Saturday, December 30, 2006


Since I have been doing graphic design work, I've found an AWESOME place to find colors. This place is not your typical locale. But, colors do work in this facility. That would be your local home do-it-yourself store. For me, my favorite place is called Lowe's. Because they have an AWESOME selection of paint samples, from all the brands they sell. Plus, you can see what colors will work well with others, etc. AND, you get samples! Yes, those samples are used to pick paint for interior, exterior, furniture, etc. But, I like the colors to help me with my design work.

Sometimes, I like to scan in the colors to find them on the color wheel of Photoshop, etc. So, when my next template comes out, it will include colors from a set I found at Lowe's. I'm working on it now, so watch soon!

Love to all,
8^ )

Friday, December 29, 2006

Today and Tomorrow...

So, I'm getting the house ready for the onslaught of little girls. If everyone comes, I've invited 10 girls for Cassi's party. We've got a cake ordered. We're going to order pizza and stuff when the girls arrive.

Today and this evening, I'm finishing getting the house ready. What's going on tomorrow? Yes, Cassi is having a party. Tomorrow, December 30, is Cassi's 7th birthday. My baby is getting OLD. She was an unscheduled Y2K baby. Typically, she's been sick on her birthday, but the last couple years she hasn't been sick at all. When she was born, there were A LOT of complications. Somehow, sickness seemed to show up every year on her birthday. This year has been the first year in a few that she was sick just before her birthday.

My child is asking to be able to play with one of the computers. Right now, my desktop and laptop are in the office. Rob's desktop is attached to the living room TV. It's been fun because we got the TV tuner for the desktop and have been running the cable directly through the computer. I've been able to record my shows and watch them later. Even better than DVR. This came in VERY handy when I did my last paper for my Gender in Comm class.

With all that said, I've got to go finish some dishes, clean off the dining room table, and get miscellaneous stuff ready. I've got TONS of blankets, pillows, etc ready for the girls who don't have any. Plus, right now, I'm listening to the Rocky Balboa soundtrack. It's VERY good. I'll bring my iPod out in the living room and attach to a set of speakers to listen to while I'm working.

If I don't blog again until the weekend's over, you all understand. We're not doing much for New Year's. Don't have the money and don't know where to go anyway. I'm not a big drinker, and haven't been since I stopped traveling for E&Y (used to drink 1 margarita a night when I travelled). AND, for those of you thinking, she must have been a drinker, I've never been DRUNK. We'll probably head to Mom and Dad's, eat, and crash for the night because of the drunks on the street. Plus, Monday, Mom's got her usual pork roast for dinner. Rob's excited because he gets saurkraut (yuk!).

Love to all,
8^ )

A Week...

Well, this has been a week. There was sick kid, Christmas, sick kid, Rob off work, sick kid. Did I mention Cassi was sick?

It has been a crazy week. Starting last Friday, Cassi went to Pa's for the weekend. But, she had to come home Sunday 'cause Santa was coming here to bring her her goodies. I told her we made our final phone conference with Santa while she was gone. We're in the 21st century, gotta get with the times with Santa, folks. Since we're mom and dad, we've got the special 800 number, direct line to Santa. If we didn't have our phone conference, Cassi might not have gotten ANY gifts from Santa this year.

Over the weekend, just the THOUSANDS of other crazy last-minute shoppers bought out last-minute gifts. Can't help it with all the bills and his pay day is the 21st, just before Christmas. I was able to get for myself this AWESOME 2-cup coffee pot. It's from Black N Decker. You can make one 16-oz cup of coffee (or my fave, tea) on one side or two from both sides. Rob suggested getting a coffee bean grinder and buying some coffee, but I'm NOT QUITE READY for coffee. I only like coffee occasionally, which is why a grinder and beans would be good. But, I LOVE it for my chai tea and other loose-leaf teas. I'll DEFINITELY be getting more of that.

We get a call Saturday that Cassi is sick, but Pa and Nana will still keep her until Sunday and bring her home. She started running a fever, etc. But, she came home Sunday tired. I made a roaster chicken, taters, veggies, and had left-over home-made bread. MMMM-MMMM!

Daddy had to work Sunday and Monday night. Because he had off for Thanksgiving and will have off for her birthday and New Year's, Christmas, he was NOT!

While Cassi was gone, I wrapped all of our presents for Cassi (and the other gifts for other people) and hid them. Since her room is right across the hall from us, I didn't want her hearing the wrapping paper. Plus, because of our house, we've got a basement and more storage. So, after daddy went to work and Cassi went to bed, I went to my secret storage spot and pulled out the presents. Daddy wanted Cassi home to be able to open gifts with her Monday morning, after he got home from work and before he went to bed.

Monday morning, boy, did Cassi get a haul. Santa was VERY GOOD TO HER!

She got (let me see if I can remember everything):
  • a scooter
  • a doodle bear (it's a bear you can marker on, then wash it and do it again)
  • books
  • play dough
  • Twister
  • a purse (one for mommy & one for Cassi that are the same large & small)
  • Disney Monopoly
  • Playstation 2 Games including Barbie & the 12 Dancing Princesses, Guitar Hero II, and a few others
  • a play cheerleader outfit
  • a Dora sleeping bag with cushion that transforms into a chair
  • a fleece blankie with the Disney Princesses
  • a set of 6 Disney Princess barbies (see a theme here?)
  • a baking set with chef's hat (I really wanted that for me)
  • oh, that's right, 2 doodle bears
  • Bugs Bunny & Casper cartoons

I think that was it. But, this wasn't all from Santa, mommy & daddy got her a few of these things too. I also gave her today a t-shirt from Cleveland State University. When I took my trip on the bus down to OSU, they gave everyone a shirt. I took the smallest size, which seems to be a good size for a night shirt for her!

Then, we got out stuff together to go to Pa and Nana's. Because she was going back for the week, she never brought her clothes home. So, more goes to their house. Rob says, "Why don't I get dressed and come with you to their house. I can open presents with you guys, then sleep in the side bedroom (Cassi's room) until it's time to eat and go to work. I'll be closer to the clinic."

Not a bad idea. He works in Cleveland. Mom and dad are in Cleveland. Good idea. She got lots of stuff from them too. Slippers, one pair for home and one for there. Pajamas, which were originally labeled for Marie (huhh? Marie was already there and got her goodies). We got a new electric blanket. Rob likes to turn the thing on ROAST. Yep, we've had one for years. He burned out the last control. Hopefully, since this one is electronic, that he won't burn it out. Bea, Grandpa Dave's girlfriend (and so to be wife), gave all of us gag gifts. For Rob, he gave him an elf's costume. I told him he needed to wear it to work OVER his scrubs since he wears all white to work. It would have been HILARIOUS.

We ate din-din around 3pm. Rob wanted to get up to eat with us, but I didn't even attempt to wake him up. I let him sleep til 5pm for him to eat, shower, and go to work. He said he had to fight to stay awake (a thumb up his butt because it was so slow).

So, Cassi stayed and I came home alone. But, while Cassi was gone, I got some much needed quiet and extra sleep. Because Tuesday, we did our "after Christmas/Pre-Spring Cleaning" in the basement. We have always WANTED to clean up our basement. Now, with the babies gone, we did it. The garbage will NOT like us again as we started the cleanout before Christmas. This week, they got pipes, old doors, and wood from the basement. Next week, they're getting everything else. You would have thought we were moving in or something.

By Wednesday, I had to take Cassi to the doctor. She was getting a rash on her stomach and back. According to the doctor, because of her running a fever, the rash might have been caused by the virus. (note to all moms out there reading this) Because of all the SICKNESSES going around here, I'm surprised she stayed healthy as long as she did. We thought maybe chicken pox or measles. This would be a great time to get them as I've still got 2 weeks off before starting back to school on the 16th.

But, she went BACK to Pa's Wednesday night after taking her first dose of liquid Z-pack. She was SO mad that it wasn't her "good" medicine. Yesterday, we get this call from Pa because she won't take her medicine. Well, Rob and I were at Patty's new house, giving them their Christmas gifts. I tell him to tell her that we would come get her because she's not taking her medicine; daddy would kick her butt and STILL make her take her medicine. (R-rated quote here) Pa says, "You had better take your medicine because daddy's gonna come, kick your ass, and still make you take your medicine. So what are you gonna do?" They called back a little later, saying she had taken her medicine. Plus, because she wasn't taking medicine, she didn't get to watch TV.

But, she stayed until today. She got to go to Chuck E. Cheese's today too. I can't believe how tired I've been. I think that newspaper class really burned me out. I'm really glad I decided not to take it this semester.

More info to come...

Love to all,
8^ )

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cool Title...

Okay, I love to browse upon my friends' Web sites and find cool stuff they've done. Well, here's another cool one. My ex's wife had on her site about creating "Your Peculiar Aristocratic Title."

Well, here's mine:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Noble Excellency Cathy the Calm of Middle Witchampton
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

And, if you don't like your's when you create it, you can always try again. This one took me 3 tries. I like the idea of being part of "Middle WITCHampton."

Love to all,
8^ )

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cassi and Group Make Gingerbread Houses...

As promised, here are the pictures from yesterday. Not bad pictures from a cell phone. Remember, just single-click on the picture to view it at its full size. Then, click your browser's back button to come back here.

Love to all,
8^ )

Yesterday and Today...

Yesterday was just AWESOME FOR ME. First, I had number-crunching to do for school. Because it seems that it fell to the two of us, Dan, the treasurer and me, the vice president, we were closing up everything from our Secret Santa event. What I did was take all of our numbers, put them into a spreadsheet and have Excel process all the numbers. It really made it easy for me to finalize the paperwork for the company. All I have to do now is write a check when we go back to school to pay them for the products that the kids brought. Well, we didn't make much money at all, but the kids had fun because they were able to purchase some nice gifts to give for Christmas and the prices were reasonable for them. Next year, though, we are probably going to raise the prices slightly more than we did this year. The money goes back to the kids at school anyway for events and projects they do. Plus, we're currently trying to raise extra money for Smart Boards. They are awesome. It's like have a GIANT computer screen as your chalk board. If I remember, I'll write more about the Smart Boards here.

But, since I was at school, I had lunch with Cassi. During lunch, we had to (oops, I had to) fill out invitations for her to give out to the girls in her class. Her birthday is on Dec 30, which is a Saturday. Last year, we did "make your own pizzas." This year, we'll probably do that, plus have a sleep over. So, (shhh, Rob doesn't know this yet), but, we'll probably have a house full of girls, like 10 of them, plus Cassi. Hmmm, trying to figure out where we're going to put all these girls. I think we'll end up moving furniture to use the entire living room space (minus furniture) for them all to sleep in the living room. I think for next year, we'll try to get the basement finished as a giant play room.

So, after lunch, I found out they hadn't made their gingerbread houses yet. I offered and was gratefully accepted in helping make the houses. It was a DEFINITE plus because 6 of the kids in the room were home sick. YEP, something crazy is happening with the kids getting sick and dropping like flies. It's this CRAZY weather. It's all because Vegas Princess has our snow in Las Vegas.

(and the cold too)

At least with cold weather, all these ugly bugs would go away!

But, what we did was use milk cartons (again, remember we used them to make log cabins). It seems that milk cartons are so versatile, but I digress. There were 2 of us parents in the room. We got the opportunity to make the houses for the kids who were sick. As of today 2 were still there as the kids were too sick to come to school.
We used graham crackers and vanilla frosting to keep the crackers on the house. Along with that, we had sprinkles, gum drops, gum "leaves," round mint candies, candy canes, gum (the chewing kind they used for doors), necco wafers (yummy), etc., etc. But, I forgot to bring my digital camera. I did have my cell phone, which I always carry. I walked around and took pictures of the kids. I'll post a second posting with the pictures. They had so much fun and so much of a mess.

Today, I spent most of the day running around, doing things at school. At first, I had to just drop Cassi off and come back home. After Rob got home from work, he tells me he needs help getting gifts together from our Watkins stock for the girls at work. So, I help him and get back to school. Finalized crunching the numbers, brought our gifts for Cassi's regular teacher, special ed teacher, and the crossing guard at the intersection to the school (who's always so friendly and helpful to everyone). For the party, I made (last night), berry rice crispy treats. This was my first and probably only time for the treats. It is SUCH A MESS! But, the kids enjoyed them. I also brought bags of animal cookies and juices. It was a good thing I brought them because the other kids weren't there for the parents to help out. I'll make sure we do something extra special for the Valentine's party in Feb.

Cassi is now out of school until Jan 3. What will I do with her for all that TIME? Tomorrow, she is going to Pa's until Sunday. Trying to talk with him on the phone, and trying to get him to understand WHY she had to go to his house. Finally, I said to him, rather loudly, since Cassi was sitting right next to me, "Daddy and I have to have our FINAL phone conference with Santa to go over his list to make sure he knows that Cassi was good or bad or inbetween. Plus, she has to come back Sunday night because she needs to be sleeping here when Santa comes. And, daddy wants to help her open her presents Monday morning, if she gets any." Working for the hospital, Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day night are both work nights for Rob. He gets extra pay, along with a bonus for working. Then he's off for the entire week, until Friday. He says he wants to have the basement ready for them to play when the girls come, but I wonder if he realizes HOW MUCH work there is to do in the basement to get it ready. Okay, I guess I've got 4 days and nothing else to do.

WRONG! But, for the party, I will get it ready. Even though it's the basement and can be cold, I've got a heater I can bring down to the basement for them to keep warm while they are playing.

With that, I'm going to go. Yep, I know it's 9:34pm and not on a school night, but I'm ready for bed. I'm beat!

Love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fall Grades & Spring Semester...

Okay, the results are in! My journalism class - named: Lab Newspaper 1, I got an A-. I can't believe I didn't get an A. But, I did flub a little, but I figured I had done more in the beginning, but with scheduling coulding keep up with the same amount of work all semester. Guess it figures I can't be perfect 100% of the time. Plus, not sure if it matters that I decided I needed to take 2 English classes in the spring, instead of the Lab Newspaper 2. But, I'm drained from the amount of work we had to do. I REALLY think the class could have been 8 credits all by itself, with the amount of work I did. I could have been there everyday and still not gotten everything needed done.

My Gender in Communications class. This was the one I REALLY stressed out on. As of last Friday, I was waiting on 4 grades to figure out what I would get. Out of 7, I had 3, 2 tests and 1 term paper. So, with so few, I had no idea where I was grade wise. Hoping that my 2 papers turned in would be graded, I was disappointed to know that they weren't done. I was also waiting on that test, along with an attendance/participation grade. The faculty had until yesterday to input the grades. By 10pm, this grade was not posted. But, low and behold, Rob checked for me overnight, to let me know my grade this morning.

Sadly, my overall GPA has gone down. Before this semester, I was carrying a 3.57 GPA (out of 4 points). My new overall GPA is


Okay, before anyone complains, this is still WAY better than my grades for my Associate Degree, which will not be mentioned here. But, I should be able to do better than I did. I just had such a difficult time with the Gender in Com class. I will re-evaluate my needs for upper level credits for the other com class. You see, for my degree, I have to take 1 African American Experience and 1 Diversity class. I believe this class covered the diversity requirement. But, for my degree, I also need 42 upper level (junior and senior level classes). If I can get by without the upper level com for African American exp, then I'm takin' an easy class, something that will help me get my GPA back up.

So, for Spring! I'm now able to look at the books for my 2 classes. For spring, I'm taking my Technical Writing class, that is only available in the spring. So, this time was IT! I'm required to get 2 books for class. It appears they might run me about $150 total, but for 2 books.

My other class is the Creative Writing Workshop on Poetry. Ooh! I get the opportunity to write poetry for 16 weeks, with the same professor I had for creative writing last summer. I'm so EXCITED! With the excitement also comes disappointment. I need 10 books! Okay, so the class is 16 weeks, but TEN (10) books? At this point, I don't have pricing on them, but my guess is around $150 for them as well. I get to be CREATIVE! I know a few of you out there who read my blogs will enjoy my creativity come spring.

With spring semester, I've got 3 semesters, plus 1 class left. I'm taking my English Senior Survey the very last, with taking the class by itself, even if I have to pay out of pocket for the 1 class. I want to be the best in the class and focus on it. Plus, it will be the VERY LAST class I take before my degree! And, you can better believe, I'm WALKING DOWN THE ISLE to get my degree! I know I've got a ways to go yet, but I've already got my list in mind to invite watch me walk down the aisle to get my degree.

With that, I'm going to close for now. I'm going to see what my poetry books might cost through amazon to get an idea so I don't up and have a heart attack when I go to buy my books!

Love to all,
8^ )

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Music Video Site

A while back, Sarah McLachlan was on one of the morning news shows. On the program, they mentioned a Web site where you could find her music "stripped." At first, I wasn't sure what they were talking about, but investigated.

There is a site: Stripped Music, where musical acts have been recording and posting their music, free of the "story" and "hoopla" associated with a music video. I've been hooked ever since.

Especially, since my all-time favorite country artist has a few of her own videos there. Yep, Reba!

So, stop on by to see if any of your artists are there!

Love to all,
8^ )

Cassi's Picture w/ Santa

Okay. Here's an official picture. I like this one the best, and I took it. It's more of an action photo with Santa and Cassi discussing her options for Christmas presents.
Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's Official...

I've been able to fix my template. I had a few problems with the old template:
  1. I wanted to add my links to my blogs for everyone to reach from this page.
  2. I wanted to add my blog friends links so others can see who I read on a daily basis.

The problem was, with Blogger Beta, I was unable to hard-code these items in. But, the pretty thing about Blogger Beta is, these items are "elements" of the template being upgraded. I know MANY of you are not liking Blogger in Beta. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

So, as you see my blog now, you'll find my blog links, my blog friends' links, and my seasonal template. The difference now is that I don't have separate sections for archives and recent posts. They changed it to more of a table of contents looking outline, which I rather enjoy.

But, to keep me correct with my template, I've got a "secret" blog that I'm using for template creation before going LIVE here. You can find it if you want through my profile. This blog will stay this way for a while.

The only bug, is where the blog post title doesn't want to left justify. But, maybe I'll try to center it.

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. We took Cassi to see Santa. For those of you who know the Cleveland area, we took her to Great Northern Mall, which is in North Olmsted (between Cleveland and Elyria). This man is AMAZING. He's been Santa for more than 25 years. We just couldn't stay away. We've taken her here many times over the past 7 years she's been around. I'll add the picture tomorrow, after I review the best picture (their's or mine).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Generic Template

Thanks to Vegas Princess. I knew there was an issue, but I thought it was me. Until I can fix it, I'll go to the generic template.

Love to all,
8^ )

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Are we here yet?

As Cassi said as we frustratedly waited in line to get in at Blossom Music Center.

"No. We're not there yet. But, when we get there, I'll tell you we're here," I told her back.

From Elyria to Blossom Music Center, it's an hour drive, across the turnpike. We have been so busy today, with Caroline here. We went to Wal-Mart, Burger King, and played. We had dinner (besides a snack at BK).

Rob had the smart idea to take the drive to Blossom. Blossom is known for being a wonderful outdoor concert venue. During the summer, the location is the home of the Cleveland Orchestra.

But, during the winter, from about 11/16 until 1/16, the drive-thru is turned into a winter wonderland, filled with lights. I'll add my better photos tomorrow.

The link to the center is at: Blossom Music.

They do have a video of the displays. The kids ABSOLUTELY loved it. The cost to drive through? $12.50 (but a $2.50 discount made it $10) The only problem was that everyone else wanted to drive through too. So, it took us an hour to get about 5 miles off the highway to the center.

Yep, I think it was worth it in the end because the kids enjoyed themselves. After, though, we had to stop and potty, snack, and refill the gas tank to drive back home.

Now, the kids are laying on the couches, watching TV before falling asleep. And, I'm wide awake. Gotta love insomnia, but also my left shoulder hurts.

Ever since I moved here (13 years ago), I've had nothing but trouble with my left shoulder. Okay, everyone can laugh at my expense. I sneezed so hard I pulled my should out of the socket and pulled the muscle. (here's your cue to laugh horrendously)

I'm gonna close for the night. I've also got a headache. AND, I think I'll tell the kids it's time for bed, but I also want to have my round on the blogs before bed too.

Love to all,
8^ )

Reply to my Last Post...

Because my friends are so kind and reading the BIBLE-length post I added yesterday, I've got my comment to their comments, but thought it would be better to ad as a post.

Yes, life has been CRAZY. Now that I'm on break, it's going to be equally as crazy. This week, I am working on making presents for family and friends. I'm making music CDs and such. Yesterday, I got my tax paperwork together. Plus, I've got my basement to finish cleaning and reorganizing. Since my babies are gone, I've got to finish cleaning. Plus, since we took down walls in the basement, there's old wood that needs to go out to the garbage.

Last week, we went and stocked up our kitchen. I couldn't believe how bare the cupboards were. So, we went to 3 places, Gordon Food Service, Sam's Club, and Aldi's (low budget, but good food store). At Gordon Food Service, we purchased a 25-pound bag of bread flour. First problem, how the HECK am I to store this amount of bread flour? Luckily, I was in Tupperware once. I used to sell and have LOADS of Tupperware. Can't believe how much stuff I got when I sold. Anyhoo, I found enough Modular Mates to fill 3 rectantulars and 2 ovals of all varying sizes. Today, Rob and I put together a recipe that makes 2 loaves of white bread. Will see how it goes.

Cassi has a friend coming over this evening for a sleep over. As soon as she gets here, we'll be baking the afternoon away, watching movies, and generally playing. This is her first sleep over and has been excited since big brother does stuff and she hasn't been able to do anything.

I've got a roast on in the crock pot. Got it ready this morning and will be cooking all day. Can't wait until it's the "break apart with fork" tender enough to eat. Just the way MOM makes it! Sorry, Marie, no leftovers for you. But, any juice I will save to make home made beef stew since the juice become stock.

I've got my laptop to work on over break. Since I moved my iPod to my laptop, I've got to finish setting up the music and recreating my playlists and what music I actually WANT on the iPod.

I've got a project to work on over break for one of the communications professors. After she found out the class I presented/taught at the last career week, we are working on a 3-class session to teach the COM 101 students about online portfolios. Even though she can't pay me, I explained to her this is an excellent opportunity to get experience. Plus, I can use her as a reference for future employment, which she agreed 100%. My goal over the break is to get the 3 class sessions laid out, along with the research info to give her.

Okay. Gotta go for now. Ever the BUSY one. I've got a friend, Patty, the one I talked about setting up her house network, who is equally as busy. I always wondered how she could do it and she's got 2 kids! I understand how she feels, as probably all of my fellow blog-friends who have hubby, kids, work, etc., etc.

Love to all,
8^ )

Friday, December 15, 2006


Okay. I've been REALLY bad at submitting posts. But, after you read the BARRAGE of stuff I've done over the past two weeks, you will definitely understand.

First, last week was HELL on wheels. The week started with just a couple of us parents setting up the school for Santa's Secret Shop. Because I am the Vice President of the PTO, I feel it's my responsibility to be where I need to be WHEN I need to be there. So, Monday, we spent a few hours in the afternoon setting up. Tuesday and Wednesday was shopping days for the kids.

Remind you, through all of this, Cassi has ice skating lessons Monday night (which was colder than "Hell" freezing over), Rob working at night so having to get dinner cooked for him before he leaves for the Cleveland Clinic, and my school on Monday-Wednesday-Friday (which this was the last week of classes).

Monday night, after Cassi goes to bed, and Rob is off work, I sit on my computer and type of price cards to be placed in front of said goodies at the sale. Plus, I type up goodie list that we TRY to get the kids to use to determine how much of the stuff we sell. Gotta love it when you're anal-detail oriented, like I am.

So, Tuesday, we weren't ready because of last-minute arranging of goodies because there's 2 boxes of stuff not even on our lists. We have to come up with pricing for the items and labels for the tables. AND, all I kept hearing from the moms was, "well, we did it like this last year." or "all you have to do is punch the number on the bottom of the box into the register and it will bring up the price."

I was so ready to just up and leave. I was sick of these parents. #1. We are not running it like last year, because we went with another company. #2. You can't just type the number into the register because the register isn't programmed. Anyone want to spend the time? Didn't think so.

All of a sudden, it appeared that Dan, the treasurer and I were put in charge of this thing. Also, we had been told that last year, kids came through a couple at a time, which sounded like a good thing to me. Not to many kids at once. NOPE. Didn't happen either. It was a free-for-all, and more than one class came at the same time. This will NOT happen next year. By the end of the day, I was ready for a FEW bottles to drink (and I'm not talking about baby bottles of milk!). But, the principal was really good. My major problem was we needed someone to direct the kids and teachers through the process and no one was available to do it. I couldn't because I was managing the cash register and the rowdy kids because it was a slow process.

I couldn't wait to get back to college on Wednesday! Being away from the kids was a dream. Goals for next year: 1. get the price list early enough from the company and get it electronically, 2. if the items aren't on the full price list, don't sell it, 3. have more people setup and work with the kids, 4. more control over the inventory.

But, the rest of the week was the usual craziness of school, Cassi & school, and Rob & work.

My sister, Marie, came into town over the weekend and brought Joe with her. They worked on grandpa's computer and spent time with family. Cassi was very upset that Marie didn't stay at Pa's house like she usually does. She doesn't understand that Joe is uncomfortable sleeping in the house with mom & dad.

Saturday, I took a school trip to Ohio State University (info located in a different post). All I can say here is, "What a Campus!" Wish I had gone there when I was single and had an opportunity to be away from home. But, that's another life away.

This week was finals week for fall semester. Monday was for the journalism class. And, even though we didn't have a final, we did have the paper to produce and get to press. Plus, it was Cassi's last skating lesson day. So, even though they could have used me at school, I had to leave at 4.

The main reason for this is because I had to take Rob's car to work, my brakes (gotta spell it right) were shot. Even though Rob stayed up all night working, he stayed up all day to replace my brakes and get Cassi from school. By the time I got home from school, they were both sleeping. Rob didn't get up until 8, I think, because I think he ate dinner and went back to bed.

Tuesday, sheesh, I can't remember what I did Tuesday. I know I didn't go to school, but not much of anything else. I know Cassi and I watched X-Men 3, started watching X-Men 2 in bed and was asleep by 8:45 and slept until 8 the next morning. All I really remember was being so tired.

Wednesday, I went to school to deliver newspapers, clean up the news room, and get my copies for personal file. I'll get my Web site updated soon with all of this semester's newspapers I had the joy of reporting for, laying out, and editing. After school, I had a PTO meeting, along with getting food cooked for Rob before going to work.

Yesterday, was just a plain mess. My friend, Patty, needed major help with her new house. They got the keys and were ready for moving in. Hubby had trouble wiring her rooms for technology. Because Rob knows how to do this, and he asked me to come, we ened up spending the day in Medina, helping get the rooms wired. She had 6 of her rooms with Cat5 jacks put into the walls. Yes, with wireless, you don't need this, but she wanted it just in case. In the basement was a panel for hard-wiring to the wall. It took Rob just about all day to figure out: 1. which wire went with which room and 2. the exact wiring from jack in room to punch-down panel in basement. I actually had to leave once to come back from Medina to my house in Elyria to get supplies, kid, and food.

But, I went ballistic when we got home because this morning was my final exam in my Gender in Communication class. I really needed to finish studying but didn't get any chance because when we got home, realized that Cassi had lots of homework that we didn't do in Medina. So, instead of me, I helped her. This morning, I was up at 6 to get the last of my studying done before the test. Again, I don't know how I will do on the test. My hope is for a C on the test. But, I don't know about my final grade. Out of 7 scores to make up my final grade, I know 3, which doesn't help me figure out if I'm going to get a C or not. Everyone pray for me.

With that, it's 4:35 pm East Coast Time. Child keeps begging me for din-din. I'll post my story about OSU after dinner.

Hope everyone doesn't go cross-eyed reading ALL of this.

Love to all,
8^ )

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My Trip to OSU!

This was a VERY interesting trip. Because one of my friends from news class really wanted to go to Ohio State University for our basketball game, I decided I would go with her. One of the other guys was going to go and backed out at the last minute for work. Even though my sister was coming into town for the weekend, I was going to be kid free (at Pa's) and hubby free (at work), I figured it would be fun.

First, we decided we would drive ourselves. I told her I had no problem driving because I'm a driver. At the same time, the campus activities board had rented a big bus to drive anyone down. So, in the end, we decided to take the bus. We wouldn't have to drive at all.

Also, because we were going for class, and the sports information director told us we could get press passes, we arranged for press passes. When we got to the campus, I couldn't believe how LARGE the campus is. If I had had the opportunity to go to OSU, I would have taken it.

But, we arrived at the arena, with the bus driver telling the traffic people that she had "members of the press" on the bus. It made us feel kind of important. They hustled the bus to one parking lot right near the arena. After we got off, we saw a sheriff (or may state police) going to the bus. Come to find out that he wanted to make her (the driver) move the bus. By no means would she move the bus. She had "members of the press" inside, who needed to come back and forth to the bus if needed. He told her if she stayed with the bus, she could stay.

The game was very exciting. We started up in the Press Box. I couldn't believe how high up we were. With my vertigo and all, it was rough for me, but I overcame it. We went down to the floor, interested in finding out if we had a space on the floor as well. It would have been nice, but no. There were places for The Plain Dealer reporters, who, incidentally, never showed up. Being down there would have been nice because we would have had a better chance at action photos for our news stories.

After taking a peek at the men's roster, come to find out a junior player is from my high school. Good 'ol Northern Burlington Regional HS in Columbus, NJ. Got to go meet this guy to see how he ended up in Cleveland! I've since read that he's sitting out this season because he's a transfer from St. John's University.

But the game was very exciting. There were spots of green dotted all over the arena, even though we were in a huge sea of red (or scarlet)!

In the end, we lost the game by 21. But, that's not bad for playing against #4 OSU. It gives the men good experience.

After I got home, I stopped at my mom's house to potty and get a snack. We really didn't eat dinner. I had lunch on the way to the bus, but only had the snacks they gave us on the bus. Cassi was so tired. So, I finished the pizza from dad and went home.

And, that was my trip to OSU!

Love to all,
8^ )

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Seasonal Templates

I've FINALLY figured out how to change my template. At least, most of it anyway. So, I will work to update it seasonally.

Right now, you'll find Christmas stuff here. Since I don't want to be PC (politically correct) AND we celebrate Christmas in my house, my blog will be Christmas-themed until the New Year.

Watch for my next change, which will be Valentine's Day!

Love to all,
8^ )

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I can't add pictures. Nor, can I format and edit fonts, sizes, etc. It almost seems like this is in HTML mode only. Hmmm. Is it because of these UPDATES they've been doing lately?

I'll have to watch as I have more pictures to share and others to add commentary to that I want to wait until my blog screen for posting goes back to normal.

Love to all,
8^ )

Update: Ah Ha! I just had to clean out my history of internet explorer junk. Now, everything is happy and back to normal. But, now I'm not ready to add more pictures, etc. Oh, yeah. I'll do the one post earlier today that started all this. You'll see.

A Best Friend...

I'm looking for a best friend. With my schedule, it has been very difficult. Someone to like me who I am. Someone to like my child and not mind them tagging along. Someone who doesn't care that I'm married. This person can be male or female, close or far. Close would be good as I would like to go out and do thing, but mostly because I want someone to share secrets with (he he!).

If you're not a Disney movie watcher or someone with kids, you might not know the song I'm about to share. The song is Shoulder to Shoulder by Carly Simon (another of my all-time favorite female singers). It's from Pooh's Heffalump Movie, which Cassi appears to be watching right now in my room.

Shoulder to Shoulder

Lyrics by: Carly Simon
Music by: Carly Simon

We stand shoulder to shoulder
We see eye to eye
We dive deep under water
We jump high in the sky

We stand shoulder to shoulder
We stand side to side
When one of us gets a tiny bit tired
One gives the other a ride

I've never had a best friend before
So I can't be sure what it feels like
But I think it feels more like this
I think I feel more like myself
When I'm with you

Finding, losing and finding
Losing and finding
Making a bond that is strong
Building a house for our friendship
Breathing a breath for our song
For our song

Can you be my friend? (Okay, I wrote this primarily because of the song, but I would LOVE to have someone I can call my best friend. I have LOTS of good friends, just not any who I can tell EVERYTHING to and not be judged. MARIE, you don't count!)

Love to all,
8^ )

All My Children...

No, not the soap opera, my babies.

This is Patches, the mom to the next three. As much as Marie wanted her because she loved Marie, she loved anyone who came into the house. I think it was primarily because she wanted to be outside.

This is Fluffy. She was one of the two larger babies. She appears to have the calico coloring and long haired. She always loved it when I brushed her. Plus, when I slept with two pillows, one above the one I used, she would sleep above my head on the extra pillow. Now that pillow is empty.

This is Smokey. Even at five months old, she was the smallest of the four kittens. She still cried for mommy. I really think she still needed her because of how small she was. She was forever getting under our blankets or jackets in the living room to keep warm, and find a warm spot to take a nap. Here, she has craweled into my fleece jacket for a nap.

This is Tiger and the only boy who remained in the brood. Big brother was adopted. But, he filled brother's shoes quite nicely. He always knew when I was on the laptop, desktop, etc. He especially knew if I was printing. He always wanted to lay on my boobs (must have thought they were his sleeping spot), left shoulder, or on top of my office chair. Plus, because he still had claws, he never fell off when I leaned back. He was my "big baby."

Finally, this is Charlie. No relation to the other cats. We had her the longest, originally coming to us from a farm across the street from where we used to live. I knew she had come from that farm because of other "farm cats" that looked like her. She ended up gaining so much weight after Patches arrived. I think she thought that if she didn't eat and EAT, she wouldn't get enough. I don't think she really wanted to share. Or, when Patches came, she might have known that Patches was pregnant. But, she was so huge when she left. I just hope she found another good home.
Okay, this will be the last set of pictures of the kids.
Love to all,
8^ )

Friday, December 01, 2006

I'm a Libertine...

Okay, I took that survey that is listed on an earlier post. It basically said that I'm a Libertine. I also mentioned that I wanted to look up what Libertine meant, as the description needed further definition in my mind. So, I looked it up on Wikipedia (an awesome source for generic info). Here is what it said:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Libertine has come to mean one devoid of any restraints--especially one who ignores or even spurns religious norms, accepted morals, and forms of behavior sanctioned by the larger society. The philosophy gained new-found adherents in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly in France and Britain. Notable among these were John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, the Marquis de Sade, and Aleister Crowley. "Libertine," like many words, is an evolving one, defined today as "a dissolute person; usually a person who is morally unrestrained."

(So, maybe I'm just like to GET AROUND.) There are a number of things I like to do that would describe me as "unrestrained." Oh, there's so much I would like to say on this topic, but I'll just leave my thoughts to myself.

Libertine is a negative term, derived by John Calvin, for opponents of his policies in Geneva, Switzerland. This group, led by Ami Perrin argued against Calvin's "insistence that church discipline should be enforced uniformly against all members of Genevan society."[1] Perrin and his allies were elected to the town council in 1548, and "broadened their support base in Geneva by stirring up resentment among the older inhabitants against the increasing number of religious refugees who were fleeing France in even greater numbers."[1] By 1555, Calvinists were firmly in place on the Genevan town council, so the Libertines, led by Perrin, responded with an "attempted coup against the government and called for the massacre of the French ... This was the last great political challenge Calvin had to face in Geneva."[1]
Les Liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons, 1782), an epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, is a trenchant description of sexual libertinism. Wayland Young argues that "…the mere analysis of libertinism… carried out by a novelist with such a prodigious command of his medium… was enough to condemn it and play a large part in its destruction." (Young, 1966, 246) (See Libertine novel)

Maybe, because I am a Libertine, I played a part in the destruction in certain relationships in my life. Hmm, but, I didn't know I was doing this. Maybe I should change. Nah! I like who I am. If those people in my life don't like me who I am, they can leave. I can always find others to be in my life. Oh, but do I want a "mid life crisis!" Maybe it would make my life easier!

Okay, so who can I seduce????

Love to all,
8^ )

One Word...

I stole this from Lynda who stole it from Megan who stole it from Chatty. You can only type one word. No explanations.

Yourself: Cathy

Your Partner: Rob

Your Hair: fro

Your Mother: Mary

Your Father: Charles

Your Favorite Item: iPod

Your Dream Last Night: love

Your Favorite Drink: Dr.P

Your Dream Car: SUV

Your Dream Home: ranch

The Room You Are In: dining

Your Ex: Jason

Your Fear: loneliness

Where You Want to be in Ten Years: working

Who You Hung Out With Last Night: Cassi

What You're Not: Perfect

Muffins: blueberry

One of your wish list items: money

Time: none

The Last Thing You Did: drive

What You Are Wearing: t-shirt

Your Favorite Weather: spring

Your Favorite Book: sci-fi

Last Thing You Ate: donut

Your Life: boring

Your Mood: eh

Your Best Friends: few

What Are You Thinking About Right Now: stuff

Your car: Focus

What Are You Doing At The Moment: Soaps

Your Summer: busy

Relationship Status: married

What Is On Your TV: soaps

What Is The Weather Like: blustery

When Is The Last Time You Laughed: morning

OK, I did it. Not sure what this means about me, but I like it. It was REALLY hard on some of these not to put down more than one word. At those points, it took a minute to figure out the best word.

Love to all,
8^ )

I FINALLY tracked myself...

Today, was the sixth edition of our newspaper for the semester. Every two weeks, I have travelled the streets of CSU to deliver the newspapers to my appointed locations. By the way, my locations grew over the past month, so I am going to more stops.

So, today, I decided I wanted to try to track the number of steps. I just took the wonderful, ever-helpful digiwalker on my right hip. After tracking, I've got 2080 steps, almost 1 mile for my steps. I've actually got 3 separate runs to make. And, why shouldn't I get the most, I've been the circulation manager for the entire semester.

So, I've still been walking and exercising, but more slowly than the summer and early fall. With my up coming schedule, my walking schedule will be full again.

Love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ooh, a Wednesday post...

Okay, so the newspaper was put to bed. Michelle, my co-editor for this edition, and I stayed until 6:45 to make sure the paper was done correctly. And, as I explained to her and Amanda around 6pm, "You can hear the printer running, eh. That's because he is sitting there, reading each page and making necessary changes we missed." Because he is the final authority on the paper, that's his job. But, I also said that this is why I was so late 2 weeks ago because this is exactly what we did.

Michelle now sees what we did. Plus, when people complain about the paper on Friday, we can show them the proof of the edits, etc. to the paper and their stories to make them perfect.

But, the reason for my post this evening, my "love affair" friend, Jason, had this post on his blog. If I had just known about him more 10 years ago, we might not have broken up. We talked, but not about stuff like we have done over the past few months, since reconnection. But, take a look at this blog: This shows a quiz he took. I'm in the process of taking it now and will upload the results as soon as I finish.

The funny part is, it talks about how he keeps his lovers close. I strangely think he didn't do that with me. Maybe it's because I was so far away. "We don't know how you've figured it out, but you've managed to keep your lovers close despite your critical view of the world." (from his results) I knew he seemed very logical to me and this is probably why I was so drawn to him. I do agree with what it said about not taking advantage of romantic or sensitive people. I know he never took advantage of me. He was a fine catch that I let get away because I wanted my career (that ended in 2001, 5 years after we parted). Had I just waiting 6 months longer, but I digress... I know he's got someone who loves him and cares for him as I might have.

Even though I can get quite emotional, as a past supervisor once told me, "You always let your emotions get in the way. When this happens, step back and cool off. Then, come back at them and kill them with your logic." But, what wasn't to be wasn't to be. But, if only...

But, I digress, AGAIN.

I'm not sure what this all means, but I believe the rock star part is correct. Because I love to write, my guess is that it showed in this quiz. Yes, I am a romantic and love to cry at romantic movies. Yes, I have fallen in love rather easily. I do remember after seeing Jason at his apartment that I was in love. I think I was the day I met him because of how he treated me, but didn't tell him until after our first weekend together. (oh what a weekend, but again, I digress.)

I can see it all now about how my life would play out on the big screen. Ooh, thinking of that, that is my next project for the blog. My life's movie through iPod shuffle. Maybe I can get to it this weekend.

Love to all,
8^ )

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Spring Semester (5th post today)

Okay, as I am able and have scheduled classes for spring, I'm taking two classes again. I'm taking two English classes. Just so happens that both classes are in the evenings.

I'm taking the Creative Writing Workshop, which runs Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6pm. Cassi will end up at Pa's house. The professor is the same person who I had this past summer. The workshop is specializing in poetry. I can't wait to get my creative juices flowing this semester.

Hopefully, I'll get a chance to look at older poetry I've written a while ago and possibly edit them to make them better. (Sorry, Jason. This also includes the poems originally written to you when we had our "love affair.")

I'm also taking the Advanced Expository Writing class. As I am trying to get back into Technical Writing, this class is specializing in Technical Writing and only occurs with this topic during the spring semesters. The class runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8pm. So, again, Cassi will be at Pa's.

For those of you who don't know, I was a Technical Writer in the past, but didn't have the Bachelor's Degree to backup my experience. That's the only reason I'm in college. Believe me, if I could have gotten another job without the degree, you can bet I would have taken it!

So, for that nice anonymous commenter, way back when, I WAS a Technical Writer and was paid WELL for what I wrote and was considered a GURU for being able to take tough technology topics and write them clearly for the every day user to understand. Since I always have trouble with the technical terms for stuff, I was the technical guru, but knew the stuff in every day user language, which is why I worked so well to write about the topics. Plus, since 1989, I've been using computers, almost every day.

Okay. Let me go now. I'm going to play some games with Cassi before we work on the tree.

Love to all,
8^ )

Winterfest Photos... (9 photos)

Tuesday is Blog Day...

Somehow, even though I am commenting all all my blog friends and family sites throughout the week, it seems that Tuesdays have been my days to post and update the world according to Cathy.

So, this evening, I am writing up my posts for the last week.

Hope everyone enjoys.

Love to all,
8^ )

My Child, the Ice Skater...

Remember, arms out for balance!

"I can't believe you took my picture hanging on to the wall!"

Cassi with psychologist from Village school, her hubby, and daughter.
It's a TRAIN!

"Yeah. Watch me go now! I'm a pro!"

AND, everytime Cassi takes a tumble, you hear her shout, "I'm okay!"
Cassi's favorite (and only) Aunt Re helped us out by giving us the money for Cassi to go to ice skating lessons. My family ROCKS! Cassi was able to get a nice pair of used figure skates at a good price and lessons.

Monday nights, Cassi has been going ice skating for lessons. They run about 45 minutes. But, this past Sunday night, it was family night. Daddy and Cassi were out on the ice skating away. I even tried. I paid for my skates and for the family night. But, once I got the skates on, it was like I was in a pair of STILTS. I was so out of balance and got a little dizzy. I think it was because I have problems with vertigo. Then, I walked a little and it REALLY hurt my shins and my right knee (as I have had surgeries on my right knee). So, I ended up getting out of the skates and returning them.

I was upset because I had come along, but didn't get to do anything. I did purchase a cup of cocoa, which prompted me to make home made cocoa when I got home. I shared it today with my girlfriend from news class.

But, I did get pictures. I'll also add them as soon as possible because blogger doesn't seem to like the uploading of photos to their site. I do know they are having a mandatory update at 7pm PST this evening. Maybe the update will help the photo problem.

Okay, I'm gonna go for now. We're going to fix our Christmas tree tonight. Rob just called, saying he wasn't scheduled for overtime, that he told me he was scheduled for next week. I could have stayed longer at school today had I known because I wanted the production of the CSU basketball show, called The Viking Report.

Love to all,
8^ )

Winterfest in Cleveland

Cleveland is so alive during the holidays. The weekend of Thanksgiving, as it is also the official start to the holiday season, it is especially so in Cleveland. On this weekend, the downtown area comes alive with the lighting of the official holiday tree. This year, the tree was light up in all green lights. Okay, not my favorite color because I think multi or clear is the best, but that's my opinion.

Because Rob had off, we brought Cassi downtown. We also invited Rob's co-worker, Roz and her 2 kids. We all had a good time together.

Instead of driving, we took the train. It cost us all of $1.00 to ride the train for Cassi. I was free, as, with my tuition at CSU, I am charged $25 for almost 5 months of riding the trains and buses for free. Then, mom and dad get a bus pass through their job. They gave us the pass for Rob to use, which allowed his ride to be free.

When we got there, special stuff was going on. The trains arrive into a building called Tower City. This is a mall, the Terminal Tower, the Ritz Carlton hotel building, and Skylight Office Tower building (where the Hard Rock Cafe can be found). It is a HUGE complex of office buildings, hotels, and mall.

In the center of the mall, there is a leaping fountain. I should have taken a photo for everyone to see. My grandfather has actually stood in front of the fountain, trying to figure out how the fountain works. (but I digress)

When we arrived, there was a troop of dancers performing for the crowd. I've got pictures for this. After the the dancers finished, they came down into the office for people to ask questions. Cassi says, "I want join the group." When I explained she couldn't join the group, but she could go over to see them, she went over to see dancers. She gave each one of them a hug and thanked them for dancing.

Next, and one of the feature attractions, was the performance of a Toy Soldier. This man, according to the Plain Dealer, has been playing the Toy Soldier for the past 16 years. I remember seeing him in 1998, and I even have photos of him then. In the past, all they had him do was walk around the mall, meeting the kids, and dancing with the infants. Now, they actually have a choreographed routine that he does. Someone is on stage singing, along with his assistant. This year, he picked up an infant, that I got pictures of him dancing with her. It was so cute. If I can't get the pictures in this post, I will add them to a separate post.

Then, we purchased a ticket for Cassi to ride the train. And, we went to a holiday shop where she purchased a Dora backpack game set with the money she got from Aunt Re.

We had dinner and went out to see the tree light up. It was also crazy downtown as the Cavaliers were playing basketball that night. The center we were at has an underground walkway that goes over to the "Q" (formerly Gund Arena). So, in the food court, it was an absolute mess to eat. But, we ate and got outside with a few minutes to spare before the lighting. But, what we didn't know was that there was also a parade going on.

After, we came inside, walked around a little more. The kids all got the opportunity to see Santa. But, to my chagrin, you couldn't take your own picture of the child with Santa unless your purchased one of their packages. We decided that we would wait and take her picture at another mall, where we can take our own picture and not have to worry about purchasing any other photos.

Then, we took the train back to our car. I think we were all exhausted after we got home because we didn't get up on Sunday until after 10am.

My Babies are gone...

Well, it happened. My babies are gone. ALL OF THEM!

I always knew the kittens needed to be adopted away, but just couldn't gather myself up to do it. One of them was adopted, and I will get the opportunity to visit him. These other three I won't get to see at all. So, Fluffy, Tiger, and Smokey are gone.

Charlie and Patches are also gone. Charlie came with us from the other house, a farm cat. Even though we've had her the longest, I was never really connected with her. I think we allowed her to come in because she took to Cassi so much.

Patches, I took her in because the weather was so nasty. She had a flea collar on her neck, making me think she had a family who just didn't want her anymore. But, again, I wasn't really connected with her, even though she was so loving. SHE even loved Cassi. She slepted with Cassi a lot.

I was VERY connected with the kittens. The whole reason is that I had the opportunity to see them born. They were my babies. Patches even trusted me enough to be able to hold them the same day they were born. So, I saw them as my own.

Rob just doesn't understand. Because there were so many, and we just can't afford to keep them, they had to go. Rob was just so frustrated with them. They had knocked down the Christmas tree already once. Plus, because Patches and the babies still had their claws, they were clawing their way through our OLD couches. Plus, because, until we get enough money to put new windows into the house, we have to put up plastic. The cats ended up breaking open the plastic so they could sit on the window sills. Rob basically said it was him or them. Of course, I'm not giving up my husband, so the cats had to go.

Mom helped us out by getting the cats to the APL and offering up the donation money. She called me today at school (because I just don't get enough school Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays now) and told me she saw Fluffy and Tiger on Channel 5 (ABC affiliate here) as they feature cats and kittens up for adoption. This made my day a little better as I know they will go to good homes, and they were such good kittens. Ok, so at 5 months old, they are no longer kittens according to the APL, but cats. They will always be kittens to me. But, I called Rob, which was a bad idea. I let him know what mom said, and he was, like, whatever. Couldn't even share my joy.

The whole thing has made me sad. So much so that I've been doing personal battle with a bout of depression the past few days. He just doesn't understand. I know they are going to a better home, but it makes me very upset. So, again, I will just have to deal with it and figure out how to move on.

Any suggestions? I know that I want to volunteer some time at our APL, but just finding a good time.

Love to all,
8^ (

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Official Pumpkin Pie Recipe...

Okay, to go with said Apple Pie, here is the official pumpkin pie recipe. What's so awesome about this is that there's no filling left over. In the past, when I've made pie, there's been left over filling. Yep, that's okay if you want to cook it separate, but I like no left overs.

This recipe comes from a book called Great American Favorite Brand Name Cookbook Collector's Edition. I got this book when I was at E&Y. Someone came in, selling them. I think at the time, they were $5.

So, here's the recipe. Even though the recipe calls for canned pumpkin, I used my home-made pumpkin. Remember, I had 6 pie pumpkins that I cut up and boiled like potatoes. Then, added the pumpkin pie spice (as much as thought smelled good) then smashed it, bagged it, and froze it. Well, it's time has come.

Currently, there are 2 living in my oven at 350 degrees, getting their sun tans.

Traditional Pumpkin Pie

1 (9-inch) unbaked pastry sheet
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1 (14-ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
2 eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
(I also added 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Yes, I agree the 3 spices above probably make pumpkin pie spice, but I figured it would make the pie taste EVEN better. Also, I ended up having to run to the grocery store to get more milk as mine just looked too questionable. So, with much hemming and hawing, Rob took me over to the store. Looked much better. You'll know if you've got the right stuff by: 1. the name on the label and 2. it resembles white caramel because it's so thick.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except pastry shell; mix well. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Cool.

Also, with my stove, it's always better to cook 1 pie at a time. But, I had 4 pies to make tonight, 2 pumpkin and 2 apple. The apple are done. But, with the pies, I put one pie on each oven rack. With the uneven cooking, here's how I put the pies in. After the first 15 minutes, I pulled the pies out, rotated them and switched the pies on the shelves. After 20 minutes at 350, I did the rotation and switches again. Now, they are cooking for the last 15-20 minutes in the original way they were placed in the oven.

Also, remember, because this is a custard pie, it may look wet when you take it out. That's okay, as long as the knife comes out clean. Also, with the custard pie, it will shrink after baking (the pie filling) as the liquid is cooked away. So, when you put the pie filling in, go ahead and fill it all the way as shrinking will help.

Okay, I've had my Martha Stewart moment!

Love to all,
8^ )

Official Apple Pie Recipe...

I've decided this will be the OFFICIAL family apple pie recipe. This is because it is a recipe to make the filling from scratch.

So, to all you out there, here is my recipe share. I found it at I might as well give credit where it is due.

Apple Pie Filling #10122

18 large Macintosh apples, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
(I used 24 small and medium apples I picked from the orchard, not just macintosh, whatever I had.)
6 TBS butter
3 C sugar
3 3/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ginger
1/8 tsp Nutmeg (yep, twice)

Melt butter in heavy pot and add apples and all remaining ingredients. Partially cook fruit over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring now and then with wooden spoon. Cool and divide filling into 3 freezer containers. Freeze until needed.

Note: make sure you melt the butter first. And, don't worry about the juice seeming on the liquidy side. It will thicken when you do part 2 (next) on making the actual pie.

How to make pie:
1 container apples
2 TBS flour
2 TBS butter
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
(sorry guys, I used the Pilsbury already-made pie crust. There just isn't enough counter space in my house to make the crust from scratch or I would!)

Removing filling from one container and defrost (okay, so I just took the bag out and put it into a bowl to defrost). Spoon pie filling into pie shell (again, I just dumped the bag into the pie shell). Sprinkle with flour and dot with butter. Cover with remaining pie dough and crimp edges together (remember with apple pie, you use 2 pie crusts). Slash top in several places to allow steam to escape. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes longer or until crust is nicely browned.

Okay. There you have it. If I get a chance and before anyone eats said pie, I will try to take pictures to share!

Love to all,
8^ )

Happy Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving Feast Pictures...

Criss Cross Applesauce and Cannibalism

Yep, you read that right. Yesterday, I helped out at my daughter's school for their Thanksgiving celebration. They had turkey stew, corn bread muffins, and pumpkin pudding (will share recipe here).
I had to threaten Cassi she couldn't go to Pa's house if she didn't eat one spoon of the soup. She was so upset. But, that's all I asked. It had a little turkey, corn, and green bean, along with some broth. But, she did eat 2 corn muffins. I got the opportunity to have a cup of soup (not enough seasoning for me), part of Cassi's second muffin, and 2 cups of pumpkin pudding. Oh, the recipe:

this is for a large batch, just adjust down accordingly:
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
4 small boxes vanilla instant pudding
4 cups milk
2 TBS pumpkin pie spice

just mix everything together and chill. It tastes REALLY good.

I took LOTS of pictures from the day. Because there are 4 classes, there were LOTS of kids.
I have pictures, but Blogger doesn't seem to want to be good to me. So, I'll add them to another post.

After the feast, they all sat down and watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I thought it was quite funny. Okay, I didn't watch the entire show, but, I sat down with Cassi right at the point where the kids get hauled off to Chuck's grandmother's house. Then, you see Snoopy and Woodstock sitting down to a large turkey.

Now, think about it. Wouldn't it be CANNIBALISM to have Woodstock, a bird, EAT a BIRD? Just thought I would mention it as I've never really watched the movie. I'll just have to watch the movie now and get some ideas. Thoughts just come from everywhere.
Okay, with that said, HAPPY TURKEY day to all my friends and family (and all my faithful readers).
Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, November 20, 2006

An update...

I can't believe I haven't blogged since THURSDAY! Oh, my. My reading audience must be missing me.

Hmmm. What have I been doing all these days?

Well, there's been a major push at my house to suddenly reload computers. We started at the beginning of last week with my desktop. Had all kinds of popups that wouldn't go away. So, beat the problem by wiping it clean away.

Then, my laptop started causing windows problems. I think the same error that caused my desktop problems in September, decided to rear its ugly head on the laptop. An update from Windows decided to load as an app instead of HOW it should have been loaded. So, Rob reloaded my laptop Thursday and Friday.

Then, we took Cassi to Pa's for her WONDERFUL weekend away. She has so much fun with him. We setup a wireless router on my grandpa's computer. We're going to try to sell some of his stuff (we'll update everyone once we get things ready to sell). The easiest will be for me to access the internet from his shop which is on the first floor of his building. Even though I REALLY need exercise, I'm not ready for the climbs up and down to use his computer, especially when his computer is SLOW. But, after we added the router, his girlfriend (yes, the man is 80 and has a girlfriend asked what Rob did so she couldn't get on the internet). Everyone told her he didn't do ANYTHING with the computer itself. But, we decided to come back on Sunday, had din-din with mom and dad, and Rob looked at the computer. We both agree that his computer REALLY needs to be reloaded. But, for those of you who don't know my grandpa, he is losing his memory BIG TIME. We don't think he'll be around for much longer, so the stuff that he's got needs to stay the same. That means that his computer needs to stay just the way it is because he's got such a routine with it, even though every night, he goes over to my mom's apartment (there's 2 apartments upstairs and the biz down) to ask computer questions.

With all of this going on, Rob had me call our friend, Patty. Patty has a computer, plus one for each of her kids. She's living in an apartment with said family while her new house is being built. We decided to call her Friday night. Since we had the software with us, we figured we would see if she needed her computer looked at. She was at the IX Center (huge building by airport that holds conventions and shows) for our annual Christmas Connection (just a HUGE place to buy stuff for Christmas). Saturday afternoon, we ended up at her new house, which is almost finished. Boy, is it GORGEOUS. But, as Rob says, don't get an quarter million dollar ideas from seeing her house. I could definitely see some of the ideas she used in her kitchen to go into this one if we ever changed it. But, Rob helped Kevin (Patty's hubby) with the backerboard to go under tiling in the front foyer. When done, we headed to Patty's because she actually did need help with her computer. We stayed at Patty's until about 10pm Saturday night and ended up bringing the computer home with us. Still here now. We started moving her data to our computer Saturday night and took until some time Sunday, while we were at mom's to migrate all her STUFF. Plus, we had to go back to her apartment to get her software, as we forgot to bring it with us. We'll keep it here until they're moved into their new house, which appears to be a week before Christmas.

So, come up to today. The computer is finishing being reloaded and is currently in the process of having all its data migrated back to the computer. This time, Rob setup an image of the drive with just the software. If we have to reload again, all we'll have to do is migrate the data and reload the image.

But, today. From my post last week about my late night. Friday, we discussed with everyone about what happened with my story and the page 1 and 6 problem. Well, the image wasn't the best one that I picked, but at 7pm, Cliff and I both wanted to get the heck out of Dodge. Everyone kept saying it was the computers causing the problems. Well they tested the computers today, which appeared to be working fine. We think we did figure out what happened with my story. Process: we post stories into a DRAFTS folder. What Cliff has been doing is moving the stories into the folders where they would be ready to place, THEN edit them. I think this is where the problem came up. What he should be doing is editing the story in the DRAFTS folder, save the changes and then MOVE them into the folders for placing in InDesign.

But, because I only had one story, for the print edition, I got a B for the grade for the last edition. This is fine with me because, overall, I've still got an A. For each print edition, we have to have at least 2 stories. In the beginning issues, I had 3 or 4 for each edition. So, the extra stories gave me extra credit. Then, for the print edition, we had to get ads to run in two editions, or two ads for one edition, etc. I had 1 half page ad that ran twice and two full page ads that ran once. There, extra points. Plus, writing up the instructions for creating the online news stories and for the last edition, I've got at least 4 news stories. My final grade will be an A. As it stands now, I'm taking the second half of the news class in the spring. This class was COM 426. The one in the spring is COM 427. I'll be listed as an editor at least the first edition.

Plus, I've been acting as co-advisor for the paper because of my desktop publishing experience. If I don't get into technical writing, I can always fall back on desktop publishing, which I also enjoy immensely.

This week isn't going to be a breeze either. My goal is to get both of my news stories done by Wednesday. Tomorrow, I've got to be on campus to interview about the one story. Plus, the other story is about the TV show their producing in the COM department about the Men's basketball team. I've got to be there, at least for a little while, to get pictures of the set and interview the hosts.

Then, I have to zip back to Elyria from Cleveland for a Thanksgiving feast with Cassi and the first graders. Rob is subbing for me at 1pm to help with setup. As soon as I can get there, I'll take over. Plus, in the afternoon is our PTO meeting. The president doesn't realize that I'm taking over as the Treasurer, but it doesn't really matter because she is giving up her post as she is expecting child very soon.

Okay, with all that said, you're probably wondering, could there be more?

Yep. Cassi is going with me to school on Wednesday. She's in her glory. Can't wait. I'll drop her off at Pa's for sleep over and then come home. I'll be coming home to make pies for Thursday.

Thursday is my day to eat turkey until I drop. Plus, the pies. Oh, the pies. They'll be home made. Since I picked so many apples, I've got BAGS of home made apple pie filling. Plus, with all that pumpkin, I'm making pumpkin pie filling from scratch. It just tastes so much better from fresh ingredients!

Then, Friday. I'll talk about Friday after it happens. Won't be a happy day in my house (for me). But, it has to be done.

With that, I'll close for now.

Love to all,
8^ )


Okay, my favorite sister of my sister (Vegas Princess) shared with the world herself as a South Park cartoon. So, now it is my turn. The only change to my would be the flower should be over the left "boob" not the right. Otherwise, I think this is definitely me, as a CARTOON!

And, I think I would be an awesome character in South Park!

Cathy as Mom! I think I look DARNED cute!

Love to all,
8^ )

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I Stayed Until 7pm for News Day this Week...

Yep, you heard it right. I stayed late at school this week on Wednesday because it was press day. At 5:30pm, we told everyone we were done and the newspaper was "put to bed." This meant it was approved to go to press.

Then, I sat with Cliff, chatting while he was rereading the entire newspaper. Low and behold, one story had problems with it. Names were written wrong. He asked me to contact the writer, asking confirmation of the names. Luckily for us Rt. 90 was coming to a complete stop when I called him. He was able to get into his backpack in the back seat of his car to get confirmation on names for me.

Then, we continue to look at the front page. He starts reading my story, which is a page 1 story. Come to find out, it was the original version I had submitted, before editing. This wasn't good. We had to re-place the good story, which was cut down by almost 350 words. This was bad for page 6, which is the jump page for continued stories from page 1.

We had to locate a photo or something else to fill up the page. Luckily, I had brought my laptop Wednesday because the story I wrote about, one of the participants had emailed me pictures. After two tries and having to restart my computer twice, we finally got the story done, photo laid out and the paper fixed.

But, if I hadn't been there, and he was reading, the newspaper would have been a mess for tomorrow.

Note to self: Make sure I (me, myself, and I) read EVERY page with a fine tooth comb to make sure everything is fixed.

Luckily, for the next edition, I'll be doing the page 1 and 6 layouts.

So, before I left, I told Cliff, I still wanted my A for this edition. Because we are required to submit two stories every edition, I only had one done. I told him because I had stories for the last editions to make up for this missing one, I had extra ads and stories in the beginning, I just wanted to move past the missing one story and focus on the upcoming editions. I think after this snafoo that we fixed, there's probably another A in my future. I know I'll get an A in this class for sure. I work DAMN hard at it too!

If it wasn't that the news paid so crappy, I would consider doing it. At least, I love the editing and layout of documents. Hmmm, I think I like, DESKTOP PUBLISHING!

Love to all,
8^ )

Making Log Cabins from Milk Cartons

...and pretzel sticks. Yep, I'm one of the kids now!

Tuesday, I had lunch with Cassi. A few of the kids from class asked if I could stay after lunch. Mrs. Palcos and I agreed Tuesday wasn't a good day, but Thursday was.

So, today. I had lunch with Cassi and stayed. They have what's called "centers." In their room, tables/desks are set up in groups of 2 tables with 4 kids. Each grouping is called a center. Today, they were finishing up craft projects for next week's Thanksgiving celebration that will happen on Tuesday.

We finished making: pilgrim hats, indian head dresses, cornucopias (can't spell it), and log cabins. I helped out with the log cabins. The kids saved their milk cartons that had been rinsed out. The cartons were sanded down slightly, where the pretzel sticks were glued up the sides to resemble a log cabin. On the top of the milk carton, we stapled on black (or brown) pieces of construction paper for the roof, and glued a little construction paper door (with handle).

I had so much fun with the kids. And, Mrs. Palcos was happy all of the log cabins were finished in time. I ended up staying until 1pm, when the art teacher came into the room for their art time. When I grew up, the art class was a separate room. They must have so many kids now that the art teacher doesn't get a separate room. Plus, my guess is that she is the art teacher for the entire Elyria school system and rotates between all the schools.

But, I had so much fun that I came home and slept for an hour and a half before having to go back to pick her up.

Mrs. Palcos can't wait for me to come back to help before Christmas break. Plus, I'm working next Tuesday afternoon when they have their Thanksgiving feast. Plus, (shhhh, don't tell Rob), I'm taking on the role as Treasurer for the PTO. Not that I don't have ENOUGH bills to do at home. But, I think those of us who are in the group need to take charge because, in my opinion, the group doesn't work very well.

Okay, gotta go for now. I've got other posts to do, but will add them over the weekend. They are ones from this week that are still drafts until I can add them (gotta remember those ideas for blog stories).

Love to all,
8^ )

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My GEORGOUS 1st Grader!

Enough SAID!

Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Tribute to my Media Friends and Family

(yep, my sister, Marie and Vegas Princess)

Because both of these WONDERFUL ladies were nice enough to help me with a project I did for school, I wanted to share with you the types of stuff they do behind the scenes at their jobs. They both work in the media, in their respective cities, and are best friends. Here, in Cleveland, at CSU, the Communications students got the opportunity to do a "day" internship for the election day. Of course, not knowing what they did or didn't do, I heard their grumblings when they didn't get bylines for work they did. What they don't understand is that much of TV is this way. Unless you are an achor (man or woman), do you ever get bylines for work that you do. So, I asked each of them to type up for me what they did on election day.

Marie's response was:

Didn't want to forget to write this up. For the first time since I've been in TV I wasn't on the front line for our tv production and coverage of the elections. I was working in videotape yesterday so my main concern was to make sure that the videotapes that played the graphics in our monitors was always rolling and ready for air. As for what we did with our tv production we did a LOT! Here is what we have for coverage:

1. We converted one of our tv studios into our, as we called it, 2006 Vote Command Center. The station hired a company that had people at EVERY polling place in the state. Then they have a series of people set up with computers to compile data from the people out at the poll stations so we wouldn't have to wait for the state wires to get information on the air.

2. In the same studio, the Command Center, we set up a continuous web broadcast from 7am to midnight last night. We were the only station in the market to do something like that. We had our anchors rotate going on the air for the TV and going on the air for the Internet.

3. By being having the continuous web broadcast we were able to interview all the major candidates via phone from where ever they were in the state and allow them time to fully answer all the people's questions. Each of the major candidates were able to talk for up to 30 minutes on the Internet.

4. On the tv coverage we had reporters out in the field with all of the major candidates throughout the day as well as going to the place where they were planning to hold their possible victory parties. We had reports at several of the major polling areas in different counties that have had problems with past elections to see how things went. We even had a call center where people could call in if they had problems voting.

5. The morning and noon newscasts were pretty standard. The 5 & 6pm newscasts included a lot of final pushes from the candidates to get the people who hadn't voted yet to try to get their vote. The station gave each of them 4 minutes on the air to answer questions and make a pitch for themselves.

6. We did cut-ins throughout the night during primetime tv programming to alert viewers what was going on with the election. And because of the company the station hired we were on the air declaring victories in a lot races almost an hour before anyone else in our market.

7. There was an extended 11pm newscast and then we have a lower 3rd banner that ran overnight and all morning long saying who the winners were in the election.

Vegas Princess' response was:

1. I started working with one of our producers three weeks ago to make sure all of her lists and AP wires were set up correctly so we would get up to the minute election results on election night. This is so the most recent numbers would appear in our crawls and full screens when we did newscasts or squeeze backs.

2. From 7 PM when the polls closed until midnight we would squeeze back local programming and show elections results at the bottom to the screen. We also did a one minute cut-in and a thirty second topical cut in every half hour until 10 PM.

3. At 10 o'clock we did an hour long election special on MyLVTV (we do their ten o'clock news every night) and simulcast for six minutes on both Channel 3 (NBC) and Channel 12 (MyLVTV) each half hour. At 10:54:00 we started our 11 PM news six minutes early with all the results and announced winners of the election.

4. We had two reporters at the Democratic camp and two at the Republican camp as well as a reporter at each Sheriff's race camp (that was a very hot race for us) They would pull different candidates throughout the night to get their reactions, acceptance speeches or concession speeches on camera. We also had a reporter out on the street polling people about our controversial Questions regarding smoking, marijuana and the minimum wage. Finally there was a reporter who went to different voting stations to see how voter turnout was.

5. We had the option to extend our 11 PM newscast to go until 12 Am but decided not to take it because all of our races were decided at that time. We continued our coverage in the morning showing the results of all the races and having reporters at the two camps to talk about the outcome.

And I would like to point out we did not roll credits, no one said anything about us on the air, we came in did an awesome job and got little to no recognition. We barely even got dinner for us all night. News is not something you get credit for often unless you are a talking head.

Now, you've got to remember, there's A LOT of stuff going on at TV stations across the US that we, normal, every day people just don't see. So, if you know anyone who works in TV, let them know how you feel about them. I know these ladies work HARD at their jobs every day.

So, when someone asks me if I'm in awe about going to a TV station. I pretty much say, eh. Because I share all the "ooh's and ahhhs" with my sister and live vicariously through her (and Vegas Princess), I just see it as another job. I'm not very "star" struck just because she has had the opportunity to touch the Stanley Cup (when it was in Cleveland) and has had an opportunity to hold an actual Oscar (when it was with the actress they interviewed in Detroit).

Marie, I love ya kid. Amanda, if I had to have a second sister, making us a group of three, you'd be it. You're the dramatic one of us. Marie is the practical one, and I'm somewhere in between, even though I'm the OLDEST.

Love to ya all and all of those folks who work EVERY DAY in TV!

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. This information was reprinted without an actual, "Yes you can post this for all to see." Hope they don't mind, because I think it's REALLY important!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!