Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bits and bites

Did you know I had a baking blog also?


Well, a defunct baking blog.  I haven't posted anything there in ages.

See?  There's a link over there on the right.  Or here:

Mel's Baking Bits and Bites

(bonus points for anyone who can explain the 'bits and bites' origin!!)

I still bake.  A LOT.  Just about every week I pop something in the oven, mainly for the kids.  I would rather bake cookies than buy store bought ones with who knows what in them.  They may not be healthy, but at least they aren't full of ingredients that no one can pronounce!!  Just good old butter, sugar, flour, and eggs.

Anyway, I think I am going to start posting my baking adventures again.  I may just merge the other blog with this one to simplify things even more.  It may be just a photo post, since that only takes a second or two from my phone.  If anyone asks for a recipe, I will gladly share it!!

Today's creation was Halloween themed, of course.  I made a chocolate cake from scratch, oreo icing, and oreo spiders with m&m eyes.

What do you think?

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Joke's on me

My Dad was a bit of a jokester.  Only his jokes weren't all that funny.  Some of them were pretty bad, and yet somehow that made them funny.  It was sort of like watching a really bad horror movie that was SO bad that it was hilarious but that wasn't the premise at all.

Back in August we decided to sell my Dad's old Dell desktop computer - the whole set up: tower, monitor, and printer.  It was old and slow, and the kids now have laptops to play games on.  I listed it on several for sale pages on Facebook at a bargain price because I just wanted it out of the way.  There was a lady nearby who wanted it.  She definitely wanted it, but she didn't get paid until Friday, which was a few days away.  She wanted to come give me money to hold it for her, but I messaged her that it wasn't necessary.  I told her about where I lived and gave her my number so she could call when she was ready to come get it.  After a week or so of not hearing anything from her, I sold the computer to someone else.

Yesterday, the phone rings.

A raspy woman's voice says, "Melany?"

"This is Melanie,"  I say.

"This is Helen," she says. 

*silence*  While I try to place a Helen....  no clue.  

"You're holding a computer for me until Friday."  


"You had messaged me on Facebook?" 

Ok, I vaguely remembered now.  And I politely told her that was a few months ago and that since I didn't hear back from her, I had sold it to someone else.  

She sounded a little surprised but said thanks and hung up.  

Seriously.... was she stuck in a time warp or something??  Why on earth would you call someone - a stranger - TWO MONTHS+ after the fact expecting them to still be holding an item for you......

I got to thinking about it.  I'm guessing since it was my Dad's computer and I got this very bizarre phone call on the anniversary of my Dad's passing, it could only be one thing.  It was one of his "bad" jokes.

Thanks, Dad, for letting me know you're still around.
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Two years.

October is such a hard month.  I love fall.  I love Halloween.  I love the feel of Halloween parties and events.  The anticipation of the Big Holiday season being right around the corner!!!  I will not let sadness be a main focus, but the feelings of loss are still there.  It's like I keep waiting to come full circle.  Peace and acceptance is just out of my grasp and I just have to figure out how to reach it.

I know he hasn't completely left me.  He is a part of me and in that sense, he will live forever. I still can't believe he is gone sometimes.  I often sit on my porch and half expect to see his Civic ever-so-slowly creeping around the corner.  I read through his old messages sometimes, grateful to still  'hear' him but wishing to hear his voice just once more.  My Dad, my go to person.  He was the one who always had the answers.  He may not have always said what I wanted to hear, but he always had something insightful to say.

It's two years tonight that we said goodbye.  I try not to think about what happened that day, but it creeps in on me sometimes.  Something happened to him - a stroke or ?  The day before he was awake, talking, and had even wandered into Valerie's room.  His lifelong friend came by for a visit and they laughed and talked about when they were kids.  That night we sat and talked with him about old times.  Dad didn't say much but he sat on the edge of the bed and listened.  He kept leaning and I was worried he was going to fall, so I made him lie down.  He protested.  Perhaps he knew.  If I had known, I sure would have talked with him longer.  One regret, of two.....

Miss you every day, Daddy.

Jack Ernest Russell
March 14, 1933 - October 22, 2011
Morgan City, LA 

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

So Vein. Not to be confused with Vain.

It's funny how the smallest thing can cause you so much discomfort.  For at least four years I have had a small varicose vein on my left shin.  SO small that it really was a minor inconvenience and that's it.  Every so often my leg would bother me if I did A LOT of walking or standing.  Sometimes at Zumba small, quick, steps caused slight discomfort.  It was such a small issue that I never thought much of it.  I'd mention going get it fixed from time to time -- mainly for cosmetic reasons.  Well, all of that changed a few weeks ago.

The day after we visited the new Bayou Country Children's Museum, my leg hurt.  It was similar to the discomfort I had experienced in the past, only ten times worse.  Heaviness and tiredness were making it hard to walk.  I thought perhaps it was a strained muscle or something.  I rested for two days and by Saturday it was better.  We actually went back to the museum, and once again on Sunday the pain had returned.  This went on for a week, having an 'ok' day to the pain and discomfort returning in full force.  Then I noticed a knot on my inner thigh with a 'spider web' of purple veins around it.  And my other veins also appeared darker.  Off to the doctor I went just to be certain that it wasn't a clot or something bad.  "Varicose veins," he said.  "A clot in the superficial veins, not the kind that will kill you."  Aleve, soak in the tub, stretch before exercising was the suggestion.

Over a week later there had been NO improvement.  Actually it hurt even more.   I called The Vein Center of the South.  I almost felt silly because truly my leg doesn't look that bad at all.  I have seen people with horrible varicose veins all over, and here I am complaining about these tiny things.  After a myriad of questions, the doc had me stand on this platform while he did an ultrasound.  Some of his comments concerned me!!!!  And viola, I have a diagnosis.  One of the veins that runs the length of my leg has failed.  He showed me on the ultrasound by squeezing my calf that the blood is just going haywire instead of traveling in the normal upward direction. The other veins are being flooded, hence the varicose veins - old and new - causing me much discomfort.

The good news is a simple laser surgery will correct it.  Easy-peasy, in the office, in an hour!  The bad news is my insurance will not cover the procedure until a trial period of (gulp) compression stockings.  Yes, old lady stockings.  Even more bad news -- it is a 12 week requirement.  If I'm lucky, they can push for it in 8 weeks.  I know there are worse things, but until then.....

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013


I have been thinking about a kitten for a while.  Not just any kitten.  A Siamese kitty.  I still think about Periwinkle and get teary.  The short time he was alive he was a super cat.  Bella is just beautiful and has the most gorgeous blue eyes.  We get many comments on just how lovely she is by everyone who sees her.  She's sweet and smart.  I found a breeder a few hours from here and inquired about kittens.  As beautiful as a registered kitty would be, at $600 a pop I just couldn't do it.  Plus, it didn't feel right with so many homeless babies around.  I started looking at the FB pets groups.  I figured when the right one would come along, I would know.

A few days ago I spotted a tiny  almost "grumpy cat" look alike named Rufus on the Lafourche Parish Animal Shelter's FB page.  He was definitely a Siamese Snowshoe mix.  Poor kitty just looked so cute and so sad in the cage at the same time.  I even sent his picture to Clint because he was so lonely looking.  Yesterday I thought for sure he had been adopted by now, so I went to check on him.  As I was looking at his picture, a new comment popped up that this kitty was on THE LIST for today.  You know what list.  My heart sank.  I know it's a harsh reality but this kitty was just beautiful.  I sent Clint and text and told him I wanted to save him.  Then I did just that.  I drove to the shelter and asked to see Rufus.  There was teeny, tiny, blue eyed 7-8 week old Rufus who didn't stand a chance in that sad cage.

And just like that, we are now a cat family of three.

I admit today, I am wondering what did I get myself into.  Bella is very, very upset.  She does not do well with other cats, but I am holding on to the hope that she will adjust and accept him.  Bella is the head cat and she does not like this intruder.  Sassy will be all right in time as she has always adjusted in the past.  As I sit here and type, unnamed kitty is crawling all over me like a mad cat.  Shoulder, neck, arms, legs and repeat....  and has not sat still for two seconds and is scratching and nibbling and constantly meowing.  Every step I have taken has had this little kitty at my feet meowing at me  He followed Val and Roni around like a puppy yesterday.  Maybe he is saying, "Thank you, thank you!  I'm alive!!!!!"

Now, what are we going to name him??

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