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Plant A Tree? January 14, 2011

Posted by Toy Lady in Garden, Home, Information, just general griping, random stuff.
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Shortly after I got home from work, Peeps asked me if I’d seen the “interesting” mail.

His word.  Interesting.

Um, Verizon Wireless propaganda – Smartphones Talk Free!

Yeah, whatever.  Recycle.

Seed catalog.

Ooooh, pretty flowers.  Recycle.

Something from the New York Times.

Fish wrapper.  Recycle.

And a 2011 New York Tree Survey from . . . the Arbor Day Foundation?


What is there to survey about trees?

Well, it turns out, quite a bit. Plus, the Arbor Day Foundation has included several Free Gift Vouchers for me for when I send in my questionnaire.  Oh yes.  Gifts.  Free ones.

First, though, they wanted to know a bit about me.  They already have my name and my address, so as long as they’re not looking for my bank account numbers, I’m okay with that, I guess.

  1. What is your age?  Can I say “none of your beeswax?”  No?  Okay, 31-49 then.
  2. What is your marital status?  Happily?  All right.  Married.
  3. Do you work outside the house?  Sigh.
  4. What level education did you complete.  Would you stop asking dumb questions if I just check “elementary school?”
  5. Do you have children living at home?  You mean besides Boo Boo Kitty and Mr. Fuzzy Wuzzy fur face?


And now – NOW – they want to know what I think about trees.  Beyond, I guess, “approve of them.”

  1. Have you ever built a tree house? Oh, I wish.
  2. Have you ever climbed a tree?  If by “climb” you mean “got both feet off the ground and your butt on a tree limb” then yes.
  3. Have you ever played on a tree swing?  Um, has anyone ever not?
  4. Do you ever relax on the shade of a tree?  Really?
  5. Do you think the Sugar Maple is an appropriate choice as the state tree of New York?  Um . . . sure.
  6. Do you think in general, residents of New York care more or less about trees than people in the rest of the country.  Wait, what?
  7. Which one of the following would say is the single most important function of trees?  Providing shade, Providing oxygen, Being a source of beauty, Absorbing carbon dioxide, Filtering water, Saving energy by cooling our homes and neighborhoods, Providing habitats for birds and animals.  Are you serious?
  8. Can you identify the trees near your home?Well, there’s the maple in the front yard, and the blue spruce we planted a couple of years ago.
  9. Have you ever planted a tree.See above.  Ha.
  10. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most important, how important do you think it is to replace trees destroyed by fire?  Well. . . sometimes trees reseed themselves, don’t they?
  11. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most important, how important do you think it is to save the Earth’s rain forests?   How did we get from forest fires to rain forests?
  12. Would you be willing to spare a few dollars to help the Arbor Day Foundation plant more trees? (see below)

And THERE it is.

It’s like PBS – only it’s TREE BS! If I make a donation of $10 or more, I can get 10 Free Trees.  Or (and?) 2 FREE Fragrant Lilacs if I send in my questionnaire (and donation) within 10 days, a free year of coffee (twelve 10-oz. bags (that is SO NOT a year’s supply) of delicious rain-forest saving coffee) PLUS two FREE bonus gifts – The Tree Book and a free subscription to  Arbor Day magazine.

Those last two -I have no idea.

Oh but wait!  There is a check box for

I do not want to support the Arbor Day Foundation at this time, but let me know if I’ve won the coffee.

So here’s the thing.  I like trees – and John Denver – as much as the next guy.  Plus, I’ve been thinking of planting some lilacs in the yard anyway.

But I’ve donated to PBS, and I know how, once they get your name, they Never Stop Calling.  Do I need that?  Does anyone?

So I’m asking you, Internet.  What do you think?



Confession Time September 30, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Family, mirth & woe, random stuff.
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I’m gonna just admit it.

I’m really not a very social person.  I mean, I’m not a hater or anything – I’m not a misanthrope.

It’s just that for the most part, if I’m interested enough to know what someone is up to, every minute of every day, it’s more than likely that I already do.

And if my fifth grade best friend and I  cared that much, well, we’d have kept track of each other, you know?


I never have had a burning need to communicate regularly (or really, at all) with every single person I have ever met.  Or people who have met people that I’ve met.

Heck, I barely keep up with my own family.  My youngest nephew was 3 months old before I even knew he’d been born.

So I guess it should be pretty obvious that I’ve resisted all these “social networking” things that are EVERYWHERE.

For a while there, it seemed like not a week went by without someone trying to convince me that it would be a good idea to join some site or other so I could “stay connected.”

Is that really necessary?  I mean, we have The Internet, don’t we?  If I really wanted to find someone, all I’d have to do is ask The Google.

The Google knows all.

And seriously.  Is it truly that important for the kids to “network”?  Can’t they ride their bikes or go to the library or something?   What about watching some good old cartoons?


That’s what kids are supposed to be doing – watching cartoons, not “social networking.”  How else are they going to learn what happens when the anvil falls on the coyote’s head?  Besides, who’s in their network, anyway?  Suzy from math class?  The kid from the bus?

It started with AOL’s Instant Messaging, and it’s just gotten worse.

Remember those annoying IM pop-ups that would pester you every time you sat down to use the computer? You know, I pay good money for software to STOP pop-ups.

But you couldn’t get online without Everyone in the World knowing you were there.  And wanting to “chat” with you.

Talk about stalkery.

Then you know what happened?

Surly Boy didn’t respond to my e-mails. I asked him about it, and he said he didn’t check his email much, but I could send him a Facebook message.



I don’t DO Facebook, dear.

Facebook is for sad lonely people with no life.  And no people skills.

Mom, even Grandma has a Facebook account.

You’re using my mother to try to exert peer pressure?  On me?   Seriously?

So I’ve gone and done it.   I’ve opened my very own Facebook account.  If it’s what it takes to know what the heck is going on with my KID in a FOREIGN STATE, then so be it.

(Peeps, however, has so far not succumbed.)

I’ve even got a couple of  “friends” – friends that the Boy doesn’t even know!  HA!  I have not “friended” every person I ever went to school with because honestly?  I didn’t much like most of them then, and I doubt I’d like them any better now.  And truly?  I’m kind of annoyed by the verb “to friend.”  A friend is a noun, darn it.

I’ve figured out how to “follow” or “like” some businesses and organizations – it’s nice to get a heads up when Green Acre starts picking a new variety of apples, or when Victoria has a new podcast.

I do NOT feel the need to play Facebook games, or take Facebook quizzes, or send Facebook hugs, or have a  little Facebook Farm.    Above all, spare me the Facebook Farm, please!

So, gentle readers, does anyone else do the social networking thing?  Why or why not?

And more importantly, wanna be friends?

For what it’s worth April 30, 2010

Posted by Peeps in random stuff.
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There is an ancient Chinese curse.  “May you live in interesting times”.  I, for one, am tired of interesting.  I like dull.

I don’t like drama.  Not in movies, not in books, not in real life.  The only drama I want in my life is Law & Order.  And all the spin-offs.

I don’t care.  Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t want to get involved.  In anything.  With who is sleeping with whom.  With who is doing what.  With office politics.  With national politics.  Leave me alone.  I have my own issues.  And I try really hard to not bother other people with them.

I’ve worked with several drama queens over the years.  They really hack me off.  I’m more than happy to make fun of what’s going on around me.  Or just about anything else.  Just stop believing that whatever your issue of the moment is a burning issue for me.

I want to spend as much time as I can having fun.  I don’t want to be burdened with  outside influences.  I am perfectly happy with what I have in the confines of my existence.  Please don’t get me wrong.  Arizona’s problem’s are important, I suppose.  But hearing about such things just bring me down.  Or worse, make me want to make fun of them.

My ambitions are very simple.  I want to be left alone.  I realize that that’s a lofty concept, but it can be realized.  If the entire world could take a step back and a breath, everyone would probably be a lot better off.  I know I would.

Monday Musings – 12.29.2008 Edition December 29, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Musings, random stuff.
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Last Monday Musing of the year.  Wow!


PhotobucketChristmas with the family was. . .well, Christmas with the family.  😀

I think the gift that was the biggest hit from us was my mother’s personal herb garden.  Last fall, I happened upon a miniature strawberry pot, and we started a variety of perennial herbs – mint, sage, thyme, and tarragon.

Now Mother will have them available all winter, and she can transplant them outside in the spring if she so desires.  😀


PhotobucketMeanwhile, young Jarly was thrilled with his gift from Uncle Snickers – a squeaky plush football!

Great, another squeaky toy.  🙄

(Seriously, though, it’s not as annoying as the squeaky toy we brought for their dog!)

And he, surprisingly, hasn’t demolished the plush toy yet.  😯

We may be able to get the squeaky quacky stuffed duck that Peeps has had his eye on after all. . . 😆


We really didn’t do much over the long holiday weekend – a little cooking, a little cleaning, a little shopping.  Watched a couple of movies.  Slept in a couple of days.  (By slept in, I mean me.  And I mean until about 6:30.  Sad, I know.)  We did do a lot of going to bed early, though.  Surly Boy phoned at about 9:30 the other night – I remember answering the phone – and that’s about it.  No idea what he wanted.  😯

I took a more than little grief for that!  😆

That’s OK, though.    😉


In keeping with the lazy-hazy-crazy holiday weekend we were enjoying, though, we did our share of slacking, fear not!  😆

PhotobucketWe pulled a couple of packages of left over stuff out of the freezer – a few weeks ago, when we found chestnuts at the market, we put together Tyler Florence’s roasted chestnut dressing, which was, of course, FAR too much for two civilized people to eat.  So we did the next best thing.

We divided it up and shoved it in the freezer in foil baking pans.  😀

We also froze one of the breasts from the time we smoked a whole turkey.

Again, a whole turkey is far too much for two people to eat.  🙄

PhotobucketSo we put the two together – kind of like a Reeses peanut butter cup, huh?  Get it?  Two great tastes that taste great together.  HA!  Sometimes I just crack myself up!  😆

Covered with foil – kinda looks like Jiffy Pop there, doesn’t it?  😉

No puppy noses. . .

Popped it, tightly wrapped, into a low oven until it was hot – in this case, because it was still a bit frosty (after all, what’s the point of being lazy and slacking if you have to plan ahead?) it took a bit over an hour.

Mmmm. . . smoky turkey, sourdough chestnut sausage dressing. . . a lovely way to end the weekend, wouldn’t you say?  😀


We did have Surly Boy and his lactose-intolerant, vegetarian girlfriend over for Christmas Eve dinner.  Surly Boy, Peeps and I enjoyed Cook’s Country’s Sunday-Best Garlic Roast Beef.  Lactose Girl had olive oil and garlic mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and roasted sweet potatoes.  And roasted garlic sourdough bread which was not bad either.  😀


I was in Wegman’s the other day, and I found the neatest thing!  I picked up a pack of single-width ice cube trays.  Now bear with me on this.  🙂

We often end up with dribs and drabs of “stuff.”  What do you do with the rest of a 6-oz. can of tomato paste when you only need 3 ounces?  Or a the other half of the ginger root when you’ve grated what you need?

Or say you just need a quarter cup of chicken broth, so you open a can and use what you need.

Yeah, I know what you do.  You stick it in the fridge until you find it, a couple of weeks later, all furry and gross, then you throw it out.

Yep.  Sucks, doesn’t it?


Anyway, a few years ago, I found covered ice cube trays and picked up two, and they work great, for the most part.   I can fill the trays (each cube is 2 tablespoons), slap the cover on, and freeze the stuff without its picking up freezer smells/flavors – or, in the case of stuff like garlic or ginger, contributing to them.  The only problem is that they cost The Earth.  Seriously.  A single ice cube tray was something like 8 bucks.  (I think it was Good Grips or something.)  And the other only problem, as it turns out, is that sometimes, if you put two different things in the ice cube tray (say, tomato paste on one end and chicken stock on the other), sometimes they commingle.  Not cool.

These little guys come in 2-packs of half-sized trays – and they were CHEAP!  I think $2.  So I can have dedicated trays for tomato paste and chicken stock and beef stock and ginger and pesto and chopped chipotles and. . . . . .YAY!


Fresh rosemary.  Mmmm.  So delightful, but so . . . finicky!

Sadly, the lovely Tuscan Blue rosemary bush that we’d been nursing since spring – first in the herb garden outside, then in the house, has given up.  It just never was happy in the house.  😥


Each time we were in either Wegmans OR Tops, we were confronted with the gorgeous Rosemary Topiary.  You know what I mean – the rosemary bushes trimmed to within an inch of their lives to look like Christmas trees.  Do we want to try again?  Do we dare?  Is there any point in spending that kind of money ($25!) for something that’s going to succumb to my Black Thumb?

Well, HA!  After Christmas, Wegmans marked them down to half price, and they still looked reasonably happy, so we’re giving it another shot.  Immediately into the clay pot (they evidently like that), and in the garden window (they also like lots of sun), and I’m prepared to hear any further demands it might make.  🙄


We’ll be taking the rest of the week off here at The Fridge.   No big New Year’s plans – we usually take the Christmas tree down on New Year’s Day, and our New Year’s Eve is traditionally celebrated by opening a bottle of good champagne, shoveling our way to the grill (when necessary), and grilling a couple of steaks, then spending the evening watching a cheesy movie.  We’re really pretty low-maintenance when it comes to entertainment, aren’t we?

Anyway, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for reading, to invite you to share 2009 with us, and, of course, to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year – in all the ways that matter most to you!



Monday Musings 12.22.2008 Edition December 22, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Big Lug, Musings, random stuff.
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Sunday. First day of winter.  Good to know, huh?  I guess, without the calendar, I never would have realized it was winter.  🙄

Yeah, I think I might have figured it out, though.  Just saying.


‘Cuz I don’t know about you, but spending an hour and a half to make a 20 minute drive, THEN coming home to walk the puppster. . .


Well, I felt like Jack London.  Only a female, suburban version.  With a lab instead of a husky.


So, in the midst of the gotta-find-gifts-for-the-family season, woot dot com held a woot-off.  You know- where they have stuff until it sells out, then they have more stuff.

We got the puppster a dog dish holder.


You know, bending to eat out of dishes on the floor can’t be good for him, can it?  😯


Dude!  Did it snow this weekend or what?  😯

We are so fortunate to have a neighbor who’s not only has a plow, but who also is more than happy to treat our driveway as part of his playground. . .


This is a guy having a ball, wouldn’t you say?  And stick his kid on the back of the ATV, and, well, I think that’s just what dads do, that’s all.


Isn’t that sweet?



We made some more dog biscuits this weekend, but this time, we made the GINORMOUS sized cookies. And he loved them.  😀

The puppster loves his cookies, but I think he actually loves them more when they’re extra-large size.


Can you read this?  We recorded it Friday evening along with Numb3rs.


Seriously?  Cold, leftover flakes?  Because the fresh snow wasn’t  bad enough?  They’re going to give us leftover snow now?  I don’t even know what to say to that.  🙄


On the bright side, we got most of our gifts wrapped for The Big Day.


That would be my grandmother’s obligatory box of chocolates.  We don’t even have to wrap that one.  😀