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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

To My Anonymous Commenter (and regular commenters)

Because of the "nice" post submitted by the anonymous poster this afternoon, I have decided to change my comments to registered (or users.

The bottom line: This is MY Blog. I'm throwing out the "Creativity Card" here! This is where I share my thoughts and feelings with my friends, family, and those who want to read. There are SO MANY blogs out there that have so many grammatical errors. Believe me, I'm happy that I've only had two.

BUT, just because I am working at being a Technical Writer DOES NOT mean that my personal BLOG has to be "business." That is reserved for another Web site, my online portfolio.

There, if there are any issues, by all means, let me know, THROUGH EMAIL. To me, I am too close to the subject of the pages that I've created on my online portfolio. If someone emails me, letting me know there are editing errors, I won't be as critical as I am about my posts here.

So, in the end, if you don't have an account on Blogger, sorry, you can't post here. It's tough, but I have to do it. There's no reason for someone to leave an anonymous post, but not email me first. And to answer anyone's question about "what email," all you have to do is access my profile. It's RIGHT there!

8^ )

The 10's of this year...

Yep, this year has been and will be full of 10's.

  1. I reconnected with my love after our breakup 10 years ago. Of course, we're doing the "friendship" thing now.
  2. My hubby and I will be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary this March.
  3. After having our cell phones for 10 years, we are now going to change the numbers. Due to issues, this 10 has to happen, and probably will today.

Other 10's as they come up.

Love to all,
8^ )

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Career Fair at School...

So, last Friday (now that I'm posting this on 11/8/06), we had a Career Fair at the college. These are my rambling thoughts about the whole event.

I got there early. Since Rob was off, he was able to get Cassi ready and off to school. Plus, we got some nasty snow the Thursday night. Rob figured that I should get an early start.

After arriving, and walking forever to the place, I signed in and got my information packet. Because I also had class on Friday, I wanted to come early, but I also parked in my regular lot and walked. I believe I walked 4-5 blocks each way, IN A SUIT!

So, I had a plan. I scoped out the locations of all the companies I wanted to talk to. Even though I knew I wasn't going to get a job with the Elyria Police, I wanted to stop and say hello because they are my police department. I wanted them to know that not everyone at the fair was from Cleveland. Plus, it was nice to meet some of the officers who take care of us.

I stopped and chatted real quickly with all of the Career Services folks who have been helping me through this process. There was Julie, Anita, Philomena, and Yolanda. Also, I've helped them through the Career Week process by converting their ads from Publisher to InDesign for the Stater newspaper. Then, as you might remember, I taught/presented one of the their information sessions on Monday (Developing Your Online Portfolio).

So, my first company that I wanted to go to was Lubrizol. I checked with Anita, who I'd been working with, asking if I should mention about the upcoming co-op opportunities. Well, to my disappointment, the contact Anita's been working with was not at the fair. The two gentlemen, even though they were very nice, had no idea what I was talking about. But, they took my resume with some notes they added on the back. Anita and I figured that it might be a good opportunity to get my resume into the contact's hands, so that maybe the process would move quicker. From there, I went to see Hyland Software.

As some people know, I want to get back into Technical Writing. I did that for so many years at E&Y, but without the Bachelor's Degree (why I'm in school now). I did that job with only an Associate's Degree, but also because I was there. I REALLY love helping people learn and use technology. So, the day before, when I was getting my resumes together, I looked at their site. According to their site, they are, indeed, hiring for more Technical Writers. I printed out the job description, making sure I knew what questions to ask about the job. They were very happy to talk with me. I told them how I'd been to the presentation the company gave last spring. From that, I was inspired to create my online portfolio ( Then, because of my portfolio, I was asked to teach/present. Finally, I went to the presentation this time, and asked about internships. The woman I was speaking with asked me what I was looking for. And I said all of the above (internship, co-op, full-time). Of course, with full-time, I would continue taking my classes 2 at a time, but go year round to finish my degree. I then asked about the Technical Writer openings, and the requirements for the job. They asked me for a resume, which I quickly handed to them. They told me it would take about 2 weeks for any reply for my resume. (By 6pm that night, I had an email, asking for me to complete the online job application process. This ABSOLUTELY stunned me that they didn't even take 4 hours to reply.)

The rest of the companies are just a blur. I've got all their information. The huge disappointment for the fair was how many companies said to "apply online." Yes, they accepted my resume, but I wasn't very confident that they would keep the resume, unless I applied online. One company in particular, National City Bank. They didn't even really want to take my resume. "Just apply online," was what I was told. So, my thinking is that they were going to throw out my resume.

American Greetings was really nice. They had stuff to hand out, but didn't ask for a resume. Penton Media was very nice. They did ask for a resume, but I had to ask for a business card. Another disappointment, for the companies I did stop at, they continued to forget to give out business cards. I had to ask. They should always REMEMBER to have business card ready to give. I remember, when I worked at E&Y, we gave out our business cards to EVERYONE.

But, as I was talking with Penton Media, E&Y was standing right next to Penton's booth. I could sense them listening in as I talked about my employment with E&Y, and I could sense their ATTITUDE, that "holier than thou" type of attitude. I don't want to go back to them if you PAID me (well, yes I would because I know the culture and the business.)

So, that was my experience. We'll see what happens with the Hyland Software-thing. I'll blog and let everyone know.

Love to all,
8^ )

The Halloween Pictures...

Below are the photos from Halloween. First, you'll find our one and only try at carving a pumpkin, with a template. Can you tell who it is? Daddy worked VERY hard.

Then, on Halloween night, our "little witch" enticed families in Grafton to give her LOTS of candy. They all thought she was SOOOOOO cute.

Finally, here are the pumpkins from the one house I mentioned in another post. They were ABSOLUTELY amazing. Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did.

Love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Lung Cancer Awareness Month...Not a Smoker's Disease

This is for my blog friend, Lynda. (I borrowed your post for this; hope you don't mind!)

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Yesterday, I posted this on Laurianne's Hope. I emailed the blog buddies I have in my contact list and realized that some of them weren't there and hoped they would see my post when I posted today. Today is the beginning of Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Please consider adding Laurianne to your blog, and let me know. I will add you to the blog roll.

I have seen bloggers come together for so many causes: A sick child, poverty, AIDS awarness, breast cancer awareness. Sadly, lung cancer does not get the same awareness as many of these causes. Also, please consider cutting and pasting this post or forwarding the link to anyone that may be interested. Even those in the medical community may not be aware that lung cancer is not a smoker's disease. I know until my sister got sick, my dad confessed he thought only smokers got lung cancer. And a special thanks to all those who have given their support, both in the past and future. - Lynda

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Many people know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Not quite as many know Novemer is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Before Nancy Brinker (Susan Komen's sister, Founder of the Susan B. Komen Foundation) started spreading the word about breast cancer, it was not as survivable a disease. Now you can buy products in the store that will support a breast cancer cause.Like Nancy, one of the ways we can share the word about lung cancer is to tell people about it. Right now, the disease is only 5% survivable. It doesn't matter if you smoked all your life or never picked up a cigarette. That is a very low and scary number. One day, I hope to see lung cancer as being 80% survivable, like breast cancer. Please consider adding this code to your side bar. If you do not want the image center aligned, just removed the at the beginning and at the end. And if you add Laurianne, let us know. I will be creating a post of the blogs that have added this image.

Make people aware!
to your webpage or blog!

Please share, as I have shared.

Love to all,
8^ )

Trick-or-Treating in Our Old "Haunt"

Rob suggested to me that we take Cassi to our old "haunt." Before moving into Elyria, we lived in a rented house in Grafton. There was a small housing development, where we would take her. This area served us well again this year.

First off, we found two or three police cars driving in the area, which they have also done in the past. What is so cool is that the police enjoy getting involved with the whole trick-or-treating "thing" too. So, not only are they driving around, making sure everyone behaves and doesn't get hurt, but you'll also find them passing out candy. They stopped us TWICE to give Cassi candy. I SURE DO miss Grafton, but we rented ourselves out of that area when we decided to buy a house.

Then, there's this one house we remembered, in a cul-de-sac that had carved pumpkins. We found the house again, which appeared to have about three dozen pumpkins carved. They had a whole table with carvings themed toward the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. They had SpongeBob SquarePants, Scooby Doo, Tweetie Bird, witches and such, and other AWESEOME, carved pumpkins. You can just imagine the amount of time and patience it took to carve them.

Again, the pictures are on my camera. Check back tomorrow for the pictures.

But, we ended up walking about two miles, which was REALLY good for me since the only walking I've been doing has been around school. Even though I do about two miles at school, I'm trying to do more. (maybe this is why I slept like such a rock)

We spent about an hour in Grafton. Trick-or-treating around here is an hour and a half. After we got done, we stopped at McD's (yep, the BAD food) and had din-din. The crowd seemed to have followed us because the place was packed when we left.

So, we came home. Rob reviewed all the candy and goodies, which appeared to be just fine. Cassi called Pa and Nana to let them know how good her "haul" was. Not bad. There were a lot of houses that used to do stuff, but just didn't this year. There were a number of houses who "used to" go all out with decorations and such for Halloween, but not this year.

Oh well!

We still enjoyed ourselves.

With that, I'm going to close for now. I'm exhausted from today at school and Cassi has homework (and so do I).

Love to all,
8^ )

Cassi as a Cute Witch

Cassi was SOOOO very cute last night. Nana bought for her a witch's costume. Sorry, Marie, no Tinkerbell this year. But, we was still cute. Even the people who saw her thought she was cute.

I've got the pictures still on my camera, but will upload them here tomorrow. Check back about this time then.

Love to all,
8^ )

What I Did on Halloween (day & night)

I was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO busy on Halloween. First, Rob and I went and had a quick bite to eat after taking Cassi to school, which, by the way, was pajama party day. Everyone got to wear pajamas to school! How cool!

Then, we popped into the grocery store to pick up some juice for school, eggs, flour, and sugar (hmm! a loaf of bread, a container of milk, and some butter - from Sesame Street). We came home and Rob went to bed.

While I was baking upstairs, I had laundry washing and drying in the basement. Wonder what I was baking? Well:

6 mini pumpkin breads from fresh pumpkins I cut up, cooked, and mashed to resemble "canned pumpkin" (and VERY easy to do)
24 pumpkin muffins
2 apple pies (after I peeled, cored and cut up the apples to make the home-made pie filling)
a half gallon plus home-made apple cider (made in my very own Jack LaLane juicer - the small one)

I started by making the breads and muffins. Then, the apple pie filling. Once it was ready, I had to take a break. Being the "room parent" for Cassi's class, I had to make my appearance at school to help with the party. The party went very well. I'm glad I kept those brown lunch bags I bought last year from kindergarten. They came in very handy, when I named everyone's bags so they could take their stashes home with them. Plus, from the baking I had 3 extra pumpkin breads I handed out at school. Hope they liked them.

Once we got home, I preped and baked the 2 pies. Then, we took Cassi into Grafton, where we used to live for trick-or-treating.

I'll get into the trick-or-treating and what we saw in other posts. But, we got home, sorted the candy and crashed for the evening in the bedroom (maybe we'll get that darned TV back today). But, I ended up back on the computer for a while and then to bed at 10:30. I decided to watch my last half hour of "General Hospital" on the boob tube. But, gotta love Rob. He was already sleeping and snoring VERY loudly. Every time I turned up the TV, it seemed he knew it and snored louder.

I turned the TV off about 11pm and feel fast asleep. I don't recall moving ONCE until 5am, when Rob had to get up to go to class today for work. Then, the last 2.5 hours of sleep SUCKED. Today was very tiring as all that baking (minus the one apple pie) was for a fundraiser we were having at school for my new association. I just happened to join at the RIGHT time. I'm now an official member of the Society of Professional Journalists. We'll see how it goes over the next year.

Love to all,
8^ )