Saturday, January 31, 2009

She Can't Be Serious

Did anyone catch the CBS Early Show this morning? Chris Wragge was interviewing Whitney Casey, author of The Man Plan: Drive Men Wild...Not Away!

Whitney was telling him the appropriate way for a woman to watch the Superbowl with a man. Tips such as not sharing too much that you know about the game (beyond the quarterbacks' names), what to wear to watch the game (not team logo stuff), what to cook, etc. Whitney was sporting her best cleavage boosting top, was freshly botoxed, and may have had cheek implants. (This is all from observation; I do not profess to know her medical history.) She also brought a necklace for Chris to wear which he good naturedly refused. Go Chris!

At one point Chris asked her if we were going back to the fifties!

Whitney explained that she was qualified to speak on the matter since she was married to a football player at one time. Hey Whitney, how'd The Man Plan Work for you??? Not sure when I have last heard such drivel. Do women actually buy these books???

Gotta run to give my Man my opinion on the game...


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chickpea Stewitis

You may have been wondering why I've been a little quieter the past few days. (Either that or relieved!) Well, the explanation is simple: I've had a bad case of Chickpea Stewitis!

I tweeted about my malaise yesterday including this tweet from the morning: "I look like cr$p" Wise tweeterers quickly pointed out that it was not possible for them to observe my appearance so they would never have known...(doh!)

Here's the story: Over a week ago, the Early Show did a cooking segment featuring a well known recipe book author who was there to prepare comfort foods. These weren't your basic "comfort foods" that we all know and love, i.e. mac n' cheese, ice cream, black olives and cheese balls. Unfortunately, she was preparing "wholesome" comfort foods.

The recipe that caught my attention was for Chickpea Stew. As a lover of chickpeas, I made a mental note to pick up the ingredients on my next shopping trip, which I did. I prepared the dish according to the directions, which is not always the way I tend to operate. MB was even impressed, he not being a chickpea lover.

It was so tasty I ate several servings of the stew served over couscous. All was well until sometime during the night on Tuesday, at which time I awoke to horrible pains shooting across my stomach and abdomen. This continued throughout most of the night resulting in a marked lack of sleep. Lack of sleep, coupled with the fact that I was up until 12:45 a.m. doing another pointless twitter contest, with odds so ridiculous it wasn't worth spending ten minutes on let alone 2 hours, accounted for my hideous appearance the next morning.

I'm a frequent consumer of chickpeas, so I am not completely convinced it was the peas. Could the offending ingredient possibly have been the cumin? I'm not that much of an adventurous eater and I probably only make foods containing cumin about twice a year (no lie) so I am leaning in that direction....

Do any of you have an allergy to cumin??
Here's the worst part of the story. You would think I would've learned my lesson and avoided the leftover chickpea stew on Wednesday. You would think. Unfortunately, I didn't!!! You got it. Not convinced that this wasn't a fluke, I came home from work and seeing the big bowl in the fridge, I heated up some more. And, you guessed it; last night I was in for "Round Two." Here's where I insert my best Napoleon Dynamite impression: Idiot!

p.s. If I have somehow managed to entice you to try this culinary delight, please let me know and I will get you the recipe.

p.p.s. Have you checked out the Bitchin' Wives Club?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What a Deal!!!

I don't know about you, but when I see a sale of this magnitude as I did the other day, it's time to act fast and stock up!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed

I just finished reading this unusual book by Doug Crandell. Naturally,I picked it due to the bizarre title. Ok, so I judged the book by it's cover. Won't be the last time!

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. It teaches a valuable lesson about focusing on the more important things in life. The main character is consumed with his lack of hair, while his brother who has a traumatic brain injury goes happily on with his own life, marrying and having children. All the while his brother (who is follically challenged) spirals down a path to self-destruction. It is not until the end of the book that he comes to terms with what really matters in life.

My mind naturally gravitates towards ruminating about minutae, so this book provided a much-needed wake up call. Hopefully I have not revealed too much (about me or the book!). You will not be disappointed.

To find out what others are reading this month, hop on over to 5 Minutes for Books.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Low on Lo Mein

Did you know that yesterday, January 25th was the Chinese Lunar New Year? Neither did I until my son pointed it out.

Then I remembered that every year the students at our local college put together a show, with lots of Kung Fu, adorable Chinese dancers, menacing dragons, and most of all, my favorite: Free Food!

Last year we missed out on much of the food save for some dry white rice, so this year I figured I had it in the "bag" since we arrived early. While I reserved some seats, VC went up to check if there was any food. I chatted with a friend and half an hour later I went upstairs to see if they were serving food yet. VC and his friend were sitting at a cozy table, chopsticks in hand, happily eating Lo Mein.

I inquired if it was vegetarian Lo Mein and VC assured me it was so I went to the end of the line and patiently waited over half an hour for my turn to get some Lo Mein. Wouldn't you know it, they ran out of Lo Mein two people in front of me!!! I had to settle for a couple of fortune cookies.

A while later MB reported that he noticed people were being served Lo Mein again, so he went to wait on line for me. And, wouldn't you know it, by the time he got to the front of the line, a half an hour later, they served him the last tablespoon of Lo Mein. And I mean it was literally a tablespoon. Foiled again!!!!

I felt a little better about it after we witnessed some of the most awesome fireworks ever. I've never been this close to fireworks except when we set off our own and the one time my cousin almost lost his finger.

Impress your friends by telling them that this year is the Year of the Ox. I was not born in a cool year such as the Year of the Snake or the Year of the Rat. But I'm not gonna tell you what year it was.....I'm still feeling lo.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Downtime Chez Carma Sez

You may (or may not) be wondering some of the hobbies I do to balance out the demands of my work/home life. I'll admit that neither of them is truly that demanding, but I couldn't think of a more appropriate word.

Ever since I was a child, I have always been involved in arts and crafts. I've continued that into my adulthood, although I can best be described as a "serial hobbyist." I spent three years making ceramics. It was very enjoyable and almost therapeutic spinning a block of clay into usable vessels. The big turnoff came at the point I realized the studio I had been visiting almost daily had absolutely no ventilation system; even the kiln wasn't vented. That and other safety issues sent me packing, which may have been a good thing, since I still have a closet filled with pottery. I would have been approaching one of those eccentrics you read about who are found lost in a maze of ceramics.
I decided returning to painting was the way to go, so I immersed myself in making acrylic paintings that I like to say "only a family member would love."

This was quickly followed by a year spent crocheting: scarves, blankets and a shawl. Notice all of these pieces are flat. I'll admit I wasn't quite able to grasp the more advanced patterns and I quickly discovered that I could only use so many scarves, living in a moderate climate.

Not sure what hobby will be next, but for right now I am having a fun time blogging away my fears and frustrations and I don't seem to be running low on either of these!

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by BOCA. Visit the Boca balanced living site .

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Not Content with My Content

I typically like to have many blog posts in draft form, at the ready in case I go through a dry spell in terms of exciting things happening in my life (which is likely). So last night I checked what was on the docket in terms of drafts (Having just used the word "docket," it seems I am putting that 6 month paralegal class to work. And, no, it wasn't one of those Sally Struthers' correspondence schools, although come to think of it the school name did begin with the name "Sunshine") .

Dare I say, it was pretty "slim pickens": an unflattering photo of me and VC taken at the local big box store, a post about why I am like marrying a man, and a whiny post about my Kleen Kanteen. Incredulous that this was all I had in reserve, I quickly paged through my list of posts in search of more drafts, hoping I had a "gem" in there somewhere. Nada.

Then I had a "shocking" revelation. All of the time I spend on Twitter posting useless tidbits and what in my mind are witty @replies, has taken time away from producing actual blog content! (insert gasp here)

As every good blogger knows, content is king, especially when you are a blogger like myself with limited technical skills, unless you count troubleshooting video editing problems and reinstalling windows on my PC, which is pretty much how I have spent the last 3 weeks.

As I was saying, content is king. Now you are probably thinking, oh, now she thinks she's some big social media "expert," even though it specifically states in her Twitter profile that she is NOT a social media expert. Next thing we know she'll be posting "25 Mistakes not to Make When Using Twitter" and "How to Make Social Media Work for You" kind of posts.Not to brag or anything, but now that I discovered my bounce rate is better than Chris Brogan's I'm thinking I may just be able to pontificate on such matters in the future. Yeah, right.

Finding myself scrapping the bottom of the barrel, I recalled some wise words I learned from a fellow Twitterer: It is helpful to look over your Tweets to get ideas for blog posts. Why didn't I think of that?? It may have had something to do with the content of my Tweets. Here's a sample from Tuesday's time line:

- In answer to Question 8A- yes we do have a flush toilet, although it doesn't compare to the Champion 4

- When they say this lint roller is 50% stickier, they mean it; this thing is almost hazardous

- Enjoying the Today show coverage of cars idling outside Blair House and people checking their coats for lint

I'm going to stop right there, since I am embarrassed to say that I had two posts about lint in the SAME day. Maybe it is not wise to take the advice of this Twitterer. Perhaps I need to reconsider all the other "wise advice" I have gotten via Twitter about making millions or getting thousands of followers on my blog. (You mean that doesn't really happen?) Or maybe I need to make a post about lint. The better choice may be to go with Plan A:


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The North-going Zax

I almost feel like any post that follows the previous one will be grossly out of place. I had several posts prepared but everything seems so trite and unimportant at this point.

MA always seemed to enjoy the posts where I examined my own idiosyncrasies, so I have chosen to go with this post, bearing in mind that I realize there are many more important things that could be said*.


Lately, I am more and more convinced that I am turning into Dr. Seuss' North-going Zax. If you are unfamiliar with his classic novel, here's a short summary via Wikipedia:

"The Zax" is a lesson about the importance of compromise. In the story a North-going Zax and a South-going Zax meet face to face in the Prairie of Prax.

Because they refuse to move east, west, or any direction except their respective headings, the two Zax become stuck, as they refuse to move around each other. The Zax stand so long that eventually a highway overpass is built around them, and the story ends with the Zax still standing there.

Having been stubborn from the time I could turn my head left to right and utter "uhn uhn" as in "no no," my family is probably already nodding in agreement.

It is not easy being the North-going Zax. I have always marched to my own drummer. Tell me how something is customarily done or must be done and I'll do it my own way. Thanyouverymuch. I'm stubborn through and through when it comes to taking a stand against rigid traditions and other nonsense of this sort. Try to tie me down and I'll kick and scream. Try to pin me in a corner and I'll push my way out.

Gosh, I sound awfully fun to live with!

Here's the real story. I TRY to be the North-going Zax, but what usually ends up is that I grudgingly go along with what I *should* do, the "proper" thing to do, my voice silenced. Again.

No need to build an overpass around me because I'll be gone by the time you get here.

*If you have time to read some of MA's comments on previous posts, it will give you a sense of what a clever, witty, intelligent, feisty & fun person she was.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sad News

If you visit here often, you have no doubt read the witty comments and cheerful banter of a frequent visitor and friend, Mad Asthmatic.

I am so sad to let you know that Mad Asthmatic (whose name I just learned was Emma) passed away over the weekend after suffering a heart attack.
She will be missed by so many of us.

Please read her last blog post to see what a wonderful person she was and to get a glimpse of her vibrant attitude.

There is a thread on auk (asthma site) and also people are writing condolences on her facebook page. If you would like any additional information, please send me an email.

Free Makeup - Woo Hoo!

If you are a makeup junkie like me - well, not exactly a "junkie" but a definite "user" on days like today when I wake up with dark rings under my eyes after a fitful night's rest, you will be happy learn that you can get free makeup this week. That's right. FREE MAKEUP.

I received a postcard in the mail the other day regarding the settlement product distribution from a class action suit against Federated Department Stores (which includes Macy's, Bloomingdales and Dillard's). I remember filling out the original form well over a year ago. Members are entitled to one free product this week while supplies last. Eligible products include Lancome, Estee Lauder, Calvin Klein, Clarins and others. And, get this, you don't even have to be an official "member." From what I am reading you just need to sign at the cosmetics counter that you purchased qualifying products.

For full a full list of stores and products, visit the settlement site

Awesome male readers, you will probably want to let your wives know about this...Or pick some skincare products up for yourself!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Biggest Loser

For the next 6 weeks, the Biggest Loser is going to be me. No. I am not going on a diet. MB is going on a diet. (For those of you new to my blog, that it was his head in the Ace cap on the "Gelt" and telling the toilet to "take that" in the Champion 4 photo) The" hotness" that is the picture above was taken on our honeymoon almost 16 years ago. You may have noticed some subtle changes....

Here's why I am going to be the Biggest Loser in all this. When MB goes on a diet, like he did this same time last year, he turns into the most unpleasant boob. And that is putting it nicely. His food deprivation sends him spiraling to becoming just short of a martyr. He goes around barking orders, such as "hide those grocery store circulars," "keep the pantry door closed" and "eat those in the other room where I can't see them."

Last year he lost 55 lbs in the Biggest Loser competition at work and, over the year, he regained over 60 pounds. You may say, "Well, it wasn't worth the effort then, was it?" Remember, this was a contest, which he easily won, pocketing the "prize" of $800!

I tried to discourage him from doing the diet again this year, not because there is less money on the table (although that was a consideration!), but because it is basically unhealthy to lose this much weight so quickly. Not to mention he gained an additional 30 pounds in the past two weeks before the initial weigh-in so that he would have more weight to lose! Go figure! Apologies to my male readers, but I doubt that a sensible woman would take this approach...

It was MB's idea to chronicle his weight loss on my blog. Instead of posting more hairy belly pictures of him, which you already saw here, I will document his weight loss through photos of his face. After 16 years, I know that he is not easily deterred (understatement of the decade). So I will just go along for the lumpy, bumpy ride.

The 8 week competition began on January 6, 2008 with him weighing in at 234 lbs. fully clothed :D He is about at the end of week 2 of the competition.

Before Image January 6, 2008.

after Week 1 January 13, 2008

check back - as I'll be posting photos each week and then the final weigh-in!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Juggler for a Cause

Over the years, I've volunteered at my son's schools, been a Junior Achievement Volunteer, "morning muralist" and served on the board of a non-profit Art League (sounds a lot more impressive than it was, belieeeeve me!) ...
Lately, aside from my work with the "COA" (Cheeseball Overaters Anonymous ;-) kidding!) I haven't been as involved, but one thing we enjoy doing as a family is accompanying VC to his various volunteer jugging gigs. Last Friday, I took him to a local Assisted Living facility and he put on a show for the seniors, complete with a ragtime soundtrack. He does many of these types of volunteer opportunities throughout the year and it gets him and us out into the community and definitely puts a smile on people's faces. Jack the Clown Dog was even impressed!

One thing that I want to improve on in 2009 is to find a "cause" to get behind. If there is a cause or group that you support that you think might be a good fit for me, please leave me a comment about what brought you to the cause and why you enjoy volunteering your time with this particular group.

To find out what Quaker Oats is doing to help end childhood hunger, please visit and

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The OCD'er Checks on the Fish

photo credit bilbord99

[editor's note: I've had this post prepared for weeks but it just kept getting pre-empted by other more important "goodies." I did not intend to have this many butts almost back-to-back this week.]

Also didn't think I'd have the opportunity to tie together OCD and fish in one post, but then an awesome opportunity presented itself: My son was given the responsibility of feeding our neighbors' fish and turning on/off the light for their iguana once a day while they took a week's vacation. He did this for 5 days and then I had to take over since the final two days he would be visiting with my parents.

Sounds easy, right? Put some food in the fish tank. Turn on the light for the fish (or off depending on the day as these are "special" fish) and then turn on or off the light for the iguana. Lock up and leave.

As I am a self-diagnosed OCD case (mild-ish), when I am given any responsibility, I become uber responsible. So on the days I had to do the above, it looked a little more like this:

Put fish food in the tank. Close the lid. Double check that the lid is closed. Think: Did I close the lid securely? Go to the room to turn the light on for the iguana. Make sure I flipped the correct switch. Go back to confirm that I have put the lid on the fish tank and closed the food. Check again on the iguana to make sure the light is on. Lock the door. Double lock the door. Check the door to see if the handle turns. Check it again. Confirm that I also locked the deadbolt. Jiggle the handle to make sure the door does not open. Walk away. Turn around again to re-confirm that the door is locked for sure. (Return to the house before we leave on our own trip to re-re-confirm the door was in fact locked. )

photo credit quinet

Walk home and think about whether or not I am certain that the door is locked since the top lock was "tricky."

Sometimes I am best just not getting involved in these matters. Much too mentally exhausting. Gimme a cheese ball to calm my nerves...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tiny is the New Big

Watching CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood this past Sunday (no, I am not yet a Senior Citizen, although I am set in my ways), I was happy to hear that the average house size has gone from an average of 2,600 at beginning of 2008 to a more sensible 2,400 currently.

I am hoping to go even smaller! I have always had a "thing" for small living spaces. My dream is to get a Tumbleweed Tiny House that I can clean in 10 minutes, freeing me up for other things like Twitter, blogging, making paintings that "only a family member would love," testing toilets and bounce juggling by myself once my son is at college (so sad!)....This is the size I am considering:

117 sq feet should do the trick! And I just noticed that it comes with a red door!! I absolutely <3 red doors! I painted ours red last year. And, 5 coats of paint later, it is relatively easy to spot our house from the street!

p.s. An observant Twitterer has wisely commented on the rather steep price tag! (her exact wording in reference to the pricing was "WTH!") My plan is to have MB "slap" one together for us, our own design, with red door and skylight and tiny pantry for the cheese balls.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gezuar Vitin E Ri

Please allow me to translate. The title of this post reads, "Happy New Year!" in Albanian. Impressed? I would not have had a chance to learn this Albanian phrase, were it not for my Authentic Albanian visitor!

Oh, I've heard the whispers from those of you who do not believe that I had an Authentic Albanian commenter on my blog last week. And I am about to silence the naysayers with this post. If you just so happened to want to know a little more about my Authentic Albanian visitor, read on...

Since Ona was gracious enough to take the time to comment on my site (thank you Ona!), which was especially difficult given the sporadic internet service in Albania, I offered to write a special post about her website.

[I feel badly that his post follows the previous one about the commode, but such is the nature of the CarmaSez blog!]

Ona's website is called It is currently the only Albanian website that provides a list of television programming for the country's most important TV channels, all in one place and always up-to-date. The site was started two months ago as a side-project of two software developers living in France, one Albanian and one German. (The Albanian was visiting my blog while home for Christmas vacation--- so the visit definitely counts!)

The number of visitors to the site is steadily increasing. Wish I could say the same for CarmaSez ;-) ! The service is free both for its users and the TV channels. Since there are a multitude of country-wide and local television channels in Albania, the site is planning to further enlarge our content, especially with local television programs.

If you are interested in learning more about the origins of programiTV or in doing business with them, please email

In addition to teaching me the words for Happy New Year, Ona also provided me with some facts about Albania . She tells me:
"- There are 3.2 million people living inside the country and lots of them outside the country, spread all-over the world.
- internet and information technology are recently experiencing a lot of growth in Albania.
- internet connection is not always very stable ;-) .
- cheeseballs are not a really traditional Albanian food ;-) , nevertheless the local cuisine is very rich."

Ona, thank you again for visiting and commenting on my site. It has been a culturally enriching experience. Thanks also for putting up with my cheesy humor :-). I hope that you will stay in touch and I wish you much success with the programiTV website.

photo credit tobiashm


Monday, January 12, 2009

This Champion Kicks Butt (seriously!)

As you know, we took a little trip over the holidays. We (along with the cheese balls) went to visit my folks at their place in the mountains.

We were eagerly anticipating this trip for weeks due to the new "addition" that we would get to use during our visit, namely don don don donnnnnn "The Champion 4."

My parents ditched the wimpy commode that was installed when they moved in over 5 years ago, with this robust behemoth known as don don don donnnnnn "The Champion 4."

Before I tell you how well it worked, please read some of the American Standard press release:

Strong Silent Champion® 4 Flushing System Sets New Standard in Virtually Clog-Free Performance
".....Champion 4’s wide open, fully-glazed 2 3/8-inch trapway can move almost 70 percent larger mass than a standard two-inch trapway and 40 percent larger mass than the industry’s second best siphonic high-performance toilet."


So if you can imagine the size of the mass your commode can handle, increase it by 70% and you'll see what I'm talkin 'bout. This toilet is unstoppable. Supposedly it can even handle a bucket of golf balls, if you are so inclined. We can confirm that it kicked some serious butt during our visit where we pretty much overate for 5 days straight. MB gave it his best shot and the Champion 4 performed like a true Champion.

Now, I'm off to sit by the phone which I'm sure will be ringing once my parents read this "uncouth" post. toot-a-loo

So while the above post is technically "inappropriate," it is rather wholly appropriate, because I just learned that today is officially Delurker Day! It takes me a while. Had to go to two sites before I realized the significance. So if you are lurking about my site, please leave a comment or two or three!!

BTW if you have not yet cast your vote, there's still time!!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Post Where I Quote P. Diddy

Not sure if you recall, but a couple months ago there was an election. None other than rapper P. Diddy had his own campaign slogan, the subtly titled: "Vote or Die." (just realized that was in 2004 - but for purposes of this post, let's pretend it happened in '08)

There is another election in the works and since I've discovered that bloggers are some of the most shameless self-promoters out there, I hate to be left behind when it comes to said shameless self-promotion.

The election I am referring to is the 2009 Bloggie Awards (official name: Ninth Annual Weblog Awards). Since this election isn't as monumental as the one we had in November, voting in lieu of dying isn't necessary. However, I am humbly asking you to vote for me and and two other bloggers whom I greatly admire.

Here's how it works. Please go to this site (by tomorrow) and consider voting for us in the categories of "Best Writing of Weblog," "Best-Kept Secret Weblog" and mine qualifies for "Best New Weblog" as well.

You will be required to vote for 3 blogs. Here's the trifecta I propose:

(1) Mad Asthmatic and her blog where she, the proper British blogger, pontificates on such matters as mince pies, parties and other proper British things. She has made more mince pies this past month than I have made and eaten in my entire lifetime. MA puts the "F" in Festive.

(2) Lisa (aka Blue State Cowgirl) from If MA puts the "F" in Festive, Blue State puts the "T" in "Telling it like it is." She is an incredibly quick thinker, as well as a farmer, rancher, gardener and vinter. Hope I am not leaving anything out. Her site also features photos of her adorable terriers, beautiful baby photos and mountain ranges "sans cheese balls."

(3), because I "Sez" so. (I mean "hope" so - *fingers crossed, fingers crossed*).....and if I get a "Bloggie" I will have so much to live up to that you will get incredibly thought out and well-written blog posts hereon out, as opposed to sophomoric humor involving photoshopping my husband's head onto a "Gelt." It's definitely worth it on your behalf.

My son in his infinite wisdom just pointed out that I should not post this because it is like asking for subscribers on YouTube and that he hates it when people say, "you sub me; I sub you," etc. I explained that we bloggers commonly resort to tactics such as these and that it is very classy, unlike the pandering on YouTube....

Where was I. Right. Please vote for us. And remember to confirm your ballot when you get the confirmation email. (This is the only email you will get. No mailing lists involved- completely harmless- and that's a Carma Sez Promise!)

Thank you for your time :D Sophomoric posts involving butts and toilets will continue tomorrow....and I wish I was kidding!

photo credit quinnums

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Just Havin' Some Fun...

You knew I couldn't put the "Gelt" to rest without having a little fun first!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Only the Gelt Sc@$*##e Remains

Being a reasonably organized person, by December 26th, I like to have the tree disassembled and stored safely out of sight in the attic. Clutter adds to stress, so I've pared the random decs down to the bare minimum, for easy take down. While I may not be the most "festive," I am surely one of the most efficient. MB was even motivated to take the lights down quickly this year. By Dec. 27th there were not many holiday vestiges remaining, save for the Gelt Sc@$*##e.


I was so enamored with my BIG Christmas present (the orange crunchy one) that I forgot all about the Gelt Sc@$*##e that was in my stocking until tonight. Here's the story: every year MB goes to the German market 45 mins away (well, it used to be authentic German, but has since "changed hands" and them now sell *cough* French Rolls *cough*). He picks up all of the traditional wursts for Christmas Eve dinner, including the suspicious sounding "Blutwurst," which reminds me of the year we had squished Blutwurst all over the white kitchen floor. But I digress...

During his shopping trip, he usually picks up a Gelt Sc@$##*e as a stocking stuffer. For those of you who do not participate in wacky German traditions, the Gelt Sc@$##*e is made of marzipan and looks something like this:

(Yes, those are red butt cheeks with a coin in between them.)

With all signs of the holidays packed away for well over a week, it took me until tonight to rediscover the Gelt Sc@$*##e in the pantry, the last fond memory of Christmas 2008, besides the cheese balls :P

Looking for more ways to clean up after the holidays? Please visit:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

6 Things That Make Me Happy

Mad Asthmatic (a proper British blogger) has tagged me to do the "6 Things that Make Me Happy" meme. hmmm...Let's see :

(1) Raindrops on roses
(2) Whiskers on kittens
(3) Bright copper kettles
(4) Warm woolen mittens
(5) Brown paper packages tied up with strings
(6) Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Here's my own original 6 (I'll start with the obvious):

(1) The anticipation of an Albanian commenter (which I sense will be coming soon)
(2) An empty cheese ball container - at 9g of fat per serving - need I say more
(3) Quadruple whisked low fat mayo
(4) Compliments other than that I "resemble the New York Central train"
(5) Being mom to a newly minted teenager !
(6) A really, really quiet day at work so I can in a sense get "paid to blog" (and tweet) :D

I tag: Eva, Karen, Jodi,
Krissi, Kathy, Sarah

The rules…
Link to the person who gave you the award. If you want.
Post the rules on your blog.
List six things that make you happy.
Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
Let the person who awarded you know when your entry is up.


Going, Going,....Gone


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Blogging Life Is Complete

I promised Big News yesterday....

And this time I have delivered! It is with knees quivering and fists clenched in excitement that I convey this happy news to you...I have, in fact, had my first Albanian visitor!!

Best not to examine the report too closely or you will see that said Albanian visitor spent zero time on my site..which is the same for the countries that follow Albania on the report, including my favorite country "Not Set."

I am most grateful to Blue State Cowgirl for sending out the call to her minions. I am convinced it was her tweets such as this one: "I'm hearby requesting that my legions of Albanian fans go directly to the blog of @CarmaSez A good read!" (a good read indeed!) that resulted in adding this crowning achievement to my blog, not the Albanian balloons which I felt would surely lure a an Albanian visitor or two. I am also fairly certain, but not positive, that Mark's advice to rub sausage and sauerkraut on my neck failed to deliver as promised...

Blue State went above and beyond the call of duty. Noticing that I failed to adequately photograph the Blue Ridge Mountains on my recent trip, she provided me with some superb photos from her 2007 cross country trip. Yes, you heard me right. Instead of getting my own photo of the mountains when I was 5 minutes from them, I have relied on someone from clear across the country to provide me with a photo. I like to conduct all my business this way.

(I have taken the liberty of adding my calling sign to the photo.)

I know that I will sleep like a baby tonight, having accomplished the mission I set out to achieve over a week ago. "But Carma," you ask "Wasn't it a two-part goal (1) to get an Albanian visitor and (2) for them to leave a comment?"

Baby steps. Baby steps...


Monday, January 5, 2009

You Want Mountains? I'll Give You Mountains

We took a long hike yesterday and came upon this beautiful scene of a train passing through the mountains.

What's that, you say? It looks like a model railroad replica of the Blue Ridge Mountains??

Ok, so I never made it to the mountains to take a hike, but I did spend hours perusing the city of Asheville and checking out all the funky shops. I especially got a kick out of the place that sold irreverent t-shirts with slogans such as "Uncle Sam wants you to join the U.S. Army - travel the world and meet exotic people to shoot" or the shop with a magnet that said, "Jesus Saves but Buddha Recycles." Think about it. [Disclaimer: these slogans do not reflect my political or religious views, but they are pretty darn funny in a warped way..]

There are always lots of buskers around Asheville, which made me wish we had brought Varmint Critter along to astound the crowds with his amazing juggling skills and raise enough money to cover the parking meter and a fancy lunch ;)

The funniest sight was the most effervescent busker I have ever seen: He was playing the fiddle, while dancing wildly and singing songs loudly if not a bit off key. He was dressed like a banker, which may, in fact, have been his 9 to 5 profession. (Hopefully he was not a former Wachovia or BofA employee- although judging by the amount of money in his fiddle case, he may make a better living off fiddling.) As one bystander commented, "If he can do this, he can do anything."

One of these days I hope to be that person, the one who isn't scared of making a fool of themselves in public-- as opposed to on my blog...

Since I promised mountains and did not deliver, we tried to take a photo at the steep scenic overlook along the highway on the way home, but, just my luck, it was socked in with fog!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Who Uses An Atlas Anymore Anyway???

Why, we do, of course! You may think that we needed to bring this Atlas on our trip to navigate an unchartered course through treacherous terrain, but you would be wrong. We have traveled this journey so many times I could do it with my eyes closed (although that would not be prudent).

MB packed the atlas because a new stretch of highway recently opened 11 miles away (5 mins) from our house. It would have been crazy to leave it at home and risk taking the wrong exit, especially when there are huge signs posted all along the way...With this outdated Atlas, MB left nothing to chance.

*I have sanitized the city so that no crazy blogger stalkers can track me down; which is ironic when you consider people are posting their GPS location tracking on Twitter. I wonder if there is some type of Atlas tracking that I can use on maybe I can post the page and grid number!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Off on a Little Jaunt

to visit the mountains. The mountains are actually a lot grander than they appear in this photo.
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