts. The Christmas lights would be strung zig-zag from one side of the street to the other.

There were not many stores of note in town, there was the Co-op which later became the Pioneer Dept store, which carried EVERYTHING including piece goods. There was the shoe store, 3 drug stores, a coast to coast hardware store and two dime stores. That was just about it. None of these big box stores, and no strip malls. This was the mid 60’s, and we were a sleepy little town. I would buy a gift for all of my friends, even though it wasn’t much, a hanky or a scarf or a box of dusting powder. It did not matter. I felt so good about being able to save money and do this.

I would get all my shopping done, then go home and wrap the gifts. I always went to Christmas Eve Services at the Methodist Church, and gave all my gifts to my friends there. After Church services, we would have a cup of hot cocoa, and then head home to wait for “Santa”.

We lived in Coupeville, and my bedroom was on the second floor of an old Victorian home. It looked out over the field to the county courthouse. The County Christmas Tree was right in front of the courthouse, and was kept lit all the time day and night. Late at night I would sit there un my window seat and stare off into the dark night and look at the tree. I would then think back at how far I had come in my life, and how much farther I had to go to be where I wanted to be.

By this time, Mom had found her way to the bottom of a bottle, and was usually passed out in her chair. Dad worked 24 hrs at a time on the Crash Crew on Base, so it was up to Phyllis and I to make sure that Santa came for Michael. We would then head to bed and wait for him to wake us up in the morning. He was 8 or 9, and would be excited to see what was under the tree. When Dad got home at 830 in the morning, we were allowed to open our presents and empty our stockings which somehow magically got filled. Had to be Santa, because neither Phyllis nor I did it, and Mom was still passed out in her chair. Never did figure that out.

The quietness of the night sitting in that window seat remains with me still. The tree at the court house is gone now, and was not replaced. The County offices have taken over Coupeville, and Oak Harbor has become a hustle bustle place with three main roads all crammed full of strip malls and big box stores. We still have to go off Island to the mall, in Mt. Vernon, but we can find just about everything we need on the island. Everything that is except the community tree. There is no place in either town that you can call THE tree, that is all lit up and carols sung around it anymore. That has gone away. Every store has it’s own decorations, but there is no town center any more. No where to gather and have community sing alongs. It is as if everyone does their own thing and could care less about being a part of a whole. They all go to their different churches, and then home. No more neighborhood parties, no more caroling down the middle of the street. No more taking cookies to your neighbor’s houses. Where did it all go? When I sit there on Christmas eve and the nights leading up to it, with all the lights out except for the tree and the radio is on to Classical King FM and the non-stop Christmas music, I sometimes can hear the past calling out to anyone who would listen…”stop, people, STOP! Look around you, reflect on what you once had…grab that feeling with both hands and do not let go.” It would sure be nice wouldn’t it?

Friday, December 22, 2006


I have been trying to post for two days now, and I just can't seem to connect. Or if I do, I get kicked off right away. I SOOOOOO Need a new computer!!!

Christmas Spirit flew the coop! Spending three days in the dark and cold can do that to ya! You learn to cook on Coleman Stoves, You learn to always have extra propane on hand. You also learn not to cook indoors unless you have a good source of air.

there is a horrible epidemic that has come out of this blackout. And that is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, and it has resulted in at last count, 7 deaths! 4 in one family, and all are immigrants from Countries where cooking on BBQ's indoors is quite the norm. But then so is no insulation and no windows. In The Pacific Northwest, our houses have to be tight, to keep the cold at bay and conserve energy. Most of us know not to cook indoors on a briquette BBQ but there were some who were using Gas BBQ's inside, and that is not good either.

I knew that from all the years of camping, and I made sure that when I did cook inside, on my dining room table that there were at least 2 sources of air coming into the room.

It has just been horrible for the minority communities from East Africa and the Indonesian islands. And the ELDERLY!!! One woman called into the radio station in tears because she had just gone to visit her grandmother in a retirement home, and there was no heat, and no way to cook. These old people were freezing to death and starving because some city councilman did not think to make a contingency plan for these people! MY GOD FOLKS use your damn BRAINS!! When I heard that I just was flumoxed! I was assured that the retirement homes here on the island had either a generator or an alternate heat source and that their residents were ok, in the dark, but warm and fed.

Some of the outlying areas east of Seattle still are in the dark one solid week after the winds blew. The power lines have been devastated by trees and limbs. The majority of the people that were prepared are taking it all in stride, but it is the fringes of society that have not prepared for this and are blaming everyone for the power not coming back on soon enough. Once again we have an incidence of people always expecting a hand out from the government. No idea how we are going to PAY for this handout, but they think they should have one. I don't! They can be prepared just like I was. They can adapt, they can listen to the radio and not play computer games. (although I did go through free cell withdrawals) They can have canned food and a canopener that does not work on electricity. (I use one everyday)

People were stealing generators right out of the yards where people had their freezers hooked up. People were selling cans of gasoline for 10.00 a gallon along the road. People were lined up for MILES in line to get gas for their cars at the one or two stations that still had gas to dispense, and then fights were breaking out when the tanks went dry. PEOPLE LISTEN!!!! BE PREPARED!!!! Get those tanks all topped off as soon as they say a storm may be coming. If it doesnt, ah well, you can use it for the car.

One other thing that was brought to light is all the tanks full of tropical fish that died because people did not think of them. THey get cold too and die. one young man took hot water bottles and set them in his tank to keep the water warm. COOL!!! He used his head.

I did not get my Melting Moments baked, because the power was down, but I did get rum balls and bourbon balls and the fruitcakes baked. TOmorrow I will make fudge and wrap the few presents I did make for family, and then get back on track.

I put my tree up AGAIN!!! and now the lights on the outside of the house are out. They are gonna stay that way! Im done. Enough is enough. On to CHristmas and PRIME RIB!!! YUMMY STUFF!! Donna is coming home tomorrow!! WHoot!! Not to celebrate Christmas becasue she does not do that, but to see her Mommie!!! :)

Tim's Christmas Present got shipped here instead of to him, so Now I have to return it to Amazon and re-order it to get it shipped to him. THat way they are assured there is no contraband stuck in the book! (from his MOTHER???) ah well.

I will post again tomorrow, IF I CAN GET ON LINE!!!!! Meanwhile, all of you drive safely and have a very Merry Christmas! See you next week.

Monday, December 18, 2006

WHOO! That was fun....

When I asked OmnipotentBenevolentEmpress of the 20 Universes to update my blog and let everyone know that we all were safe and alive, I had no idea she would unleash the TROLLS instead of the Gnomes. They can both be destructive, but those forest trolls are the worst. THey hide in the branches of trees and then ride them like a roller coaster when the wind blows. I think they like the way the transformers POP and put out the sparks and the great light show when a branch arc's across a power line and shorts them out. Nasty beings they...

The Island lost power on Thursday night and some of us still do not have it on. Phyllis got hers back on Friday, and so did Bob, But I didnt until Saturday night.
I had a pallet made up and laid it right in front of the woodstove, and had everything I needed right at hand. The radio was on, the lantern was full, I had the books and the animals all close at hand. I had just hunkered down for the night and looked up just as the lights came back on. I needed them to. As I said last month, it was fun when I was younger, but when you are all alone, it is BORING!

I will write extensively about the damage that was done, and the people stories that have popped up, but tonight I just wanted everyone to know I am back on line...hopefully for the rest of the year. I could connect, but the server would not let me go anywhere. I can now.

THank you all for caring. ANd through all of that, I actually got all my christmas cards made and mailed. Aren't you proud of me?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

She's Okay

In an attempt to put a stop to the endless sappyholidaymovieathon that inevitably leads to the why-won't-you-give-up-your-boycott-and-celebrate-like-nice-people phone call I put out an order for the Gnomes to please cut off the TV access to the Imperial Mum.

Well you know how Gnomes get sometimes this time of year, what with Elves getting all the attention and their garden variety bretheren being left out to crack in the cold.

Anyway, They apparently managed to blusterate the entire Island into darkness for what they tell me will be days. This was not what I had in mind and I do very much apologise for the Gnomey behavior. (I'm making them sit in front of 24 hours of taped speeches by the Shrub as part of their punishment for over reacting without fulling planning.)

In the mean time The Mom is warm and dry at her cottage. Her wood pile is stocked, her wood stove is functioning and cats are providing extra insulation where needed. (Though if there's someone resembling the Marlboro Man that wishes to further the cause of Heat generation and preservation, I don't know that she'd argue too much.)

She claims she doesn't need any food, and in fact is more worried about having to eat everything in the freezer before it melts, but Bob (definitely NOT the Marlboro Man) has promised to bring a generator before that happens. If you live near by and know where there's a stash of propane or D batteries, I'm sure she'd be grateful.

Her phone does work just fine. If anyone should feel the desire to call her, feel free to email me at ms(dot)hyphen(at)gmail and I will see what I can arrange for you.

The Empress of the 20 Universes

Wednesday, December 13, 2006





Well folks, If you dont hear from us for awhile, we are without power....AGAIN!!! That would be me, Phyllis and Keewee too.

I need to go out toorrow morning and bring in my umbrella, so It does not end up on top of Lea's roof. I should be fine. THe garage door may blow in, but that is all. But I seriously doubt we will get winds that high.

GOt water, got food, laundry is all done, firewood is close to the house, got matches, got batteries, got propane and even have pet food. SO we are good to go.

OH YEAH! And I still have two bottles of booze for the fruitcakes! HEY HEY HEY! I am ready! jim beam and Bacardi! Whoot!

Monday, December 11, 2006



I Hate putting lights on the tree, When I was growing up my Dad always did it, and they had to be JUST SO! When I got married, Jim did it, when He left, Tim did it so now I have to and I HATE IT! My Sil Sherry came over on Saturday and put the lights on my tree for me and they looked really pretty.

I still had not gotten around to decorating it, so tonight I started. I hung the large bells along the bottom, and I sat down to rest my back, and POOF! the lights all went out. HRMMMM!!! so I unplugged them and plugged them back in again, and realized that Sherry had hooked all 6 strings together, and into one plug. I found one of the connections to see if that was the offending string, and it was so hot I could barely touch it. Needless to say, the lights are now all off and will stay that way until I can get the oomph to re string more sets of lights onto the tree.

It is a real tree, and I am so thankful that I was right there, or I would have had a serious mess in my front room. No, I dont think I want to deal with more water on my floors, especially at this time of the year. So all the peace I was feeling yesterday just went right out the fricking window. I think I will go have several bourbon balls! BAH HUMBUG!!

Winter Moon...

As I lay here on my tummy late at night, I can peek over the window sill, and gaze out at the moon peeking through the bare branches of the alders out back. It looks so cold and so lonely. The night sky in December is beautiful in an odd sort of way. The air is still warm, and the land is cooling down, so light fog forms, sometimes up high, and sometimes along the ground. THe fingers of mist it puts out, look like hands of Father Time, telling the world that it is time to sleep and rest for the coming winter, and renew for the coming Spring.

We have had some really mild weather the past week, after the Siberian Express blew through and dumped snow and cold on us. I have been able to see the moon come into fullness and then slowly pare away into a half moon. I would look at it as it slowly climbed up through the trees and cleared the tops to be free from obstruction, and then soar away like a big balloon, in the misty air. Several times I have seen an ice ring around the moon. Orion has moved so that he wakes up earlier now, so I can no longer see him from my bed.

THis has been a time of reflection for me. I have been listening to classical Christmas Music, and watching every Cheesy Christmas Movie there is. I am very much into the spirit of the season this year. More so than usual. We have made a pact that we are not buying gifts for family this year, we are making them. I have most of mine done already, and I feel good about that. We are not filling stockings this year, as I am flat broke, and I dont feel bad about that. I have almost all of my Christmas Cards made, and have to dig up the money to mail them all. I really felt good about that. I have really enjoyed making them.

I have done some Christmas baking this year, and That has been fun. I have my fruitcakes soaking in rum, and I made bourbon balls this year too. I will be making my Melting Moments tomorrow, and then finish putting the ornaments on the tree. I got a small one this year, and even that feels good.

I have been reflecting on all of the things I have missed about celebrating Christmas. This year I think I am going to see all I can and do as much as I can afford to do and then just sit back in my big comfy chair with my dog on my lap, and enjoy the rest of the year. The earth is resting up and maybe we all should too. All the hub-bub of shopping and rushing and buying is secondary. ENJOY! Celebrate! Be with friends and Family and recharge your batteries. Spring will be here soon enough and then we will all be busy again.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Snail Mail Addresses please...

As most of my regular readers know, I send out handmade cards every year at Christmas. That is IF I have your snail mail. (I HATE E-Cards!)

So all of you lurkers out there and those new readers I have, please send me your home addresses so I can get these in the mail to you.

my email is dreamer(at)galaxynet(dot)com Take out the parentheses and replace the words with the symbols and Voila! My email address.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Rules...


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet
table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see
carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-
malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch.
You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who
cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if
you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat.
Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of
gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of
your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk
or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a
sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to
control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat
other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.
This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the
buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position
yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of
shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each.
Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always
have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean,
have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the
party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read
tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: My favorite
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather
to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body
thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a
ride!" --

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Christmas Story..

The Whidbey Playhouse is presenting "A CHristmas Story" this season, and even though I am not involved in this one at all, I Highly recommend those that can, get your tickets now and go see it.

I am probably the only person in the world that has only seen the movie 1 time. It is Hysterical! Ralphie want a Red Ryder 200 shot BB gun with a compass and a thing that tells time embedded in the stock, and he will do anything to assure that either his parents or Santa CLaus knows he wants it.

The tag line that keeps popping up when ever he tells anyone is "you'll put your eye out" and it goes through the whole show. THat and his little brother that has "to go wee-wee" at the most inopportune times.

Barbara and I went last night, and I laughed and laughed. THe story is funny, the actors were fine but I did not like the set. There is a lot going on in this story, and the set had to be 5 places at one time, and it worked, but it looked unfinished to me. It may have been, but I think that is how it was planned. It just needed something. No, I doubt that I could have done any better at all. maybe not even that good, but over all it was a good show.

We stopped by Seabolt's Smokehouse for dinner before hand and had their smoked salmon and chips and clam chowder. OH YUM!! Seaboldts started out as just a place to buy smoked slamon, and they have just branched out to serving self-order counter dining, and the place was packed. It was very good, and I will be going back. I know now to request more tarter sauce because they never serve enough in places like that. (Ok, so I am strange, I use tarter sauce on my fries instead of ketchup!)

THe menu had mussels (Brenda!) clams, tuna, salmon, cod, and crab. All big sellers here in the Pacific Northwest. For those of you that have never had smoked salmon, you do NOT know what you are missing. THe Mussels are grown right over there>>>>in Penn COve. And they are world reknowned! So funny too, because when I was a kid and lived on Penn COve, we would squash the mussels growing on the rocks and the piers. No one had any idea that they were actually edible. We went after the good stuff...steamed butter clams! Gads I am making myself hungry now.

Now back to seeing if I can get my stove to work... (grumble, cuss, swear!!!)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Only 21 more days of Autumn...

Just think, with all of the cold and the snow and the rain, we are still only into the 2nd month of FALL! Makes me wonder just what WINTER will actually bring.

It is now 36 degrees out there, but it is 1030PM. It got all the way up to 48 today. THe snow is all melting, the icicles are gone off the eaves, the snow is all gone off the trees and the snowmen that were built all over the neighborhood, are laying like a pile of forgotten snow in their respective yards. THere is nothing quite so sad as watching a snowman melt. Their eyes slip, their arms fall off, their hats hit the ground, and the carrots that once were a nose now look like really sick penis'!

I LOVE the snow. I love the silence that it brings, like a big fluffy blanket being laid over all the dirt and noise. Making magic happen for just one day. I love watching the juncos and the chickadees pecking through the snow on the feeders for the few bits of seed that are still hidden under there.

I love the crunch that walking on fresh snow brings. Like a giant box of Corn Starch being squeezed with two hands.

This is one of my favorite months! THe build up the festivities, the decorations, the hustle, the baking, the food, the people, the MOVIES! the songs. I Love it all.
I am planning on getting my tree up this weekend sometime, and then I will enjoy sitting there in front of the wood stove, with all the lights off, listening to Christmas Music and staring at the tree and the decorations. I have always LOVED CHristmas.

It seems really strange after being in Retail for 37 years, to NOT be up to my eyeballs in Christmas for 5 or 6 months. I think I do kind of miss it.