Thursday, January 31, 2013


We couldn't go out yesterday.
There was just too much weather about.
Cold, snow, ice......all that good stuff.
So, Alan got busy and made a Bakewell Tart.
Picture above.
Brilliant isn't it!!!
Even more brilliant because no one over here has ever heard of them and so they are totally not available in the shops.
Philip was really chuffed.

We did manage to go out for dinner when Philip came home.  Alan wanted to buy us dinner at The Olive Garden but there is usually too long a wait.
The last few times we have tried to go we have been told the wait for a table would be about an hour and a half.
You cannot book there either.
So, we always give up and go somewhere else.
Even during the week it is just as busy.  The food there is excellent and reasonably priced.
For once the weather worked to our advantage.  It must have stopped a lot of people venturing out and we were seated straight away.
It was lovely.  We all really enjoyed it.
Thank you Alan for the treat.

Tomorrow we are meant to be going to the ice hockey.
I like going but it is meant to be even colder tomorrow and I dread even walking from the car park.  We shall have to wear our thermals I think.

I don't know how Eric holds on in this weather.
His little tootsies must be frozen but he still manages to hang upside down to eat the bird seed.
I have been keeping this filled up all the time as well as putting out corn cobs for the Erics (squirrels).  Arnie, the possum, is also fed every night along with the raccoon. 
I think they probably eat more than me.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Sleeping Tom.....

Well, not a Tom.
Here is Lollipop sleeping in Alan's bed.
It has been a trifle chilly and Alan doesn't mind a bit.

I don't like to harp on about the blooming weather but it is being bloody silly lately.
Yesterday they predicted an ice storm !!
These are not fun.
I didn't know how they work but Philip explained and he did a good job of sounding like he knew what he was talking about so it could be true.
Apparently, what happens is this :-  the clouds (for some reason) are at a higher temperature than the ground.
So, they drop rain but as it falls it hits the ground, trees etc which are way colder.
This means it turns instantly to ice.
That is all we needed on Sunday.
But, similarly to all weather forecasts, this one was wrong and instead of ice, we got more snow.
This was way better, believe it or not.
Although our garden squirrels might not have thought so.

Poor Eric.
But, I do keep them well fed.
Today, tomorrow and part of Wednesday, are going to be much warmer.
So, much warmer that we had proper rain.
Brilliant.........not!    After Wednesday the Siberian temps return which means any water will immediately turn to ice and then we have more snow due.
Wisconsin certainly likes to have its weather.

When Alan leaves here, mid February, he will be going to Whitstable.
This is the house, minus a Glenn, where he will be staying with their adoptive father and his partner.
I love this house.
It isn't big but it is full of interesting things.  
Glenn and I had a weekend in Whitstable last year and we both agreed we had a brilliant time and what a wonderful house this is.
I am so glad Alan spends some time there as it means he isn't going straight back to Guernsey when he leaves and he isn't sad like he used to be.
I used to feel awful when he left.  Now I know he has some time in Kent, I don't worry about him so much.
Oh almost forgot.
He made Philip some sausages today.   We can't get proper sausages so this is something of an event.
I am going to do bangers and mash.....with onion gravy.    I think it will go down well.
I shall have something suitably veggie.

Tomorrow Alan and I plan to make use of the mild day and venture forth to the mall.
Friday (blooming freezing again) we hope to go to ice hockey.  Rather apt I think.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Alanmas dinner....

OK...this photo isn't from Alanmas Dinner this year, but it still makes me chuckle so I thought it could be used again.
Wednesday was Alanmas Dinner Day.
It was yummy.
We had prawns in butter and brandy to start........delish !!
Main course was :- for Philip and Alan -  Beef Stroganoff.
For me, being a bloody awkward vegetarian, it was cannelloni.
With this came tiddy, widdy roast taters that have probably got a posh name and various veggies.
Super delish.
For dessert there was a chocolate cheesecake with raspberry coulis - did you see what I did there? Did I put 'sauce', no I did not, I put 'coulis'.
Super Duper Delish.

Alan didn't seem to get too stressed :- there were only a sprinkling of swear words that escaped the kitchen.  Oh and a burned thumb.
We all enjoyed it very muchly.  Ta ever so Alan.

This cold weather enforced hibernation is not good for me.
I haven't been out at all this week but instead of having a rest, which is what sensible people would do, I have gone into de-clutter mode.
Now, in all honesty, my house is never cluttered.  I do not like clutter.  I can't stand kitchen worktops looking cluttered.  I can't stand clutter in the living room, bathroom or anywhere else.  Everything should be in its place.  I will admit to being a bit O/C about this, but the thought of anyone coming into my house and there was 'stuff' lying around, fills me with horror.
What is stuff?   I have been into houses where there was stuff everywhere.  I can never understand what it is.  If it is rubbish - throw it out.  If it isn't - organise it.

Anyway, after finding a spot on the wall of the kitchen, cleaning that spot which made the rest look dirty, I finished up washing the whole wall.  Don't you hate it when that happens?
What next then?   Cupboards.
Oh wow...I was in heaven.  I went through the bedroom drawers and cupboards - tossing out anything that I hadn't used for a while.
Then my glance alighted on the upstairs bathroom closet.
Poor Alan, he came upstairs to ask me something only to find me sitting on the floor surrounded by things that were going out to the bin, off to the charity shop or back in the closet.
It didn't take long ( nothing has a chance to accumulate much) and the closet is totally organised once more.
I did start on Philip's tools in the basement.   I have also warned him that next time he needs one he probably won't be able to find it.
The only thing I won't touch is his desk in the basement.
There could be a tribe of pygmies living in there for all I know.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Alanmas can be chilly....

Poor Alan.
Sometimes I wonder if he thinks we live in Narnia.
January and February are the only times he can come over here as this is when the hotel he works in closes.
He has only ever seen Milwaukee as frozen tundra.
He has never seen how fab it can be in the Summer and Autumn. Notice I left Spring out as it doesn't always seem to happen.
No daffodils and tulips for us.
It often seems to switch right over from snow and ice to sunny and warm.
One year I hope he can visit during the Summer and see the festivals, the free concerts etc.
This in itself would probably cause a problem for him though.
If he were to work somewhere where he could take time off during the year then he would probably be able to take just a couple of weeks at a time.
Couple this with the airfares being at least double the winter prices, and it wouldn't seem worth it.
He is used to spending around 6 weeks or so with us and really relaxing so I think a mere 2 weeks would fly by too quickly.
Yesterday was cold even by our standards.
When I got up I noticed thick ice on the insides of the windows.   This house is centrally heated (of course) but it was so cold on the other side of the glass that it came through and kept the ice solid on the inside....if you catch my drift.
The windchill had taken it down to minus 32C.  Warnings of frostbite were in place and I have not ventured out since Sunday.
I couldn't even go to work today.  Way too cold for walking to and from bus stops and waiting for buses.  I am sitting here typing wrapped in a blankie.
Anyway, yesterday Alan wanted to go to the shop on the corner.
I think it took him longer to put on all his thermal undies than it did to get to the shop.
I reminded him to put on his hat and scarf and try to keep as much of his face covered as possible.
When he returned, looking like Scott of the Artic, Sherpa Alan had one complaint.
His eyes hurt.
He said the cold had made him keep blinking .....I hadn't thought of that.  Apart from being cold, the air here is very dry.  I have to have a humidifier on all night or I can't open my eyes in the morning.  They are swollen shut.  
"Really sometimes I wonder if Wisconsin was meant for human habitation."
Anyway, probably the cold, dry air was drying his eyes out and had made them hurt.  This is no way around this, unless you have goggles I suppose.
It reminds me of a line from the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation....when the mum says...."She will look at it later Clark, her eyeballs are frozen."

One of Donna's Milwaukee chums put on facebook........"Don't ya just love it when you go out and the inside of your nose freezes."
This has happened to Philip.

Oh......roll on .....VEGAS BABY !!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

So what is an elf?

Oh our kits do love Alan.
Here he is doing his Blofeld impersonation with Lily.
He even has the 'sinister eyes' thing going on.

This morning we met with Gary for brekkie.
It was a little thank you to Gary for hauling me to the oral surgeon the other week.

Don't worry....Alan's brekkie was on its way.  We hadn't left him out.
Gary, having something of a photographic bent (Ooooerrrr Matron!), and I am not now referring to his knob, was interested in my new camera.
Philip got me this new camera for Christmas.  It takes nice you can see.
This is because it has 14 Mega pixies in it.
Now, I don't know how many pixies my other camera had but apparently this one has more and they are mega.
I suppose mega pixies must be better.

 Yesterday we went to Panera for brekkie.
They sell bagels and things.
This is the brekkie Alan had there.  I think it took the edge off.
We like to look after him while he is here.

This afternoon Alan is watching the semi final of the American Football thingie.
Oh I don't know what the thing is really called.  All I know is that there are two games today and the winners will play in the SuperBowl sometime soon.
Bubba, as you can see, likes it when Alan watches the football.
Actually, Bubba is doing quite well at the moment on his 'zoomie juice'.   He has lost some weight but is still a fair size cat.
I have found a pet sitter who can give him his 'zoomie juice' if we have a trip to VEGAS BABY.  This wouldn't be until April, probably.   This pet sitter comes highly recommended by the Pure Bred Cat Rescue and is experienced with giving fluids.
She doesn't charge any extra for doing them either.
Quite a relief to find someone.  We wouldn't be comfortable leaving him otherwise.
He is a daft old sod......Bubba - not Alan.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chilly willy

Here is a heap of cats for you..........

I hear it is a bit chilly in dear old England.
I also hear there is some snow.  Good.   I hope you all appreciate how beautiful it is and enjoy it.
It won't stay around for long so I don't want to hear any moaning minnies complaining.
Look on it as fun, beautiful and a novelty. is blooming cold.
I think poor Merv's hole has frozen over.   He must be upset.
You can't even chip away at the stuff.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are supposed to be going down to around minus 20C with a windchill factor that takes it down to really silly numbers.
I think I shall stay indoors.
Alan and I will have a couple of 'lounge-pants' days.

Philip phoned from work yesterday to tell me  he had been looking into going to VEGAS BABY !!!!
YAY....a Spring trip to Vegas.
Oh I do hope we can.   We haven't been for about 6 years and we could both really do with the break.
I am currently looking for a pet sitter who can give Bubba his Zoomie Juice (fluids) while we are away.
We haven't had to think of that before. 
Bubba is doing very well on this regime and I wouldn't want to mess anything up.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Here is our Alan proudly showing off the Frost Wolf picture Father Christmas left him.
He seems pleased with it.
He is very fond of wolves and I know he coveted that picture.

Things here are pretty normal for January..........bloody cold.
The ice is proving to be a bit of a problem as the salt/chemicals don't work when the temperature drops to silly numbers.
The numbers are really silly.
Merv (across the street) is happy with his hole.....bless him.

Philip is very busy workwise, which means he hasn't been able to go out with Alan much but hopefully things will settle down this week.
They are hoping to see The Hobbit.  With any luck that might happen soon.

He is just as popular with Lollipop as ever, although she might be after his doritos.

I miss my lovely girl.
I hope she can come back in April.   Just noticing how big Tootsie has got.  My goodness.....don't say she is going to grow into those feet !!!
We will need a bigger house.

Pants.........just looked at the thermometer......minus 15C.   Brrrrrrrrr.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Apparently there are snow flurries forecast for England next week.
I looked up Kent and the temperature isn't even getting down to freezing.  The lowest it is supposed to be going is 38F.   Which is way above freezing.
It said there may be a rain / snow mix on a couple of days.
So if it happens, it will be that wet mix that doesn't settle and is gone pretty quick. 
I am just waiting for facebook to erupt in an explosion of angst about getting a few snowflakes.
Will there be the usual complaints of people suddenly unable to walk across the car park, unable to drive and falling over?  You betcha.

Today was oral surgeon day.
Gary, bless him, collected me at 8.30am.   We managed to find our way to the doctor's office, which is in itself, no mean feat for Gary and I.
We once spent a whole day at the zoo,  trying to meet Philip where we had arranged to meet him, only to find ourselves back at the sea lions, no matter which way we went.
An irritated Philip eventually came and found the sea lions.

On our way, Gary showed me the problems he was having with his knob.
Such a shame in one so young.

On arrival at the surgery I was shown into an operating room and hooked up to blood pressure monitors, pulse monitors....other things monitors and oxygen.
Bugger, thought I, I wanted to have a word with the surgeon before he started but it didn't look like I was going to get the chance.
Being brought up not only British, but also never to make a fuss, I resigned myself to my fate and to my severely depleted bank balance.
The surgeon arrived and asked me how I was feeling.  Glory be.
I told him I was feeling fine and explained how it seemed to flare up every time I had had work done on the root canal........and then ease off again.
I told him what my dentist had suggested.  I told him all this through the oxygen mask thingy I was wearing.  It was all slightly surreal.
He looked again at the x rays and then decided he did not think it was a good idea for him to go digging around as he too suspects that it is a nerve/ neurological type problem.
Now my root canal is (hopefully) finished, he wants to wait and see if things settle down by themselves.  He also gave me advice on how to avoid irritating it.
I am easily irritated lately.
He then ordered the nurses to unhook me from all the devices and brought me back to Gary who was waiting nervously in the waiting room.
Kudos to this guy.  He is one of the top oral surgeons in Wisconsin and could quite easily have gone ahead with the surgery and charged me mega bucks for it.
I will still get a bill but it won't be for anywhere near as much.
I find this very refreshing in a land where the dollar bill reigns supreme.
I would not hesitate to see him again if I had a problem.
I wonder if he could help Gary with his knob?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

All gone away

Alanmas began on Friday.
He arrived safely and only slightly rumpled.
As usual, he seemed very pleased to be here....despite the snow.

Donna and I had been busy changing her room over for Alan. Friday night she slept in the other spare room (Lauren's Room) with Lauren.
Saturday she and Lauren left to go home.
I really didn't want them to go this time.  I never do want them to go but this time seemed tougher than ever.
Lauren said she wants to come back in April.  We shall see.
We took them to the airport but it was very sad.   Donna also really didn't want to go.

Oh last Thursday's oral surgery was postponed because the surgeon was poorly.
It is meant to be taking place this Thursday morning.
Today I had the root canal finished off and it hurts like buggery.  I am currently sipping a glass of brandy.
There is concern that the pain I get on the other side of my gob may not be root tips that were left behind but a type of neuralgia, or TMJ, which is a nerve and jaw issue.
So, my dentist who started all this surgery thing off by sending me to the specialist, is now getting twitchy about it being done.  He said today that he doesn't want him to go 'digging around' in there if it is TMJ.
All of this will cost me mega bucks as well as hurting like buggery.

Alan seems to be enjoying himself.  He helped us take down all the Christmas decorations, ornaments, tree......etc, on Sunday.
It took all day.  If he hadn't been here it would have taken three days.
I said I thought we should go away for Christmas next year instead of doing all this stuff but I didn't really mean it.
It wouldn't be the same if our house didn't look like Santa's Grotto.
We couldn't take down the outside decorations, reindeer, santa, various trees, sleigh, various snow men, street lamps .....etc as they are frozen into the ground.
They can wait until things thaw out a bit.......probably around June :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year

 Me with Lollipop and Bubba.   I was trying to read the paper....sigh.

As anyone who really knows me is aware.........I don't do New Year.
Donna went out with her mates to celebrate.
Lauren, Philip and I played computer games.
Lauren on World of Warcraft.  Philip and I on Lord of The Rings.
We were all in bed before midnight.
No...we are not "old miseries".....we just don't like the whole 'new year' thing.

We had had a slight crisis during the day.
Tootsie......she of the 'feet as big as her head', had been off colour for a couple of days.
Yesterday I noticed her going in and out of the litter box but not being able to do a proper wee.

I phoned our vet and, have to admit, I was disappointed when the receptionist told me they couldn't see her and I should find somewhere else to take her.
Urinary problems can quickly become very serious in cats.
I eventually found a clinic in Milwaukee where you don't need an appointment and they were open until at least 4.30pm.
Philip, fortunately, was finishing work early and we got her there just before they closed.
As suspected, she has a urinary tract infection.  They gave her antibiotics via injection, fluids and two lots of meds.   The whole cost was $140.
This, may seem a lot but if we had taken her to one of the emergency hospitals it would have probably been triple that.
Today she is a bit better.  She has managed to wee properly and is eating.
The only problem she had was a dodgy reaction to the pain meds which made her very wobbly and confused looking.  We will probably stop them as she doesn't seem to be in pain.

Lauren cuddling poor Tootsie.

The next couple of days might be a bit rough for me.
Tomorrow, before work, I have to go back to my dentist to see if he can figure out why the root canal he did two weeks ago is still hurting.
Then I go to work.
The next morning, Thursday, is when I go to the oral surgeon for the exploratory surgery to find out why the other side of my gob hurts.
It is all giving me the "right 'ump".

Still, never mind.  Friday Alanmas begins but Laurenmas ends the next day, Saturday.
I shall be very sad to see them go.   Poor Alan and Philip.....I will be a "misery" then.