Monday, March 20, 2006

New Template

Okay, friends! I've changed my template. I didn't like the "all pink" hues of my blog before today! So, I changed it. I'm much more the blues and greys kind of girl. I'm much more subdued, like this template I found.

Last week was Spring Break for me. Cassi still had school. I was STILL married. So, last week was about trying to catch up on laundry, dishes, etc. Stuff that I have to do EVERYDAY anyway. Let's just say, I really did housework last week.

Plus, even though I had a WHOLE WEEK to do homework, did I? You got it! Nope! I didn't start homework until Friday. Plus, Rob was off a few days while I was, so I wanted to spend time with him.

For those of you who don't remember, we had our 9th anniversary on 3/14. I made dinner, but can't remember what?

I'm working right now on brain burnout. We got back a news story that we wrote before break. A man came in to visit us and answer our questions. He was retired from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. My story was picked to be published this week.

There is a lab newspaper that is published weekly for Journalism students at Cleveland State University. Our instructor is the faculty advisor for this newspaper. Of course, he was us in the Media Writing class to have one story published. I had to come home today with some minor changes for the paper. I've been going non-stop since I walked in the door.

I, picked up Cassi from school at 3:15, came home and cooked dinner (home-made burgers and onion rings), remanipulated my story and emailed it back to my instructor, and then have been getting everything ready for tomorrow.

On Tuesday, I have to head to Mayfield, which is east of downtown Cleveland, to meet with our speaker and take a few pictures for the story that will be running this week. Then, I am going to school on my day off to meet with someone in carrer services, talk with someone in the library, and finish my story for this week's publication.

So, for a day off of school, I've got lots to do! And that's not all my housecleaning that I usually do on Tuesday's.

Plus, Wednesday, we head to Euclid City Hall for a press conference with the Mayor. Euclid is also a suburb east of downtown Cleveland. This is a news story of Journalism. I've got a meeting with the department chair of the History Department on Thursday for a story for my beat in Journalism.

Then, I've got my second English paper due in first draft next Monday. This is where the library comes into play. I haven't had to do citing of sources in an English paper in 13 years. I have to now. The professor called it MA citing, which I know nothing about. It's probably something I did over a decade ago, but it was called something else then.

Okay. My brain is FRIED. I need to close this for now.

Love to all,

Sunday, March 05, 2006

New and updated list...
  1. My history with depression
  2. Why I'm going back to school (the work-thing and the family/home-thing go in this)
  3. My parents
  4. My weight issues...
  5. My sister (Marie, you're now #5!)

Okay, here's my updated list of specific topics I want to cover. Don't know how long it will take to cover them, but these are it. Yep, Marie, you're moving up the ladder. Maybe I'll talk about you next this week!

Love to all,

Cathy 8^ )

Rob and I, continued....

So, Rob answered my add just after Valentine's Day. He stated to me that he didn't live half way across the world and wanted to get to know me. I replied directly to his email address through my work address. At the time, my email was cathy.valliere at From this email, he was able to look me up through the internet and call my apartment. I was shocked and excited as well. Who was this guy who was so worried about me because of my email address and called? He said he was concerned because Ernst & Young (who I worked for at the time) used our full first and last names in our email address. I never saw any problem.

Anyway, we spent the first week getting to know each other through email and the phone. Also, that same week, instead of working in our downtown Cleveland offices, I was working at our training facility in Middleburg Heights. Within a few days, he calls me and tells me that he sent a surprise to me at work! Well, I was so excited, but also sad. I had never gotten anything at work, but all the other girls there did! So, he had to get off the phone and re-route my package to my apartment. When I got home, at my front door was a half dozen red roses. I was so excited to see them! My neighbor was so jealous. She brought in the roses because they had been left outside at the side door.

That next weekend, we had our first date. He took me to Lone Star Steakhouse and to see The Empire Strikes Back! Yes, folks. I am a Star Wars buff. When he came to pick me up, the first thing I did was give him a hug. I love to hug people, so this is what I would have done. He was so shocked. The next day, I had a tremendous amount of laundry to do. So, I told him to come over. I would cook him dinner, and we would have date 2 at my house. Since my parents lived across the street, my laundry went there where I could wash it for free! (such luck!) We went up stairs, and Rob met my parents. On date 2, we discussed the idea of getting married. I figured, "What the heck!" I felt like it. It sounded like a good idea!

That next Wednesday, Rob came over and spent the night. In the parking lot of my apartment building, there was only room for three cars. So, my car (oh yeah! A month after I dropped Jason, I went out and bought my own first car! A saturn!) went across the street to my grandfather's parking lot. You see, my parents live in the same building with my grandfather, his business on the first floor and two apartments on the second. The next day, I went to retrieve my car. I went upstairs to say hello to mom and dad.

Dad says to me, "I see you had company last night!"

Was I embarrassed as heck or what!? I replied yep. Not much to say here!

Dad says to me again, "Where did you meet him?" Where I replied on the Internet. He says, "Oh, you have to watch those guys on the Internet. Remember, if you look in the trunk of his car and find a bowl and some flakes, RUN LIKE HELL! He's a Cereal Killer!"

Oh, my god! My dad just busted on Rob! Okay, here's the deal. If my dad likes you, he picks on you. In the four years I dated Jason, he didn't once pick on Jason. So, I just knew that my dad approved of Rob. Believe me, Rob and my dad are completely the SAME!

After that, I started staying at Rob's apartment and commuting into town to work. Rob lived in Elyria, about a half hour from my apartment.

We got married on March 14, 1997! We're coming up to our ninth wedding anniversary. It has been good times and bad ever since. Mom and dad treat Rob like their missing son! Go figure!

When my parents found out we were getting married, they were cool with it. Rob's parents wanted to disown him. With or without their approval, we got married. It was a civil ceremony, in front of a judge. The whole thing took five minutes. My mom came to the ceremony; then we went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner! Rob's mom was very jealous because at first my mom wasn't going to be there because of a dentist appointment. At the last minute, she rescheduled the appointment and went. Well, we didn't call his mom to tell her of my mom's change of plans, which further pissed her off.

Oh, well!

The week after we got married, I had to take my first-ever major business trip. I had to go to Phoenix for 10 days. While I was away, Rob and my dad moved all my JUNK from my apartment to his. What a site when I got back, jet-lagged and exhausted! Just about ALL my stuff was in a separate storage room, where I had to make heads or tails of the stuff. My stove, tv, and bed all went to my mom. The two dressers I had went to an antique dealer.

Remember all those emails Rob sent me? Well, I still have them to this day! For those of you who don't know, we are a family of 3. It's Rob, me, and our daughter, Cassi. Plus, the adopted cat, Charlie. That's all we need.

All my life, growing up, I admantly denied that I would ever have a family. I didn't want to get married, just have a career. Of course, I didn't want kids. But, Cassi is a hoot! She can be a real PITA (pain in the a**). But, she can also be so much fun. You can see all the wonder that is going on in her brain.

Okay, enough of that for now, I have to get back to my English paper. I've got the final due tomorrow. I had to analyze a poem. Of course, I do things at the last minute, but it's done so well.

Love to all,
Cathy 8^ )

Saturday, March 04, 2006

How Rob and I got married...

Okay, I'm going to spend some time over the next week talking about my "list of topics" from earlier.

As for a little history, I had met this guy, Jason Birzer, in Washington, D.C. We met in passing on the subway system. At this time, I'm not going to get into detail about Jason, just that we dated for four years. At the end, he complained to me that I wasn't trying hard enough to be with him in the Washington area. I had indeed tried very hard to get a job in that market. But, I had a lot of bills at that time. For me to move to that area, I would have needed to buy a car and insurance, along with rent an appartment, which would have costed me over $800 a month. At the time, I was living in an apartment for $200 a month and didn't need a car or car insurance. The only position I was able to find was comparable in salary to the one I had. Now, I was being very logical about the whole issue. Why should I move to another part of the country, paying more than I needed, for the same pay? Plus, Jason was planning on moving in with me. So, what was the point? I dropped him like a dead weight.

After that, work started to go well and I was working a lot of extra hours at the office. One particular Saturday, I was working and the computer decided it didn't. So, instead of working, I be-bopped around the internet and found Don't ask me how I got there, I just did. I applied and looked around. That was in November of 1996. By February, I had received an email from Rob (of course I don't know him yet), stating that he didn't live around the world, etc and wanted to meet. I figured why not?

It was a week after Valentine's Day when we met through the internet....

Okay. That's it for tonight. More to follow tomorrow.

Love to all,
Cathy 8^ )
Current classes... Updates!

Okay, last week, in Journalism, we had a guest speaker. He does a special section of the Sunday Plain Dealer. He came into class, talked to us about what he does, how he got there, etc. We also had to come to class with questions ready to ask him, much like a news conference.

I came to class with a tape recorder. Boy, was that ever HELPFUL. I was able to record the entire class, which helped me to re-listen to the discussion to include exact quotations in my news story. I received a 5 out of 5 for the news story! It appears I may get an A in the class, which is my goal!

My math class is something else. We had our first exam. My score was 51 percent. Okay, that was pretty bad. But, the highest score was a 79, and my grade was the sixth highest. The average grade was a 17! He wouldn't give letters grades for the percentages, but it appears that for his grading system, I'm about a B. Even if I get a C, that would be fine for my GPA.

My English class has become a hoot! I am always saying that I don't like analyzing poetry. But, according to grades we have gotten back, it appears that I'm better at it than I thought. We have in-class writing assignments. She has given us back two of the assignments thus far. Both of these assignments would make a grade between an A and a B.

I would LOVE to get a 3.0 GPA for my first semester. Once my grades are in, I'll start applying for scholarships. I think with a good GPA like a 3.0, I'll be able to get a few, even if they help pay for part of my schooling.

Love to all,
Cathy 8^ )
Slacked off on my writing!

Okay, sorry to y'all about my not writing in ALMOST 2 WEEKS! It has been VERY stressful and hectic here at the homestead. The main problem was the dogs. You see, since we had gotten the dogs, I was unable to go anywhere. My girlfriend, Jacci, well, she lives in Euclid. I haven't seen her in ages. A trip to her house is one hour, one way. Rob and I also have campground friends, who live in Wooster. A trip to their house is an hour and a half, one way. Needless to say, all I have done for the past 2 months was: 1. be mom to the puppies, 2. be mom to Cassi, 3. go to school. I have had NO social life. The most Rob and I had the chance to get out was going to the Home & Garden Show, which we were out for four hours. Let's just say the puppies needed to pee a river when we got home!

I kept saying to Rob that it was very difficult for me to be able to do all the things I needed to do to get my grades and not have so much stress. Plus, on top of it all, my sleep was starting to get affected from all the stress. So, he kept saying to me, "If you don't want the dogs anymore, call Dave & Pat and give them back." I wanted him to confess that it had been a bad idea to get the puppies, which he finally did last week. Pat & Dave Manning were the couple who play Santa & Mrs. Claus for the kids at the Kindergarten Village where Cassi is going this year. Because of them loosing the mom of the puppies from the fire, along with four of the six puppies (we got the only two survivors), I contacted them about the stress we have been dealing with.

So, last Wednesday, we took the puppies back. Last Monday, I talked with Cassi, explaining to her we needed to give the puppies back. She started to cry. Since they came into our lives, she has been pushed into her bedroom. She has kept trying to bring her toys out, play dress-up in the living room, etc. But, because the puppies lived in the living room, NOTHING of hers could come out there. They were chewing up everything in sight. But, I explained, that once the puppies go to their old home, we would be able to see our friends, "Nana Betty" (from campground), Aunt Jacci (in Euclid), and Aunt Patty (in Brunswick). She said, Okay, let's take them back. After taking them on Wednesday, we continued our trip to Wooster to see Nana Betty. Cassi just loves visiting with Bob & Betty.

So, it has been VERY quiet since they've been gone. We just have Charlie, our cat, who adopted us at Christmas 2004.

Today, after taking Cassi to Pa's for an overnight sleepover, Rob took his afternoon nap for work, and I took a nap in the living room. The nap was three hours. I could imagine what Charlie was saying when she laid down on my chest to help me to sleep. "Oh, the dogs are gone. Mom is sitting in the recliner with her blanket and pillow for a nap. I get to FINALLY take a nap with her on her boobs!" So, she slept with the entire time I was sleeping. We used to do this constantly before the puppies. I know she's happy.

So, I'll be able to continue my writing here more regularly!

Love to all,
Cathy 8^ )