Wednesday, February 28, 2007

School is MY Life

Whether it's Cassi's school or my school, right now, anyway, school is MY life. Last night's class was good. While in the library, I was able to purchase two soft-cover books for 50 cents each. "What Does Your Wife Do? Gender and the Transformation of Family Life" was the first book and "Sweet Reason a Field Guide to Modern Logic" was the other. Have no idea when I'll get around to reading these books, but they sounded like interesting reads. I don't have many books at home to read, other than my school books.

Then, at class, Professor Mary brought out Technical Writing books from her office, since her office just happens to be in the library. One of the books she had two copies of. I asked her if I could borrow one until Thursday. The inside looked interesting with examples of stuff I'm working on. She told me I could have it because she had two copies. The publishing companies always send free copies of the books to the professors. That's a great way for a professor to be able to review a book and request it for teaching in class.

Finally, a book we had requested on interschool loan came in yesterday. Awesome as we just requested it in class last Thursday, and it came from Kent State University. Also, on the way out that evening, a brand new books was by the check out desk on "How to do a Research Project a Guide for Undergraduate Students." So, I checked this one out too. How very fortunate I was to find this at such an auspicious location.

This morning, I spent all morning at Cassi's school. Michelle, another PTO mom, and I stapled the instructions to the fundraising flyers and divided them amongst the classes. The fundraiser will start tomorrow. Then, I get home, when hubby tells me that Cassi forgot her book for reading time with her buddy. So, since it was just before lunch, I went BACK to the school and took the books with me. I sat with her at lunch. Unbeknownst to me, the school was having the "good" pizza for lunch. Cassi asked me to buy her lunch, but I only had $1.50 on me. Her lunch costs $2.10. Sorry, charlie!

Now, it's 2:07pm. I'll go back to the school in about a half hour and wait for her to get done class for the day. I think I'll also call it a day for school stuff. While being back at home here, I've: 1. restarted my dishes to finish in the washer, 2. ran two loads of laundry, 3. did my critical reading for my midterm poem, and 4. have half my poem memorized (yeah!).

So, I'll go ahead and close this for now. I'm getting awful tired. Think I'll go sit and rest for the half hour before going BACK up to her school.

Love to all,
8^ )

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Research, Research, Research

Today became research day for me. Because I needed to do my researching for peer-review documents for my major paper for Tech Writing, and it needed to be done today, off to school I came this morning. Luckily, daddy is picking up Cassi at school this afternoon. I don't have a need to drive home to Lorain County and pick her up before coming back here for class this evening. Bad thing, I needed extra cash with me today as I will now be at school until 8pm.

Among the other things I have to do besides my research, which is actually done for a listing for tonight is: 1. print the document for Professor Mary, 2. write up instructions for our fundraiser starting on Thursday, 3. write here on my blog, 4. memorize my poem for Monday. Luckily, our poetry class is cancelled for tomorrow. Professor Nuala will be in Atlanta at a conference for the rest of the week.

I've really enjoyed having my classes in the evenings and Monday thru Thursday.

I couldn't believe how lucky I was in finding my documents for my paper. Currently, I'm still looking up the actual documents, because it will be better for me to find PDFs of the journals to have page numbers when quoting from the papers. I did find actual PDFs for about 10 of the 40 documents needed. So, after tonight, I will try to find the remaining. My next step is to READ the papers I've picked to write about. AND, I would have to say at least half of them deal with "effective interactive whiteboards," a definite bonus.

So, here I sit, with my laptop, working in the library. I am also listening to a new album I found on my iPod, "The Best Club Anthems 80's." Of course, I really enjoy listening to 80's music, as everyone knows. When I listen to this, I REALLY want to get up and dance. I'm tapping my foot and bopping my head.

This morning, I woke from a weird dream. I was back in my house in New Jersey. My ex was in the house across the street from us, but years after we broke up, like now. He was married and his wife was there with him. He sees me and hugs me, wanting to kiss me (huh?) and tells me he really wants to. I hug him and, through clenched teeth, tell him, I'll see him later because, somehow I wanted him to kiss me (huh? AGAIN!). But, we cannot get back together for a really long time, but not sure how long. Just before I wake up, I can see myself flying and I tell him. "I have learned how to fly." In most cases, not that high, but once I showed him how high I could fly. Any suggestions? My thoughts are that, even though I wanted to be with him, I learned how to be independent of him and went my own way? OK, wanted to share because this one was too weird for me. There was other stuff in the dream, like gigantic bouncy balls that we were using cars to move (Cassi has a Muppets Cruise game on PS2 that has this game) and other stuff like this. All in COLOR! I remember the pinks and greens and browns.

OK. With that I'm going to close for now. I may chat more later. I am going to try to do some memorization now.

Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wardrobe Malfunction Update

As you might recall, I experienced a wardrobe malfuction on Friday with the suit I purchased last Monday. On my last post, my blog friend MIKI reminded me to take the suit back to get an exchange.

You must have secretly ESP'd me to do this. I just got back from the store. We took the dress and jacket with us, explaining what happened. Within two hours of wearing the dress, I leaned over to pick up a pen that was dropped and the dress ripped, right along the seam line.

The sales lady was the same person who helped me last week. She couldn't believe that it was on the seam, and right in the FRONT. She agreed that it was a good thing there was a jacket with it. I didn't even have to ask about a replacement. She walked from behind the check-out counter and found a new one.

However, she didn't have the size I purchased the week prior. She told me she would have to have it ordered and shipped to the house. But, she did have the next size up. I tried it on. Overall, I didn't find much difference in the dress sizing. So, I took it in exchange. Luckily, I had my receipt still. When I processed the receipt into the checkbook, I said to myself, I'll just keep this just in case. Well, JUST IN CASE happened.

She quickly exchanged the dress and I was on my way. My satisfaction with this store has definitely increased. I will DEFINITELY be back to purchase additional clothing, especially if I can get a job for the summer, I will need more business-looking clothing.

I'm gonna close this for now. I'm going to do some additional research for one of my other poems.

Love to all,
8^ )

This Weekend...

I can't BELIEVE how much homework I caught up on this weekend.

First, for my poetry class, I needed to do a write up about my grandfather. I wrote a poem, called The Alzheimer's Patient. When we met for our "lunch" thing, Professor Nuala asked me how I knew background about Alzheimer's patients. I explained that it was 2-fold. First, my grandfather is moving toward Alzheimer's because of medication and his being so forgetful. Plus, Rob has worked in the past at nursing homes. While at one nursing home, he worked on a floor with Alzheimer's patients. He was always coming home and telling me stories about the families and the patients themselves. So, for today's class, Professor Nuala asked me to write background information about my grandfather, as much information that I know. Well, it ended up being almost 2 full pages, single-spaced, typed. There's probably so much more I could write, though. I needed clarification on printing it and was confirmed to make copies to share with everyone. Because much of my poetry this time around is based on personal experiences, she wants to show everyone how a poem can come from the information I share.

Then, we each were given a Sylvia Plath poem to do a critical reading of. This was given to us a couple of weeks ago, but I had never typed it up or printed for sharing. That I did. That document to share is 4 pages. Last week, I created my own personal Rondeau-form poem and one of my classmates worked with me to make, what I call, a "Team Rondeau." Both of these poems should be on my Creative Writing blog.

I also had to update my journal. Thanks to all my friends who faithfully read and comment. Finally, I had made updates to my Rimas-form poem and my Sestina-form poem. These should also be on my Creative Writing blog. You can go HERE to find it (or in my left-panel navigation). Oh, my Rimas isn't there yet. First, it's not finished to my liking. And, shhhh, it's my secret poem to give to Rob for our 10th anniversary.

Now, this week, I'll work to have my mid-term poem memorization completed, which means there will probably be no more writing poems this week. We have to recite next Monday. AHHHHHHHHHHH!

Then, I had two technical writing papers to rewrite. Both of them had the same type of problems, my introductions needed to be bulkier. So, I did them. I also wrote up my journal entry, even though Professor Mary has my journal to grade so far. Because last week's paper dealt with writing instructions, I had someone else's instructions to read, do, and make suggestions for fixing if needed. Did that. Also, last Thursday, we worked in the library to research our thesis statements for the MAJOR paper. My thesis is: How are interactive whiteboards effective in the K-12 classroom? Mary needed to help me get a focus on WHAT to write about. So, for tomorrow night's class, I need to RESEARCH and come to class with 30-40 articles pertaining to my paper, just the list of titles, not the actual articles. Although, my guess is that she wouldn't be too upset if we came to class with the articles too.

Besides all the homework going on, we went to one of Rob's friends houses. We had been invited to dinner. Cassi had someone to play with as his friend's granddaughter was there. She is about Cassi's age. This was a good deal for her. I think they had a good time together.

This morning, I got Cassi off to school, did dishes and took out the garbage. I dropped of Box Tops for Education and Campbell's Soup Labels to the principal. Both mom (nana) and Aunt Marie ('Re) save these for Cassi. Guess that's a good thing being the only grandchild/niece. You get the support for your school by all the family members on that side. AND, since my side is the only side supporting her, that's just fine by me. Of course, the principal at the school is excited that extended family helps the child too. The phrase, "It takes a village works in this case," as it's mom and dad, pa and nana, Aunt 'Re, and Big Pa Dave who all help her.

After dropping Cassi off, I had to run to Lowe's and buy some new batteries for our garage door opener. For some reason, we cannot find the remote control opener and the regular one, the battery died. Luckily, we've been able to get into the garage through the back door after we bought a new door handle and lock set. Good investment.

AND, all of this before 10am. So, with that, I'm going to go for the day. I need to crunch my poem to memorize for next week. Also, I'm hungry. Need to find food before class. Oh, yeah. I'm also going to stroll around my favorite blogs and see what's going on! (Note to self, update my links with the new ones I've been reading.)

Love to all,
8^ )

Friday, February 23, 2007

Today's Career Fair

This time, the career fair was worth going. Even though I had good luck with getting information from the DOL, I did have bad luck with my suit. As some would call it, I had a "wardrobe malfunction" in THAT area.

This week, Rob took me to a plus size clothing shop. It is called Catherine's. Good name, eh? I digress. It turns out that this store is a sister store to the Lane Bryant line. Well, for years, I was able to purchase gorgeous suits from Lane Bryant and loved them. But, in recent years, I have dreaded going into Lane Bryants as their style changed, and not for the better in my opinion. But, I still shop there for my jeans.

But, as the sales rep stated, because Catherine's was part of the line, the parent corporation turned Lane Bryant into a more trendy shop for younger buyers. Okay, that left me out. And, they didn't want to have competition between the store, being under the same corporation.

I REALLY liked the selection they had to offer. Better looking clothes for me because I don't want to look like a, as I would call it, "a prostitute" when going out to work or around. So, Rob helped me find this beautiful suit. Along with the suit, I got a new bra, and a new pair of panty hose. The suit was a dress with a jacket that fit, but not too tight. It even had a little room in the bust area, an important aspect for me.

Okay, so today, as I said, I went to the career fair at CSU. There were about 190 companies. Hopefully, this is a good sign for this area for job growth. At one table, I had dropped my pen, and this happened to be early in the "game" for me. I kneeled down to pick up my pen and hear this "rip" sound. Hmm, I'm thinking it might be the buttons on my jacket. I casually feel for the buttons. Nope. They're good. But, the room is VERY loud and I've got my hearing aides on. So, I figure I'll just keep going.

I walk around. I've got some good vibes from some of the companies I visited with. Of course, I talked with the folks from Hyland Software. I'm bound and determined to get in there. They are hiring for summer interns. A bonus with this company is that it is just down the street from my doctor's office, about 20 mintues away. What I do need to do is get in contact with the recruiting director and ask her if she can meet with me to review my resume. Kind of get a "what am I doing" wrong with their company to see if I can fix what's wrong with my approach with them.

Then, I met with the folks from the Cleveland Clinic. They are hiring for interns in their marketing department at the main campus. The job entails their internal and external publications, interviewing and writing stories for them, along with helping to prepare the layouts. Sounds good to me. They were definitely interested in my resume and getting it back to the HR for further review. Also, it should be a bonus that Rob works there too.

Next, I head for a company, called MCPc. I figure since I want to get back into technical writing, I should look at technology firms. They were VERY interested in getting my resume back to the office. There might be some good fits in many of the different departments they are hiring for. And, she gave me her business card.

I also went to PolyOne. It is a company that's close to me in Avon Lake, even closer than Hyland. They are looking for interns to work in the HR department. I know they are doing hiring right now in the training and orgaization development team. Well, when working with Ernst & Young, this is the department I worked for. I think I'm a fit to work in their HR department, since this is where this function falls under.

AND, I also talked with the ladies from Career Services. I've got to get into see my coordinator on Tuesday.

From there, I went over to my mini-poetry class. There were 3 of us there and the prof. We did some one-on-one time with her and had lunch, a very nice "small group" get together. I would definitely do it again. All this time, I'm still wearing my suit jacket over my dress (coming to the bad luck part).

As I'm driving home, I am drinking a cafe mocha. It's a Ghirardelli cocoa drink with espresso (note to self: not a good drink for me). I'm drinking it and get some on my suit. Okay. Gotta get home and get it into the washer before the stain sets in. Yep, it's a washable suit. GOOD!

So, I get the jacket off, then the suit. When, low and behold, I find a rip right on the front of my dress, right on the RIGHT BOOB! Talk about wardrobe malfunction. Must have happened when I bent down to pick up my pen. So, now, I'm hoping I can get the dress fixed, but I'm not sure. Hopefully, getting a job will be a positive for the bad luck with the dress.

I think I'm cursed when it comes to wanting to have nice clothes for working, suits and all. Everyone pray for me that the dress can get fixed.

OK. Gotta go. I'm supposed to be working on my memorization. I've got 30 lines to memorize for my mid-term in the poetry class. I will recite my poem on 3/5 and get video taped. I should be able to get it done in time.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

DOL Update

As I explained in an earlier post, last week, I received a check from a former employer. On the note line, it mentioned DOL Audit. This came to meant for us Department of Labor.


Today, I went to the career fair that was at CSU (another post needed later). Good for me. Well, it just so happened that the DOL had a table. I stopped by to ask. I know they couldn't tell me specifics about my "case," but if they could answer general questions, that would be great.

I explained what happened and how I got the check. Lucky for me (I think this is #5), one of the reps used to work in the hourly wage and taxes department and could answer my questions.

So, I explained.

It appears that my complaint didn't fall by the wayside. First off, because the doctor docked my hours by 11 hours pay, well, by itself would not have warranted an audit. Because I was making more than minimum wage, my last paycheck would have needed to total the minimum wage amount, with the missing hours. Since it did, I was kind of out of luck. But, because I did file a complaint about overtime not being paid, etc, this causes them to warrant an audit of the company.

But, she also told me that when a complaint is presented, the DOL maybe in a one-year backlog of complaints. Also, with that in mind, once they audit the company, the DOL reviews hours worked/time sheets and pay checks for 2 calendar years. I was lucky again, being that I came in just in time for the 2 calendar year requirement.

It appears the company did get audited and owed me money. Quite possibly, the company also had to pay fines to the DOL for the discresionary(sp?) issues with pay and time sheets. After working for the community college, who also didn't pay for overtime and thought they could get you to work, at this job, I posted all of my overtime hours, even if I knew I wasn't getting paid and even if it was 15 minutes or a half hour. In the end, that was their undoing because it was right there in black and white that I worked hours and didn't get paid for them. Tsk! Tsk!

The moral of the story: If you're working for a company who tells you they won't pay you overtime but expect you to work it, file it on your time sheet. Then, if you complain and the company gets audited and lose, they will owe you the money. The government sometimes works for the little man. It took a while, but I got vengence.

OK, gotta go. I've got to do: financial aid forms, online apps for summer employment, homework, Cassi, fundraiser for Cassi's school to prep, AND more blogging.

Oh, by the way, thanks to all my blog friends and family who have posted comments. I am using them in my poetry class journals. Plus, I love reading what everyone has to say about what I am saying. Oh, by the way, I've reopened my comments to anyone who reads my blog. Comment away!

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. Time to go pick up pip squeak!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Masses Eat Pizza!

Well, not the ENTIRE masses, just 34 kids. As the school recently held a candy bar fundraiser, the kids (and their parents) who sold and paid for 3 boxes of candy bars allowed the kids to be eligible for a ride in a limo (a Hummer limo) and a pizza party.

Cassi was one of those lucky few. The school had 34 kids complete their goal. So, off they went this morning to have a pizza party. The restaurant in question is called CiCi's Pizza. It's a pizza buffet place (for those of you who don't know what it is).

The kids really had a good time. The principal couldn't believe how much food some of these kids ate.

On the way back, the limo drivers took them a different way, giving the kids the opportunity to experience more the feel of riding in a limo. There were two limousines, a black and white one. The kids who rode over to the restaurant in the white returned in the black and versie-vicie. Rob and I went to help keep the peace. I went because I was taking pictures. Unbeknownst to me, I took 63 pictures! Am I crazy or what.

I'm currently printing the pictures, or as many as I can print before going back to Cassi's school. I've also burned them to CD. I'll put pictures out probably this evening about the event.

We were shocked because even Cassi ate like a horse, eating 2-3 pieces of pizza and a few cinnamon rolls. She also drank juice and water. I think it was because she had 30+ friends eating with her.

Love to all,
8^ )

I'm just a PRINTING fool!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cassi News

Thought this would be good to share. We got her interim report for the third grading period. First, I cannot BELIEVE how fast this school year has gone.

Okay, here's what it says:

"Cassi completes her school and homework every day. We are working on using strategies to figure out unknown words while reading and writing." (special ed teacher)

"Cassi is making nice progress in adding and daily classroom discussion." (reg teacher)

Okay, she gets her homework done every night because I sit down and make sure every piece of paper is done that needs to be done, books read, spelling words written, etc.

Also, because I was not home to cook din-din, I came home to 2 people who hadn't eaten. We went to Eat N Park. While there, the waitress asked Cassi what she wanted to drink. She said, "Water please. Thank You."

While Cassi was in the potty and daddy was waiting for her, the waitress came back and said Cassi made her night. How many times she's been working and the kids are so unruly. The parents, who sit right at the table and do not discipline their the children. Basically, I told her that I was not raising my child to be disrespectful to us or anyone she comes into contact with. We always remind her when she should say please, thank you, excuse me, your welcome, and good bye. There is no excuse for parents who don't discipline their kids. Also, I told the girl that someone who doesn't discipline their kid(s) does not have respect for themselves because the kid(s) doesn't have respect for the parents or, in this case, the server.

After Cassi came back, I explained how she made the server's night. Then, I asked her what she would tell the server when we left. She's got a new favorite word.


I told Cassi that it's nice when you tell someone good-bye. The servers and staff got a kick out of Cassi when she told them toodaloo.

So, my moral: Be a PARENT to your kid(s). Teach them to say the "good words" because, not only are you teaching them respect, it's also the right thing to do. AND, don't let your kid(s) act up in public. You have no respect for yourself when you do.

Love to all,
8^ )

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bad Luck Hit

I knew my good luck steak would end some time soon. It was today.

Rob worked Saturday and Sunday night, then taking me to the audiologist yesterday. Becuase he was up way past his time to sleep, he didn't get to sleeping until 1:30pm and got up at 5:30pm (or there abouts). He knew because of the time he slept in the afternoon that he wouldn't be able to sleep when I went to bed.

But, he did go to his old job at the nursing home and caught up with old co-workers. He and I discussed my going to school to spend the day there. It would be a long day because today is my 6pm class. I would be there until 8pm. I still had one paper to finish and could do so at school. Plus, because my professor is the director of the Writing Center (a function that helps students with writing papers), I would be able to meet with her during the day. I want to make sure I am going in the right path with my research and focus of my major project/paper in Tech Writing.

I think this class is just the class I need to help me get a summer internship at one of the companies I want to work for. And, this Friday, there just so happens to be a career fair at school, with over 180 companies represented. Granted, I will only go to a few tables, but, the offering is more than I expected.

Anyway, I digress.

So, this morning, Cassi and I got up and got everything ready for her to go to school. I needed to stay at the school for a little as I needed to fill out another PTO check and have all 4 checks filled out countersigned by the treasurer. On the way out to the car, I hear this kid yelling at me.

"Hey! Hey, is your kid in Oakwood School?"


"The school is closed because of a water main break."

Oh, great! Just what I wanted to hear. Rob's sleeping as he didn't go to bed until early this morning. My plans for going to school for the day just went into the toilet. But, I still had to go to school for PTO business. All the teachers were in the parking lot, telling me school was closed. Yes, I knew. I had PTO business to take care of.

The school looked like a war zone because the kids from the buses had to be brought into school, into a room, and parents called. Every teacher had the responsibility of calling the parents for their class. Mrs. Palcos saw me, "Okay, you're taken care of." "Yep"

I got out of there quickly. But, not before giving the principal my cell phone number. I brought all the PTO stuff home, not the best idea because I had money to deposit, but, under the circumstances, I had to do it. The treasurer got to the house, with his kids. He signed checks for me. As I'm leaving with Cassi in tow, Rob gets up. But, I take her with me to the administration building. The major push to get checks signed was because one check was going to the principal. PTO is paying for food for tonight's Mardi Gras event. The event is in support of the upcoming levy on the May ballot. I needed to get her the check to pay for the food.

With that done, we headed to the bank to make the deposit. Remember, I had a couple hundred dollars in hand to deposit. Done.

I'm home now. I've decided not to go to school early now. I'll probably take a nap before class. Also, I'm going to review my resume and make some updates because of volunteer stuff I've done with the schools here.

Gonna go now. I've got work to do.

Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, February 19, 2007

My Life with New Ears

As the saying goes, "This is the first day of the rest of your life."

Well, for me, that means I will be able to hear things again. I went to the audiologist this morning. Luckily, there were no ENTs working because the audiologist was able to meet with us, explain the options, and get me my new hearing aides and out the door all in the same day.

As some of you know what hearing aides look like, these are NOT them. They are small triangular things that go over my ear, a small, clear tube from the triangular thing (aka the speaker) to the receiver, and a small tube-like grey thing that goes into my ear. When my hair is up, the things are hardly noticeable. When my hair is down, you wouldn't know I'm wearing them.

At first, it's very weird to wear them. They have been a little itchy in my ear canal. That's why it's important to wear them all the time. I just have to get used to putting them on when I get up, wearing them all day, except when swimming and showering, then put them away before I go to bed at night.

I immediately started hearing things better than before. I could actually HEAR my husband, which I don't think I've ever really heard him the way I'm hearing him now. And, as he said, he'll have to watch what he says now since I'm wearing them.

I also noticed the rustling of papers, and other small things that prior to wearing the aides, I never heard, or they were so quiet that I didn't notice them.

So, this afternoon, after we got home from the doctor, I decided to take my first real test: watching TV. As my TV can get pretty loud, pre-aides, the sound has usually been as high as 30-31 on my meter. Now, I can safely listen to the TV at 18 or 20 with the furnace on. Sitting in my dining room, I am able to hear conversations going on outside.

I will have to get used to wearing them, for the sound and comfort. So far so good. I know I've got a small headache right now. I'll take some aspirins later for it to go away. I know the headache is also because of the extraneous sounds.

I'll get a picture of them later (and me wearing them) to show you how small they are. Not sure if it will help with my vertigo, but will DEFINITELY help with the hearing loss, which appears to be hereditary.

With that, I gotta go. Gotta get Rob up and go to mom's and dad's to pick up half pint. She has school tomorrow.

Love to all,
8^ )

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New Template - St. Pat's Day

Okay, folks. It only took about an hour to get this template together. Hope you like it. Because of the craziness of the last week (sick, Cassi no school 2 days, etc), I was only able to get to this today.

Hope you enjoy. I seem to be on a "green" streak. I REALLY like this template. May use this somewhere else. HMMM?

Love to all,
8^ )

Blowing Was NEVER So Good

Well, I guess if you're speaking of the snow blower we just got, yeah! As I said, we were lucky enough to be able to find a decently priced snow blower. And just in time too. Last night, Rob didn't get a chance to use it before he went to work as we had gotten about an inch and a half snow.

By this morning, there was almost 3 inches at my house and white out conditions. Rob said when he got home that the roads were treacherous, seeing only one snow plow. All the way across route 90, out of Cleveland westbound, he had one lane to passably drive in.

After picking up some gas, we got back home and fired the baby up. He was able to clear away the driveway and up the walk in about 20 minutes or so. DEFINITELY worth the investment. Now, his back won't hurt from shoveling.

And, the best part, the machine is small enough to travel with.

Have Blower Will Travel!

We'll be able to take the blower to my dad's/grandpa's to clear out their back driveway behind grandpa's building. I even took photos to commemorate this auspicious occasion.

Love to all,
8^ )

Here are the photos:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Luck on my side?

Yesterday and into this morning, it seems my luck (our luck) has happened three times.

First, as we were going to mom and dad's house, our mail was finally at the front door, at 6pm. But, I don't blame the man as it still looks like a war zone outside with all the piles of snow in my front yard and walk way.

So, Marie says the mail is there. We tell her that's fine because we're going to take it with us. As I walk out to the car, I leaf through the envelopes. I shout to Rob, "Hey! There's a letter here from Dr. Ahmed's office. I wonder what they want?"

For those of you who might remember, two years ago, I worked for a sleep medicine doctor for about 6 months, doing medical transcription. The whole experience was so bad. One major problem that happened while I was there. I was so upset with working extra hours and not getting paid OT. Also, I was trying to help get them caught up with work that needed to be done by two full-time employees. On one occasion, he was so demeaning to me, I clenched my teeth. I know I was so upset that I clenched my teeth so hard I abscessed them, causing my need for a root canal in my front tooth. But, the bottom line happened right with the first pay check right after Thanksgiving. I got the check that was 11 hours short. The day before I received the paycheck, I receive this notice stating a change in my working hours, which I did not approve. When I was hired, it was to work 8:30am to 5:00pm with a half hour lunch, which is still and 8 hour day. I was still working that way and often working through my lunches. That letter stated I would work 8:30 to 5:30 with an hour lunch. Because I was only working until 5, they were docking my pay. Plus, the day after Thanksgiving, which I thought was being paid to me, was not. They never once said, yes, you get the day after turkey day off, but you won't get paid. It was their way of trying to get me to take off and not get paid. I called Rob, who came to my job, demanding why I wasn't paid my full pay. When he wouldn't calm down, I was immediately fired and banned from the premises. AND, that afternoon, we were also called by the Middleburgh Heights Police, saying if we ever set foot in the office, we would be arrested to tresspassing.

But, yesterday, I get an envelope in the mail. The odd thing was, I've moved since working for this doctor, and never gave them the new address. So, they got it. As I go to eye the envelope to see what's inside, I notice it's not a letter, it's a check. HMMMMM? Very strange indeed.

In the car, I open the envelope. There's a check from them for $291! Huh? I haven't worked there in 2 years. But, there's a comment in the note line. It says: DOL audit. HMMM, even stranger. Well, after I got fired and didn't get my pay, I contacted the US Department of Labor to complain about the doctor. It appears my complaint didn't fall on deaf ears. It just took two years to get my vengence. Rob and I guess that the DOL got enough complaints to require an audit of their employee work records. Of course, they have all my pay sheets, that had overtime on them and hours that hadn't been paid for.

Good Luck #1: Getting vengence of back owed to me from a doctor I worked for 2 years ago. We haven't had a chance to deposit it yet as we want to scan it. My guess is that because it's considered wages, we'll see a W2 from them this year when it comes to tax time. Need the copy to prove what they sent me incase the W2 isn't correct.

Then, all afternoon Thursday, we drove around the area, looking for an inexpensive snow blower. DIDN'T happen! Well, after we got the check, and leaving mom and dad's, we headed home. Before going home, Rob decides he wants to stop at Wal Mart near our house. Good timing. We're walking around and see they're getting the pallets out for restocking for the night. On one pallet, we see a smaller box with a snow blower in it. I tell Rob to follow them. We get there and pull the box right off the pallet. We get the price for it $297! They didn't even get a chance to put it out. We bought it. I think we had to actually put $25 out of our pocket in it.

Good Luck #2: We got a snow blower for less than $500! Plus, we know that it will snow again before the season is over. (snowing right now) So, it will get use.

Finally, this morning, we went over to Lowe's home improvement store. Last year, we purchased drapes for our two MAJOR windows in the living room side of the great room. The windows are 96" by 62" each. The panels we purchased then seem to be shrinking a little. So, the panels we purchased are now not enough. We went back to where we got them from. But, for some reason, we don't find them. I walked around and asked if they still sold them. Nope. But, if there's any left, they'll be on clearance at the end of another aisle. Luck! The ones we need are the ones they've got left.

Good Luck #3: We got to finish our drapes in our living room.

So, with all this good luck, hopefully, and even for a little while, that luck continues!

Love to all,
8^ )

The Friday that NEVER Ended

Friday was a crazy day for me. First, Cassi went back to school after 2 days off from the bad weather. Sadly, it should have been 3 days, but I digress.

We got to school a few minutes early. Because of the school being closed Wednesday, and I'm the acting president of the PTO, I needed to help take charge of the logistics of the Valentine's Day parties. There was much confusion about whether or not the parties were going to happen. But, as I had written a few days ago, Cassi's teacher and I prepared to have our party Friday. Just so happened the school was closed for 2 days.

Thursday, while Cassi was off, we made a batch of cupcakes and home made frosting (pink of course and red sprinkles). I had planned on bringing "smilie" faced cookies, but the cupcakes worked better. Also, before the party, I picked up Valentine's pencils and erasers to give out to all the kids.

So, after getting Cassi off to class, I started looking at the treasury books, etc. The PTO was supposed to have a meeting on Thursday, but was cancelled for the school closing. I have NO IDEA when we'll have our February meeting. Anyway, we have promised support of the school system's plans for a levy on the next voting day. Because the school's buildings are so old, part of it being as old as the 1800's and in disrepair, the school system is trying to get a levy passed to build an all-new high-tech high school. I would love it if they could get the levy passed. I'm 100% in support of it. Believe me, if Cassi has to go to the high school here now, I may have to send her to the Catholic High School instead.

I started writing checks to prepare for them to be second-signed by the treasurer. Because of financial issues with last year's PTO, this year, all checks need to be signed by 2 people. While writing up checks, a parent calls in about being upset about the party. She wanted to help get goodies together for the party, but the parent in charge of that room never called. I apologized and told her that parent would not be in charge again. But, I also explained when the parties were scheduled and that we, the PTO, would be getting goodies for those classes who didn't have parent-made goodies because of the confusion caused by the days off.

The problem with my going to get goodies? I am not able to pay for the items directly from the PTO checkbook because the treasurer is nowhere to be found. Luckily for me? We got our federal tax refund in direct deposit on Friday. Yeah! As soon as the treasurer can sign the checks, I'll be able to get the money back. So, for the parties, I went to Sam's Club and picked up 9 (yes nine) cases of Capri Sun juices. That's 360 Capri Suns! I also picked up Little Debbie goodies for the food part. Since Rob was off, and I knew the juices would be heavy for me, Rob came along. I love him for helping me get these goodies for the school. We packed the back of his wagon down with juices, forks (needed for the teacher's lounge), and goodies.

Also, at the same time, we needed to pick up a new snow shovel and salt. To get the wagon out of the driveway, he had to shovel a 3-foot snow drift out from behind it. Well, needless to say, he broke the shovel when moving the TON of snow.

We got back to school, where the custodian helped us get the juices and goodies rolled into the school. The principal came out and took the wagon around to each class to see who needed what. The left-overs we'll use for our next pizza party.

I went home again. Got something to eat. Went back to school for the party. There were only 12 kids at the party as 5 of the kids were either sick or didn't make it because of still being snowed in.

Cassi's teacher couldn't believe how quiet everyone was for the party. But, a good quiet.

We came home a little later as we dawdled in the school office before coming home. As we got there, low and behold, Marie is already there in our driveway. We took her to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Because of a comment earlier on the blog that said she doesn't have good Mexican up in Michigan, I wanted to take her there for dinner. And, the guys didn't disappoint. Marie and I shared combo fajitas for 2. We ended up taking enough home for 2 more! They really LOADED UP the pan. We picked up an early-anniversary cake for Mom & Dad (35th on March 4th) and Rob and I (10th on March 14th) to celebrate our upcoming anniversaries. She won't be able to come down in March at all. That's fine. We went to mom & dad's where Rob put some RAM in Grandpa Dave's computer and we all shared the cake.

After, we did a few errands and came home. It was a VERY hectic, crazy day. Once I got to sleep, I didn't move until almost 10am today.

Love to all,
8^ )

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Anniversary

I know many of you might be shocked that I'm posting this, but, to my ex, the "love affair" and his wife of three years.

Happy Anniversary!
You can find them at: Jason and Kat.

For those of you who read me over the summer, Jason and I reconnected after 10 years of being apart. His best friend thought the connection was because I wanted to get "hooked up" after all these years. I told Jason he should have told his friend, "Hell yeah! It's our 10th anniversary after all!"

But, after a summer of catching up, reviewing what happened, we're here. I'm glad he found someone who loves him for who he is. I actually don't think I would have been that person. Even if he had come after me after I broke it off with him, it would not have been the same. Just after we broke up, I started traveling more, and actually had an opportunity to relocate with the company I was working for at the time. Had he just known that, some things might be different right now.

BUT, I am happy where I am and happy he has what he has. It definitely took longer for him to find "the one" and get settled down than I did. When we were together, I definitely didn't want things that I've got today. When they happened, things just clicked for me. Curious to know what those things are? a family. a child. responsibility for more than just me. When I became pregnant, EVERYTHING changed. Even now, things are changing for me every day. I'm not where I was 10 years ago. If I had said, "Oh, yeah. In 10 years, I'll have a husband, a kid, and a home." I would have thought I was crazy. But, here it is and I've got it. AND, I'm happy.

Would we have survived living in the same city, even in the same apartment? Not sure. Can't speculate that now.

There's a Reba song that goes through my mind as I was thinking about them today. Here's the chorus from it:

You're gonna fly
With every dream you chase
You're gonna cry
But know that that's okay
Sometimes life's not fair
But if you hang in there
You're gonna see
That sometimes bad is good
We just have to believe
Things work out like they should
Life has no guarantees
But always loved by me
You're gonna be

Yes, this song is about a child. But, the lines bolded above are the parts I'm talking about the most. Things work out like they should.

Because of the distance, we're still learning about each other. I've been able to keep up with his doings because of his blog and her blog. I have met his wife. She is a very nice person. Haven't had the chance to really sit and talk with her, but I like her just the same. Their son is a spitfire.

Do I miss him? Yes I do. He shared with me his whole world for four years. That's a long time for someone to invest in someone else. Do I wish things had been different? Yeah. Do I still love him? Yeah, and always will. Those feelings just shut down, especially when I never really dealt with them until this past summer.

Rob, I love you for allowing me the time to complete what I had to do. It took 10 years for me to deal with what I never dealt with.

Jason, I will always love you and care for you and what you do. Kat, I don't REALLY know you at all, but am glad Jason found you. Believe me, if we weren't so far away, it would be so much easier to get to know each other.

Love you both!

Love to all,
8^ )
Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Finally Got Out...

So, from my last post, it took until about noon for my tummy to calm down enough to go outside. After looking, it was a good thing I was able to get out because Rob wouldn't have been able to get back in the driveway. As you'll see below. Cassi and I went out, first plowing our way out of the front door and the 3-foot drift at the front door. I took my camera and got the below pictures.

Here, is my picture from the driveway up the walk to show the front door and the drift up the bushes. (and this was before I shoveled the walk. I was able to get on the first pass a single path walk from the driveway to the front door.

This is my front yard and road from my driveway.

This shows up my walkway from the driveway and down the street. Further up the walk, as you get to the intersection, the drift is almost five feet tall.

This is the 2-3 foot drift at the front of my driveway. Rob was driving my 2004 Ford Focus (3-door). There would have been NO WAY he was getting into the drive without it being cleared first. I know the car is good in bad weather, but not 4-wheel-drive good.

We've got a fairly large driveway system. There's actually enough room in my drive for up to five cars. This is the picture over the wagon and onto our "back" yard. Corner lot, side yard. Because of the direction of the wind, my yard got the snow drifts.

This is my front door, from outside looking in. Yep, that snow got all the way to the front door. Cassi and I had to push pretty hard to get out and over that hill. She decided it was a good way to get a small sledding session in at the front door.

Front door again.

Cassi decided she wanted to bury herself in the snow. I kept telling her to get out or she would get cold.

After this time, she decided she wanted to. Hopefully, she's home again tomorrow. The weather is really bad here. The temperature isn't supposed to get above 0 by the morning. We'll keep watching and see. I don't know if I'm going to class tomorrow night either. The roads here are a MESS. Plus, I'll have to help Rob clear out the drive behind his car. There's no room for more than our two cars right now.

Okay. That's it for now. I still haven't really eaten in two days. The stomach is still nauseous.

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. Keep warm out there! AND SAFE!

Happy Valentine's Day...

As you can see, we cannot even get out of our front door for the 3-foot drift. My guess is, if my newspapers came this morning, they are somewhere in the drift. But, I would NOT be upset if my papers don't come today. People need to be inside where it's safe. The same for my mail.

Because our house is on a corner lot, we don't have a "back yard." But, where our back yard would be is where our neighbor's back yard is. As you can see here, the snow is drifting half way up his car. I know he was working last night. He is a truck driver for the USPS. Hopefully, he was careful when he drove as I know how they are constantly speeding to reach the next destination for deadlines in delivery of the mail.

What a day! Rob had to work last night because it was his night to work. AND, because he is a nurse, he is considered essential personnel. Luckily, mom and dad live in between his job and here. So, instead of coming home, he stopped there to sleep for the day. That was a good thing because we've got so much snow. There's a 3 foot drift at my front door. He'll have to shovel to get in to the house. I know it took him an hour to get from the Cleveland Clinic to mom's house, which normally takes 15-20 minutes.

So, Cassi and I are at home. I can not believe that the college FINALLY got wise and closed. According to some people I've heard on the news, this is the worst blizzard since 1978. I remember that blizzard that hit us because I lived in New Jersey at the time. Marie was just a baby then, almost 2 by that time.

The ABC-affiliate here in Cleveland had a parent on the phone of a local school district. The school district is Shaker Heights, an eastern suburb of Cleveland, OH. When he was talking on the phone, he told the anchors the school had just decided 10 minutes before to close the school. With the problems and as many issues with this weather, the school district was going to stay open. Crazy!

I'm so glad Cassi's school closed for today. With all of the schools in the area closed yesterday, her school was open. It was good for the kids because I visited the class to do crafts with them. I put together all the pieces needed for them to make Valentine's cards to take home for someone. I know the kids THOROUGHLY enjoyed themselves. They all agreed they were the most blessed class in 1st grade because Cassi's mom (that's me) comes and does stuff with them. There's a scrapbooking Web site:, where I purchase pre-made scrapbooking items for scrapbook pages and cards. They are called e-cuts. I had a bunch for Valentine's Day that I printed, along with Valentine's stickers, markers, etc. I told Cassi's teacher I would burn a copy of all the files because I've got files for birthday, anniversary, Christmas, etc. She's excited to get a copy.

And with that, I'm going to close for now. I'm very tired, as with all this bad weather, I've been suffering with a stomach flu. I need to get some rest. Plus, later, I've got more homework to do. Even before CSU closed for the night last night, my professor cancelled class. She lives out my way and agreed Monday night to cancel class. However, she did send us our homework assignment for next week. It will be easy for me to do. We're on the instruction portion of the Tech Writing.

Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Rat Race...

For me, the rat race currently consists of getting up, getting Cassi dressed and down the street to school. Then, I come back and do homework before going to school. This week, Cassi will be at Pa's house three nights out of the four. My other major task is to keep all three of our schedules in line, which means, the nights Cassi goes to Pa's, I have to schedule that out a month in advance. Based on when Rob's schedule comes out, I make sure I post his schedule in my calendar and on our 4-month white board. Then, based on what days he works, I can let dad know what day's Cassi will come over to his house.

So, for this morning, Cassi has gotten up and is at school. Good thing I had to go into the school to drop off paperwork for our PTO meeting this week (was cancelled last week by the treasurer's emergency). Cassi forgot to bring home a paper for me to sign. It was permission slip for her trip next week. Cassi sold (with the help of mom, dad, and Pa) three boxes of candy for the school's fund raiser. Her prize? A limo ride and a pizza party for lunch - all during school. What luck for her! I've NEVER been in a limo yet, and I'm 35! She's only 7 and gets her opportunity to ride in a limo. But, I think she'll enjoy herself. She'll have to remember to behave.

I just finished typing up my poems for today. Am I up to schedule? NO! By no means am I caught up in this class. For one, I'm working on a Rimas Disolutas poem. It turns out my "secret" anniversary poem will be this poem. I think it's going to turn out quite long, but definitely worth my time. I've only got three stanzas done. But, I'm going to turn in what I've got so far to see what my classmates say. I did write up my sestina poem. For both, I've got 15 copies of each. Since this class is a workshop, I need enough copies of each for my classmates to read, comment on, etc. For this week, I'll be working on a Rondeau, Pantoum, and Tiolet poems. The rondeau isn't new to me, as I got to write one over the summer, but the other forms are new to me. As soon as I've got poems written, I'll post on my creative writing blog.

(And Marie, didn't know you didn't know I had a creative writing blog. I've had it posted on my main blog for a long time now.)

But, I've still got to update my journal entries (probably during spring break) and write my two remaining, "In the Manner of" poems. Plus, I finished my critical readings of two Sylvia Plath poems. Very interesting.

As soon as I get done here with my poetry, I'm off to Technical Writing land. I've got to write up a two-page report on breathalyzers. Kinda interesting. Hopefully, I get all the technical information in my paper. I've got some research to do, more than what she gave us last week.

So, I've got lots to do today. AND, I've got dishes and laundry to wash this morning. Hmmm? Now where did I hear that before? Oh, yeah! YESTERDAY!

Okay. I'll close this for now. I've got to get my piles ready for class today.

Love to all,
8^ )

Sunday, February 11, 2007

As Usual,

I'm working on Sunday night, completing homework. Right now, I think I've got a 1.5 inch binder, that I'm using to place and store my journal pages. AND, right now, the journal is over 73 pages, at least, my Word version, the typed and printed stuff is 73 pages. Plus, I've got hand-written stuff and photo pages. We're only going into week #5 of 16 weeks. I think I'll have two 3-inch binders by the time the semester is completed. BUT, I'm having so much fun.

I wanted to apologize to everyone who read, or TRIED to read. There was a lot I wanted to get off my chest. I know the people I copied the blog entry and comment might not like my post about their posts, but oh well. It was very important I got what I need OFF MY CHEST.

But, in case anyone missed in the post, I am losing my hearing. AND, as my sister says, I agree that I will not go completely deaf any time soon or at all. However, my hearing will definitely continue to decrease. Because of the fact that my mother needs hearing aides too, the audiologist believes the hearing loss is hereditary. Also, the hearing loss is nerve related, which is why the hearing cannot be fixed, unless using an aide.

This weekend, Cassi went to Pa's. She got to go ice skating yesterday and to the play place at the grocery store. While she was gone, I got to go back to the Home & Garden Show. I didn't get a chance to get through all the gardens at the show. Rob decided he didn't want to walk through, so sat at the side while I went through. I got some pretty photos of the flowers and gardens and one of the houses. I'll upload pictures soon.

On a lighter note, I'm watching the show "Family Guy" on Fox. As I'm typing this, the dad, who's dressed like a clown for his daughter's 17th birthday, comes down the stairs on a unicycle. After falling off the side of the stairs, he falls on top of his father. The mom says to call 911 for an ambulance. The dad says they should call for two, and turns around and shows the unicycle stuck up his BUTT. I know, a bad description, but good laughs!

Okay. I'm gonna go for now. I've got to get pipsqueak in bed.

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. and some poems to write!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Why I Like to Play Music Over and Over...

This seemed like a good topic to write about. I read on certain blogs how today's current pop culture consists of the same three cords, they can't write worth a darned, etc. Some of today's music is pretty much crap to me. However, I do find that some of today's music is very good. Just because YOU don't like today's music doesn't mean that someone else doesn't. You can't push your views on someone else just because YOU don't like the music. Case in point, I was reading someone's blog about CD prices. I agree with the entire rant he did about how pricing has remained relatively the same over the past 10-20 years, with little increase in prices. However, a comment on the post goes off on a tangent about how today's music sucks.

At first, I didn't want to post the comment, but I think I will, along with the post:

(go ahead and jump over this whole section as there's much MORE below it)
Nice try, RIAA
There is apparently a page on the RIAA site that talks about the cost of a CD. The point seems to be to defend the prices out on the market, which has been somewhat flat since CDs were introduced in 1983.While there is some good information on their
page, there is also some silliness as well:

Clearly there are many costs associated with producing a CD, and despite these costs the price of recorded music to consumers has fallen dramatically since CDs were first introduced in 1983. Between 1983 and 1996, the average price of a CD fell by more than 40%. Over this same period of time, consumer prices (measured by the Consumer Price Index, or CPI) rose nearly 60%. If CD prices had risen at the same rate as consumer prices over this period, the average retail price of a CD in 1996 would have been $33.86 instead of $12.75. While the price of CDs has fallen, the amount of music provided on a typical CD has increased substantially, along with higher quality in terms of fidelity, durability, ease of use, and range of choices, including multi-media material, such as music videos, interviews and discographies. Content of this type often requires considerable production expense and adds a whole new dimension that goes beyond conventional audio.Wait, are you guys claiming that CDs should cost MORE? That, we should be thankful that CDs are so darn cheap?Also, they are pimping their "multi-media" features on their CDs. Well, I buy CDs for the music. Since I play my music on computers, most of this multi-media stuff is getting in my way, since I either have to disable autoload, or close whatever crap decides to open when I put a CD in.

And I'm not even talking about all the attempts of copy protection that prevents me from actually listening to the music on my computer. In that way, CDs have become LESS functional.

And here's the comment:

Idiots. Assuming the price of a new technological toy should rise instead of fall is plain ridiculous. As new tech toys get mainstreamed and their production streamlined, prices do tend to fall, particularly as they compete with newer tech toys (like iPods and downloaded music). The CPI has nothing whatsoever to do with that. That's like saying that we should be paying more for a videotape than a DVD, because the technology's been out longer and the CPI has risen more since it was developed. Improved functionality might be an argument, if it weren't competing with technology that's even MORE functional than the most functional CD. Besides which, all the bells and whistles on the "new" CDs are irrelevant if the content is crap. The CD could show holographic images and emit laser rays at my enemies and fetch me coffee, but if it's playing Latest Interchangeable Pop Music Icon Who Can't Sing Worth A Damn, Play More Than Three Guitar Chords, Or Write Non-Trite, Coherent Lyrics Involving More Than Five Words And Three Notes But Wants You All To Know How Emo/Sexy/Loud/Rude/Whiny/Horny He/She Is, it's worthless crap. (Although, I dunno. Laser rays and coffee-fetching might be worth it, if I don't have to actually listen to the music.)

I agree with the comment, until the point where it rants about current music. Everyone's gotta remember, music these days is more than just "the music." Music these days is about technology and music and BUSINESS. Just about everything these days is about BUSINESS and how BUSINESS can make money and PROFIT. Being practical and logical, that's what I see.

But, I went on a HUGE tangent. I saw this, and originally, this is why I chose this topic to write about. However, this is not the information I wanted to talk about at all. I've said it and I'm happy that I said it though.

My purpose about this post deals with my ears and music at large. I am a 35-year-old mom and full-time student (okay 3/4 time student, but who's counting the credits). I grew up in the 80's and loved all of the music from that time. Every time I can get my hands on something that I don't have of 80's, I relish in the fact that I have it. And, even though I don't play musical instruments, I did in the past and understand how to basically read sheet music. So, I have some of this too.

I read on my regular blogs how people, in general, should listen to more new music, and not to listen again and again to the same stuff over and over. For me, I am listening to my music over and over for a purpose. As some of you know, I went to my ear doctor this week. Come the 19th, I will be meeting with an audiologist, to discuss hearing aids as I am losing my hearing. For me, I am listening to this music, not only because I enjoy it, but I also am trying to remember the music part of the song. At some point, but hopefully not in the near future, I will go deaf. Once that happens, or to the point that I cannot hear my music, I will want to have the music memories in my brain. When other people are actually HEARING the music, I will remember what they are hearing and be able to share in the experience.

I have an iPod, as most of you know. But, I do not have satellite radio. Rob and I together looked at the options and decided it wasn't for us. First, I'm not PAYING for radio. to me, that's stupid. Plus, I've got my iPod. All of the music I've got is plenty for me to listen to. Plus, I enjoy everyday radio, the 100% commerical filled radio stations that I've got here in Cleveland. Plus, with the location of my home and travel, I can get music from as far away as Canton to the south and Detroit/Canada to the North, and everything in between. So, my options are large.

Plus, even though 80's music is my THANG, I also listen to country. Again, my options for iPod or radio are increased even more. Finally, because I enjoy listening to music my mom listens to (yep, I enjoy her stuff too), there's EVEN more options. Recently, I just acquired MANY albums from the rock group, Rush. My love affair shared with me Rush, which I had heard a song or two from them, that was popular at the time. But, ever since, I've been wanting more. Minus 2 in the early days and about 5 or 6 of their most recent, I've got their entire discography. This makes me so excited. I just have to get the music into my iTunes and onto my iPod. I've got a 20GB player, but only half full. Can you believe it? Plus, I've still got a couple dozen albums to put in from my CD collection.

Also, with all this music going on, I enjoy the fact that I can get inspiration from the songs to write my poetry. With most of my days being mundane, I have to get inspiration somewhere.

Plus, as you've all read, my ALL-TIME favorite artist is Reba McEntire. Yeah, say what you will, but she has a good business-sense and enjoyable music. I love singing with her (nope, you'll NEVER see me on Idol), and do it as often as I can.

With all this said, I'm going to close now. Hope it's not too long.

Love to all,
8^ )

Writing, Writing, Writing

I'm really enjoying my life in writing. But, sometimes, it can get monotonous. Because of all the work I am working on at school, plus home stuff, plus Cassi school stuff, you would begin to wonder if I slept at all.

I think I've been mastering my techniques of time management. Plus, it's a wonder women are so good at multi-tasking. When you've got as much stuff to do as we do (especially me), time management and multi-tasking go hand-in-hand. Also, I hate having to leave things to continue the next day, because I am such a perfectionist. But, as I grow older, I see that I have to understand that my 150 things that need done today can be carried over till tomorrow.

So, for this weekend, I've got:

Tech Writing:
1. 2 page paper on Breathalyzers (a tech-y paper)
2. research on my project (think I need help getting some focus, thesis, etc)
3. write a paper like #1 for my project (will help in the end with #2)

1. update my journal (Cause I LOVE when I get comments from my blog-friends, who I've been including in my journal portfolio for a grade. Yes, this means y'all are sharing my grade!)
2. read poems and do a critical reading of one Sylvia Plath poem for Monday (I did this with my poem for memorization and it took over 2 hours to complete)
3. poems to write in specific forms: sestina, rimas (almost done), "in the manner of"
4. revise poems already written (As this class we not only write new poems based on specific forms, we are also constantly revising poems already written to make them better, thus, the work never ends until we turn in our personal portfolios with finished pieces.)

On a more serious note, I went to the ear doctor yesterday. Rob has been telling me for years that I am going deaf and need hearing aids. As I've explained, all the doctors keep telling me is that, "Yes, you are going deaf, but there's nothing we can do about it."

The last time I had my ears examined by an audiologist, taken the "test," my left ear was good and right ear was going deaf at the higher pitch sounds. So, when you looked at the results, the ears were not at the same level for both.

However, there was a difference of opinion regarding my "deafness." According to the audiologist, I am a candidate for hearing aids. Yes! Someone heard what we've been arguing about. Her perception is that my hearing loss is centered with the nerves, which means that eventually, I will go deaf. The doctor, thinks I am a borderline candidate and that Rob and I should think about if I should get hearing aids.

Well, for those of you who know us, you know our answer. YES!

Now, the drawback. Good hearing aids, that have noise-reducing capabilities (and all digital) can run upwards of $4K a pair. YIKES! My grandfather who's still living has hearing aids. I've heard that his are even more expensive. So, we call health insurance to see if they are covered at all. Rob thinks they are not and there goes our nice tax return. But, if it will help me hear better, yeah! Insurance says, "They are covered 50% up to a cost of $2k per ear." That sounds good to me. That means the top-of-the-line pair, costing $4k would only cost out-of-pocket $2k. Ultimately, we're exploring these options to see what would be best for me.

As it stands now, the buzzing in my ears are so loud that I can barely hear. Oh, the update again about the vertigo and dizziness (I think I spelled that right). According to the doctor, he agreed about it possibly being viral, that darned inner ear infection. He told me to keep using the Antivert (anti-vertigo meds) as I am still getting dizzy. But, he said to try to wean off of them as the dizzy spells could last a month. But, if I'm still dizzy after a month, get back in touch with him. The fluid behind my ear drum did appear to be gone (yeah!). He did say that my vertigo and dizziness could be related to my hearing as our ears tend to control not just hearing but balance too.

Betcha didn't know that?

So, I've got meetings today, along with homework. But, now that I've blabbed! Yes, I've got the lazies too, regarding housework. I've got about 2-3 loads of laundry to fold. At least one of them thus far has made it up the stairs and on the bed for folding. But, I've got dishes to do too. Probably later tonight, after I help Cassi get her homework done.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Good Student

So, I called my professor, like my sister, Marie, told me. I explained my ditzy thoughts, explaining I didn't understand what she wanted with quantitative. As she has told us in class, and as I understand, this class is more geared toward the grad students. So, she is teaching toward the grad audience. Not that we as undergrads won't learn from the process, but sometimes, even for us non-science types, miss the areas when science-type stuff is involved.

So, she said to me, "Aren't you doing your project about Interactive Whiteboards?" Uh, yeah. Well, do your paper and homework on that.

So, within an hour and a half, I got my research done and the 2-page paper written. At the start of class this evening, we paired up and read each other's papers. Part of our process with our homework is a semi-peer review process. She gave us things to look for.

I like my classmate. We're both English majors and undergrads to boot. So, in exchanging the papers, she read mine and couldn't believe the job I did with it. She asked me things about my formatting (styles in Word), coloring, and graphics. With the questions given by the professor, all of the questions were answered and the person reading understood what I was trying to say in my paper (targeted the right audience when I wrote it).

So, I guess I wasn't bad after all. But, I was concerned since I wasn't in class last week for lecture, and we didn't have class on Thursday. However, as I have said, I have done technical writing in the past. This just seems to focus on what I have done better.

I just worried for nothing.

With that, I've got to go. I've got some poems to write for tomorrow's class in Poetry. Plus, I've got to type up the agenda for Thursday's PTO meeting. AND, I've got to call Time Warner Cable. Another story about big business screwing the little man. Hopefully I can get it fixed this time on the phone. Oh, and I've got an ear doctor's appointment tomorrow.

AND, I hope Cassi goes to school tomorrow. I need a break!

Love to all,
8^ )

A Bad Student...

Okay, so yesterday evening, when I got home, I received my homework in the mail for this evening. I guess I'm going to be bad because I have no idea what she wants me to do for my assignment. Also, there is just no way to get a 1-2 page typed paper ready for her today. Hopefully, she won't take points off if I can get it finished and turned into her tomorrow before my poetry class. There's a disconnect with what she's wanting me to do.

So, here is the information she sent me about the homework:

Definition Assignment

Using Chapter 11 of your book, please complete the following:

1) using a word from your field (for grad students) or from a quantitative field (for undergrads), write a classic definition sentence as found on page 401 of your book;

2) select an audience who would benefit from learning about this term and write a brief description of that audience using the guide on page 91;

3) expand your definition using at least 2 of the strategies in Chapter 11
Page length: 1-2 pages single spaced with layout techniques

I think it's the "quantitative" part that is confusing me. Also, I was out of class last week because I was sick (remember, the dizzy-thing). And, she was out sick on Thursday, so no class. I don't want to just call. For some odd reason, I'm feeling really confused, personally and educationally. (just a weird day)

So, I'll go to class. I'll also email her too. I'm finishing reading. But, I also have to start reading the next chapter too.

Wish me luck!

8^ )

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Child

was obviously not meant to do housework. Or, I have to teach her it's okay to get dirty when prepping the dishes for the dishwasher OR handwashing dishes.

As I stated in the last post, I was going to get the dishes into the dishwasher and going. I asked Cassi if she wanted to help. Of course she did. But, I warned her she would get her hands dirty. The whole time she complained about getting her hands dirty and that the dishes were stinky.

OK. So, her nose is just closer to the dishwasher to smell all of the odor-iferous dishes going in to be washed. I guess I'll have to keep getting her to do them with me.

At least she lives with the luxury of putting dishes into a washer and not completely washing by hand. Oh, by the way, I had two large pots to wash after the main load was in the dishwasher. But, I told her I was done with the dishes. She came back in and said, "Hey, you told me you were done." Yes, I was done with what went into the washer. These had to be washed by hand because they wouldn't fit. She just turned around and went back to her bedroom.


Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. I'm too tired for laundry folding tonight. Plus, I want to watch the news before bed.

Jumping Ahead of Myself

But, I wanted to get my personal post done this evening, although, I may end up writing again tomorrow.

I can't believe how much I enjoy being by myself during the day, being able to do my writing while Rob sleeps and Cassi is at school. Today, was not that kind of day. Today, Cassi was home from school. She is DRIVING me nuts. Because she's the only child, she expects 100% attention while she is at home. NO MATTER WHAT MOMMY & DADDY HAVE TO DO. I'm trying to get homework done, but every 2 minutes, Cassi comes in asking for something else.

For some reason, the schools in this area, closed today (and tomorrow) because the temperatures are too low for the kids who walk. I understand that. Today, 650 schools and school districts in the Cleveland, OH viewing area were closed. My guess is that that many are closed again tomorrow.

Problems: 1. Cassi was to get her school pictures taken tomorrow. When will they be? Who knows? But, hopefully, they give the parents enough notice to allow us to dress our kids half-way decent for nice pictures. 2. I have homework. Because I was out of class last Tuesday night, my professor was supposed to send me the homework LAST WEDNESDAY. I just got it when I got home from class this evening, due tomorrow. NO SWEAT! I can handle it! 3. I have to go to Suzin L to get fundraising paperwork and confirm a start date-end date-delivery date for the fundraiser. Our goal is $1000 profit to fund two of the major requests for this year for the school. Yes, we've already given them $4600 for an interactive whiteboard, paid of our secret santa, will give over $1k for a wall of fame breakfast and mardi gras night for the upcoming levy to build a state-of-the-art high school. Then, we'll also be paying for the busses for their field trips and "Science on the Go" assemblies for the kids too. I think I could write up a whole "What we're doing for the school" blog entry. 4. I've still got my daily journaling and interaction with poetry. 5. Laundry, dishes, housework (still got to do them, even though Rob is home). 6. Class

Need I say more?

But, if I wasn't this active, I would be IMENSELY bored! I have always been this way, always needing to do five GAZILLION things at once. Do I REALLY get anything done? Probably not, but looks good anyway.

Okay. Had to vent. I'm going to go do the dishes. Maybe I'll get Cassi to help. The diswasher is empty, just crying for the dirty dishes in the sink. "Feed me!" Then, I guess I could work on folding the laundry, as a new load of dirty are ready for the washer in the am.

AND, Cassi is off tomorrow, AGAIN. I know she'll be looking for something to do. Maybe the Home & Garden Show will have free entry for the kids again. I'll splurge to send Rob out with her to get them out of my hair so I can get stuff done.

Eh, they can stay. Don't want them to have any problems with the weather.

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. But, when I need to get stuff done, I just need ME-time!

Blah, Blah

The medicine appears to be helping, somewhat. I'm still having some dizziness. I'm also still VERY tired. And, today is not helping. I've got to go to school early. I have to get some observation time before class as I've got to write up a poem, due today, that is a hybrid. Also, Rob got home late, had to shower, and eat before bed.

Oh, and by the way, Cassi got her first "snow day" today for temperatures being below zero. So, I have to take her with me to school before class. Rob was going to come home and get some sleep so that she could stay home. Not happening.

So, hopefully, I can get to school and do my observation from inside a building. Then, take her to grandpa's and back to school.

I can't believe they closed her school so quickly. When I woke up from nap yesterday at 3:30pm, I turned on CBS to watch the pre-game show. Here, on the bottom of the screen on the scrolls with the school closings. At first, I saw Elyira HS. I'm thinking to myself, "Uh, oh, better stay here and watch the scrolls continue to see if the entire district is off."

Low and behold, when the scroll got back around, the entire district was called off. But, I wanted confirmation from another channel. So, I went on the computer and checked the site for our ABC affiliate. It actually stated when the announcement was made, which was 3:20pm.

I called mom's house, to let them know she was out of school. Mom says to me, "Well, we can't take off work." That's not why I called. I wanted to let them know she was out of school because of the weather.

Well, now, we'll wait to see if she's out tomorrow. Gotta go for now. I've got one more poem to write for today's class.

Love to all,
8^ )

Friday, February 02, 2007

Product Endorsement: Web site

Cool. Thanks to my AWESOME blog-friend, Martin, at Rantings of an 80's Nut, I have been enlightened by a new-er Web site (ok, so it's new to me). The site is:

It is a free service that allows you to create your very own family tree. Also, when you add the names, if these people are still alive AND have email, you can add their address. As long as you click that you want that person to join your family, the site will then shoot them an email address to invite them to the family.

So, this means that if this person knows information that you don't, they can add whatever they want. Or, if you THOUGHT you knew something and added it, they can correct it. What luck!

I have always been intrigued about my family tree and have been playing with it for the past decade or two. However, and I don't know all the functionality for, but I think this is a cool site to bring families together. Martin found out from family that he was related to someone famous. Cool, Martin! Way to go, man! It will be interesting to see what might come up in my research. There are many holes in my family tree, that I just don't know. Maybe people will open up on this and share.

Whoo Hoo!

On other fronts, school is going well. Yep, I was bad and booted out of school early on Wednesday. We had to do an observation outside. But, with my ear being the way it is, and it being so DAMNED (oops) DARNED cold, I didn't want to take any chances. But, I still have to go do it. However, I wanted to do it during the day.

Cassi was GOOD in school for 18 days, all of the school days she had in January. WAY TO GO BABY! Aunt Marie and her have an agreement. If I get a good sticker on her calendar each day, she gets $1 from Aunt Marie. So, in January, she made $18. Not a bad haul. We called Aunt 'Re, when Cassi said to her, "I'm rich. I get $18." Well, Marie's coming down again (sorry Vegas Princess, I get all her time) in a few weeks. The money will wait until then so it can be spent with 'Re. Plus, 'Re is kicking in an extra $2 for acing the month. AND, Cassi has $15 from December in holding until 'Re comes. They're looking at going to the Rainforest at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. That will be a fun experience. So, maybe I'll go to and add it to one of my to-do's for my Poetry class.

Tomorrow, Cassi gets to go to Pa's for a one-night sleepover. Yeah! Rob doesn't work until Saturday night. I am going to try to get Rob to take me to the Cleveland Home and Garden Show. This is an annual event. This will be an AWESOME place for me to go for observation, photos, and INSPIRATION for writing poems. I'll have to make sure I bring my notebook. Plus, I've got some shopping to do (need some new baking pans, but just a couple).

OK. With that, I'm going to go now. I want to see what else I can do for homework. It's almost noon and I haven't eaten yet. Hmmm? Maybe an omlet or something good like that.

Love to all,
8^ )