Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mr. Bumble

2014-03-12 15.23.08

Thank goodness most of it is gone now, even though Monday was pretty much so not fun in the getting around and going to the office sort of way. I am thinking that we are all going to see more of The Bumble over the next few months, he is such an irrepressible sort of guy. But I do wish he would quit going outside and doing his “snow dance”. We so do not need ANY help in that department, living here in the Frozen Northeast Ohio as we do.

And of course…… least we don’t live in Buffalo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Semi Wordless Wednesday

Alpha Tau Delta Fantasy Island 1

Because there really aren’t enough words in the WORLD to explain why I would, even as a costume for some unremembered party, think that yellow pedal pushers, white socks and jelly shoes would be a good thing.

And the purse!

But do you see…..I have a camera with me. Some things just never change.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Year Has Passed

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since the death of my dad, Don Amsler. I suppose that you can say time has flown, and in a way it has. We have had an entire year of “firsts”. First Thanksgiving without him and his always thoughtful Thanksgiving homily. First Christmas without him. The first time I wasn’t able to call him on his birthday to wish him a happy day. I need not go on.

I am not the first person to lose a parent to quick illness. What we have all experienced this year is experienced by so many others. And yet, if you asked all those other people, I would guess that they all feel as I have felt this last year, as if it is a singular event to lose a parent. Perhaps it is because I had him in my life until almost the middle of my 50’s. Who knows. The knife edge of grief has dulled over the past twelve months but the ache is still there, the sorrow that occasionally overwhelms at the oddest moments. I have a feeling that will always be the case. I have yet to be able to listen to the last voicemail he left me, about a week before his death, when he was already in the hospital and so very ill. I listened to it that day and thankfully didn’t erase it. He didn’t sound himself, being deep into his pneumonia, but he still sounded like my dad. And he laughed at how horrible he knew he sounded. That would be so like him, to laugh at something like that at a time when he was in such tremendous pain. I have taken the precaution of copying that voicemail onto my computer in an Mp3 format, just to make sure that it is not lost at some point. Apple doesn’t transfer over voicemails and sometimes the iphone just eats them for no apparent reason other than plain cussedness.

Below I have embedded (hopefully) my remarks at his celebration of life. I don’t think there is anything else to say except,

I miss you, Dad, more than words can ever truly express.

Monday, November 17, 2014


A year ago today this was what my father's desk looked like. Organization. Gadgets. Stacks of cards with daily bible verses. His favorite pens. That strange blob of rubber shaped like a one pound blob of fat. Bills that needed to be paid. His collection of timers. All waiting for him to return home and pick up the life that was put on hold when he had entered the hospital 9 days before.

For a time, after his death, I could feel his presence in his office. I would be sitting in the family room, right next to his den of all things and I just knew that he would becoming out of his office any second with a piece of paper with some interesting article on it that we needed to read. He was there, and he was not.

There are still days when I feel like that.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stale Fish Halitosis

There was yelling at the TV today. I do not like yelling. It makes me nervous and anxious and gives me stale fish halitosis. Beta kept saying things like, "NO!" and "Oh come on! Keep a hold of the ball!" If the humans on the TV would just grab the ball with their teeth I am sure that they would manage to hold onto it and run away from all the other humans. That is how I do it. And Alpha kept yelling too. I do not like it when she yells.

Why must there be yelling on Sundays?


Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Football Faces of Max the Magnificent

We have a 75 pound dog that is a complete and utter woosiepants when it comes to sports.

Complete and utter.

The minute that you turn on the TV and dial up a sporting event like football…or basketball….or baseball…or soccer, he goes into his “Oh man it’s sports and I am so scared because there might be yelling” mode. That mode means that he must be physically by you for the entire time, even if you are not actually IN the room where the sporting event is going on. That entails slinking into the room and laying right at our feet or better yet in between our feet in the “bend” of the u-shaped couch. He in not content with just being with us, secure in the safety that we provide. He then has to stare at us and even better….breath on us….with breath that is reminiscent of three week old fish mixed with whatever foul thing that you can think of. We call it his nervous sports breath. It is gag worthy.

And when there is yelling at the TV, HHBL and I are both boisterous fans when rooting for our particular teams (Go Ohio State, Sic’em Bears), then he stands up and looks extra hard at us, then lays down, then stands up. And if you get up off the couch to do something quickly it is not uncommon to turn around and trip over Mr. Woosiepants because he has also gotten up and is standing directly behind you. If he could climb into your sweater and cower in shivering fear I am sure that he would do so.

2014-02-18 12.15.062014-02-27 14.40.342014-04-06 07.13.40-22014-05-11 10.43.53-22014-05-16 12.01.402014-05-20 21.24.28-22014-06-07 18.58.30-22014-06-28 22.20.25-22014-07-01 18.24.42-22014-09-21 15.22.54-22014-11-02 12.01.42-22014-11-02 14.24.25-2

Mr. Woosie Sissie McQuiverpants

Friday, November 14, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Where Winter Is Coming


I am late with these!! Egads. I must have been snowblind or something….or I just didn’t have them all figured out before I left for the office. You choose.

Blather that just might take your mind off the Lake Effect Snow Warning.

I seem to have purchased my new boots just in time.

I don’t like to replace something until I absolutely have to….and it was time to get a new pair of boots. The boots that I would pull on for “every day” use were a pair of faux Ugg type things that I bought on a whim at Target 10 years ago or so. They were OK except that they didn’t always keep my feet the warmest. The soles of my feet would be cold, and we all know that I hate to have cold feet. I knit and wear wool socks to prevent that very thing from happening.

Then about two years ago they started to leak a bit. Not a lot at first, just a trickle when I would have been tromping through lots of puddles in parking lots etc. I didn’t notice it right at first and then last year I really did. Come to find out, after looking at the soles, that they were cracked.

That will do it. But by the time I figured that out it was late in the season and there really weren’t any boots that I liked at a price that I liked. So I just dealt with it.

And this year I almost forgot about the leakiness…and then I walked past a Famous Footwear and the thought occurred to me that I might go in and look at boots and…..I walked out with a pair at a reasonable price. They look sort of like Uggs. They have nice tall legs on them. And I tested them out this morning and they are nice a warm.


I was able to test out my boots this morning because of this……

2014-11-14 06.57.51

The snow was not a surprise, it was snowing last night when we went to bed. But it is still a rude shock, on that first morning of snow, when you get up and realize that you have to put on boots and hat and coat and mittens just to walk the dog.

The snow will continue throughout the day I would guess as we have a Lake Effect snow advisory in effect until evening. Even when I moved out of the snow belt I didn’t more out of the snow belt.

Winter is coming.

I am off to the office today, which will mean that I will be completely confused all day. I don’t generally work in the office on Fridays. But I was out doing the photographer thing yesterday, at a long planned corporate head shot session, and so my usually in the office Thursday did not happen.

So it is to the office I go today.

I am going to be so confused.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking head shots for Cleveland Bridge Builders. I am sure I will tell you about that later, although it was pretty straight forward.

I should backtrack to say that HHBL and I have this “thing” that happens to us ALL. THE. TIME. We have people, people that we do not know usually, tell us their entire life stories out of the blue. You say hello, how are you and it is off to the races. We think it is because we are good listeners. I don’t know. But I had it happen to me again yesterday.

I was done with the photo shoot and was about to start the tear down process when I turned around and noticed a fellow at the door, just looking in. He wasn’t a part of CBB. I should say that the photo shoot was at Vocational Guidance Services in Cleveland. This fellow, Sal, brightly and jokingly asked if it was time to take his picture. I would have done it in a heart beat if he had really wanted that, you know I would have. But what he really wanted to do, I think, was just to chat a bit. And in the space of about a minute he was telling me his life story and all that had happened to him that brought him now to VGS for some training.

I think this happens because the Lord knows that I like to tell other people’s stories.

And I do love to tell other people’s stories through pictures that is for darn sure.

On another snowy note. The first snow filled commute of the Frozen Northeast Ohio winter season is always a joy.

2014-11-14 08.17.05-2

Did you note the sarcasm?

It isn’t that we don’t know how to drive in snow, it is just that we forget year after year what it is like. Sort of like labor, only you don’t get a cute, sweet smelling baby at the end of the process. What you do get, if you forget what it is like to drive in snow, is what we had all over the area today……

Lots of accidents, and closed highways, and major traffic jams.

Ah Winter how I love you.


I feel like I am in a rut with cooking at the moment. It may be because there are days during the week when I really don’t have to cook. This week either HHBL or I have been gone at dinner time Mon – Thursday! Tonight is the first meal that we will sit down together to eat since Sunday. It isn’t always like that and there are days when I cook even if he isn’t home, I do have to eat you know. But I feel like I have been cooking the same old thing.


As I noodle around the internetz I am trying to remember to put promising recipes into Pepperplate. Have you ever heard of Pepperplate? If you haven’t you need to go over the right away. I have the app on my iPadfoot and it makes it so easy to add recipes as I find them on the internet via the computer and then have all the ingredients and directions right there on the iPadfoot when I am cooking. Shoe Queen told me about it and it is fabulous.

Now to figure out what I am going to cook on Sunday. Hmmmmmmmm.

Instagram. Because we need something warm and cheerful on this snowy day.

2014-11-08 09.07.43-32014-11-09 07.30.062014-11-09 07.32.472014-11-09 10.05.15-22014-11-09 10.43.09-22014-11-10 12.50.23-22014-11-10 13.57.26-32014-11-11 15.55.01-22014-11-13 08.16.57-22014-11-13 10.58.48-22014-11-13 21.47.02-3