Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Dizzy-Girl Update

Went to the doctor. She had me do all these, what I like to call, I've been drinking and driving balancing tests. The touch you finger to your nose, walk in a straight line, etc. For me, since of course, you KNOW that I haven't drank a drop, the tests are to see if there's a disconnect between what is being said to me and my brain actually telling my body parts to DO IT.

She checked in my ears and throat. OK, no tonsils. They've been out since 1986 and have not grown back (as I'm aware some tonsils have been known to grow back). There is fluid behind my right ear drum. Ack! This means an inner ear infection. Thanks, Vegas Princess, you hit the nail on the head.

When she had me do the stand-up tests, she had me shut my eyes. As I was standing there, I could feel myself falling backwards. I heard Rob's boots slam on the floor to jump to grab me. And, the walk one foot in front of the other had the same results. I started to fall to the right.

But, I'm still dizzy (as my smart-ass hubby calls me and ex-blond as I had blond hair early in life). The doctor prescribed me to continue to use my Clarinex. She also put me back on Flonase. It's a nose spray for allergies that will help get rid of the fluid behind my ear drum. And, she prescribed for me an anti-dizzy drug. The drug works like Benedryl. If you get sleepy with Benedryl, which I do, you will most likely get sleepy with this. Also, until later when I am ready for bed, and can get at least 8 hours sleep, I'm not going to take the medicine. That means Cassi and I will be in bed early.

So, no class this evening. I called Mary, my professor, to let her know what was going on. She agreed that I shouldn't drive, especially since the weather is getting worse again here. She told me she had my homework in her email. I explained a little of what I did, making sure I understood the assignment. She's also going to email me back this evening or tomorrow our project for next week.

So, I'm still dizzy. For a long-term treatment issue, we discussed with her the issues I've had with my hearing. She agreed that I should see an ENT again. It's been since 2003, I think, that was the last time I saw the doctor. Next week, I'll be seeing a Cleveland Clinic ENT. We'll see how it goes.

Okay. Going for now. I'm REALLY tired, but I've got to get some food cooked for Rob before he goes to work. Gotta love the man who works the night before your doctor's appointment, 7-7:30, comes home and sleeps until 10:30 (about 2 hours), gets up and drives you to the doctor, pharmacy, and lunch before going back to bed at 2pm, only to have to get up by 5:15 and go to work again for a second 7-7:30 shift the next night.

No wonder why I'm married to this guy for 10 years (almost)!

Love to all,
8^ )

The Proof is in the Picture

Okay. Remember, I told you guys a while back about my neighbor who uses his leaf blower to clear his sidewalk and driveway? Well, I got the PROOF. After I got back from taking Cassi to school, I heard the vroom of the blower. I ran inside and came out with digital camera. And wala!

The proof is in the picture...

I was even able to get the blower in the picture as he was blowing up snow.

And, I would like to thank Ralph for sending us this AWESOME snow. I know snow can be a bad thing, but for all of us in the Cleveland area, we need to get rid of some of the nasty bugs and germs flying around from the decent weather, just NOT NORMAL for Cleveland, OH.

So, here's to the man who can clear his side walk and driveway with a LEAF BLOWER!

Love to all,
8^ )

From Vegas Princess...

This post comes from sister-of-my-sister, Vegas Princess. I'm going to do this. How about you?

A Chance To Make A Little Girl Smile

We had this story on the news the other day and I just had to share:

Little Miss Luci LaMonica was diagnosed with Leukemia back in November 2006. To take her mind off of the treatments and change in lifestyle, she's collecting postcards from all over the world. If anyone wants to send a postcard .. the address is below. The family isn't requesting this, but of course they think its way cooler to receive the postcard from its ORIGINAL destination . . . instead of bringing a foreign postcard back to Vegas and mailing it off. So, if anyone's traveling abroad, please keep Little Luci in mind.

Luci LaMonica
3383 W. Oquendo
Las Vegas, NV 89118

I know I have some blogger friends who read this blog and live in other countries, so please think about helping out this little girl. All she wants are postcards and nothing could be simpler to send. It's a tiny thing, something that does not take much time or effort, but you could help make a little girl, who needs all the love and support she can get, really happy. And that should be reason enough. And if you do not live in a foreign country, send her a postcard anyway, because postcards from all the different states would be cool too! And then post this message on your blog or in your email so that people from all around the world can see it and help make the wish of this little girl come true.

Lynda posted a similar story about a young boy striving to beat cancer, break a record and help other kids with cancer too! TJ is looking to collect thousands of hats for kids, like him, who go through Chemo and need a hat to cover their now exposed heads. He hopes to break the world hat collection record of 83,000 hats and then distribute them himself to kids who need them. To help TJ in his journey click here.The gestures may be small, but you could help make a big difference in both these kids' lives.

Take the time.

Okay. I know we've heard a gammut of stories like these, but I agree with helping. Plus, I'm going to look at TJ's site and see if I can send some hats to him.

Love to all,
8^ )

An Update on My Dizzyness

Wait, did I spell that dizzy-word correctly? I don't think I did. But, you know what? I DON'T CARE!

Here's what my sister-of-my-sister left a comment about on my last post:

"If this does not go away by tomorrow go to the doctor and have them check you for an ear infection. A deep inner ear infection can cause vertigo and dizziness. Considering you hvaen't fallen from any high surfaces or bumped your head on anything, this could be the case. And if I remember correctly, I think you had problems with your ears before right? One of your ear drums burst or am I thinking of a completely different person?I hope you feel better soon! Eric, Brian's borther, had vertigo for over six months and couldn't do anything! So I hope you can get it all figured out and fixed right up."

Thanks, Vegas Princess, for remembering my issues! Yep, I got 'em. For those of you who don't know, when I was 2, my right ear drum burst. Also, in 2001, after a business trip to Florida, on the plane ride, both my left and right ear drums burst (so that's two times for the right). After that trip, I was left deaf for 4 days. Oh, I could hear, eh. But, everytime I needed to use the phone for work, I got a migraine and pain in my ear. So, it was emails that week.

But, even before then, I had been losing my hearing. It just so happens that a while after this, I think some time in 2002 or even 2003, I spent a lot of time working with ear doctors, neurologists, and other special specialists about my hearing. Bottom line that I was continually told, "You're losing your hearing and there's nothing we can do about it. Sorry." At that time, I had vertigo for almost a week, and at work no less.

So, now, I hear in BOTH my ears a constant buzzing sound. Some professionals call this tinnitis. Also, depending on how my day goes, by the end of the day, it can get MUCH louder, based on my stress level. Often, this is the reason I can't get to sleep. The buzzing in my ear is too loud for me to get to sleep.

But, this weekend, that LOUD sound has been happening all day long. Today, I go to see the doctor. I'll update this later, about the results. My guess is the doctor is going to get a full blood workup on me. Then, she's going to get me into a specialist. OK, hopefully they can do something. I'm still dizzy this morning. Rob got home from work and went to sleep immediately. He's got to work tonight, but is going to take me to the doctor for my 11:30 appt. This meant that I had to take Cassi down the street. It wasn't too bad, but I did have to move really slow. The looking left and right is still a problem.

But, with all that, I'm still getting my homework done. I'm working ahead now on my Tech Writing reading, working on the next chapter that we'll be working on tonight in lecture. Because the class is a undergrad/grad level class, we do all lecture on Tuesdays. I hope I can go, otherwise, I might miss something important.

I did get one of my poems written this morning. I woke up about 6:30 am from a dream. For me, it was an unusual dream. I tried to go back to sleep, but my mind turned on and started writing the poem in my mind. So, if I went back to sleep, I would have lost it. Running out to the living room, I picked up pencil and paper and started to write. It is a prose poem. I'll add it to my creative writing blog in a few. I also want to write it in my journal to take to class tomorrow if I can get there.

Okay. That's it for now. I'll update later if I'm not too tired. With this vertigo, I've also been VERY tired.

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. And I always thought I was DIZZY!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Now WHERE did that alcohol go?

It has not been a good weekend for me. For those of you who know me, I have NEVER in my life been drunk. Yes, I love a good drink now and then, but haven't had too much to drink. At least not more than my body can take. In college, I was able to get away with FAR MORE than I can now. Give me one good margarita and I've HAD it.

Anyway, you would have thought that I had been drinking out of my mind on Friday. Rob was working; Cassi had her friend over for the weekend (Caroline). About 8:30, as I was watching TV with the girls, I went into one of my vertigo sessions. This one was so bad, I couldn't even sit up. Every time I sat up, I would fall forward. You would have thought that I had been full alcohol. But, alas, no yummies.

By 9:30, I had text-messaged Rob, telling him what was going on. Luckily, I had setup the blow-up mattress for the girls. They slept in the living room on a raised-up, queen mattress. I had all I could do to walk (with hands on the walls) down the hall and plop into bed. Everything was locked up and the lights were off. I told Cassi to shut off the TV when it was 10 and their show was over. I don't remember the clock after 9:45pm.

But, come Saturday morning, I was up at 7:30am. I got up and lumbered down the hall to the couch, much in the same state I was in the night before. Rob sent a text message he was on his way. I spent most of the day sleeping. Every time I got up, it was only for a few minutes.

Everyone can laugh at this, when I went to the bathroom, I was afraid of falling head first onto the floor. Even today, I cannot look down or my head wants to go with me. The vertigo has kinda gone away, but the diziness is still there.

Sadly for me, I've got homework to do. I will probably end up not going to class tomorrow. We did check my blood pressure, which happens to be up. Hmmm? Too much alcohol? Nah! Haven't had any in a few weeks (oh, there was that margarita about 2 weeks ago, but just 1).

So, tomorrow, I'll call the doctor and try to get in in the morning. I would like to go so Rob can take me. He's working Monday and Tuesday night. I'll have to see how I am handling walking and stuff tomorrow.

Now: Marie, haven't told mom and dad yet until I get to the doctor. I will call them as soon as I find out. It could be as simple as my blood pressure got elevated. From what, don't know. I DO KNOW it wasn't from too much alcohol.

But, from someone who's seen drunk people, that's EXACTLY what I looked like. Okay. I'm going to close for now. I've got other stuff to do:

  1. Tech Writing:
    - read 2 chapters
    - find a visual that represents the one chapter and 3 values from the chapter
    - continue my research (which seems to be DIFFICULT)
  2. Poetry:
    - continue my journal (check here)
    - update my journal for missing days
    - do some critical reading of Emily Dickinson poems
  3. PTO
    - go to Suzin L chocolatier for fundraising opportunity
    - type up newsletter for February

Think I'm a little busy? Even being sick I've still got STUFF to do. I think somewhere in here I'll also try to take a nap.

Love to all,
8^ )

Friday, January 26, 2007

Mmmmm, A Cucubmer Sandwich

This morning, I sliced up a cucumber so it wouldn't go bad. Gotta use all my veggies. After slicing, as I wanted to use them in a salad, I said to myself, "Mmmm! A cucumber sandwich. I haven't have one of these in years."

I proceeded to pull out 2 pieces of bread and a little mayo. The sandwich is cucumbers, a little mayo, and salt and pepper to taste. VERY YUMMY!

On a side note, as today is Friday, Friday is my catch up on housework day (and maybe some PTO stuff). As I am realizing HOW MUCH work I am doing in both of my classes, Friday is definitely the day for housework. So, today, I've got a bag of garbage to get to the can (outside freezing to an icicle), dishes to be put away and dirty ones to get into the dishwasher (okay, this is done and the dishes are drying in the dish washer), laundry to be folded and 2 more loads to wash. Here's one of my "weird things" about me. I have no problem washing laundry. It just takes me forever to fold them. But, I've got 2 loads folded, 2 more to fold, and 2 more to wash.

Plus, ALL my homework for the weekend, which includes 2 chapters to read, a visual to find for tech writing that I can use later to write about, and research on my project. Then, I've got a few poems to write for my workshop, along with updating my journal. I've got topics for "personal reflection" in draft here in my blog. I just have to write about them and get them printed for my journal.

With that, I'm going to close for now. Need to take the laundry into the basement and get it started. Oh, later, I'm taking Cassi to get her new glasses. This is the time of year for her. We got her 2 pairs this year, one for school only and one for home and about. Because of the AWESOME insurance Rob has at the Cleveland Clinic, her glasses and exam are only costing about $175. Plus, since we prebudgeted for this with his benefits, we've got the money set aside already in a health care spending account. (just for an occasion such as this)

Next month, we will probably have dentists appointments. Cassi and I will go for our 6-month checkup. Rob needs to just GO. Cassi's got her 3rd tooth loose. Can't wait until it comes out.

Love to all,
8^ )

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Cold Experience...

This evening, I got to school early. I brought my laptop along. I figured, since I'll get to school early, I can get some research done for my tech writing class. So, I fired up the computer and started my research. About 5:40, an alarm goes off in the building. I guess it's time to shut down my computer.

As I'm shutting down the computer, I am also sitting right in front of our location for the elevator. Because it is in a shaft, off of the main building, the steel doors SLAM shut. OK, this is definitely serious. I get my stuff together and put on my coat. It was at this point that all the students around me start for the stairwell.

Yep, we're going outside in the bitter cold because the alarm is going off. But, and this is what I hate about being at college, there's NO PA system to let us know what is going on. As we get outside of the building, again, because there's construction going on, there's no "location to get to" because of the fire alarm. No where did I see campus police, the fire department, Cleveland police, or anything.

I remember, when I worked for the community college, we had a fire alarm like that go off. We all had to GET OUT before the fire department would even go into the building to review it for approval to go back inside.

This NEVER happened at school. I even noticed at one of the stairwells, that the entrance was FILLED on the inside with students. Again, not once did the students LEAVE the building. There should have been some coordination, etc. Also, once the sound of the alarm stopped, we all went back into the building. The elevators worked, etc. But, for almost a half hour, the alarms started back up with sound and flashing lights. But, not once did we SEE any police or fire personnel.

But, finally, the alarm went off and everyone got back to school. We did notice on our floor, however, that a number of classes cancelled because of the alarm going off. Huh?

They REALLY need to change their way of thinking in regard to alarms and emergencies. There were so many college students outside, but not once did they think to go into another building for warmth, nor were they told they were too close to the building in question in case something REALLY was wrong.

OK. Had to vent. I was REALLY cold, but turned out OK.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Life at this Household is NEVER Boring!

Because part of my poetry class is to journal every day about stuff that's going on, personal reflection, etc., here's mine.

I started out today by getting Cassi ready for school. We went to school early so she could turn in the money for her candy fundraiser. Every kid who sells 3 boxes of candy (52 items in each box), will have the opportunity to get a ride in a limousine AND lunch. Today, Cassi turned in money for boxes 2 and 3. She needs lots of thanking for Pa, Daddy, and Mommy. We've still got the last box to sell, but I need to get to my school during the day. I'll be bringing it with me to sell to my college classmates. Oh, and by the way, she got to spin a wheel 3 times, once for each box, where she got to earn prizes. She has won 1. a hand-held fan, 2. a "spy" earphone system, and 3. a battery-operated phone/calculator/alarm clock/clock/radio. Pretty good, eh?

I got home and made sure my homework was completed for today's tech writing class. But, first I made some cream of wheat cereal and a cup of cocoa. So, I got the paper together. Based on information given to us about wool, our goal was to write up a 1-2 page paper, using our layout skills to write the advantages/disadvantages of wearing wool. I started writing and layout. Then, I took a short nap and finished my writing.

This afternoon, Rob and I had a conference with Cassi's special ed teacher. She has auditory processing disorder, which gives her much trouble concentrating on what is being taught at a specific point in time. (Yes, we all have this difficulty.) For Cassi, the problem is exponentially worse. Example, they are sitting in a group being read a story. The teacher asks the kids questions for which Cassi cannot answer. A few hours later, they are doing something else. When questions are asked, Cassi then can answer the questions from the first story that was read, often hours before. Her response rate is very slow, like something is stopping her comprehension for stuff, like normal kids. So, she gets lots of extra homework, which I help her with every day, along with learning with 2 separate teachers. At this time, she is a little behind on her level of reading. However, and I was this way too, she is on the level, or even advanced for the math. Because her special ed class is a group of 1st and 2nd graders, she gets to learn math at the 1st and 2nd grade level.

This semester will definitely be difficult for me with all my writing and extra work with Cassi.

We got home and worked on her homework before I had to go to class. Because Tuesday night is the 6pm class, we got all the homework but reading done. The books she brought home I have to go talk to her teacher about in the morning. Because they are working on something called the Accelerated Reader program, where they read books for comprehension, then take tests on the comprehension, she has books she brings home. But, the book she brought home has already been read and tested on. The other book she brought home is more advanced than her level, which frustrated Rob. So, in the morning, I have to go and ask about the book and her reading level.

I went to school and came home. Before school, I ran a load of dishes in the washer. This evening, I put a second load in. Also, I've made a batch of banana pudding. After I finish writing this, I will go ahead and finish prepping the pudding with cookies, bananas, and cool whip. It's REALLY good. The pudding is banana flavored, not vanilla like most people use when making banana pudding.

I've got the presidential speech recording now. Almost couldn't record it because our electric decided to shut down at 8:58 pm. Hopefully it won't go out overnight. We'll be setting up a cell phone for a backup alarm in the morning.

Okay, got lots of stuff to do for poetry class for tomorrow, including another journal page regarding the poems I'm going to memorize for my mid-term and final.

Will chat again tomorrow.

Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, January 22, 2007

Go Now to My Creative Writing Blog...

Okay, I'll wait. Creatively Cathy

Did you read them? I'm about to add my second poem now. I wanted to do it from my laptop because I've got the painting the poem is about. Since these poems are "In the Manner of," this poem is similar to a poem written about a painting. I wanted to make sure my graphic of the painting was available.

Okay. Did you read them? I would love as much feedback about them as possible. First, you need to be a registered user of blogger (blogspot) to submit feedback. But, good or bad, please post. I'm going to add my comments to my journal for my final grade. Write to your little (or big) heart's content.

Love to all,
8^ )

Poetry, the first workshop

Today, after chatting with Nuala before class, she made the suggestion that she wanted to hire me for the summer to work for her as her assistant. She would need to talk to the English Department to see if money was available, but wanted me to work for her. The reason is that I showed her all the stuff I had worked on yesterday for today's class. Even though I had 4 poems due for today, only 1 needed to be typed, duplicated, and ready for workshop. But, I showed her my journal, which I am keeping here, then transferring it to my Word document for printing and adding to the hard copy for when I turn it in in April.

One of the things I will be doing as her assistant is keeping her reminded of what was done during class. So, I figured, "What the Hell! I'll just start now." I just typed up my notes and emailed them to her. She didn't want me to do it now, but I told her I would add them to my journal as notes from the day's class. A good way to get started.

I was able to return the extra book I had. She doesn't know what happened, but the book in question was for the other creative writing class. But, I was able to get 2 of the 3 books left to get. If I don't get the final one, I'm not hurting as I've of 7 of the 8 for class.

Now, here's the write up from my email:

Nuala, I don't mind writing up a synopsis of what we are doing in class now. I'll just think of it as extra fodder for the journal. Plus, my blog friends love when I get so detailed about what I'm doing.

So, here goes:

We started the class with signing the attendance sheet and filling out which poems we will memorize for the mid-term and final.

Then we were given handouts from Nuala for the phone and address list. We reviewed any errors for which Nuala will be revising and getting back on Wednesday. Delegation of duties were handed out for our class portfolio, CD, and art-stuff. Cathy (removed) and Jason Reed will be the Editors. Manuscript Art Editor will be Michelle Krivanek. Compilation and Distribution Editor will be Erin Bower. Recording & Audio Editors/CD Art Editors will be Cassi Armstrong and Rodney Lewallen.

Discussion went on concerning how we would do journaling for the semester. Nuala would like us to read one poem for an author per day and examine it. I call that breaking down the technology of the poem. We are to write journals 5 out of the 7 days each week. Nuala showed us the journaling she will be doing for the semester, which happens to be in 3 different places, a sketchbook, a binder, and her computer.

The class then broke into small groups and wrote poems in the acrostic format. We were to write about each other, then ourselves as time permitted. The "In the Manner of" poems were then brought out for further review. We were to look at the technical aspects of the poems, how many commas, periods, etc., along with number of stanzas, lines, overall punctuation, use of words. A close reading of the poem and what we notice as readers.

After some workshop time, we went around the room and read the poems we wrote in our groups. Then, the group handed out the poems written as homework for today. The "In the Manner of" poems had to have 4 of the six completed, but one typed, duplicated, and brought to class. Everyone passed out their poems to the group. Nine of the 11 students in class brought poems. Kisha and Mary Grace were not in class today.

We quickly read our poems that we will workshop on Wednesday. For Wednesday's class, we are to continue working on our 4 poems, bring in our acrostic typed up for workshop (with any changes), and write a Rimas. Come Wednesday, hopefully the 2 students who didn't bring their poems will do so.

So, that's what I have for this evening. Hope it's okay for the class. I would have sent this earlier, but after picking up Cassi, we got home at 7. I made dinner of home made Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli and got her off to bed. Now, I'm going to relax and get ready for bed myself. Tomorrow is a long one with extra writing for tomorrow's class.

8^ )

So that's what happened to me this evening. I'm REALLY tired. It's 10pm now. I know Cassi is in bed and asleep. I've got my writing to do for tomorrow's class, which I will read and complete in the morning. Before bed this evening, I'm going to get my CRAP together completed for my poetry class.

Okay, here goes. I'm going to put my first two poems on my Creative Writing Blog now. Go look and give me your feedback. They have not been workshopped yet, so are in their first editions. They are "In the Manner of" where we were given 6 poems of which we had to write 4. I've got two done. One has a painting to go with it, but I'll have to add it after my laptop is up.

Love to all,
8^ )

Being Tagged

Okay. My AWESOME blog friend, Miki just tagged me. Take a look at her blog to see what's going on. The task, should I choose to take it, is to tell the world 6 weird things about me.

Here goes:

1. I hate to do housework. Because I have always been a "worker," someone with a job, I have always considered work, even housework as a project. Well, at work, a PROJECT gets completed. Then, you move to the next project, hopefully never to come back to the old. That doesn't happen with housework. It's always there and never seems to go away.

2. I ALWAYS dream in color. For all the dreams I remember, which are most, they are always in color. Numbers have always been my thing too, being a very logical thinker. In one dream, I won 4 million dollars. Don't remember how or where. But, darnit, where's my money? Then, in another dream, I was shopping at Lane Bryant and wanted to purchase clothing with my credit card (had a card but not when I had the dream). The total came to 7## dollars (can't remember this number. But, I do remember the sales lady telling me I had 429 dollars on my credit card to spend. So, I had to return some of the clothes I wanted to buy. Also, I came across the georgous pants outfit was was cream and red roses. The fabric was that soft velour, but very durable. I can even remember feeling the fabric (not something someone remembers from a dream).

3. I'm losing my hearing. Okay, that's not a weird item. What is weird is what I hear in my ears. Yep, both of them. For those of you who have been in the country, in the summer, and at night. That is what I hear. Just like the buzzing done by bugs. And the worse part, when I've been stressed, it gets stronger and worse by the end of the day. Hmm, maybe that is part of why I have trouble sleeping.

4. (taken from Miki) I NEVER in a million years figured I would be the one married and with a child. When I was growing up, I told everyone who ever asked, "No. I'm not getting married and I'm not having kids. I want a career." After dating this guy for 4 years, something just happened that made me realize it was over. I REALLY loved him at the time and probably still do today, but it wasn't to be for us. Six months later, I was married to someone who lived locally. Two years later we had our first child. Now, I don't work (but go to college) and spend my time helping her with her learning issues and PTO. And I'm HAPPY. Not happy at the fact we don't have more money because I don't work, but that's another story.

5. Talking about my ex. After being separate from him for 10 years, we have finally reconnected. We've seen each other once, which really wasn't long enough. Because I am such a people-oriented person, I want more than I can get. That also might have been why we are no longer together. But, the new relationship seems to be working, even at a long-distance friendship. Who knows where it might lead. He still looks the same and is still handsome.

6. I have ALWAYS been heavy. I was probably one of the first girls in my neighborhood to wear a bra. I remember having to wear one from 4th grade on. All through high school, I never dated. No one seemed to want to date the "heavy girl." I would get hooked on this idea that a friend would want to date me. When they didn't, I would go home and cry for 2 days. Once that was over, I would go back to normal and still be friends. It would have been very lonely for me not to have friends. So, I didn't get to go to my prom (how sad). I didn't even have my first boyfriend until college. I didn't meet my husband until I was 25, going on 26. But, and here's the weird part, how we got married. We met after Valentine's Day in 1997. Just before St. Patrick's Day, less than a month later, we were married. It works. This March 14, we will be married for 10 years.

Hmmm, it appears numbers are all around me. This year, the number 10 is it!

Okay, so I've got my 6 weird things. I'll have to decide over today if I want to continue the tag. Not sure if I want to as many of Miki's friends are also mine.

Love to all,
8^ )

Sunday, January 21, 2007

This Evening

With all the homework, and the blog explosion, I forgot what I was originally doing when I started all this about 6:30pm this evening.

Since Rob had to work this evening, he took a nap. I also took a nap (hmm, a little insomnia tonight, maybe). Because of our issues with the windows, we've got a kerosene(sp) heater. I had it running as it was cold as HELL in the living room. I also had one of Cassi new blankies and sat on the couch and slept. After Rob got up, I woke up and realized it was snowing. Not bad, but the roads around the house appeared to be bad.

He got ready and left. I decided, instead of being a slug on the couch, I would get up and do some stuff on the computer. I've been designing some new tea bag party favors for Valentine's Day and wanted to print out the samples for my small binder. I think I'll need to buy at least 5 more of these little things. I know for Christmas/Winter alone, I've got over 200 different designs.

OK. So, you're probably thinking to yourself, "Self, what are these darned things Cathy is talking about?"

Well, so glad you've asked. I got this idea from someone's Web site. I borrowed their template and have been designing my own ever since. Think about how tea bags come from Lipton or Nestea. They are packaged in an "envelope"-type of package. Well, it's the same idea, but larger and custom-designed for holidays, parties, wedding receptions, baby showers, etc. I call it my "being different" party favor gift. Plus, if you want to add them to greeting cards, they're awesome to add to someone who might live far away. The bags I've been using aren't just the Lipton or Nestea. I've looked high and low. At first, I was using the tea bags made by Watkins company. It's the direct-selling company Rob and I purchase and sell stuff from. But, since they decided to stop making them, I found a just-as-good tea from Trader Joe's, who is FINALLY in the Cleveland area. Side note, I learned about Trader Joe's from my trips to Phoenix when I worked for Ernst & Young. Anyhoo, the tea bags are sealed in plastic. Then, with my envelopes, they are sealed again.

So, I started this evening, printing my Valentine's envelopes. I consider them a computer craft as they are printed, but I still have to cut them out, fold them and glue them together (of course with the tea bag inside. I have 29 different designs. Plus, I'm working on different phrases I can add to the one side of them, say 3-5 different sayings that can be used on all 29 designs.

From that, I got into the whole hoopla about updating my journal for poetry and other homework. Since I have 2 computers that can keep my multi-tasking mind busy at the same time, I have been running my desktop and laptop all night. One computer had music running and printing. The other, party favors printing and homework. Right now, I'm down to working on one computer. But, for a while I was also printing the photos I promised the school last week. I'll take them on Tuesday as the kids have off tomorrow.

I can't believe what a MESS my office is right now. I'm still waiting for Rob to finish my closet (note to hubby if you're reading this). I'm putting 5 to 6 shelves in my closet for all my paper-type stuff. I've got boxes on the floor in my office, in the closet in my bedroom, and in boxes in the basement. Some of my storage probs will be solved once the closet gets finished.

Hopefully, by summer my house won't feel so cluttered. It's 10:30pm. I think I'm starting to go down for the evening. The past couple of nights, I've had trouble sleeping. Don't know if it's the new-new bed or not. We got a new mattress and box spring. But, after Rob saw the mattress, he had me call the company. There was a huge water stain on the thing. So, they called and replaced the mattress this past Thursday. I'm probably having to get used to the new-new mattress as I think I set up my "spot" on the other one. Plus, it appears my left shoulder is bothering me again. For those of you who don't know, and you can laugh at this, when we first moved here in 1993, I sneezed so hard that I pulled my shoulder blade out of its socket, spraining my shoulder. To this day, I have problems. When I'm sore, it's typically when my shoulder is out of the socket. I call it my "winding up for the pitch" where I literally take my arm and wind it like I'm a baseball pitcher to get it back into place. When I get a loud POP, it's back in the socket. I guess it's also a part of getting old.

Okay. I'm going to sign-off for the night. I'm going to get ready for bed. While in bed, I'm going to work on my poems.

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. I've still got the day to work on it tomorrow before class.

Hilarious Story...

Okay, so last night, we were at Lowe's, home improvement store. We were walking around the bathroom stuff, looking at stuff. All of a sudden, this customer shouts out about how incompetent the staff is. Not sure what was going on, Rob and I wanted to investigate. Walking over closer, but also "looking" at our ideas, we see the department manager try to solve whatever was going on.

I noticed the customer had a special order package from Home Depot. The manager was trying to calm down the customer. For some reason, he had come to Lowe's to see if they could give him better pricing. The salesman was just not doing ANYTHING correctly. The manager told the customer he could price match Home Depot or could give him 20% off across the board on everything. What did he want? Well, the customer wanted both. The salesman tried to ask him a few more questions. The customer got up and walked out. But, not before shouting to the ENTIRE store how bad the service was here and to go immediately to Home Depot.

We couldn't stop from laughing. The manager sternly walked that customer out of the store. Good for him. I couldn't believe how rude he was. Well, it turns out, because the salesman started helping us, that Saturday seemed to be a wild day for special order items. Because of so much ordering on their computer system, his computer froze. Also, the man's special order was large. He just didn't want to give the sales clerk enough time to process everything that needed to be processed. Just then, the manager came back over and apologized. We just laughed. I could believe what a Jack Ass this other customer was. I just kept laughing and saying, "I'm not disgruntled, yet!" And, I told them now they've got good stories to share about the experience.

You can only do as much as the computer will allow you. Don't come in, with a HUGE special order, expect to get it for FREE, then expect to be able to leave 5 minutes after your arrival.


Love to all,
8^ )

Catching Up on Homework...

Okay. So, this is not going to be a SLOW semester by any means. I'm cleaning up my homework for the week. Here's the scoop:

Poetry (for Monday):
1. I've got two more days of journals to write.
2. I've got four poems to write "In the Manner of" poems.
3. I found a good Web site that has paintings. Okay, so it's a site that you can purchase reproductions of paintings. I'm using the site to find good paintings to use for a few portrait poems. The site is: www.overstockart.com.

Starting tomorrow, we'll start workshopping our poems (in other words, making them better from a peer review type format).

Technical Writing (for Tuesday):
1. Continue reading my subscription to the Wall Street Journal and pick a story from the front page, read it, and write a one-paragraph ditty about the story.
2. Read the description of wool that was given to us last Tuesday. Write up a 1 to 2 page paper, keeping in mind my audience and keeping as much of the technical information in as possible, based on my audience.

Oops. It's Sunday at 7:30 pm. What was I thinking? But, Rob ended up being off Friday and Saturday. To try to keep my life-school balance, I feel bad if I've got so much homework that Rob's got to do stuff on his own. Luckily, Marie is in town (sorry Vegas Princess), I get her time OFTEN. She has been spending the weekend with Cassi at Pa's. Plus, Mom and Dad took off Monday. I'll spend the day at the college. This will help Rob get some sleep (yep, he got to work this evening). I'll pick up Cassi after class tomorrow.

Friday, Rob napped before going to work. We ate early and he left. Not a half hour later, he was calling me. For some ungodly reason, there weren't enough patients on the floor he works. Because he is "low man" on the seniority latter, he was called not to come to work. The main problem I have with this is, he won't get paid. Yes, for those wondering, he does have vacation time with this full-time job. But, at the beginning of the year, 64 hours of his paid-time off time were taken to pay for benefits. Every year, he has the opportunity to "cash in" 80 hours of vacation/holiday time to pay for benefits. So, this means he is currently in a negative balance for his time. This also means because he is negative he won't get paid. To make up for this, he is trying to work his PRN (as needed) job to pick up some hours to make up for this issue. I guess they don't care that their employees have mortgages and stuff.

So, Friday night, after having my small fit, we went out. We needed to get some new pillows for the bed. Plus, Cassi has been growing AND GROWING. She skinny and TALL. I figured we would check the resale shops for jeans for her. She has one pair I picked up at a garage sale for $1.00. Who can beat getting jeans like this. But, not a good go of it. We came home and went to bed late.

Saturday morning, we started our day by going to a second-hand shop called Second Generation Kids. The last time I was in this shop, they didn't have anything good. So, I knew we would go to a few shops for clothes. Luck was on our side. We were able to pick up 4 pairs of jeans, 2 dresses with shirts (overall-type dresses) and 1 poncho for $40. You can't beat those prices! Plus, a bonus, we only had to go to 1 store.

From there, it was all over the county, looking at Home Depot's, carpeting stores, etc. We expect a large return from taxes. With my going to school and not working, it becomes a bonus, along with we have ourselves taxed to death during the year to be able to get a good return. We have major projects that need to be done on the house. As much as we need new windows on the house, they are going to have to wait. The bathroom needs a major re-do. We've been in the house almost two years now. In the beginning, we realized the bathroom is the original bathroom - shower, walls, exhaust fan, etc. So, we purchased samples to see what we need to do to gut the bathroom, and redo EVERYTHING. Plus, because this won't be a weekend project, we are looking at adding a shower stall into the basement. We'll use that until the main bathroom is finished. In the basement, we've currently got a half bath. With a shower stall, it would turn the bath into a 3/4 bathroom (no tub). After crunching numbers (hmm, seems like I do that a lot), we're looking at approximately 2K for supplies and stuff for the main bathroom. Our old neighbor, who does construction work, came over and looked at the bathroom. He's not sure what should be done. Today, we had my girlfriend Patty and hubby Kevin come over. This was Kevin's first time over, so got to give him the nickel tour. Rob wants to put tile in the bathroom, for which I picked out a good layout. Patty and Kevin suggest a surround and new tub. Of course, the original tub still sits in the bathroom, which happens to be cast iron. Shew, what a major issue to get that thing out. Tomorrow, my newest friend, Dan, will be coming over after work with his daughter. He's our treasurer for the PTO. He has been doing this type of work. I want his opinion and see if he can help out.

So, I'll keep everyone updated, along with pictures when we make our final decisions on the bathroom stuff. I'm thinking Kevin will probably come over and help get our bathroom in the basement fixed up. It won't be perfect because it can't be closed off and have a finished look, but I think it will be usable.

With that, I'll close for now.

Love to all,
8^ )

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Getting to Know Your Friends...

Okay, this post is in dedication to my blog friend, Miki, who just so happened to email it to me. Even though she's right that I might not email it back to her, I wanted to post it for everyone to know about me via these 48 questions:

Name Cathy (Cathryn)
1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30am
2. Diamonds or pearls? Seriously? Pearls
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Santa Clause 3
4. What are your favorite TV shows? Ugly Betty, It Takes a Thief (on TLC), lots of TLC shows, Animal Cops (the original on Animal Planet)
5. What did you have for breakfast? pancakes and a cup of cocoa with crushed mints on and in with a blob of cool whip
6. What is your middle name? Ann (not very creative)
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Mexican!
8. What foods do you dislike? brussel sprouts (can't stand seeing the baby cabbages)
9. What are your favorite chips? plain so I can dip them
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? Reba McEntire (but of course they are all on my ipod)
11.What kind of car do you drive? Ford Escort Wagon and a Ford Focus
12.Favorite sandwich? grilled cheese with a piece of tomato in it
13. What are characteristics you can't stand? people who lie to try to be "better than the jones' "
14 What are your favorite clothhes? short-sleeve shirts and jeans
15. If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go? Hawaii because I don't think I'll ever get there.
16. Which is your favorite brand of clothing? comfy
17. Where would you want to retire? somewhere near family
18. Favorite time of day? in the evening for the hour or so after Cassi goes to bed
19. Where were you born? Mt. Holly, NJ
20. Where have you lived? Wrightstown, NJ, Cleveland, OH, Cuyahoga Falls, OH, Elyria, OH
21. What is your favorite sport to watch? College-level/High school-level Basketball because there's more competition, not much HOT DOGGING
22. Who do you think will not send this back? no one
23. Person you expect to send it back first? no one
24. Coke or Pepsi? Coke, but have been buying Pepsi products as they've been on sale
25. Beavers or ducks? None of the above.
26. Are you a morning person or a night owl? have been a night owl, but I'm sleeping betting and getting up earlier than before.
27. Pedicure or manicure? neither
28. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone? My goal is two A's this semester at school.
29. What did you want to be when you were little? whatever
30. What is your best childhood memory? the year I found out who Santa was
31. Piercing? ears, but they seem to have closed up.
32. Ever been to Africa ? nope
33. Ever been toilet papering? nope, sorry good girl here.
34. Been in a car accident? twice
35. Favorite day of the week? Friday
36. Favorite restaurant? this local Mexican restaurant called, El JaRabe
37. Favorite flower? ALL roses
38. Favorite ice cream? mint chocolate chip and chunky monkey
39. Favorite fast food restaurant? Taco (Hell)-um Bell
40. How many times did you fail your driver's test? none, got a 96% the first time.
41. From whom did you get your last e-mail? Miki
42. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Office Max
43. Bedtime? between 9-11
44. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? everyone
45. Last person you had dinner with? homemade beef stew with hubby
46. What are you listening to right now? nothing because I'm working on homework and Cassi is at school. Rob is in the living room watching TV.
47. What is your favorite color? dark blue
48. How many tattoos do you have? none

Okay, anyone else want to take a stab, just leave a comment to let the blogosphere know!

Love to all,
8^ )


Okay, so yesterday, I went to my second class. Even though both classes don't fall on the same day, making me take my trip to Cleveland 4 times a week, this is a good thing. First, both classes are English classes. Okay, okay. Everyone can say that I'm crazy. They are also writing classes. Yeah, you can doubly say I'm crazy.

But, because I was grandfathered into the English degree, I didn't have to make a concentration focus. So, this means I can take any 7 uppper level English classes at the 300-400 level plus my senior survey. Since my focus is trying to get back into technical writing (or even corporate communications), my goal is to take the writing-linguistics-grammar type classes. Also, I wanted to be able to experience as many different writing classes as I can.

This class, is ran by the same professor I took over the summer, Professor Nuala (Nula). Even though I only got a chance to have her for Creative Writing for 6 weeks, it gave me an inkling into the type of professor she is. When I saw that she was teaching the creative writing workshop for poetry, I just had to be in it. This is the class I take on Mondays and Wednesdays.

But, we only had class one day this week as Monday was a holiday. As usual, she is give us, what she calls "Three Mental Health Days." These are days that, for lack of a better word, if we are stressed, we can just not show up and not have to give an excuse. After these days, though, there has to be a legitimate reason for not being in class, death, sickness, hospital, etc.

As it stands, we are required to have NINE (9), yes, nine books for class. I've got six of the nine so far. I swear she was requiring 10, but maybe she changed her mind on the one book. That's okay. I can take it back and see if the three are in yet.

For this class, I've got a TON of things to do. First, for my mid-term and final, I've got to memorize two (2) poems that are at least 30 lines long. I did one over the summer of 33 lines. I'll go ahead and pick them this weekend because once you pick the poem, no one else can use the same. Then, for this week already, we were give six poems. Our goal is to write four poems for Monday's class to workshop. I'll have to make 15 copies so everyone gets a copy. We will read the poems and get feedback on them from our classmates. Then, we have to keep a journal, writing in it five of the seven days a week. I'm going to use my blog for my journal, then transfer it to a Word document for printing. (I get to use my blog daily and do homework, what luck!) For our final, we've got to turn in: 1. a journal, 2. a personal portfolio with a listing of all the poems we're writing this semester, along with all the revisions, and 3. a class portfolio. Over the summer, I wrote how in the general Creative Writing class, I stayed up the day before the last class, getting the class portfolio together and bound. I've already been asked to be the editor/formatter of the class portfolio. No problem!

Before I went to class, I got our mail out of the box. In the mail was a simple envelope addressed to Rob and me. So, I opened it. Inside was two pieces of post-it paper. One said, "I love you mommy and daddy. Love, Cassi" Cassi and Pa secretly put together a note from Cassi that he sent to us. How wonderful a way to start my school day.

So, I had to show it to Nuala. Cassi had the luck of coming to class with me one of the days over the summer. Nuala loved Cassi. Cassi had come right in and given Nuala a hug. And, because it was a work day, Cassi was very quiet and pretty much well-behaved. Not bad for a 6-year-old in a college class. Well, I told Cassi I was having the same professor again. She was so excited that she asked when could she come visit. I passed this information along. Nuala told me to tell her hello and she was welcome to come anytime. This would good because it's getting her an opportunity to meet new people and to see what mommy does at school. But, I'll give it a few classes before I bring her. Plus, it will give Pa an opportunity to be without Cassi one night.

But, now, I've got to email Nuala suggestions for our journal. We've got two writings to do a day. I think I like the opportunity to write about what's going on in my life, as this is where I get my sparks of creativity. Plus, who couldn't look at such a gorgeous little girl and not get that spark?

So, anyone reading. Anyone got suggestions for my journals? I like the idea of writing about what's going on in my life, plus what we're doing at school. My journal from yesterday will be meeting my classmates plus working on my poems. I think I'll include this for today.

But, we got home and did Cassi's homework. I continued reading my tech comm book. I think it will be difficult, but easy as I know about lots of the stuff already as I do it. But, I think later on it might get hairy. I was in bed and asleep about 11:30 and up again this morning at 6:30.

Love to all,
8^ )

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Okay, lots and LOTS happened today. First, last night, I was so tired. Rob was working. Cassi went to bed at 9. She's been watching this Nikelodeon channel called GAS (Games and Sports). She's really enjoyed watching the game shows for kids. Things like DoubleDare 2000, etc. Anyway, I was really tired. I told her that she could watch the first show at 9, but at 9:30 her TV was to go off. At the same time, I was watching TV in my bed. But, I turned my TV off and fell asleep. At 9:30, I woke up and realized before I could shout, "Turn off your TV," that she was already asleep. So, I got up, walked over and turned off her TV.

I got back into bed and slept pretty soundly until 6:30 this morning. I guess I REALLY needed sleep. After getting up, I realized that, hmm, I think I needed that sleep. I look out the window and see SNOW. I knew it was going to be a bad day. Okay, so we didn't get a lot, but from what I saw, I knew the roads were going to be NASTY.

I took Cassi down to school and had to take myself to public transportation to get into Cleveland. Even though I don't have day classes, I still needed to get downtown this morning, while Cassi was at school. I had to: 1. get my bus pass (part of fall and spring tuition), 2. get reimbursed from last semester from the newspaper class (owed me $40 for the OSU trip), 3. get my parking pass (the whole reason I had to bus/train it to school because I couldn't park without the pass), and 4. get my books. So, it cost me $3.50 to get an all-day ride pass for the bus and train, but I ended up only using it to get down to school, not the return trip. When I stopped in the COM department's office to get my paperwork to finish the process of getting the money back they owed me, I turned in the office key card and memory stick that was given to me last semester to use with the news class. Since I'm not taking it this semester, no need for me to have it.

I ended up being all done by noon. On my way back, is a mall, called Tower City. I stopped in there to have lunch, then back on the train to go home. I cannot believe how BAD the roads were. The weather seemed to have lightened up. On my side of town, the west side of Cleveland, in the suburbs, we don't get as much snow as does downtown or the east side of the city/region. That area is called the SNOW BELT. Well, in the snow belt, they were getting hammered. We saw just about nothing. My trip home was very slow going until almost the county line. Driving 40 MPH was pretty good, considering the two (middle and right) lanes were the only ones being used.

But, I got home, with $255 in books, for which I'm still needing three more for my poetry class. Yep, I've got 10 books for my poetry class. But, all of the books cost the same as the TWO for my Technical Writing class.

After getting home, for all about two minutes, I dropped off books, picked up books, pottied and was off again. I had to stop by our local chocolatier. A company in Elyria who does fundraising. We are looking for a fundraiser with this company. The principal of the school is friends with the owners and told me to let them know she sent me to them. The school is looking for some "play goodies" for the classes, along with a portable basketball hoop. The total is about a grand. We have the money in our reserves to buy it, but want to do a fundraiser to make this money up. Would be good. Also, after spending for a new SMART Board and paying for our Santa's Secret Shop, we need a fundraiser. And, if anyone's wondering why I'm so into Cassi's school is the fact that I am now the Acting President. The official president had surgery with complications. So, being Vice, I'm seem to be in charge. I don't think Rob's liking it too much, but they really need someone who can take charge and "lead the troops."

Okay, went to her school, and had to do some balancing of the books, along with general PTO paperwork. I waited at school until Cassi was done. From there, we went to Pa's. Since my class starts at 6, I hung around at his place. Not a quiet time at all. While I was there, I had some din-din and helped Cassi with her homework.

Got to school. We got right into the work. No rest for the weary! I've already got homework for Thursday (reading and a writing assignment). Plus, the goal of my class is going to be a 20-page typed paper on a project that can use numbers, etc. The class is Advanced Expository Writing. This semester happens to be focusing on Technical Writing.

When I got to class, I was expecting 10 people TOPS for the class. Well, the room is FILLED. What I didn't know was that the class is composed of Undergrad and GRAD students. So, that's why they were only allowing so many undergrads to register.

She talks to us about the difference between technical writing and other forms of writing, specifically poetry. If you're taking poetry or any creative writing, you may have trouble taking this class too. But, after talking with me, she asking me what I have done in my past, she changed the comments she made to me. Because I told her I was doing both, she said that many creative writing people are good at technical writing. Plus, with my background, I might do well in the class. OK. We'll see how it goes. Here's my idea of topic (and I've got until mid-term to change if I want):

Because we just purchased a SMART Board for Cassi's school with the PTO, I wanted to do a technology-themed project. I'm looking at the trends in technology in the classroom, specifically K-12. How has it changed over the years, since about 1992? Has it helped students excel? How has it helped?

The goal of my project is that it has to include numbers. I think I can find lots of places to get numbers for this project. But, I've got a lot of research to do for a 20-page typed paper.

With that, I'm going to go for the night. I've got to relax a little before bed. Plus, I'm a little hungry. I'll see if I will eat (probably not though).

Will write tomorrow about my poetry class. I can't wait to see my professor because I haven't seen her since June!

Love to all,
8^ )

Even MORE Excited...

Okay, I'm nervous and excited. Today is my first day back after break. For those of you interested, here is my schedule:

ENG 305: Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry M-W 4pm-6pm
ENG 301: Advanced Expository Writing: Technical Writing T-Th 6pm-8pm

Yeah, yeah. I hear you all! TWO ENGLISH CLASSES! And even more THEY'RE WRITING CLASSES! Since I'm in this for wanting to be a technical writer, ENG 301 was my main class for this semester. When I found out the professor I had over the summer was teaching the creative writing workshop on poetry, I had to be there!

So, unless Rob is off work, Cassi will be flying with me 4 days a week into Cleveland. She'll be stopping at Pa's house, which is right on the way to class. It still isn't too bad. I'll be cutting it close on Monday's and Wednesday's when I have to take Cassi to Pa's. She gets out of school at 3pm. I have to get her to Pa's and to class by 4pm. We live about 35 minutes from Cleveland. So, those days will be tight and I may end up signing her out early on those days.

As soon as I start writing my poetry, I'll post on my creative writing blog and let you know. I'll probably use these pages and my creative writing blog pages for my journal. If my guess is correct, I'll have to write two pages a day for a journal, which is why I got so "write-y" this summer. Maybe I'll be creative again this semester. Whoo Hoo! I know one person, who has always been a promoter of my poetry out there will like the fact that I'm writing poetry again (at least for the next 16 weeks).

Okay. Gotta get pip squeak up for school.

Love to all,
8^ )


I just heard on the news that Ugly Betty won Golden Globe awards. I just LOVE that show. One, because I used it in my final term paper last semester. Two, it just shows that, even though people might shun you for physical appearances, someone just might give you a shot. Gives me hope for when I am done school.

Okay, just wanted to share.

Love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Camera Moment...

Well, folks. We FINALLY got some snow AND cold in the Cleveland area. Maybe the bugs going around will die out. We got about 2 inches, but not enough for schools to close. This is good because I've got a PTO meeting this afternoon.

Anyhoo, I wished I'd had my camera on the ready this morning. After coming back from errands, Rob and I watched this guy clear his driveway and his car...


It couldn't have been a more classic moment. I admit the snow was the "fluffy" kind, but come on! I swept my walk ways this morning with a broom so the kids at least had a little way they could walk to school and be okay for the snow.

I couldn't stop laughing at the sight!

Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, January 08, 2007

Post-it Photo Paper

Product Endorsement:

I'm so glad they decided to come out with something like this. Granted, I have not had the opportunity to use my paper yet, but can't wait to get onto my computer and print some AWESOME 4x6 photos with it.

A bonus: The craft store I just told you about in my last post, well they had them there. I picked up one pack on Saturday. The price tag on the shelf said $6.97. Well, I'll just get one and see how they work out. Maybe I can find them for a better price through eBay (which is usually what I do). After my ring up, the lady tells me $7.50. I got these, plus a $1.00 pack of envelopes and some stickers that were $1.50 per sheet. Somehow she made an error? So, after I left, I looked at the sales slip: $1.00! I was floored. For that much, I would have bought them all. I went this morning, after going to the grocery store, to pick up the rest. I've got 4 packs of 25 sheets of post-it picture paper!


Gotta go! I'm doing lots of stuff and have little time to get it done in before Cassi is to be picked up at 3.

Love to all,
8^ )

You Know You're Old WHEN...

You can listen to some of your favorite songs on the OLDIES channel.

Here, in Cleveland, OH, the oldies channel is 105.7. I was headed to a discount craft store, called Pat Catan's. On the way, I heard "Honky Cat" by Elton John and "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor. Granted, the songs are from the 70's, AND I'm not getting any younger.

It's just that I've turned into my mother and enjoy the music she listens to.

AND DARN IT, I enjoy it too! Gotta enjoy something in this life!

Love to all,
8^ )

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Valentine's Template...

I figured I would go along with the retail industry and get my "Valentine's Garb" out for all to see. Hope you like it. I wanted to make sure the font, font color, and background colors all jived for easy reading. Plus, the wall paper and graphic in lower left all go with the Valentine's theme. I may interchange the background at whim since it's the easiest to change on the fly.

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. I even figured out the spacing issue with the post titles. Once I take away the graphic (or add a new one), I can alter the spacing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Proof is in the Cake & Ice Cream

Because we went Pooh themed, the cake was
made with Winnie-the-Pooh.

I hand-made her Happy Birthday on my computer.

Cassi laying down on one of the couches sans jammies.

From L-R, Ciara, Caroline, Hailey, Jo, Emily, Sam.

Emily and Sam on the other couch.
(yes, they don't match right now!)

The girls posed for "nice girl photos."

Then got their way for "goofy girl" photos.

Cassi opening her presents.

I'm hiding in the background, writing down for thank-you cards.

By this time, you can see they are all in jammies.
This is the cake and ice cream moments!

Here are the photos. They have a lot of "red eye," but I wanted to post them before any real time went by.
Love to all,
8^ )

Now I know why...

I'm only having 1 (one) kid! This weekend was the tops of them all. For those of you reading, Saturday was Cassi's birthday. She was a Y2K baby, with this birthday being her 7th (boy, having LOTS of trouble typing tonight). Anyway, I decided, which she agreed we would have her girl classmates and a few others over for her birthday party at the house and a slumber party.

For most of the girls, this was their first time. So, we initially invited 10 girls to come, 6 of them showed up. But, even with that 3 of them never even called to RSVP. But, I was prepared for 10, plus Cassi. I asked all the girls to bring sleeping bags, pillows, and clothes. Even with them bringing stuff, I knew I had blankets. BOY, DO I HAVE BLANETS! And PILLOWS too! They are now stacked neatly in the corner of the living room, between our HUGE 96x62 inch windows. Yep, they're that LARGE, but I digress.

Since it was still after Christmas, we had to make sure we got all of our holiday stuff down. The major stuff was down Wednesday after the holiday. But, I'm still finding little stuff here and there to bring down.

We decided to start the party at 3pm. At first, I wanted to do the "make your own pizza" like we did last year. In the end, we decided to just order from a local place (who incidentally mailed us coupons that week). For 7 girls, Rob and I, we ordered 3 large cheese pizzas, 1 large pepperoni (for Rob), and a small green pepper and onion and a small tomato and onion for me. Ate one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

I can't believe how much the girls ate and drank. By the time they left Sunday, all 3 cheese pizzas were gone. They also consumed a whole half gallon of vanilla ice cream, one gallon of Kool-Aid, 2/3 of the birthday cake, and popcorn. I did have a BIG BAG of plain chips, but we didn't get to them. Oh, yeah! On Sunday, they also ate 2 boxes of Eggo French Toast Sticks and a 12-pack box of Strawberry Pop Tarts. And, about 6 cans of Pepsi!

They were just EATING MACHINES!

We started out with pizza, juice and soda. They ate and watched the movie Barnyard. After the movie, Cassi opened her presents, with daddy taking pictures. Because of it being a slumber party, they were in jammies by 5:30pm. Must have wanted to be comfy. Two of the girls by that time were scheduled not to stay. One girl, Emily, was told in the end she couldn't stay, but Ciara was able to. I know Emily was so sad. According to the story from mom, her older brother was invited to a sleep over birthday party earlier in the year. Well, he remembered mom and dad told him no. Basically, "Why can she go if I wasn't allowed?" So, because he remembered, she couldn't stay. I think dad is VERY protective of his kids, which is fine.

Oh, her presents: Emily gave her a puzzle and stickers; Caroline gave her Fairytopia (Barbie) dolls (they go with the upcoming movie Fairytopia III in spring 2007); Samantha gave her a Barbie & the 12 Dancing Princesses Genevieve (sp?) doll; Ciara gave her a Caroline named ceramic doll and a Disney Princess Crayola Wonders marker and coloring book set; Josephine (Jo) & Hailey gave her the Barbie & the 12 Dancing Princesses horse and carriage. If you're not in the KNOW about girls toys, Barbie & the 12 Dancing Princesses movie is THEEEE movie. So, you've got to get the goods too! Jo's mom said they saw something little, but decided on the BIG gift when they saw it at the store. Jo and Cassi are "frick & frack," "2 peas in a pod," "Thelma & Louise." Need I say more?

So, after the presents and cake, they watched the movie.........


You guessed it: Barbie & the 12 Dancing Princesses!

While watching, they tried to start an unsupervised pillow fight in the living room. I had to stop it on account of stuff that could be broken in the living room. But, we did move it later to the basement, which, of course was recently CLEANED for just such an occasion. They did, however, setup the blankets and pillows. They watched the movie and finished off the vanilla ice cream, along with hot air popped pop corn, which they said they didn't like. They only like microwave popcorn. Of course, because with micro popcorn, you get butter on EVER nook and cranny of the corn. When I told them they needed to eat that or nothing, they ate it.

Then, they watched the SpongeBob Square Pants Movie. At this point, Emily had gone home and Ciara's mom and dad brought clothes and such. They were all getting ready for the sack. Hailey was quietly laying on one of the couches. Because she is much smaller than the other girls, I didn't want them to get to rowdy and beat her up by accident.

When the movie was over, they went to bed, but took almost an hour to quiet down.

Now, this is the calm version of the day (Saturday only). I did do a LOT of yelling to get the girls to calm down. I think Samantha was the culprit of everyone's uprising. Rob worked Friday night and was asleep by 9:30 on Saturday.

Come Sunday morning, Rob was up and got me up at 8am. Cassi, Ciara, and Sam were already up. I made them come into my bedroom to watch TV until the other girls woke up, which was 9am. They all made it out to the living/dining room, where I started toasting up the Eggo's. Caroline's mom came early to get her. She asked for an extra Eggo to go. I know her family doesn't have a lot of money, even less than we do. So, I popped an extra one in for her to take on the road.

The other parents came at noon like I told them (Rob told Caroline's mom 9-10, like a dufus). Jo and Hailey's mom came and said, "Ooh! I got to sleep in." She immediately asked me if she could help me clean up Cassi's room. Actually, they hardly went into her room because of the number of kids. They stayed in the living room or basement to play. Sam's dad came last. She kept trying to slip back into the basement to play. He could tell she had given me a hard time. But, I told him I was stern, but was able to keep her in line. She appears to be the "baby" of the family and seems to get her way ALOT!

So, in the morning, we started watching Madagascar, ate breakfast and a noon snack of pizza and pop tarts (before parents came).

The girls were so hilarious. I couldn't believe how they fretted over someone "farting." Ciara seemed to be the culprit. They couldn't stop laughing. Plus, it seemed her stuff was very "perfumy," one of the girls said she smelled like Dillards (a local Macy's-type store). I can agree on that one.

I couldn't believe how quiet it was Sunday after the kids had left. Sunday night, for New Year's Eve, we went to mom and dad's, took the last 1/3 of the cake so they could get some, and crashed there for the night. On Monday, Caroline called my cell phone, asking if she could come over. I know she's lonely at home. First, I needed some "kid away" time. Also, since we weren't home, she couldn't come over. Maybe next week after school.

Now, with all this said........


Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. Pictures in another post!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Gonna Wash That Grey...

Right out of my hair! You know your man is in for the long-haul when he dyes your hair for you.

But, he also told me today that my hair REALLY looked like a rabbit today.

I guess I'd still choose him for my hubby. (Well, we'll be married 10 years in March; knowing each other 10 years AND 3 weeks!)

I've got the story of the century to tell about Cassi's sleep over/birthday party. Will spill it tomorrow.

Cassi goes back to school tomorrow and I've got to sleep!

Love to all,
8^ )