Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Early Christmas

Denis and I are very excited because each of us just acquired a new toy! Here's mine:

I have completely fallen off the exercise bandwagon since about March! After I went through that wonderful 6 week period of going to the gym really regularly, I just haven't been able to get motivated to organize my stuff, drive to the gym and use the equipment. It never seems to be convenient to go during the off peak hours and I find it annoying that I can't watch what I want to on the TV or listen to my own music. SO, I'm very excited to have a piece of equipment that I can use at home. One of my coworkers had this unused and offered it to me for FREE! yay. It obviously takes up a lot of space, but it can be folded up if we need to get it out of the way.

Here is Denis' new toy:

The espresso machine that he has had for several years now seems to be giving up the ghost. So we went to Starbucks and found they had this very last unit of last year's espresso machine. It had a clearance tag on it and then they took even more off because it was not clean at the time... (I think it had something to do with me being a regular customer who they know by name) This machine is so pretty and it is a step up from the old machine. Denis is still working on getting it to give us a perfect shot of espresso, but we have faith that he will. The reviews on coffee lovers' websites are good.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Q and A

Updated: I just added the link for "pinging" your blog right above the blogrolling list. The automatic function is often not working, so go ahead and manually "ping" it so that we can all use this list to tell what is new. :o)

Hi, my friends! Sorry I have been very absent lately. I have recovered pretty fully from my cold/bronchitis and have more energy again. Phoebe is eating pretty well and is holding her own on the new medication. She's gained a bit of weight, but is still skinny. Her personality is more like her old self, but she's still very grumpy with the other cats.

Anyway, you all asked some questions in the last post's comments. First of all, the buttercream frosting is very yummy. It was a little complicated to make, but it would be easier if I had a candy thermometer. I may have cooked the sugar a bit further than it was supposed to be. I also think that I didn't beat the egg whites quite as long as I should have. So the end result was a bit softer than I think it could have been. It's nice and creamy, though, and has held up well. I found the recipe by doing a google search for buttercream frosting. If you do so, you will find some are the egg white based recipe, and others are making a milk sauce first. Very interesting.

Secondly, the list of blogs that shows when there is a new post is hosted by "blogrolling". It takes a bit of work to set it up and it doesn't always work. But you can get to the blogrolling website by clicking on the link under my list. Once there, you register for the service, name you list and then add the links. After you have it made, you have to get your html code that you can put on your blog. You will add the blogrolling list as an element on your blog. Instead of picking "list" you choose "html code".

Now the downfall is that this service was sold by the developers to some bigger organization which does not maintain it very well. In order for your links to show up as "updated", the blog has to get "pinged" as updated. It's supposed to do that automatically, but sometimes that part gets broken. When the system is not working, you can still "ping" your blog manually at the blogrolling site. On the cats' blog, I have a link to the "ping" form for everyone to easily go ping their blog when the system is down. (most of the cat blogs use blogrolling for their lists, so it's handy). I've never put that link on here, but if you all like that feature of seeing when everyone has a new post, I'm happy to put the link here too. Then, when you post a new item, you can just come here, click on the link, enter your blog info (it's very quick) and hit "ping".

Monday, December 03, 2007


Life ticks on. Here's what we've been doing lately:
1. Running a kitty hospice: Phoebe's blood work was not much improved last week. We stopped the pills and are only doing treatments that do not bother her. A steroid compound that is rubbed on her ear twice a day we hope will increase her appetite and may help the liver failure a little. Also subcutaneous fluids to keep her hydrated - she doesn't seem to mind them much at all. She's been staying the night over at my mom's house so she gets a break from Joey and has constant access to any food that she might eat. We bring her back home during the day. It's a real up and down thing emotionally. She's a bit more like herself, but still skinny. Some days she eats pretty well and then others doesn't eat much.
2. I've been home sick from work: I started getting sick with a cold Thursday at work and by evening was really coughing and called in sick for Friday. By Friday PM, it had turned into bronchitis, so I called Denis at work and had him bring me home a prescription for antibiotics. Today is day three and I'm starting to breathe better now.
3. Watching Ace of Cakes with my mom while I go visit Phoebe. It made me crave cake, so I baked a banana cake from scratch and made real buttercream frosting (the kind with egg whites, cooked sugar and real butter).
4. Denis worked two extra days for a coworker - Friday and Sunday. Now he has just today off. It's a really strange week for him.
5. Playing an Amazing Race geography game - you get more points the closer on the map to an exact town in the world that you click. At the end of the game they calculate a "traveler IQ". My first try was an IQ of 73. I finally made it all the way through the game and got an IQ of 116!

That's about it. It's cloudy and dark around here today.