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Oh my, it’s been almost two years to the date since I last posted. Sorry for such a long hiatus. With the prompting of many (ok, really, just a few) I’ve decided to give this here blog another whirl. I can’t promise I’ll stick to it, but I will try, darn it. I will try.

Let’s see, since I left my dear old blog sitting and rotting not much has changed in my life.

We adopted a new kitteh…Waffle. I was NOT at all for this new addition but my, then, 11 yr. old child talked me into it by saying, “He’s cheaper than a Wii or Xbox”. Ha. If only I had known how much $ this little boy would cost me with his food allergies and habit of eating string & clothing! He is a cutie pie, though so I guess we’ll keep him.

I now have a 13 yr. old with blue hair…

Oops. Wrong picture.

Here we go….

I gained a ton of weight from boozing it up…

And baking and eating yummy crap non-stop….

Haha. I really DIDN’T become a boozer…I just had to use that photo somewhere on here! I did, however, gain a ton of weight because of my obsession with making homemade rice pudding, cherry cobbler and mac & cheese. Someone had to eat it!

I lost a ton of weight because I stopped baking and started eating only fruits & veggies and lean protein. This is a true story. Yay, me!

I became a photographer (I think I’ve always been a photographer, it’s just that now I get paid to do it so it seems more real!)…

Check me out, please: sharongollnitzphotography.com

Oh, and I started making a line of lip balm and all natural body products…

I bought a new (used) vehicle with all the gobs of money I’m making. Um, yeah. If that were true it wouldn’t be a 2005 Santa Fe.

And that, my friends, is all I’ve done in the past 2 years. Sorry to disappoint.

Let’s hope something exciting happens in the next few days so I have something to write about!

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Now, before you run away gagging…let me just say that possum (or opossum to some of you) stew is one of the finer things in life. NOT! Ha. Gotcha! I can’t say that I’ve actually ever had possum stew, nor would I ever choose to do so. But here’s a good story and I had to lead up to it somehow…

The other evening whilst sitting on the couch I noticed a faint scratching noise that sounded like it was coming from the front windows in my living room. As I turned the volume down on the tv, sure enough, it WAS a scratching sound coming from underneath the windows. I looked outside but couldn’t see anything rustling in the bushes. I knocked on the window. Still nothing. So, because I am a big chicken and thought that it surely must be rat in my cellar (even though I have NEVER had a rat in my cellar), I went to bed without looking in the basement.

The next afternoon I heard the scratching again and because it was daylight, and knew the boogie monster wouldn’t get me if I went into the cellar at this time of day, I headed down with a flashlight. I went straight to where I had heard the noise the night before. You see, I have a set of basement windows right underneath the living room windows. These windows are ancient, dirty as hell and double paned. Not the double-paned as in the modern, two pieces of glass that are millimeters apart and make up one window –  but two separate windows that have approximately 3-1/2″ of space between them.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Something gray…and hairy…and breathing! Gah! I almost ran away screaming but my curiosity got the best of me. I approached slowly with the flashlight and as I got closer I realized it was a baby possum. Phew! I could barely see in the widows as they are covered in dirt. Very clever how they installed them so there is absolutely NO way to clean them. Anyway, as I inspected further I could see that next to the little possum was what used to be his/her sibling. Splayed out. Dead. With flies crawling all over it.

I ran back upstairs fretting about what to do. My child got wind of my anxiousness and asked what was wrong. I had to tell her. And then she started crying, insisting that we had to “SAVE” him “NOW”. Great.

I grabbed a hammer and headed outside to see if I could somehow break the window open without killing the poor thing. No luck. That glass would not budge. I couldn’t really take a good whack at it as I was afraid the hammer would end up in the possum’s skull. So, I called my Dad and he came to the rescue with his expert glass-breaking technique. We coaxed the little fella out with cat food. It leaned out of the window just enough to gobble up the food. I’m sure it wouldn’t move any further because we were all standing around gawking at it. My child, of course, thought it was cute and wanted to keep it. It started to show its teeth when we moved closer. My first inclination was to whack it with something. Nice. I just save the poor, starving animal and now I want to kill it.

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I have no idea how long it had been inbetween the windows. Long enough for two of his siblings to die. Yes, two! After he climbed out we saw that there was another dead baby – he had been sitting on it. Ick. So, now I have a broken basement window full of dead stank. I wonder how long it will take for the bodies to disintegrate, because I sure as hell am not going to touch that stuff! Can I interest anyone in some possum carcass for stew??

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I haven’t been around the blogosphere much as of late, but for good reason. The first reason: I’ve had my kitchen remodeled. It took a long seven weeks, including several days without a sink but it is finally done and I am slowly getting things back in order. Here are some pics to prove that my house has been in upheaval (sorry Facebookers – you’ve already seen these pics):

BEFORE:

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AFTER

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Such an improvement! I had so much wasted space prior to the remodel. I did, however, loose the space for a kitchen table but I gained all this new counter space.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Not a terribly drastic change, just removed the cupboard doors, added crown molding, new counter tops, back splash and cabinet hardware.

BEFORE:

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DURING:
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AFTER:

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Right, so, you get the idea. Phew. Glad that’s over. The second reason I’ve been absent: I bought a Shark steam mop and every spare second of free time I have is spent steam mopping my floors. Yeah, because my life is THAT exciting. Actually, the second reason is because I’ve been invited to participate in the area’s largest arts/crafts show this summer. Eek. Which means I’ve been crafting my ass off and barely have time to eat or sleep. I’ve been sitting at my sewing machine whipping out items whenever I have a spare moment. And, unfortunately, I can no longer see my nice, new counter tops because they are covered in crafting supplies. I’ve only got a little over 2 months to prepare for this show so I’m a bit tense…and am starting to hold my breath a bit too much and have almost forgotten how to breath. Eek. Ok, back to work for me. I’ll keep you posted on the crafting progress.

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Philip the Flamingo has graced our presence for the past few days. He’s visiting all the way from Joy’s in Minnesota. Fortunately, the temps have warmed up this week and we were able to get out and do some sight-seeing and have a bit of a history lesson. We headed down to the lake and Philip got to pose with the Sea Lion – a replica of a late 16th Century British sailing ship.

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Next, posing with the Lighthouse – which was the first public building in the United States to be illuminated by natural gas.

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Philip looking over the harbor…

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We then headed to the beach where Philip felt right at home.

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He wanted to wade in the water but it was frigid!

Then, on to the Welch building – as in Welch’s Grape Juice. Yes, the company started in this very town.

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Next stop, the old train station where Abraham Lincoln stopped on his1861 inaugural train to meet Grace Bedell, the little girl who convinced him to grow a beard. She lived in this town!

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Philip wanted to stop and look at the trains…

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And I had NO idea what he had in mind next. I didn’t even see that he was carrying spray paint. He must have hidden it under all those feathers!

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He was quite proud of himself. He’s a very talented artist. Who knew? I really couldn’t yell at him since he was our guest – plus he argued that there was already graffiti on the trains so it wouldn’t hurt to add more. And, as a fellow artist, I was not about to bash his artistic integrity.

I think Philip had a good time, even though he probably got far too much local history edumacation for his liking. He’s off to Trisha’s next…and I do believe it will be a full house!

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This week we had the pleasure of hosting Douglas the Dragon who is visiting from Allison’s in Texas. I must say, I was a bit leery about having a real, fire breathing dragon in the house but Douglas was a wonderful guest…once he got the fire breathing bit out of his system.

He was immediately fixated with my new stove. And while the repair man was here trying to get the one burners to ignite, Douglas offered to give him a hand…

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If only I had known Douglas would get that burner going I wouldn’t have called the repair man!

Once he started breathing fire he got a hankering to start a major conflagration. I told him that wouldn’t be such a good idea but that we would go practice on some old, abandoned buildings so he could get it out of his system.

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As we were walking through the park he shrieked, “Holy heck, that looks like a castle! I want to burn it down!” It was actually a church and I explained that he’d surely burn in Hell if he ignited it. He insisted that I, at least, get a picture of him ‘pretend’ fire breathing so he could show it to all his dragon friends…who’d think he was exceptionally cool for igniting a castle.

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Unbeknownst to me, my daughter snuck Douglas to school one day. She had a devious plan to use him to destroy the school.

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Luckily, I pulled up just in time. She is now grounded. I decided to take Douglas to the Acupuncturist for a treatment. I thought he’d better get calmed down before his short journey to Trisha’s. He was a bit worried about having needles stuck into him but I assured him he wouldn’t feel a thing.

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He said he really enjoyed it. He was so relaxed after his treatment I felt bad shoving him into his box and shipping him off. Have a good time with Douglas, Trisha! Don’t burn the town down!

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Nibbles the Bunny arrived this week and I knew we’d be in for an adventure while he was here. Now, Joan warned us that Nibbles had a propensity for bull-headedness but, sheesh, we never expected anything quite like what occurred this week.

On the first day of his visit, Nibbles went to work with me at the museum. He wandered off several times and I thought it was odd that he’d always end up near some sharp utensil or object that could be used as a weapon. He seemed harmless enough.

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We took a break for lunch and Nibbles didn’t seem happy. He seemed extremely irritated and uneasy. Before I knew it he went crazy and tipped over the jelly caddy.

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He stormed out of the restaurant and went and sat in the car. He wouldn’t tell me what was wrong so I thought it best that we head for home.

On our way home he started yelling for me to stop the car. I did as he wished, after all, I didn’t want to make my guest any more disgruntled. I couldn’t believe what transpired next. Nibbles flew out of the car, pulled out a gun, ran off toward a wooded area and seconds later I heard a gun shot. I was shakin’ in my shoes! I ran to see what was going on and this is what I saw:

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Oh.My.Gawd. I stood in shock, not knowing what to do. I screamed, “Nibbles! What have you done?” He looked at me with his cute bunny eyes and said, “Please do not panic, it was something that had to be done.” He saw that I was completely confused so he explained. It appears that this opossum (Pico Opossum, the famed Beanie Baby poacher) had been following Nibbles since he saw him on eBay. He knew he was a retired Beanie Baby and figured he could ask a huge ransom for him. Nibbles was not going to be held captive by some scumbag opossum so he took matters into this own hands.

I was relieved to find out it was a self-defense sort of situation. I figured the authorities didn’t need to know about this little incident so I cleaned up the evidence. I threw the body into the wooded area, disposed of the gun and high tailed it home to clean any traces of gun residue off of Nibbles. Luckily, there were no witnesses, so I think Nibbles will be able to steer clear of the law. I thought it best that he get out of dodge as soon as possible. I didn’t want any suspicions to get raised if someone does find the body. So…Nibbles is off to Allison’s. Be careful, Allison. Keep a constant eye on this bad bunny!

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The lovely Posey Pony is visiting us from Minnesota this week. Nikki’s Posey is such a lovely girl. She loves to do girly things, so after having Super Pickle here (who was super bored with us girls) we were happy to host a girly, girl. Unfortunately, we didn’t have anything exiting planned for the weekend. We spent alot of time riding around in the car. It was sunny all weekend, but not terribly warm so we really couldn’t get out and trot around. Posey said, “It looks awfully scrubby around here”. I had to explain to her that about 3 feet of snow had just melted and everything was grey and muddy. I told her she’d have to come back in the spring when everything was lush and green.

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We headed down town and  stopped at my former restaurant for coffee on Saturday morning. (there’s my big red espresso machine in the background…oh, how I miss that machine!)

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Posey had the Hot Vanilla with lots of whipped cream. She even licked the cup clean!

She got passed around the table and had a little visit with everyone. My sister got to talking about her upcoming vacation to NC and I think Posey was trying to talk her into stowing her away so she could go to. I explained that she had a schedule to keep and that JavaJunkee was expecting her. She wasn’t happy that I foiled her plans because she really wanted to head somewhere warmer.

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Next stop, Lake Erie. The ice was starting to break up a bit and Posey was so exited she leaped out of the car and galloped right for one of the pieces of ice. I told her to be careful because you never know when the ice will become unstable. She said, “What do you know about stable?” Sassy little pony! She thought the ice would make for a great photo op so she hopped from ice block to ice block…

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She then shouted, “I bet I can float away on this piece of ice like they do in Rudolph!” I said, “Hold on just a minute, Yukon, you’d better not try that stunt. This isn’t Hollywood.”

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She didn’t listen and before I knew it she was off onto another chunk of ice. She was so fast I could barely keep up with her. She wanted to stay and play but we humans were getting cold and it was time to go.

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We got a bit dirty at the lake so we came home, got cleaned up and then Posey decided she’d like to play with some of my daughter’s pet shop critters. They set up a dance floor and away they went…

And then Ridley heard all the ruckus and had to stick his nose in and disrupt the dance party. Posey seemed to have fun with us these past few days – even though we didn’t make it to a real dance floor. I didn’t even have to hide my wine – she was so busy she didn’t even think about drinking! She’s on her way to JavaJunkee’s now…get out your disco clothes and 70’s makup, JJ. She digs that era!

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