Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Uninvited Guest & GIVEAWAY

Thursday night our house will be jammed packed for a fund-raiser supporting a charity close to our hearts.  And I mean jammed packed!

The food will be plentiful, wine will flow, and if everyone shows up that have RSVP'd, it will be standing room only... Which is not exactly what I'd planned.  Of course when invitations were mailed, we were hopeful all would attend but the reality is our house isn't that big... And, this is a fund-raiser, on a week night, and the odds of 100% participation are usually slim to none. 

Call me one lucky (or crazy) girl but I have my fingers crossed that a big turnout means a lot of much need funds will be raised. uninvited dinner guest has already arrived-- Two days early!  And he (gawd, I'm praying it's a HE) is very hungry.

Bright and early Tuesday morning, my husband called me into the kitchen with a tone of voice usually reserved for big scary spiders that he wants me to deal with.  I padded in still blurry-eyed, expecting to remove the creepy crawling bugger, but instead he asked if I'd recently eaten an apple-- Which I definitely had not.

Upon closer examination, I realized, based on the teeth marks, that we had a good sized mouse (please gawd, not a rat) hanging out in our kitchen.

Damn it!

Several traps smeared with peanut butter were immediately set-- Traps leftover from a mouse scare about this time last year.  There were no mice then, but there is no doubt at least one mouse is definitely in our house now!  (Please, please, please gawd, just one!)

But the traps in the kitchen did not work and last night as were were getting ready for bed, mouse poop greeted us on our bathroom sink.  At that point I was totally creeped out and there was absolutely no way I was sleeping in our adjacent bedroom. 

About the time my husband rolled his eyes at me for the third time arguing that we did not have to sleep upstairs in the guest room, the little black mouse, now fattened up by all the apples he's eaten in the last 36 hours, ran across the room and back into the bathroom.  To say that got my husband's attention is an understatement.

We slammed the doors closed, ran for the traps in the kitchen, reset them in the bathroom-- now that our critter was captive, and banged around so the mouse would stay under the vanity until we were out of the bathroom.  We slept peacefully in the guest room sure we'd have a fat mouse in one of the many traps in the morning.

We did not.  No mouse, but all traps were snapped closed and peanut butter foot prints were everywhere. 

Today my dear, fearless friend has arrived to take matters into her own hands.  As I type this post, she's locked in the bedroom in search of the mouse.  She's talking to the rodent in a nice sweet voice as she digs through my closet, under my sink, and through the vanity.  I can hear her taking the bed linens off, and working methodically through the rooms.  Every now and then she shouts her progress to me on the opposite side of the door-- Lots of poop, everywhere.  I can't believe she's doing this.  What a great friend.

My fingers and toes are all crossed that she's successful, at which point I will be eternally grateful and in her debt for the rest of my life.  If, by chance, the fat pain in my behind has left the bedroom and moved to other parts of the house, I'm prepared with all of this...

The party is tomorrow night.  If we are not successful I can just imagine-- The buffet table fulled with tri-tip sliders, grilled salmon, numerous side dishes, and the big, fat, black mouse racing from dish to dish on the buffet thinking he's hit the mother load of food, and not caring one bit about the 40+ people gasping in shock.  That outta motivate people to reach for their checkbooks, don't you think? 

Oh.  My.  Gawd!  These traps better work-- Fast.

Any advice?
Welcome to
Photo credit: © cienpiesnf -

 Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY to win one of these gorgeous ornaments!  Leave a comment on this post to enter.  And CLICK HERE for Giveaway details and another chance to win!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Ornament Giveaway!

Now that Thanksgiving is over and I'm well past my turkey coma, I don't mind the endless Christmas music on the radio anymore-- I'm actually enjoying it!  But what I'm not enjoying is the battle for a parking space at my local mall.  Ahh, this the season.

Thank heaven for blogger extraordinaire, Attila The Mom, and her crew of very talented folks who make the gorgeous fabric ornaments shown above.  Those beauties are all hand made and so beautiful that I own several of them already-- And I never had to leave the comfort of home to get them.  Isn't online shopping great?

Some of you may recall that Attila provided one of these gems as a giveaway for me last year, and now I'm totally in the Christmas spirit because she's offering another one this year!

What makes these ornaments so special and why I'm happy to participate in this giveaway is because of the significance of how these ornaments and the company, Highland Roses Design, came to be.  It all started with Attila's family... 

Highland Roses Design Collaborative Craft Studio is a privately-funded project that provides individuals who live with disabilities and/or mental illnesses as well as their family caregivers an opportunity to step towards independence through the sale of our own arts and crafts creations. They accept no grants or government funding, and are working to become self-sustaining through our own endeavors.

Every step of this undertaking is a collaborative effort---from design to creation. Each distinctive ornament is produced by several sets of hands---all working together to create something special!  For more info or to place an order CLICK HERE. 

I can't tell you how blown away I was when I received my first ornament from this hardworking group of crafters.  They are beautiful-- Not just the ornaments, but the hands and hearts that made them.  Here's YOUR chance to own one too. 
 Christmas Ornament Giveaway!  
 Choose from one of the three ornaments pictured as your prize. 

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on THIS POST and/or on and or all of my new my posts between now and midnight PT, December 15, 2012.  The more you comment, the more chances you have to win.

And, if you want to be a super elf and help spread the word-- Just blog about the giveaway and/or Highland Roses Design's ornaments, linking to THIS POST, and you'll get THREE MORE chances to win.

Easy peasy.

Giveaway available to everyone, everywhere in the world, as long as you have a blog and I can email you for your address.  I'll notify the winner on December 16th.  

So come-- Get in the Christmas spirit and enter to win!
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Comes First

As I sit watching TV with a half eaten bag of Halloween candy, I am reminded, despite the barrage of Christmas commercials and the numerous news reports of people camped out in from of retailers for days to get "early bird" specials on Black Friday, that Thanksgiving Comes First.

And really, it should-- Thanksgiving coming first, that is-- Especially since it's early this year-- November 22nd.  To that end, I'm focusing on the things I am thankful for while I ignore the non-stop Christmas music on the easy listening radio stations and the endless stream of Christmas commercializing from retailers on the TV that started well before Halloween.  And I'm making a point of NOT Chri$tma$ $hopping before Thanksgiving to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

Instead, in the 22 days leading up to Thanksgiving I am focusing on the many things I am thankful for...

1.  Chocolate.  Because just one bite helps minimize angst, exhaustion and anxiety.

2.  Lumpy turkey gravy.  It immediately reminds me of my late great-grandmother who made the best ever.

Dad, Mom, Granny and me - circa 1964-ish.
3.  Holding hands when my Ohio family says grace before a meal-- even if we're in a restaurant.  Stopping everything everyone is doing to hold hands and give thanks for the day and the meal we are about to share brings tears to my eyes.

4.  My grandparents-- The ones who always welcomed me with open arms and unconditional love.  My first Thanksgiving memories were at the kids' table in their crowded kitchen-- warm from all the cooking and so many people crammed into the small room that the windows "steamed up".

5.  Cool whip.  'Nuff said.

6.  Jello, because it's not Thanksgiving without it.

7.  Friends.  True friends.  Mine are few but priceless.

8.  100 watt light bulbs-- A lot of them, and having them turned on-- All.  The.  Time.  These days I'm still a little spooked because of these idiots so I'm lighting things up day and night to remind myself how thankful I am to have a home, even if it is all glass.

9.  Prayers for my loved ones in need.  Knowing that on a daily basis, loving and generous people I have never met, pray-- by name, for the well-being of people I care about is absolutely humbling and deeply appreciated.

10. My sewing machine and the ability to use my arthritic hands well enough to make this quilt for Middle Sister as a house warming present...

11. A whole week of school vacation for Thanksgiving-- Godson (now in high school) and I have big plans.  And to say that I am thankful that I'm still cool enough for him to hang out with is an understatement.

12. The old cemetery in my hometown.  It's a beautiful place where my dad and his side of the family are all buried.  Rain, shine, blazing heat or brutal winters-- it makes no difference. It's the place to go to be surrounded by love and peace.

13.  I give thanks for breakfast.  Second only to Thanksgiving dinner, it's hands down, my favorite meal.

14.  Flannel pajamas and warm fuzzy socks.

Mom and her dog, Noah.
 15.  I'm thankful for strong female role models growing up.  I had more than my share-- starting with my mother.

16.  All twelve of my nieces and nephews.  They full my heart with joy.

17.  My brother-- The one to call in case of an emergency.  He's rock solid, gives great advice, never judges, and loves with his whole heart.

My siblings and I - circa 1966-ish.
18.  My three sisters--  I can bare my soul to all of them and vice-a-versa.  We are blessed to have each other.

19.  Monopoly-- the game, because it's brought multiple generations of my family together after Thanksgiving dinner for more years than I can count.

20.  I am very thankful for my husband, the love of my life.

21.  My husband.  Because it's worth repeating.

22.  Grandma Lee's Nude Apple Pie.  It was a family favorite dessert, although it was a cake, not a pie and, it was "naked" because there was no frosting.  Gram kept the "recipe" on a 3" X 5" index card covered with spattered ingredients from decades of use.  The thing is though, that the recipe lists all the ingredients but not the quantities.  And her "secret" ingredient that made the cake so darn delicious was never written down.  No matter how hard we've tried, my sisters and I have never been able to come even remotely close to duplicating her cake.  But, the memory of Grandma Lee's cake is still vivid in our minds, especially at Thanksgiving.  And for that reason alone, I don't want to rush past Thanksgiving-- I want to linger in the memories and the joy it brings.

Thanks to Suldog, a terrific blogger and writer, for always reminding us that Thanksgiving Comes FirstCheck it out HERE.  

Happy Thanksgiving.  xo jj
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Really Good Wife

Husband is a UCLA football fan-- Big time!

For the past several years, his team has taken a beating from its cross-town rival USC.

UCLA has a pretty good football team this year (for a change).

We have 50 yard line seats at the Rose Bowl which does NOT have a roof.

It was pouring rain on game day/Saturday.

Pouring.  Rain.

This wife drove her UCLA alumni husband to the Rose Bowl and stood in the rain for 4 long hours.

UCLA won!  (Thank gawd.)

Should there ever be any doubt, this wife has photographic proof of what a reallllly good wife she is.

'Nuff said.

How's your Sunday?

For more Sundays In My City CLICK HERE.
Welcome to  -  Joanna Jenkins