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Gentle Readers,

People, I’m getting old.  I mean, OLD.  Yesterday, JUST YESTERDAY, I was telling my sweet friend S about one of my New Year’s Resolutions.  And now?  I CAN’T REMEMBER IT.

Allow me to explain.  Everybody makes fantastic New Year’s Resolutions.  “Lose Weight”, “Eat Better”, “Be A Better Person”, “Exercise Inner Poise”, etc.  All of these apply to me, just in case you’re wondering.  I need serious work on ALL of these.  But by February?  We all seem to have hopped off the Goody-Goody New Year’s Bandwagon and gotten ourselves a first class seat on the Valentine Easter Choco-tastic Bandwagon.  (This is the far tastier bandwagon, and I heartily support this move.  I’ll save you a seat.)

So a few years ago, I decided to make resolutions I could keep.  The first year, my resolution was to buy more colorful purses.  (I own a closet full of black purses.)  That year, the Pope died, and in my grief, I bought the best light blue bag and it remains my favorite bag because it helps keep me closer to the Church.  And it’s awesome.  Perfect length for putting over your shoulder, but not being so long that it bangs around everywhere driving you nuts in Nordstrom until you finally have HAD ENOUGH and then do something that most certainly DOES NOT demonstrate inner poise.

The next year, I resolved to do more with artichokes.  I love artichokes, and they are an underloved veg.  Someone had to take up their banner and be their champion.  Enter me.  I cooked them, I dipped them, I stuffed them, and I made lovely cheesy dips with them.  I think that they appreciated the love.  I know I appreciated the tasty.

The next three years were spent in Lifesavers School.  I resolved there to survive and keep my sanity and kindness intact.  The jury is still out on the last bit of that.  But I did survive.  (And here’s where I could go off on a little tangent about how 90% of the world really just hopes to survive this next year, and they aren’t kidding and how we should all remember and be a bit more grateful in our daily living, but I won’t.  That would be a whole lot like those “Lose Weight, Gain Inner Poise” resolutions.)

Last year, I was starting my business, and I was out cold by 10:00 on New Year’s Eve, and honestly did not make resolutions.  I think my resolutions were implied there.

So this year, you already know two of the resolutions-the whole blog thing and then keeping up with my Old Testament homework (sitting here right in front of me while I type on the blog…it’s a pretty streamlined operation here…), but then yesterday, I thought of another one.  And now?  Can’t remember a thing.  So, S, if you remember, will you help a girl out?

And I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.



A Christmas Preview…Or Review, Whatever.

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Gentle Readers,

I am finally able to connect to the Internets here at The Ranch, which is fantastic.  But since connectivity, like life, can be fleeting, I’ll be brief and please know that my New Years’ Resolutions include both keeping up with my Old Testament homework (and, in the fall, my New Testament homework) AND posting on the blog every weekday.  Like your little daily dose of me.

Anyway-in keeping with the “brief” theme of this post (Too late.) some Ranch Christmas images…

Waiting for Santa.  (a.k.a. “We’ve been good, but we can’t last.  Hurry Santa, hurry fast.”)

My Aunt, who is a confirmed, admitted, and indeed PROUD OF IT cat person, sent Scout the Ranch Cat/Trained Killer a little Christmas present.  As you can see, it was indeed a hit.  And when we opened the bag for her, there were two DARLING (for cat toys, anyway) little catnip sock-type beasties.  BIG HIT.

The cat toy that took Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a Juris Doctor to assemble.  Instructions containing ACTUAL WORDS instead of weird little symbols would have made it simpler, and less intellectually stimulating, for all concerned.  Scout the Ranch Cat/Trained Killer has been inside said toy precisely twice.

As a study in contrast, Cooper’s Dragon With 459 Squeakers Inside It was promptly “reverse engineered” by two obedience school dropouts.

And another Aunt, who despite having two of them seems more neutral on the cat issue, sent me a gravy boat.  She knows me well. And, look!  It works!

Anyway, since connectivity is an issue, and I MUST GET THE LAST EPISODE OF “AMERICAN HORROR STORY” DOWNLOADED I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!, this will in fact likely be my last post until the New Year.  Thank you all for reading, thank you for commenting, do that last bit more, and I’ll keep the high quality words happening in 2012.



I know, you were waiting with baited breath…

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Gentle Readers,

I know that you are excited to see Christmas at the World’s Smallest Apartment, and I am, too.  That shall have to wait until tomorrow when I can go (for the SECOND TIME IN TWO DAYS) to Home Depot (I am a VIB member at Sephora.  I am not a frequent customer at Home Depot so I don’t know what their “club for people who spend too much money there” is called.  I feel that this should exempt me from having to go to this store this frequently.) to get another extension cord because mine is one foot too short.

I spend my life being too short.

Anyway, three pieces of exciting news to share with you and then I’ll let you go about your business.

1.  After reading about the OPI Muppets collection on Big Mama, I was VERY excited.  I have a thing for the Muppets.  I have a thing for beauty products.  Such sweet serendipity rarely happens in my life.  And then I started shopping for the polish.  (In stores, because I DO NOT LIKE TO WAIT.)  (Except when making gravy.  It’s worth it.)  People, I have about seventy-two bottles of “Affair in Red Square” (BEST SHADE EVER), thirty-one of “I’m Not Really A Waitress” (A very close second), and twelve “Vodka and Caviar” (for those times that I’m feeling more like a flat shade of polish), and those were all I found.  I need no more of those shades.  The special Muppet displays remained empty.  Except one had a bottle of “An Affair in Red Squre” in the “Pepe’s Purple Passion” space.  Mocking me.  Three stores later, I had found the two shades I really liked best-“Meep Meep Meep” and “Animalistic”, but not the crowning shade, “Rainbow Connection”.  Not because the shade is one I will wear a lot, but because the song.  It’s special.  And more people in my line of work need to appreciate the Muppets and really REALLY listen to the words of that song.  You will be relieved to note that a bottle was obtained online.  Along with “Big Nails, Big Hair” which I missed from their Texas line.  If you are a fan of the Muppets and are asking Santa for this polish, I suggest that you ask his elves to get on this POSTHASTE.

2.  If you, like me, are a fan of the C9 lights (the old school Christmas lights that are awesome), you are going to want to order your replacement bulbs online.  I have searched (SEARCHED) the big box stores.  There is a conspiracy somewhere.  But they can be easily obtained online.

3.  Finally, Scout the Ranch Cat/Trained Killer has her own Christmas ornament.  All of our animals get their own Christmas ornaments (in their likeness-Susie the black Cocker Spaniel, Daisy the blonde Cocker Spaniel, Freddi the spotted Cocker Spaniel, Cooper the black Lab, Cody the yellow Lab, and now Scout, the black and white “free” cat that had two expensive surgeries in her first two weeks of life.) and we hadn’t been able to find one for her.  Found one today.  I know you’ll sleep better tonight.

I believe I have shared enough tonight.  Anybody else have randomness to share with the Internets?



Christmastime at The Ranch

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Gentle Readers,

Before we dive into my two-part Christmas Tour, let’s love on some people, okay?  (To borrow a phrase from BooMama)  Today there are three people that I love to pieces, one of whom I haven’t even met yet (AND DON’T NEED TO MEET FOR SEVERAL MORE MONTHS), that need your prayers.  I guard their privacy, but God knows the contents of all hearts, so please pray VERY HARD for them, okay?  Or light a candle, or think good thoughts, or whatever you feel led.

And now, on with the parade of “decorations”.

Right before Thanksgiving, Christmas arrived at The Ranch.

In case the font is too small for you, the sign on the left tells us that The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year is upon us (aka, “Deer Harvest”) and the sign on the right cheerfully tells any would-be party crashers that we take poachers VERY SERIOUSLY, and we prosecute them, and that in some counties here in the Great Republic poaching remains a capital offense.  I find that the red and the green really give things a festive air, don’t you?

(Question, if I can’t poach it, how do I prepare my deer?  Nothing else gives it that tenderness.)

And, decorations at the Ranch are still going up, but I have a few I can share.  Apparently, the role of the Baby Jesus in our living nativity will be played this year by the youngest member of our household, Scout the Ranch Cat/Trained Killer.

Here she is practicing lying serenely (HA!) in the manger.

We also made the mistake of mentioning that Santa was coming soon.

They’ve been there ever since.

Back tomorrow with an update on things at the World’s Smallest Apartment.