Saturday, April 29, 2006

Late Night Ramblin'

It's past midnight on Saturday, a fairly successful day here... I got most of the seeds planted, just the sunflowers, moonflowers, and snowballs to go... I've put in all the herbs--we'll see if they take. Our soil here pretty well sucks... We've got lots of clay. However, the hostas are absolutely thriving in it... Go figure.

We had the nicest kid in the world over to do the grass and he threw in free weed whacking. He charged half what our old kid charged, did twice the work, and a much better job. I insisted Michael pay him extra, but Michael pretty well planned to anyway. His father is a building contractor of some sort (I'm not clear on the details), so now we can get some help with some repair projects that need doing and hopefully get that all important railing installed!

The house is pretty much back to normal after all the excitement of the past 3 months. All the beds are covered in clean sheets, the floors are all vacuumed and washed, the dusting is done, the laundry is done, all the extra pillows and blankets are put away, and the dishes are done. I need to get lots of cleaning and organizing done in the kitchen, but that can go on hold for another day.

I've given up on The Good News Gazette after three years and The Celebrity Wedding Blog after just a few months. I enjoy blogging here for the fun of it, but I'm tired of the 'have to' blogs and when the expiration date came up on, I just decided I didn't want to renew it, as Michael and I seemed to be the only ones really reading it. It was nice to look on the bright side for the past 3 years, but now with life changing, I'm just ready to shake off as many of the extraneous 'have-tos' as I can and concentrate on new 'have-tos' and 'want-tos'. Mainly my house.

The house has turned into my biggest hobby. I never could have imagined it, but I get such a sense of satisfaction from painting, planting, gardening, cleaning, decorating, organizing, etc. To know that the house is MINE, all MINE, and for better or for worse, I have to live with every decision I make about it, well, it just keeps me happy as anything. I hope we'll never have to sell it, but if we do, I know each thing we've done thus far will pay us back tenfold.

Heather, Nancy, Judy and I have started our monthly 'girls only' dinner. We all sat around on Tuesday and talked about life and love and crazy things we want to do or have done. We're going to rotate cooking duties, but will meet at Judy's, as it's a good halfway point for us all to be. It's nice to have a place to go blow off steam in a way you can only with your best gals! While I love my male friends, there's something about really getting it out there with other women that helps you figure things out in a different way.

The bunnies are thriving. We've gone a full 48 hours without losing one, we're well past the critical 72 hour stage, and we're well on our way to the next milestone, the 10 day mark. Then they'll be able to start eating solid pellets and drinking water (imagine! at 10 days old?!). Meanwhile, Michael and I have a new bunny arrival of our own. Brown Bunny has taken up residence somewhere in our yard... I found Brown Bunny hiding in our strawberry bushes, but Scotty weedwhacked the heck out of those, so I think now he's living out back somewhere. We came out tonight, and there was Brown Bunny, happy as you please, sitting on our patio, just staring at us. He hopped away, but only through the gate and hopped us down to the car and watched us leave. I've seen him every day this week, and he seems perfectly content to be living in our back yard, and I love having him here. He's a reminder that we're further and further from the city. So I hope he'll stay safe and live out there all summer...

On the movie and book front... Finished a couple of Netflix... I saw "Capote" as I wanted to watch a lot of this year's Oscar winners. I thought the movie itself was kind of disjointed and the editing wasn't all that spectacular. You could tell where they cut off the scenes right in the middle, because the dialogue came to an abrupt end and the actors were still walking or moving. I also watched "Murderball" about the wheelchair rugby team. It was kind of different and interesting. I was just as glad not to be stuck in a wheelchair any more, but did learn a fair amount about quadriplegia--things I never knew! And polished off Season Two of "Arrested Development" as well. I loved it. Season 3 hasn't been released yet. For book club, I finished "The Friend That Got Away" which was pretty good. Nothing earth shattering--the typical reasons friendships break up, but I enjoyed reading it. There were 20 different true short stories in the book, and they ranged from completely uninteresting to totally riveting in my view. This is my second short story anthology of the year, and I enjoy reading them, since if you don't like a particular story, you can skip it and move on... Now I'm reading Kris Radish's "Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral"and it has moved me to tears since page 1. I am loving it. Also trying to slog through 2 freebies sent to me to peruse for the book club. Will comment on those as I get through them.

And that's all the news that's fit to print from FXBG tonight! Back soon with more updates...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Blog Cloud...

Courtesy of

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The ABC's of Me (Stolen From Annette)

A - Available: No
A - Age: 30
A - Annoyance: I have to choose just one? I'll go with DC traffic, since I have to drive to work soon.

B - Best Friends: My husband, my sister, my Mike & Lesley, and my girls
B - Bad Habit: biting my nails
B - Birthday: August 23

C - Crush: I don't need to broadcast it on my blog, most people already know LOL
C - Car: '04 Saturn Ion--needs a good wash, vacuum, and oil change
C - Cats: Michael's allergic to 'em, so my cat, Buster, lives with my mom

D - Dead Pets Name: I had TONS of pets growing up... Scissor, Emily, Lady, Ebony, Fluff, Raggs, Sheba, Smoke, Spiegel, Midnight, Jammer, Rainer, Tibbs, Dexter and tons more besides
D - Desk Top Picture: At home, my book club. At work "Arrested Development"
D - Dogs: none; don't want the responsibility here at home when I'm at work all day

E - Easiest person to talk to: Probably my sister
E - Eggs: Can't stand 'em
E - Email: for purposes of this thing? kosior spam at yahoo dot com

F - Favorite color: Green
F - Food: I love cooking it, I love eating it
F - Foreign Slang: For some reason, I do call people nasty names in either French or German.

G - Gummy Bears or Worms: Bears, definitely
G - God: He's out there.
G - Good Times: Girls night out, book club, geocaching, going to old town, yadda yadda. Anything is a good time if you see it the right way...

H - Hair Color: Brown
H - Height: 5'8
H - Happy: 99% of the time

I - Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry's... Oh and Godiva makes some AMAZING ice cream
I - In school?: Thankfully, no
I - Introverted or Extroverted?: According to the MBTI, I'm introverted

J - Jewelry: Just my wedding rings. I have more, but my darn sensitive skin doesn't allow me to wear much
J - Job: Rehab teacher
J - Jokes: The only one that comes to mind is... "What do you call a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?"

K - Kids: Not right now
K - Karate: Never interested me. I leave it to Ralph Macchio
K - Kung fu: Just not into it

L - Longest Car Ride: From Little Rock, AR to Homosassa Springs FL--took 21 hours
L - Longest relationship: 7 years and counting
L - Last phone call: My sister last night

M - Milk Flavor: Chocolate
M - Mothers Name: Susan
M - Movie Last Watched: Walk the Line

N - Number of Siblings: One officially, two including the unofficial one
N - Northern or Southern: NORTHERN!!!
N - Name: Susan (How can you not know this? Surely there was a better N)

O - One Phobia: The dentist
O - Open or Closed?: Open
O - Orgasm: *blink blink*

P - Parents, are they married or divorced: Divorced
P - Part of your jerking: I have no idea what this means? Annette, where the heck did you find this thing?
P - Part of your personality you like best: My sense of fairness

Q - Quote: All my quotes come from movies
Q - Question for the next person?: What does "part of your jerking" mean?
Q - Quick or Slow?: Quick

R - Reality TV Show: Dog, the Bounty Hunter
R - Right or Left: right-handed, left-politics
R - Right now: Stalling driving back to Fairfax

S - Song Last Heard: Cry by Faith Hill
S - Season: Spring--I'm in heaven right now!
S - Sport: Minor League baseball

T - Time you woke up: 7:20
T - Time Now: 8:03
T - Time for bed: 11pm ish

U - Unknown Fact about me: I don't think there are any, I'm an open book--probably because of these things
U - Unicorns: They still exist in Harry Potter's world
U - You are: alive

V - Vegetable you hate: Asparagus
V - Vegetable you love: Fresh green beans
V - Voice: Alto!

W- Worst Habits: Overly concerned with the outward appearance of the inside of my house
W- Where are you going to travel next?: Sunset Beach, NC
W - Where were you born?: Star Lake, NY

X - X-Rays: I've had TONS of them recently on my leg, and more next week!
X - XXX: Never saw the movie
X - Xylophone: I used to love playing with the one we had as little ones

Y - Year you were born: 1975
Y - Year it is now: 2006
Y - Yellow: Used to be the color of my bedroom

Z - Zoo Animal: The panda bears!
Z- Zodiac: Leo/Virgo
Z - Zoolander: Ben Stiller

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Babies, Day Two

They are starting to get all furry!!! You can see the white fuzz on the tops of the little pinky guys' heads. The little pink guys are very independent. Rocky, Rambo, and Suisse still love snuggling together. We just absolutely love them... :-)

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Babies, Day One

Told ya they were UGLY :-) The little pink one who is second from the left died this afternoon. All the others are wiggling and squirming like champions.


This weekend, my college roommate Kerriann was in town. I haven't seen her since 1998, and it was one of those strange things that occurred as a result of my broken leg!

One weekend, Joe and I were bored, and we were sitting around and decided to find out who we could get in touch with from Manhattan. We called Kerriann and it turned out to be her partner's phone we called, not hers. She called us back almost 3 weeks later, and we called her back, she'd call us back, we'd call her back... It was all back and forth, but finally we found out she was coming to DC this very weekend...

So we all made plans to get together on Sunday with her, and it turned out to be a perfect day!

Of course she lost our phone number and we lost hers, so Joe and I decided just to go to Dupont Circle to find her anyway.

We got a bit lost, and just as we found her hotel, we saw her coming right at us, across the street. It was a wonderful reunion, like no time had passed, really. We had a nice brunch, complete with mimosas, at Kramerbooks in Dupont, and then went to the Smithsonians for the afternoon.

We saw THE WORST Imax 3D movie ever, Disney should really be ashamed of themselves. It was called "Aliens From the Deep" and was about seeking out creatures in the ocean where there is no sunlight for photosynthesis...

Instead, it was about bacteria, shrimp, and tube worms, and how their presence may signal life on the moons of Jupiter. Such outdated phrases as "That's so awesome!" and "That's the bomb!" came from the mouths of the main scientists profiled. While I do still say "awesome"--after watching that piece of junk, I may never say it again...

The 3D was bacteria, which looked like little more than dandelion fluff, an elephant's trunk (certainly useful in a film about the ocean) and a guy juggling. The 3 of us literally fell asleep.

Afterwards we had lunch in the sculpture garden and went to the Hirschorn. Now, in the interest of fair reporting, I must say, I've been to the Hirschorn once, and I absolutely HATED it. I'm not a fan of modern and post-modern art, and just found it to be ridiculous. However, they were showing the work of this Japanese photographer, and I must say, it was absolutely serene and entrancing. There was one room, which they painted black and projected his black and white seascapes onto white canvases. It was so calming and quiet and peaceful in there, I hated to leave. Joe and I agreed we'll have to go back sometime and just sit in that room.

Afterwards, Kerriann's partner was ready to meet us for dinner and we all went back to Dupont and had Asian tapas. The restaurant was quite good, and we got along well with Bethany and her 2 friends who joined us, despite that we had all never met.

We had to say goodbye, since my legs and feet were killing me (I may never again venture to DC without a wheelchair, people are SO RUDE and my body is just not at that level yet) and we went home, where Joe gave me some hard-core Advil and I passed out cold. So cold that I didn't even hear Valentina's big excitement all evening ;-)

So I hope we'll be able to see Kerriann again soon and I'm looking forward to my next DC trip with MIKE AND LESLEY in just about a month's time :-) Hopefully I won't need the wheelchair by then. hehe


This morning, I woke up at my sister's house and she was all agitated. She said her bunny had been up all night, making noise and banging around in his cage. She was pissed off, but worried, because a lot of his fur had fallen out while he was so agitated.

We got to talking, and all of a sudden, Valentino let out this god-awful screech, and Judy ran over to make sure he was ok.

All of a sudden she starts screaming, "His intestines are falling out! We have to find a vet! OH MY GOD!"

And then, "Holy crap, we've got babies."

I walked over and saw a bunch of little squirming bodies, and I too said, "Holy crap."

I called Joe over, and he looked in and said, "Holy crap"...

Once we got our heads together, I called the General, who said, "Holy crap"...

Yes, we all had the exact same reaction.

Valentina (as she is now known), proudly cleaned her babies off and left the cage, which is what mama rabbits are apparently supposed to do. I hate to say this, but baby bunnies are BUTT UGLY little things. They're so ugly, they're precious.

We had little choice but to go to work, and this afternoon I went back to look after them while I rested my leg from a rather taxing weekend (more on that later)... The babies were transferred to a warm, safe nest made out of towels, and unfortunately 2 of them were dead. But we still have 5, kicking and screaming, 2 of whom we've named Rocky and Rambo for their willingness to kick the tail (or face) of anyone who gets too close. There's also a silvery skinned one we've named Switzerland (or Suisse for short) for her refusal to get involved in any sort of conflict with her siblings, and 2 white ones who are as of yet unnamed. The 2 babies who died will be buried in our backyard, under some new snowball bushes we just got. We had named one of them Lazarus since it seemed like he was dead and then he made a miraculous recovery throughout the afternoon... But he didn't quite look normal, so I'm not surprised he died. The other we named Job.

The above picture is Valley sitting on the babies within 5 minutes of their birth...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I went in to work yesterday... For 2 1/2 hours. It took me longer to drive there and back.

Because there is no way I can resume a full schedule of normal duties (I can't stand on my feet for hours yet), and the doctor's note says "Return to work 4/17/06", everyone is being overcautious until the doctor can write more specific orders about being at sedentary duty or not.

So, they sent me home "for your protection as well as ours"...

I hate that phrase. I guess it's the nature of our litigious society.

I took the paperwork over to my doctor's office and isn't he out until next Tuesday!? UGH!

I know, I know, I should be grateful for another week off, but I'm not. I mean, yes, at least I can get in the car and go somewhere and do something. True enough. That's better than before when I was stuck.

But I felt so good to be able to get up and get dressed and go into the office, and see everyone... *Sigh*

Well, at least I can continue to run my restaurant empire for a while longer ;-)

And finally, a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister, Judy :-) 28 years old... You're getting to be an old lady like your sister!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Productive Weekend

Well, we got the wall up! :-)

Joe and I worked on it and it's up! I can hardly believe we built a small retaining wall in our front yard, but we did it.

I'm posting a small picture of it. Yes, there is obviously still a lot to do, but I'm pleased by all our progress. I've been sitting on a rolling cart and going up and down the sidewalk to get things done, and Joe has been the muscle.

I don't have any advice, per se, on the construction of such a wall... We totally eyeballed it and packed in dirt where it seemed to be needed. Then we watered everything down and raked a lot. The results are speaking for themselves...

The rest of the hostas are in (you can see a few in the above picture), and the herb garden will go in behind the retaining wall (after much debate about the best location. Our cottage garden wildflowers are also starting to sprout. I managed to also buy a new blade for the lawn mower, and hopefully the General will be calling the kids about mowing the lawn soon. He says it's my job and I say it's his ;-)

It was a lovely weekend, and a really lovely Easter. I devised a new cake/torte--four layers of cake and chocolate mousse (homemade of course!) covered in homemade chocolate ganache. We also had a delicious ham and scalloped potatoes.

Tomorrow I go back to work. YIKES!!! Hopefully it will go well. I've got the walker in the car, and a crutch, so I can go by what I feel.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's Pretty Much Over...

I saw Dr. Kirchmier again today, and he removed my stitch... Yeah, I know A SINGLE STITCH, not too exciting, but it kinda hurt. Not in an "Oh my God, I've just fallen on the ice and I think I may have--yup, yup, I've definitely broken something, and it's cold out and how am I going to get back in the house without freezing to death" kind of way, but it hurt in a pinching kind of way.

Anyway, it's pretty well done. I got a note that I can go back to work next week, and I've been ordered to quit using the crutches and exercise my ankle! I have to go back in 3 weeks and if I'm not walking normally and the X-rays don' t look good, I have to go to physical therapy. But Dr. K said that's pretty rare, and he doesn't expect I'll have to do it.

So, I came home and worked out in the yard a little bit, sitting on our rolling yard cart, digging holes and planting my hostas that just arrived. We had a very successful weekend with yardwork this weekend--Joe dug a 50'x3' trench along the sidewalk so I could put all the plants in, and Judy got rid of 2 more stumps and cleaned out the flower beds, which we then planted with a "Cottage Garden" wildflower mixture. I think we may have drastically overseeded the whole thing, but what the hell. We got all the edging pulled up, which we're going to recycle into a retaining wall if it looks like it will work... Now I just need someone to cut the grass! I put in 5 hostas today, and hope to get the rest in by the end of the week, as well as continuing to weed out the beds, plant the snowball bushes and strawberry plants, install an herb garden, and work on the retaining wall project... We'll see how it goes!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Surgery Number Two: Complete, Success

Thank you all so much for your prayers and thoughts today... It meant so much to me!

It turned out to be a much bigger deal than I was lead to believe--I had to check into the hospital, put on the gown, get an IV and the whole 9 yards...

I wound up sleeping through it--they gave me the gas this time instead of whatever drugs knocked me out the first time, and when I woke up I had a tube down my nose and an oxygen mask on, which scared the living daylights out of me!

I asked the nurse how long I had been there and she said about 20 minutes. It was 12:50 and my surgery had started at 11:30! So I think it took a while longer than the 5-30 minutes the doctor predicted...

The nursing staff was wonderful, and they did save the screw for me, so I now have a nice little souvenir of what was in my leg for the past 6 weeks. The nurse removed the tube from my nose (man is my throat sore!) and put a regular oxygen hose on me instead of a full mask covering my nose and mouth.

After another 1/2 hour, they put me back in the same day surgery bay and Michael and Judy were allowed back in. I was given ginger ale and saltines, which helped, and eventually the nurse asked me if I wanted to go home, to which I replied "YES!"

I did have to use the bathroom, but said I was nervous to try walking. She told me it was the bathroom or a bedpan, and I said "I'm not THAT nervous!" and stood up for the first time on both feet.

They gave me a walker, and miracle of miracles, I took my first steps in 7 weeks.

When I got into the bathroom, I sat down on that toilet and cried. And when I came out, Judy had tears in her eyes.

It was so special.

We got home around 3:30, I had some chicken mcnuggets--my post-surgery treat of choice--and went to bed for the next 4 hours. I woke up in time for "Deal or No Deal" and "Lost" and came upstairs to go to bed.

But I didn't want to leave anyone hanging... I'll be around sporadically for the next couple of days. I'm back on Vicodin to ease the pain, and yes, my leg HURTS (i've also had a killer headache, no doubt from whatever anesthesia I got).

I will be seeing the doctor again on April 13th, exactly 2 months to the day of my accident, to have my stitches removed and have a follow up exam. After that, I hope I'll be fully recovered!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I have the world's greatest husband...

...he comes home from work, after leaving at 5:30AM, announces he's going to do the laundry, and sings while he does it...

I love this man.

Book Club: Elegant Gathering of White Snows

Last night my book club and I was able to present my first book since I started the club back in November '04! (We pick one book each per year and then draw randomly to decide when we're going to read that book.)

I had selected Kris Radish's The Elegant Gathering of White Snows and had contacted Kris to call in and talk with the club, which she did.

It was an amazing night, probably one of our best book clubs ever.

The book is about 8 women living in rural Wisconsin who decide in a moment that they will get up and just start walking to rid themselves of their demons. Their walk becomes an international phenomenon and they are able to move on with their lives and take the steps they need to take to improve their lives from that point forward.

Ms. Radish is an amazing speaker, probably the best call in we've had, and was willing to answer any questions we asked, plus a few of her own invention. She discussed her new books as well, and her work as a feminist, a columnist, and a mom.

I will definitely be reading some of her other books, and she mentioned her latest "Annie Freeman's Fabulous Travelling Funeral" has been optioned for a movie.

If you're interested in her books or learning more about her, go to her website at

If you run a book club, many authors will be happy to call in and sometimes visit your club in person. So far, we've had Phillip Gulley, Leah Stewart, and Kris Radish call in, and Patrick Sanchez actually came. It's a lot of fun to get the author's background stories and points of view and to ask questions to things you hash over and can't quite come up with the answers to yourselves.

Also, we'll be featured in the May issue of Washingtonian Magazine as one of the featured book clubs. Look for the Lit Chicks. :-) I was interviewed for it right after my accident. Hope I sounded coherent. hehe