Monday, March 29, 2010

And The Winner Is.............

The Suzies went very well.
Everyone won a Suzie for something.
Best Actor, Best Actress etc.
I got Ham of The Year............blooming cheek. I really don't know why.
Maybe the photos will provide a clue. They are on Facebook.

Nick brought the starter which was delish. Pat brought an ice cream birthday cake which was just as delish.

Philip bought me two garden gnomes and a gazing ball.
I had mentioned I wanted a gnome.
He also managed to get me a Canterbury Cross necklace, something I had been after for ages.
I had looked in the Cathedral gift shop when I was in Canterbury last year but they only had very expensive ones in there and I couldn't afford one.
Gary bought me a Gravy Fountain.........well he bought me the box.
There was no Gravy Fountain inside. It was just a joke.
I was actually a little disappointed as the Gravy Fountain looked fun.
He redeemed himself though by giving me an Emergency Yodel device.
When you push the button you get a yodel. I have already phoned my friend Fred and left a yodel on his answering machine.
He phoned me back a few minutes later. How did he know it must have been me?
Nick and Julio brought a beautiful flower arrangement.
Pat bought me some wine glasses and some goblets, made by Lenox.
This was greatly appreciated as I seem to have made a habit of breaking ours lately.
We had been talking about replacing them.
Didn't I do well ?

We didn't realise the time and it was around 1am when everyone left. I think that is a sure sign people were enjoying themselves.
They all want to see the play I mentioned before so it looks like a group outing.
This should be fun.

Sunday we were going out for a birthday brunch.
Philip chose the venue.
It was at a fairly posh restaurant. The brunch was a buffet and cost $17 each.
This was not as expensive as some. A lot of them are around $35 each.
It was pants.
Sigh..................such a shame.
I generally like the buffets as, being a vegetarian, I can usually find lots of things I can eat.
My only problem is that I cannot eat bell peppers. They make me poorly.
This bloody place seemed to have put bell peppers in everything.
Maybe someone's brother in law has a bell pepper farm...........who knows.
The potatoes had peppers in, the salads all had peppers in and the fish had bell peppers in the coating.
There was a very unfortunate looking smoked salmon.................a whole one.....head, sunken eyes......etc, with a couple of forks which you were supposed to use to pick at its flopperly, dopperlies.
It didn't look very inspiring.
The waitress was useless. She was supposed to bring us coffee but we waited so long I went up to pour some for myself.
Another waitress yelled at me.

"No madam, you must not get your own coffee. The coffee is not self-service"

"It isn't any sort of service" I replied.

I managed to eat a little cold pasta salad and tomatoes. I then tried the desserts.
They had chocolate eclairs. OK ....I can make do with those.
They were pants.
I got a mousse thingy...........pants.
I did find a piece of strawberry cake that was rather nice. So it wasn't a complete wash out.
I looked up the reviews online and they were not good. Should have looked first really.

I did have a fab birthday though.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Awards Night

Oh I wish I could have found this dress to wear to the party on Saturday.
I wonder if it would have been any cheaper than the one I found in the charity shop.
I doubt it even if it is made out of bog rolls.
Still, it is a good idea if you are ever stuck for something to wear. Just grab a roll or three and wind 'em round.

I have started getting the dining room ready.
I have put a couple of banners on the walls and I have another couple that I will put in the living room.
When I opened them out they were bigger than I thought so they won't all go in the dining room.
I have set out the "Suzies" but I need to write out everyone's card saying what they are receiving an award for.

The man came to look at the cracks in the basement wall last night.
He was 2 hours late, which didn't impress us too much. He seemed to know what he was talking about and said he had seen some far worse than ours.
So, now we have to wait for his written estimate. We will also get a couple of others too.
I think on Saturday it will be a case of :-
"Eat, drink and make merry for tomorrow we will have to pay for basement repairs".

It is very windy here today.
Merv will be upset.
The wind seems to be blowing towards his house. I watched out of my kitchen window as all the leaves that we lazies had left behind last autumn, the ones which have been hidden by snow for about 5 months, were all scurrying out of our gardens and across the road to Merv's.
I had to giggle.
They looked like vast herds of wildebeest migrating across the plains.......masses and masses of them.
Merv will not be happy. He spent all winter attending to his hole in case in was clogged by ice and now all these leaves have descended on him.
I wonder if any of the other neighbours find this amusing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dragons & Mystery Plays.

A couple of different ways of painting dragons.
The first one is done with some air brushing and some painting. It is all acrylic.
The second one is done in mixed media. Mostly oils but with a couple of different types of acrylic too.
By now you probably realise I am rather fond of dragons.

The Snow Dragon.
I thought I would never finish this picture.
For some reason I was never happy with my daubings.
Many times I had to walk away from it or I might throw it out of the window.
Then, as often happens, it all came together and seemed to work.

This weekend I have been out and about buying frames. I have a few "masterpieces" knocking around that need framing but I haven't bothered to do them.
I have another dragon, in yet another style, that could do with a change of frame as I am not happy with the one it has.
I also have a couple of landscapes (more traditional paintings) that really shouldn't be shoved away in the basement......I suppose.
I did get the frames for these but then found out the fittings I had to attach them were the wrong size. So, they still didn't get done.
Maybe next week.
I need to get started on another painting now. I don't quite know what I want to do. I quite fancy doing something Egyptian as I haven't done that before.

Saturday it snowed. It snowed on and off all day and was bloody cold. It seemed like Winter was "spitting it's last breath at us".........I think someone has said that before.
Well I am hoping it is the last.
Today has been very cold but sunny. I need some warmth. I want it to be Summer. I want to go to Jazz in the Park.
In the meantime, there is a play just starting at the Milwaukee Rep that I would like to see.


Seven Keys to Slaughter Peak

by Joseph Hanreddy. Based on the novel by Earl Derr Biggers and the play by George M. Cohan
March 23 - April 18
Quadracci Powerhouse Theater
buy  tickets more  info

Artistic Director Joseph Hanreddy talks about his new play, SEVEN KEYS TO SLAUGHTER PEAK

Join us in the Quadracci Powerhouse Theater for the thrilling and entertaining mystery caper, SEVEN KEYS TO SLAUGHTER PEAK. William Hallowell Magee, a writer of light, romantic fiction makes a bet with a friend that he can complete the writing of an entire novel in a 24-hour period. He is given “the only existing key” to Slaughter Peak Lodge, a quiet space to accomplish his task in northern Wisconsin. As soon as Magee gets to work, he is surprised by a stream of interrupters and finds himself caught up in a criminal caper that is both outlandish and hilarious to watch!

Whenever we go to see live theatre we always say we should do it more often. Then we don't.

We really enjoy it and this one is right up my street. I think I will ask some friends if they want to go and we can make a group outing of it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick's Day

Today is St Patrick's Day.
Milwaukee goes nuts on St Patrick's Day.
Why? I have no idea.
It seems that everyone is Irish on St Patrick's Day in Milwaukee.
All the bars will be full tonight. Everyone will get very drunk.
I am sure they make way more fuss than anyone in Ireland does.
Some of the houses are decorated and the T.V is full of it.
Irish music, Irish dancing and Irish cooking.
The news just keeps banging on about it. The buses will be free starting from 6pm this evening in an effort to stop people from drink driving.
The police have been on to warn everyone that they will be out in force stopping dodgy drivers.
They don't do anything like this for St George's Day.
They don't even mention it. everyone keeps saying over here.............


A phrase that Jim Royle might use keeps coming to mind.........

"St. Patrick's Day my @#$%"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Here is a finished Suzie.
They started off sort of blue and grey but I spray painted them gold.
I have been working on what awards our guests will receive and think I have them figured out now........mostly.
I bought some gold wrapping paper and made gold envelopes.
I got some cards to put in them so we can do the whole

"And the winner is........." mallarky.

I am also working on the menu.
Philip has the task of being chief taster as I don't eat meat but everyone else does.
3 of our guests don't eat fish or seafood so it means I shall have to cook one lot of stuff for them and something different for me.
At the moment it looks like the main course will be a chicken and prosciutto gratin with butter, garlic, herbs, wine, vermouth and panko.
I will serve these in individual gratin dishes.
I shall have prawns instead of the chicken and prosciutto in mine.
With it I shall probably do carrots cooked in wine & herbs, roasted red skin potatoes, roasted tomatoes stuffed with pea pesto and mushrooms in vodka sauce.
I have just noticed.......fair bit of booze going on in this little lot.

All the Suzies, lined up and ready for action.

I am still working on the starters.
I am thinking of bruschetta. Maybe a couple of different ones.
I have some goats cheese with balsamic vinegar and olives which I would like to use on one.
Still haven't made my mind up entirely yet.
I love to cook and thinking up and testing recipes is part of the fun for me.

The toilet works.
Oh heavens be praised. Just when I thought he was getting ready to hurl the thing out of the window........he tried shortening the snivelling, grommet flange ....and ta works.
Such a more ways than one.

Weather........we have had a gorgeous few days.
Warm, sunny, springlike.
Then that poxy weatherman said this morning......"snow on Sunday".
Pants, pants...........pee, po, belly, bum, drawers and more pants.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Red carpet time..........

Lollipop is wearing her shower cap.

The trials of the toilet continue.
He fixed the discomknoculator valve............or didn't.
It still doesn't work properly.
He said it did.
But now, when you flush it still dispenses just a small amount of water.
If you hold the handle down until Michaelmas Eve, it eventually fills and empties.
Not good.
It has to be sorted by the weekend.

On to other news..................

On Saturday March 27th it is my birthday.
We have invited a few people over for dinner.
Never being one to leave well enough alone, I have decided to theme the evening.
Now, I have done Halloween and Pirates..........what to do?
I dallied with SpongeBob SquarePants................toyed with Winnie the Pooh........and then decided on an Awards Evening, what with it being topical and all that.

Everyone will receive an award.
They will not be Oscars. They will be Suzies.
I haven't told any of the guests. I think it will be a fun surprise.

We set off to the party shop to see if they had any plastic Oscars we could utilise .............they did .....but they were $8 a pop.
No, too much when it is just a bit of fun.
We did pick up some Hollywood signs and decorations for the dining room though.
I had a cunning plan.
Off to the Dollar shop.
There I found china ornaments of a lady in a long frock with long hair. the lady had long hair not the frock.
They even look like me.........well, they do if you close one eye and squint with the other.
Dollar each .....perfect.
I also bought a can of gold paint and I am spraying them gold. They look fab.

SUZIES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They are so much better than the plastic Oscars.
I then decided I needed a posh frock. You can't go to an awards night without a posh frock.
I dragged Philip to the charity shop. He hates it.
He sat outside in the car and refused to go in. He doesn't know what he is missing.
It is a huge shop.
I quickly found 4 posh frocks to try on.
One was so perfect you would think I had had it made for me.
It is purple, flowing to the floor, off the shoulder and fits like a very well fitting thing.
It cost............$7.
I was so excited . It is way better than most of the $150+ stuff you see in the mall.
I decided as Philip was "resting himself" outside, I would have a shuffle through the shoes in case there were some sparkly ones. No luck there.
I will look again before the big day though.
When we got home I put the dress on to show Philip and he was amazed at how fab it is.
I love a bargain.
If ever I need a posh frock I will look in the charity shops first.
Not that I ever do seem to need one much these days ...........but who knows.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bathroom Fittings...........The Revenge

Well it seems I crowed too soon about the successful cystern replacement.
After my plumbing hero had finished it on Sunday, and it was all apparently ticketty boo, it wasn't.
The stupid thing would only flush about a teaspoon of water.
I mentioned this in passing, and was told it was some "water saving device" which came with all the gubbins.
I made it perfectly clear that it "would not do". He told me that to have it flush properly you had to hold the handle down for longer.
He lied.
I held the poxy handle down for an age and all it did was trickle water.
He gave in and said he would remove the offending water saving device the following day.

Yesterday he removed it.
Did it work?
Did it buggery.
I had a suspicion all was not going well by the amount of cursing, swearing and general banging about that emanated from the direction of the bathroom.
Eventually it all went quiet.
This meant one of two things :-

1, He had fixed it.
2, It had killed and eaten which case the evidence would remain as the stupid thing couldn't flush anything anyway.

He said it was fixed.
He lied.

Now, although the toilet appears to flush reasonably well, the bowl doesn't refill with water properly.
So, there only a little drop in the bottom.
He says he thinks he knows what is wrong............the discomknockulater valve isn't working properly and he can fix it.
We shall see..................
Certainly makes for interesting reading though. I may write a book.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bogs and Hoovers.........

What a fun weekend.
Firstly ...the other day I thought I noticed a slight smell of burning when I had finished hoovering.
Deciding I was imagining it, I just put the thing away and forgot it.
Then when hoovering again...........ermmmm.......yep, a definite smouldering pong filled the air.
I didn't like this.
I hadn't been telling lies so there were no "pants on fire" in the vicinity.
So, before it could totally go up in flames, shooting out fireballs in all directions and reducing the whole house to cinders ( I know I may exaggerate just a little but I worry about these things), it was decided a new one was in order.
This one had been a really cheap one and had lasted a good 3 years before threatening to explode, so I am happy with cheap.
To Wal Mart then.
I really wish shops would limit their choice of some items.
I just want a hoover that sucks stuff off the carpet. Nothing else. Not turbo charged or mega hepa, or even with attachments. I never use attachments. When I do the stairs I just do them with the nozzle of the hose.
And who on earth hoovers curtains?
Just let the thing pick stuff up that's all. I can never understand why someone would pay hundreds of dollars for a Dyson or some such. My last one cost about $40 and lasted at least 3 years. So it cost roughly $13 a year. How bad is that?
I just need the shop to have about 3 types. An expensive one, a middling one and a cheap one.
Then I can choose quite easily. Of course we got there and spent ages agonising over bloody hoovers. I got one for around $46. It does everything it says on the box. Upright hoover...various up. Perfect.
I love the fact that over here you can put any unwanted items down by the kerb and this means anyone can take them. We put the old hoover out there and it was gone within the hour. I hope it went to a good home, maybe someone who can fix dodgy appliances.

Bubba in the bowl....again.

The next thing to go wrong was my toilet.
This is in the upstairs bathroom. I don't know how but for some reason the downstairs bathroom is Philip's and the upstairs one is mine.
Seems to work well.
Anyway, the cistern on mine wouldn't stop running (this is such a scintillating blog entry ...I do hope you all appreciate it).
My hero handyman............the master of the faucet..........took a look and decided it needed a new set of gubbins.
So, today we bought them.
He fixed it. Oh joy be abounding. I now have a commode that doesn't sound like Niagra Falls.
I hope it continues. Sadly, the new toilet handle shaped like a butterfly that I bought a while ago, does not fit. Oh well I will get over it.

Lily in her doughnut.

Whilst out on our adventure my hubby asked where I wanted to go shopping.
Woodman's or Pick n Save. Woodman's is brill but a bit of a drive and Pick n Save we go to most weeks.
He finally decided that as we didn't need to drive right over to Woodman's that it would be Pick n Save...........but as a treat ...........we would go to a DIFFERENT one.
Oh this man surely knows how to treat a woman.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I say tap you say faucet............whatever.

The faucet/ tap in the kitchen.
"Oh honest guv, I didn't mean came orf in me hand"
It did.
Fortunately it "came orf in me hand" whilst I was trying to switch it on. Had it done so when I was trying to turn it "orf" would have been a whole other ball game.

Him indoors may be a whizz at all the technical mallarky but he has never purported to be a handy man.
Give him his due though. He has a go.
I thought I would have to get a man in to do the faucet/tap but he wanted to give it a try.
It looked awfully complicated to me.
It isn't even a simple set up ..........well I don't think so.
It has one tap which swivels to produce hot or cold. It also has a spray attachment so that you can rinse the sink out.
Off to the shop then. Of course, our shop, is just like B & Q, you always have to go back again because something is wrong. In our case the display model which we had carefully checked would fit our dishwasher was not the one we found in the box when we got home.
It did not fit our dishwasher..........back to shop then to buy a different one.
This one looked perfect when we got it out of the box and everything fitted. Notice I said "looked perfect", I shall come back to that.
After a little swearing and cursing because the previous tap had obviously been installed by Noah just before he started building the ark, the old tap came "orf".
Well, most of it did.
After a good scrape and clean up of residual glue the new tap was duly installed. The spray attachment almost caused a kaniption but a bit a creativity sorted that out.
TA DA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not quite. It all looked lovely. He turned it on..........the spray thingy worked like a charm. The tap ........not so much.
Not so much as a drip of water actually.
In the hope of stopping a brewing kaniption I found a "help" number to call on the destructions provided.
The man said it was either going to be a simple solution or a really, poxy, take the whole tap to bits solution.
The tap angel was obviously looking down on us this day as it turned out to be the simple one.
Faucet/ tap is installed, works and hubby has another title.
Philip the plumbing hero.
It does look tra la posh too..........even if the hot is on the cold side and the cold on the hot.......we will get used to that.

We are all missing her.
Philip, me and especially the kitties.
The house is quiet. I have had people staying here for the past two months so it seems a little odd to be on my own today.
I am taking it a bit easy as I had an angina attack yesterday morning.
It makes me so mad.
I seem to get one about every six months. It is just long enough to think that maybe I won't get them any more when.........poof.......out of the blue it starts.
There is no rhyme or reason to them. We can find no trigger and therefore nothing I can do to avoid one.

Yesterday morning I was just sitting putting my face on.
Maybe it was the sight of my "morning face" in the mirror that freaked me out.
I have pills to put under my tongue which take a little while to work. I have to admit it is a little scary when it happens. Fortunately I wasn't here on my own.
I have had a lot of tests but they couldn't find any blockages or anything.
Apparently it is just spontaneous.
Well it can spontaneously bog off. I not like.
It does tend to leave me feeling a bit washed out for a day or two, which is why I am taking it steady today.

Lollipop misses her the most. She was with her all the time even when she was eating her brekkie.