Sunday, April 29, 2007

What Does Your Birthdate Mean for Your Love Life?

Okay. Got this from someone else's blog. But, thought it was neat. I'll have to tag the site for later review of quizzes for the blog.

Your Birthdate: June 19

You don't just believe in love at first site - you've experienced it.
You develop crushes pretty easily, but keeping your interest is another matter!
You are very prone to love - hate relationships.

Number of True Loves You'll Have: 1

Number of Times You'll Have Your Heart Broken: 1

You are most compatible with people born on the 1st, 10th, 19th, and 28th of the month.

This was pretty neat. I guess this means my husband is my true love because I'll only have one. I'll have to go out on a limb. He was born on the 4th, which is CLOSE to the 1st. Works for me.

I would have to say I kinda agree with the number of times you'll have your heart broken. This would have to be my ex, the "love affair" I spoke of on this blog over the summer, even though it took me 10 years to realize it. But, I found my true love because of it.

Darnit! I keep typing because as "bec u a se" so I'm going to change it. My fingers do the typing here on this blog. If you start seeing because typed wrong, this is why.

Gotta go.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Oh, Yes...

More about yesterday...

Since Rob was up, we came home a little earlier than we thought. Because Rob was in pain, he thinks he has a pinched nerve in his left shoulder, he stands outside, smoking, and says he has to cut the grass. No, I told him I would do it. That's all we need is for him to get hurt worse. And, I've never used the push mower. No time better than the present. AND, a good excuse to get some walking exercise in.

So, we go out to the garage. Rob has Cassi help him clean out the "back" yard. For whatever reason, our yard is the collect all for the local blowing garbage. YUCK! Things like empty cans, cups, etc. Plus, with the older trees in this part of the yard, there's dropped branches that need to be moved. She is more than happy to help.

I get the mower out. Rob shows me how to start the mower and I'm off. But, he tells me if I just pull on this lever, holding it, the mower will push itself. Hmmm. Guess it's self-propelled. This really helps when I'm walking.

Hmmmm Hmmmmm! This isn't too bad. One time around, Rob stops me. "Don't you have any junky sneakers? Your sneakers are going to turn green from the grass."

"No. I have one pair of sneakers!" I don't have the TONS of old pairs like he does. But, today, he was able to clean them and remove all the green from the leather part of the sneaker.

I get the entire lawn done. I know I walked at least a mile, if not more. Also, my hands were numb from the vibrations of the mower. This was my first time, just a virgin lawn mower-er. I left a few blades longer than normal in a few missed spots, but overall not a bad job. Even Rob complimented me on my good work.

Hmmm. Maybe he's thinking I should travel with said mower. "Have Mower Will Travel"

Love to all,
8^ )

This Week Coming Up

First off, this was a pretty good weekend. Yesterday, while Rob was sleeping, Cassi and I went to the library for a few hours. Cassi was home this weekend. She demanded to go to Sunday School today. So, no Pa's!

But, we went to the library. I have MUCH work to get done this week. While she was looking at books and deciding which movies to bring home, I was prepping and putting together my personal manuscript for my poetry class. Rob was woken up by a neighbor girl. She was bringing me an invitation to a Pampered Chef party her mom is having on the 9th. I guess she doesn't understand that Rob works at night and when a car is missing DON'T knock on the door. I have to remember to go over and remind her mom of that.

So, needless to say, Rob was not happy with the wake up call at 2:30 pm when he needs to sleep until 5 pm. I know he wasn't very cordial with the neighbor.

This week isn't going to be a cakewalk for me. First, in Poetry:

1. write up 3 more poems, a sonnet, a ballad, and a echo verse tonight
2. add those poems to the personal manuscript, print it, and bind it (yep, I've got my own comb binding machine here at home)
3. finish memorizing my poem (got 10 of the 35 lines memorized) for final on 5/7
4. scan doodles from classmates for class manuscript
5. format and drop in poems from classmates for class manuscript, print it, and bind it for everyone to get a copy (did this over the summer and will do it again; this is what happens when you're a take-charge kind of girl; everyone lets you take charge and do it)
6. get everyone's voices recorded for a class audio, edit the audio, and burn CDs for everyone
7. get artwork from classmate for class manuscript and audio
8. complete my journal this week and finalize printing for 3 inch binder (yes I said 3 inch binder) for review and grade on 5/7 (much larger than the 1/2 inch binder over the summer but also 3 times longer of a class)

For Technical Writing:
1. Oral presentation of term paper this Tuesday night (the effectiveness of the interactive whiteboard in the K-12 classroom)
2. turn in revised resume and application letter (got all 4's and 5's on them, but should get 5's in revision)
3. get second draft of paper back from grading
4. get journal back
5. prepare myself for written final, which I think is on 5/8

Summer Project:
Update and add papers written this summer from classes to online portfolio Web site.

Shew. Plus, this week is the Man's Birthday. I can't remember where this phrase came from. But, Rob's birthday is on Friday, May 4. He'll be 36 (shhhhh! I didn't tell you that). But, in his defense, I'll tell everyone my age, which is 6 years older than Marie. I'll be 36 in June.

With this, I'll close. I'm going to work on the poems now. Luckily, Cassi is still at Pa's. He came after church to pick her up for the day. This helped me get some stuff done today.

Love to all,
8^ )

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tree Pictures

As promised, I finally emailed myself the cell phone pictures I took the day we planted the tree. I'll add more here once the weather gets a little nicer of what the tree looks like now. On Tuesday, it will be two weeks old.

That's my house behind the tree, with the new windows. No, there is no fireplace, although they built a fake chimney. Would have been nice, though.
Love to all,
8^ )

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Sister, The 30-Year-Old!

Okay, this post is more about my WONDERFUL sister, Marie! Today is her



She is 30 today (ooh, almost typed in 20)!

Marie got the MOST-WONDERFUL present of all. First, tomorrow, my grandfather and his girlfriend of 18 years are getting married. Don't get me started. Don't want to talk about it now. This post is for Marie.

Anyway, I've been working with Vegas Princess since January to surprise Marie with her visit. They haven't seen each other in 2 years. The same day the wedding date was announced, VP sends me a text message, saying they just purchased their tickets. Hmmm! What a dilemma. What will we do? I told her to tell Joe that Marie wasn't allowed to come down here for the wedding. Just tell her straight out, "It's YOUR birthday. I've got something planned and you're not allowed to leave the state."

So, she stayed there. I knew all about it because I was doing reconaissance work for the group. Even my dad knew what was going on because I had to tell him. He told Marie not to come down because a big fiasco was happening. So, we all knew but her.

But, as you all have read, as Marie is so close, about 3 hours drive away, she comes home quite frequently. So, I have been having my fun razzing VP on the blog about how much I get to see her and she doesn't. Believe me, because VP is my "sister by proxy," we've been chatting much more on text msgs. We're both on Verizon Wireless so texting is free (gotta love it when it's free!). But, I digress. I told her all about how Marie was sticking up for VP because of the amount of razzing I've done. She still had NO CLUE about the trip.

So, here's the story from VP. Wednesday night, Joe, Marie's boyfriend, told Marie he had to go back to work for a while. Hmmm? Ok. Marie's off and at home. This was so he could pick up VP and Mr. VP at the airport. Getting home about 11pm, said guests get out of the car and make their way to the front door. Joe drives into the garage. While he's going in, they are dinging the doorbell. Marie gets nervous, "Who's dinging my doorbell at 11 at night?" She cautiously opens the curtain next to the front door. The look was one-in-a-million. Looking at Marie from outside are both VP and Mr. VP. She gets so excited she starts jumping in place and running around.

Marie called me yesterday morning.

"Yes. How are you? What's up?"

Then, she says something to me like, "It's no wonder I can't come down there for the wedding." Hmmm, indeed!

VP gets on the phone and tells me the story above and thanks me tremendously for the help. I told she won't be able to do this again to surprise her. Yep, this is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Marie gets back on the phone. "Okay. We're going to finish getting ready because we're going to the casino today."

"So, VP and Mr. VP flew all that way to see you to go to the casinos."

I now Marie stopped to think about that statement, especially since VP and Mr. VP are from Vegas. She started laughing, then told VP what I just said.

I know there' s going to be a huge party for my sister. Enjoy! I'm glad I was able to help in this surprise. I think I could work as a spy for a company. This was fun!

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. I've got 3 posts before this that I'm writing today. It's been a very hectic week, with school and home, and kid, etc.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Today's Carnival and the Elyria Levy Issue #7

Today, Sunday, the Elyria Schools had a carnival in support of the Levy Issue. The school is the WORST high school in the state of Ohio right now. If the voters will pass a levy, for 3.3 million dollars, the state has promised to pay for 40% of the cost of building a new high school, which is 24 million dollars.

How can the voters of this city say no to something like this? For me, my house is valued at $100k. This means my property taxes will go up approximatley $9 per month. I can handle that. What I see is the opporutnity this city and school system has for becoming a desirable city to live. People will see that a new high school is being built and will want to move here for the opportunity for their kids to attend.

I can imagine that technology will be included in the building of this school. Just as other "ring" suburbs of Cleveland are growing by leaps and bounds, this city could become a "wanted" city too. Yes, this means property taxes will go up because families want to live here. But, this also means opporutnity for additional jobs, etc.

Rob and I have been making the investment in our home because we know that we will be here for a while. If my daughter gets a new high school, I would more than welcome staying here until she graduates. We have been very proactive in her learning and will continue to do so.

Every parent should be just as proactive in wanting the best for their kids. With this levy passing, they will.

Okay, that' s it for me on this subject. Leave comments and I'll respond in kind.


Love to all,
8^ )

Excercise, Exercise, Exercise

Okay. So the weather is getting nicer. This week, I've actually been able to do lots of walking in the mornings. A round trip from home to school and back home again, without deviating is almost a mile.

Plus, the last time I went to the doctor, she told me I had lost 11 pounds in two months. Pretty good, eh? To top it off, this month, I've lost almost five pounds. I think two things have made this possible:

1. my night classes, making me eat earlier in the evening
2. overall, eating less because I've been so busy

My goal now, since the weather is getting nicer, is to introduce more fresh veggies and fruits back into my diet. I've had the opportunity to eat more salads over the past couple of weeks. I think since I've been cooking earlier, that's helped as well. Because of my class schedule and Rob's working at night, on the nights he's working, I've cooked our dinner before he and I go off to work/school. So, come evening, typically I'm not even hungry. But, if I don't get to cook before school, I am hungry. This hasn't been too often, but the earlier dinners have been very helpful.

So, as the weather continues to be nice (and warm), I will walk.

Love to all,
8^ )

This is a WAR ZONE Man!

You read that right! My house is currently not FIT for company. As I stated in an earlier post, we are currently working on fixing up our house. Because of the house having the original plaster walls, the walls have cracks in them. Rob has been working to open up the cracks to accept new "goop" (for lack of a better word), like a new plaster to fill the cracks. We are also working on painting the walls and windows.

When the new windows were put in the house, the installers used pine wood to make window sills and the trim work. Because pine isn't a good receiver of stain, at least this pine wasn't going to be good for stain, we opted for painting. The windows are now white painted. At the same time, we are using the same white paint on our ceiling. Again, spoken (and pictured earlier) our ceiling is the original plaster ceiling because we found the wire mesh within the plaster. When we changed out the light for our ceiling fan, that we've carried with us from house to house for the past 10 years, there was a lot of fixing that needed to be done to make the space nice. There was no way we could duplicate the texuring done on the ceiling. So, that was fixed with the architectural feature. Rob has started painting this as well.

With the walls, when the windows were done, we were able to collect a nice sample of the wall paint. After taking it to Lowe's, we were able to match what was on the walls (because we like the color). We have started painting the walls and the have two of the windows in the great room (living/dining room combo) started.

At the same time, I said to Rob, "Since we're fixing cracks and such, why don't we move our thermostat down the hallway."

Our house is a ranch-style house. The furnace lives in the basement, just under the dining room. And the thermostat was living in the dining room. Well, once this room got to the designated temp, it shut off, leaving the rest of the house cold. Cassi's room is the farthest from the furnace and is always the coldest/hotest. With the move of the thermostat, this should fix the problem. I know our great room will get warmer because of the change, but, I can just close a vent and push the heat to the back of the house.

Next, most of the house as the original heating vents. They are kind of angled, etc. Instead of paying for new vents, Rob started cleaning up the vents and painting them white. At the same time, we've got hard wood floors under our carpeting. We have started the task of removing the carpeting and will eventually this summer refinish the floors, starting with the great room. About half of the floor has had the carpeting removed. While this is going on, Rob has been painting the floor trim work white to match the windows. It's really starting to look nice. Yes, I've got pictures and will add them in another post.

As we've been removing the carpeting, a strange thing was found. In the far right corner, between the two dining room windows, you find the corner unstained. Then, moving up the wall, you can see where there were shelves placed against the wall. Hmmm? I believe there was a corner cabinet in this room. Very sad that the unit isn't still there. I would really enjoy putting another one there sometime in the future. NO, not now.

But, with all this moving and such, all of my STUFF has to go somewhere. So, I've been boxing up as much stuff as possible and taking it to the basement.

Once we're ready to refinish, the furniture will go out in the garage. What fun that will be!

On the bright side, on Saturday, we went to a local flea market, about 20 minutes west of here. A business that was in one of the buildings was going out of business, looked like the last day. They were giving away BOXES of ceramic wall tiles for FREE!

Yes, you read that right, for FREE! Eventually, both the bathroom and the kitchen need to be gutted and fixed correctly. The kitchen was done before we bought the house, but half-ass! I'll probably keep the cabinets, but need to fix the countertops and will need to gut and redo the walls, etc. That probably won't happen for a few years.

But, with the free tiles, here's what I got. Each box has 80 tiles in it. I did find 1 box that had 2-3 tiles broken on the edges, but they could still be used where a tile needs to be cut anyway. But, the colors: dusty rose and black. I've got 11 boxes of the dusty rose and 8 boxes of the black. Based on pricing of tiles at Lowe's, I've got almost $800 of tiles for free. Luckily, we had our wagon at the flea market that day. Let me just TELL you how low that car was riding from the weight. But, free tile, I'll take it. Mom just suggested to me that the tiles could be used in my bathroom. Hadn't thought of it, but there might be enough for the bath walls, at least. Hmm, that might look nice. But, it might be a year or two before the bathroom even gets done.

And, since the windows were done, I've got slabs of marble that were the old window ledges in my living room. I might try to get at least the smaller pieces out to my garage this weekend. They need to go for now. I'm still unsure what to do with them. Someone suggested trying to sell them in my grandpa's shop. I could try that after I know I've got enough for my kitchen.

Okay, that's it for now with this story. I'll post pictures later on the progress. I know it will take all summer for this to get done.

Love to all,
8^ )

My Take on the Shootings at Virginia Tech

Okay. I wanted to wait the week out before putting in my two cents on this whole tragedy of the shootings at Virginia Tech.

First off, I believe there has been way too much media coverage of the shooter. At this point in time, there should be more focus on the victims. I agree with the majority of people who said that video should have never been shown. I think NBC was in error in showing the video. After the damage was done, the company gave the shooter his "15 minutes of fame," for three days straight. I liked what one news anchor at our Fox station said. "We will only show the video again if we believe there to be news-worthiness to show it." or something like that.

This was a HUGE tragedy that could have been averted. Don't the professionals know when something is wrong? I believe the creative writing professors REALLY know their students, especially those who decide to CONTINUALLY write about death and destruction in their English classes. AND, it seems like it's someone's fault for pushing the concern of those professors aside.

Then, to top it off, I hear on the news last night that the guy was buying ammo clips from eBay. I'm sorry. That's where I draw the line on what should be for sale on eBay. Because of the gun control isssues, there should be a "no sale" for these types of things on eBay. I love doing my shopping on eBay and have also sold items there in the past. And, I've always said that, if you can think of it, it's on eBay. But, someone has to decide what SHOULDN'T BE sold there. Hmmm? I think, the President of eBay should do so!

I'm sorry about being so negative. As my sister, Marie, has said, which I agree, I am not a very emotional person. I am definitely a very logical thinker. Don't know when this happened. But, sometimes I think, if I become emotional, I might spiral down into a dark depression that I can't get out.

Yes, I suffer from depression, but realize if I just DEAL with it, I can handle it. And, unlike Mr. Shooter (sorry not going to use his name), I'm not going to go out and KILL innocent people. It seems like his parents had problems that got pushed to him, but not sure. Of course, everyone will speculate, because nothing concrete will ever come from it.

But, I do see lawsuits coming from this, especially toward the college for not protecting the students better. It appears that the law is protecting the wrong person (or people), those who hurt the innocent, as in this case.

Okay. With that said, I'm going to close this. This was a MAJOR tragedy. It will take a long time to recover, but those involved will.

Love to all,
8^ )

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Computer Fun

OK, I had to borrow this from Ralph at Homespun Headlines:

Okay, I have to admit it – some computer people DO have a sense of humor. I received this not long ago.

Give it a try.

1. Go to
2. Click on "Maps" (along the top). Or click on "Google Maps".
3. Click on "Get Directions" (along the top.)
4. Type "New York" into the first field, and "London" into the second, then hit 'get results.'
5. Read line #23. (On some systems it is line #24)

This is HILARIOUS! I laughed. Have a good one today.

Love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Mending of the Cracks

And some paint along the way!

Wednesday, we started our MAJOR construction/renovation project on our great room (living/dining room). In this room, it has the original plaster walls and ceiling. We know for a fact that the ceiling has the wire mesh that keeps the plaster up. However, on the walls and on the ceiling, dry wall is hung behind the plaster, making the walls and ceilings thicker. Of course, over time, the plaster cracks with the settling of the house.

Rob took the time with the major cracks and opened them up. He then started "gooping" the cracks with new plaster to seal them.

Once this is done and ready, we'll be painting the walls and ceiling. We were able to get a chip of wall paint from when the window guys were here to be able to match the coloring. Can't wait until we can paint. I know it will be hard work but will look great when done.

Love to all,
8^ )

Sowing the Seeds of Love

The planting of our first tree together.

On Tuesday, we planted our first tree together. Yes, there is a story behind this one statement. Here goes:

Monday, I went to school, and I had to go early for a meeting with my professor. Rob had to get up to get Cassi. Little did I know what he had in store. Because the weather was nice, Rob cut the grass for our front yard. For those of you who have seen our property layout, our house is situated on a small corner lot. Our house is a long ranch with a garage. So, when you look at our house, there' s no real "front" yard or "back" yard. There's a yard that's to the right of the house, that I call the "front" yard. There's a yard to the left of the house that I call the "back" yard.

In the front yard, there was a Yucca plant. The thing was huge and UGLY. Rob had been saying since last fall that he wanted the thing gone. But, didn't say what he wanted to replace it. Maybe flowers, but little else in the discussion.

Monday, I tried chatting with him in class, but didn't get responses. I called on the way home from work to no reply call.

Hmmm! What was going on? I got home to all three garbage cans FULL with roots and leaves and things from the front yard. He said he finally dug up the nasty thing. It was a good thing because somewher along the way, someone dropped a hyperdermic needle (with the needle still in it) into the plant. LOVELY! He had almost poked it.

There was garbage and other things in the plant too. We actually didn't know what kind of plant it was until he came across the original nursery tag with the name. There was more root to come out, but Rob was tired.

Tuesday, we spent the day together, driving from one nursery to another, looking for something to put in this place. He was thinking a tree. MMM! Sounded like a good idea. But what kind of tree? We started at Pettiti Garden Center. This is the Microsoft of Garden Centers in this area, taking over everywhere. The prices were high and no one was available to ask questions. After going to two other places and having lunch, we ended up at Home Depot. Rob stopped at the cashier who was working outside. We had our station wagon and asked the girl to ask the garden employee if they had anything that we could wrap around the base of the tree (to cover the pot and dirt) so the dirt wouldn't fall out onto my car.

We waited and waited and waited. No one came. I went and looked at other trees to see which one I liked best. Oh, didn't I tell you? At the third place, the employee was very nice and helped us decide what type of tree would work in that part of our yard. The type? A white flowering, weeping cherry tree.

At Home Depot, I went back to the cashier. She told me the garden guy said they didn't have anything, but would come to help. NOT AT ALL! Rob was so fed up at this point. And, because I was a former employee of Home Depot, know for A FACT, they have shrink wrap to cover the bottom. They get shipments in every night, where the guys have to wrap the stuff they put up in the rafters.

Went to the front desk. It took almost 10 minutes for a manger to walk out. He ended up helping us get the tree, covering it and getting it paid for. Rob ended up having to sit in the back of the wagon, with my driving to get it home.

Rob finished cleaning up the hole and digging out where the tree would go. We put the tree, with pot into the hole. Rob picked up the pot and smacked at it. As he was pulling the tree out, I was pulling the pot down and out of the way.

We planted our first tree. Then, I started get weepy and started thinking in terms of poetry what this event was too us. That's when the title of this post popped into my head. The title is the title of a song from Tears for Fears from the 80's.

With love and caring, we planted our first tree. As long as it will have us, we will care for it and watch it grow. We did this together. I feel this was a perfect act of love for us.

After, while I was at my Tech Writing class. Oh, yeah. I still had class Tuesday night. We turned in our major term papers. Rob and I texted each other during class. I told him thank you for including me in the event. I really enjoyed working with him to plant the tree. He enjoyed it too. We haven't had good events like this recently.

I'm glad we did it!

Love to all,
8^ )

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Marie's Cake (the story)

Again, this backwards thinking is weird. I wanted everyone to read the story before seeing the pictures. Because when you post, the most recent is first, you would see the pictures before the story.

So, here's my story...ah, Marie's Cake story...

A couple of weeks ago, Marie texted me (cell phone text) that IF I was going to get her a birthday cake for her birthday, that we celebrated two weeks early, she wanted a cake with sour cream frosting. Then, last week, for Easter, I made homemade biscuits and had strawberry shortcake for dessert. This week, early in the week, she says (in another text msg), she decided she wanted the strawberry shortcake instead. This wouldn't be as bad for the sugar for my dad. He has to watch his sugar intake.

But, as I told everyone, no shortcake. I was going to make a cake instead. And, the cake I made?

It was a yellow cake with vanilla pudding and strawberries in the middle. On top, was a receipe from Kraft Foods for sour cream frosting. The recipe was really easy:

2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip

Mix the sour cream and powdered sugar together, then add the cool whip. It was really light and airy. I frosted the cake and put the cake in the fridge. The frosting became solid, which was good. I then covered the top with sliced strawberries. A yummy cake indeed.

Now, it wasn't your ordinary cake. I have the "Mix 'N Bake" Cake pan. Yes, like the one you see on TV. But, for Marie's bday, I tried to find a large one for her, one that I could order through my business. No such luck. But, I found the mini versions of these things. So, they were perfect for her to make for her and Joe. She'll be able to make 4 cakes at once and freeze 2 of them for the next time they want cake.

I left home the same time Rob did. He texts me that he wanted me to follow him on the turnpike toward's his job. This is a second way I can get to mom and dad's from my house. But, I tell him I don't have any money as it costs $.50 to get across one exit. He tells me to follow me and get on. He'll pay for me at the other end. How sweet. I asked him why he asked me to follow him that way, he said, "that way i could look at you a little longer before i go to work. love ya more than you could imagine." I just love this guy, but have been having some personal difficulties. Will get into that more another time.

So, I got to mom's about 6:30 and had the cake about 7:30. I got some good pictures with Marie and the cake. (remember, picts in the next post below). We cut the cake into 8 pieces. After cutting the first slice, Marie was shocked. She was really excited to see the type of cake I made her. I got her to take a picture of the inside of the cake too.

Everyone enjoyed the cake. Dad had two pieces. Marie wanted to share, but dad didn't. They went round and round a few times where Marie would tell dad, "We can share." And he would reply, "No, you eat it." I stepped in and told Marie, "He doesn't want to share, he wants the whole piece or none at all." So, they fought rock-paper-scissors. Dad one with scissors to Marie's paper. I was surprised that dad enjoyed the cake because he's not a big sour cream fan. But, no one told him it was made with sour cream. You couldn't really taste it from the cool whip and the powdered sugar.

So, that's my story and I'm sticking with it. I left and came home about 8:30. The weather was getting bad last night. I didn't want to have a problem coming home.

Love to all,
8^ )

Marie's Cake (the picts)

Cassi and Marie.

Can you believe my daughter took the picture of Marie and Me?

Marie with the cake, a good picture.

What the cake looks like on the inside.

The cake before I left my house.

As you can see, an enjoyable night was had.
Love to all,
8^ )

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cassi is SO Smart...

Again, more from Thursday night. Lots of stuff about Cassi. Thursday, when we were coming home, we drove past a few restaurants. And, just like the golden arches, someone would recognize a restaurant based on it's logo. But, this isn't the case typically for Cassi. We drove past a Denny's restaurant. Not a typical restaurant of choice, so Cassi doesn't recognize the logo, like she would Burger King or McDonald's.

But, the next thing we hear is Cassi saying, "Danny's." Not realizing what she's done, we ask her what she's talking about. She says, "Look. Danny's."

Oh. Cassi was using her sound-out skills to try to figure out what was written on the logo.

"Very good. Close. Actually, Denny's. E, eh. But, VERY GOOD. Did you sound out your letters?"


So, Cassi is using her skills from school to figure out words on her own. This is a big step for her regarding her learning disability, trying to get her to figure out words by herself.

Thought this would be a good share.

Love to all,
8^ )

Friday, April 13, 2007

More Cassi on Thursday...

You won't believe what else she tried yesterday. Last night, we went to a local craft store, called Pat Catan's. It's an awesome craft store with good prices.

We primarily went out because Rob wanted to run the car after the parts being changed. But, I'm looking for envelopes that I can use to mail out 4x6 photos (of course, I didn't get them).

As we're walking through the store, we come across these collapsible milk crates that have kids' supplies, paint, brushes, etc. The box was $14.95. She says to us how she could use the craft kit. Then, she says:

"You can buy it for me. I've already had my hair cut today."

Huh? Like that has anything to do with the decision to buy the thing or not. Yes, for those of you who've seen her pictures recently, with LONG hair. Her hair is now short, up to her ears and layered.

Marie couldn't believe how good they looked. Plus, a lot of changes since Marie was here last in February: new windows, new living room furniture, new hearing aides (I spell aides my own way), and new hairdo for both Cassi and Me. I think she was a little shocked.

I gave Marie her pictures of Cassi, along with her birthday present. I got her the Mini Bake'NFill Cake Pans. They're like the large one, but you make 4 smaller ones at one time, instead of one large one. I think she should use them when she gets back home for her next party.

Okay. Gotta go. Just heard the ding of my rotisserie machine. I'm making chicken and stuffing for din-din before Rob goes to work. He'll be getting up in a few.

Love to all,
8^ )

My Daughter...

will try anything, once, twice, etc. This time was the first.

Yesterday, Rob and I went to the auto supply store to pick up more parts for the wagon. We just cannot afford to buy another car, additional car payment, higher insurance rates. So, as we can, we've been buying the parts and fixing ourselves.

So, yesterday, Rob purchased an idle control valve, O2 sensors, and PCV valve. The O2 sensors were the worst to change. He ended up having to spend an additonal $100 to have a Tuffy car repair place to put the sensors in for him. They had to crack open the torch to burn the old crap away for the things to come out.

But, at the auto supply store, Cassi says she wants her "little girl" snow shovel. We'd seen it there the last time. It's actually a snow shovel that can be left in the car in case your tires get stuck wherever you might be in a snow storm. But, to her, it's "her size" shovel. The guys said they had just boxed them up and put them away. I told Cassi we could get one now, even though she probably won't get to use it until next year.

So, I pull out the cash I have on hand, a ten and a five. The total with tax is $9.50. I tell Cassi to give the man the ten. Well, the ten is Cassi's money from Big Pa Dave and Bea for Easter. She tells me she can't spend it because Aunt 'Re is coming to buy her games. She gives the guy the five. No, I tell her to give him the ten because the five isn't enough. She was Hell-bent on not giving him the ten because she thought her money was going away. She didn't want to have to buy the shovel herself. She wanted me to buy it!

I told her to give the man the money. Mommy would go to the bank before 'Re comes so she would have money to spend with her. Low and behold, last night, I picked up a twenty for them. OK, all was good with the world again.

And, today, Marie sent me a text message. Besides the $20 I gave them, Marie had $13 for her good days in March. Cassi bought two movies with the money. Much better use of the money than games.

Thought everyone would laugh that Cassi just wouldn't give up that ten to buy the shovel. Now, we think she won't get to use it until next year.

Love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Today and Work...

Just came back from picking up some groceries and din-din. We were basically completely out of meat. Luckily, Giant Eagle had the steaks and roasts on sale for BOGO (buy one get one free). So, we picked up the big packs that had 3 steaks per pack and 4 packs were picked up.

Today started slow, but I was up at 7. I completed my poetry homework for today. I had a chapter to read from a poetry analysis book. Even though I read it 3 times, it still just didn't sink in. It could be possible that it's because I had never read this poet before, Gwendolyn Brooks. This means because I've never read her, I am unfamiliar with how she writes and what she writes. Then, for those of us in class who brought poems, we got to read them. I have been a little disappointed because the past few times I've brought poems, I've been able to read them, but have not had my poems workshopped like the other classmates.

Nuala had 3 professors in class today. She was having a peer review today. I really wanted to sound like I knew something, but I was so "not with it" that I thought I sounded goofy.

In other news, I entered a creative writing contest. The English department awards up to $3000 worth of prizes to those who enter. The money goes into our school account as scholarship money. Nuala is one of the judges. Any money would be good, even money for textbooks in the fall.

In the fall, I'm scheduled for 3 classes. I've got 7 classes left for my degree. Whoo Hoo! So, this definitely means next year will be full-time. So, in the fall, I've got an English class, and Anthropolgy class (gen ed requirement), and an Urban Studies class (professional writing requirement). I can't wait to take the UST class. It is a class in grant writing and proposal development. Yes, a writing class. And, to top it off, the class happens on Saturdays. But, I've been trying to get into this class since I started last year. So, when I graduate, I'll have a BA in English and a Professional Writing Certificate.

Cool, eh?

For next week, I've got to make sure that my journal is completed and up to date for tech writing, along with having my term paper completed. Plus, for the rest of my time with tech writing, I've got my resume to turn in and an application letter to write. Plus, I need to put together and present an oral presentation based on my term paper.

So, this weekend will be VERY busy for me. Also, this weekend, I'm going to try a poetry writing fest to write up my last 7 poem forms. This way, they'll be done and I can do free verse writing for the rest of the time. Just like last summer, I'll be taking everyone's photo for the class manuscript, producing the class manuscript, and recording everyone for an audio CD. Then, for the last week of class, I'll get everything back to everyone. Also, I've got a 35 line poem to memorize for my final.

But, for now, I'm going to relax for the rest of the night. Maybe do some laundry. Everyone else is already in bed. Rob worked a double last night (3pm until 7:30am this morning). Cassi spent the night with Dan & Alexis. They've invited her back for the day tomorrow. Plus, tomorrow, Cassi wants her hair to be cut.

I'm watching Glenn Beck talk show. I like watching him and Nancy Grace on Headline News Channel.

Love to all,
8^ )

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Marie Comes to Town

This weekend, Marie will be coming to visit (sorry Vegas Princess). Because she's not coming down for her birthday, which is fine with me, she's coming this weekend. I can't wait. I've got some work to do for school, but will definitely get the chance to see her. We're going to celebrate her birthday this weekend. Yes, I've got her present. I've actually had it since January. I ordered it in January, expecting it to take a number of weeks to arrive. It arrived in a week. I liked it so much that I got one for her and one for me.

But, first, Marie asked for a specific cake with sour cream icing. Then, she asked me last night to do strawberry shortcakes because we had them on Sunday for Easter.

Well, I'm not making the shortcakes. Sorry, Marie. I'm going to make a cake myself. But, I think you'll enjoy it. I'll make it on Friday and bring it over for Saturday night. I just KNOW you'll enjoy it.

Ok. I'll go now. After the cake is done, I'll take photos for all to see. Then, I'll take pictures with Marie.

Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, April 09, 2007

Nothing Witty...

To my 4 adoring fans (you know who you are), my apology for nothing witty to say lately. But, I promise to change that soon. Somehow, I'm in a funk. It didn't help when Marie told me yesterday that the Buffy show will be having its Season 8 coming out in comics.

Darn her. Of course, I had dreams this morning from about 5:30 until 9 that wouldn't let me wake up. It had to do with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. I'm still in a daze about it.

Okay, gotta go for now. I'm off to school soon!

Lots of love,
8^ )

Easter Weekend = Snow

This weekend was bad. Saturday night, Rob and I went to the eastside of Cleveland, visiting friends. On the way over, it was flurrying a little our way. I told Rob that I thought that once we hit the county line, there would be a curtain. That curtain would keep the bad weather in Cuyahoga County. Well, I wa right. Once we hit the county line, the roads got nasty. Once we hit downtown and headed east, snow blasted us right in the face. We travelled right into whiteout conditions. Going up the hill at Noble Road (eastside), we didn't make it half way up. Cars started slipping back down the hill. We had to divert to the side, go back down the hill and try a different road to get up the hill. We did get up and didn't go back down until we were done visiting.

After visiting Rob's former co-worker, we went to Jacci's house. They sold their house and moved into an apartment, a much better move for them. It's a smaller place, which means not as many people can be there at one time. This, I think, will be better for them. So, we stayed out until 9-ish. It took about an hour and a half to get home.

Sunday was REALLY bad. We knew it would be bad because of our trip the night before. But, Sunday was also Easter Sunday. Mom and dad were to be coming over. They had Cassi at their house for 2 nights sleepover. And, they were coming to eat at our place because we had all the food at our house. Mom calls at 10, saying they are not coming over. The back driveway at their building is so filled with snow that none of them are getting out. AND, they might not even get to work today.

As I'm talking to them, Rob is standing outside smoking. Yes, he smokes, but doesn't do so in the house. He hears me and smiles from ear to ear. We just happen to have a snow blower in the garage and NO SNOW at our house. So, Rob says to tell them to stop shoveling if they are. We're getting dressed and are on our way.

Have Blower Will Travel!

It was very difficult to get down the alley to their place. The snow REALLY was coming down. We got the wagon into the end of the opening and stopped. I had to wait because the drift was over my door. Rob got the blower out and moving. It took about an hour to blow all the snow away. But, would have taken dad and grandpa the entire day. Rob even blew the opening to grandpa's shop door.

Then, we came home with lots of stuff from Cassi. They came later. I had put the ham in the crock pot before we left for their house. This was a good thing because the ham ended up being done by 4. We ate ham, taters, veggies. Then for desert had strawberry shortcake with homemade biscuits.

Right now, the first load of dishes are in the dishwasher awaiting to be started. I'm also washing laundry.

I had some inspiration to write a poem this morning, which is good because I needed to write one for my poetry class today.

I'm still out of my tech writing class this week. I've got a few things left before finishing my paper for next week: citing page #s, summarizing paragraphs, and addresses for the manufacturer companies.

Okay. Gonna go for now.

Love for now,
8^ )

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Funny Story

Yesterday, as we were waiting for Alexis's mom to arrive, Cassi's Pa and Nana arrived. Everyone sat down while the kids were playing the PS2.

I'm working on cleaning up the place because, boy was it a mess! I had already taken Cassi's crayons, markers, craft scissors, and coloring pads to her room. Now, all that was left was blankets, pillows, and such. As I was talking to mom, she starts to tell me,

"You remember last year when I got Cassi a B-A-S..."

"I know what you're talking about. And this year you got 2." I tell her back, right with Cassi sitting at Nana's feet.


As this quick conversation is going on, you see Cassi with her eyes toward her brain, in a thinking mode.

"You know, your grandchild is trying to figure out what you are spelling." I said to mom.

"Yes, she's no dummy you know."

"Correct. She's no dummy. That's why I stopped you."

Cassi was trying to figure out by spelling what we were spelling and trying to sound out the word. Yes, folks. She probably would have figured out Nana was spelling, "BASKETS."

We won't be able to spell things out in front of her anymore. She's able to learn to figure out the words on her own. First step to independence (behind walking, eating, dressing, etc.)

Thought everyone would have a good laugh!

Lots of love,
8^ )

Where Did Our WARM Weather Go?

Help! Does anyone know where our warm weather went to? Is Mother Nature telling us we did bad by changing the time-change thing?

I can't believe how cold it is outside. Even though we've got the new windows, the windows in the office and Cassi's room do not have the curtains back on them. I can sense the cold outside. As I'm sitting in the office right now, I can look out the office windows and see the cold outside. Even though it is morning, the sun is NOT out. I can see the flurries hovering and falling down.

Hopefully, this trend ends soon. Help!

Lots of Love,
8^ (

Stay warm out there!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Our Company

Over the past few weeks, Cassi and her friend, Alexis, have done a lot of stuff together. Just this week, Cassi got to go to Dan's & Alexis's Tuesday while I was at school. Wednesday, she got to go with them to the IX Indoor Amusement Park. Because of the bad weather, and the kids twisting his arms, they didn't leave until 10pm, when the fun closed. On the way home, they called asking if Cassi could spend the night.

No problem. After taking their time from the weather, they stopped at the house and picked up stuff for her for overnight. I was to pick her up at noon-ish. Well Thursday was a busy one for me. Out of $3k in chocolate ordered, we ended up missing 1 item. Got in touch with that mom and got to the candy store. Got the item and dropped it off at her job. We (the candy company and I) apologized to her for the inconvenience. Also, I got to go to Sears and pick up the pictures that came in (the ones shown in an earlier post).

But, after all this, I get to Dan's house. No Dan's car. I call him. Here they drove over to the mall to play. OK. I drive over to the mall to meet them. There's a "stand" in the middle of the mall that is acrobatics stuff. The kids have the ability to get hooked up to long bungy cords and jump up and down on trampolines, flipping if they want. I had gift certificates for 3 more rides. So, I brought them to him so the kids can jump.

I get home and nap for about a half hour. They get to our house at 3. Dan and his other daughter, Morgan, along with Alexis, stay until about 4:30. Cassi asks if Alexis can stay. Sure, no problem. But, she ends up leaving because mom hasn't called yet.

A little later, about 6:30, we call Dan. Alexis went home, but her mom is unsure about coming over because she doesn't know me. No problem. But, call her house. Also, Alexis's mom has to work Friday and doesn't know where to take Alexis for care.

I called. Explained who I was and if Alexis could come spend the night. Mom isn't sure about the care-thing. I told her to bring her over. I'm not working or in school today. I'll keep her. Besides, they only live one street over. As soon as mom comes in the door, she realizes who I am.

Yes, she does know me and is relieved to relate me with the person she says hi to at the school.

Let me tell you, I don't want ANY more kids. For those of you who know Cassi, she can be very strong-willed, just like me. Well, she needs attention 100% of the time or else she gets bored, also like me. Alexis is the same way. Even though she has a little sister, she likes to be in charge and order people around.

Last night and today turned out to be a very interesting experience. Last night, we did Easter projects. First, I boiled eggs and got them ready for coloring. They played on the PlayStation. Then, once the eggs were done, they played games a little more. Then, I put the eggs to the side and got out craft projects. Rob and I purchased them at the beginning of the week at 50% off at Joann Fabrics. There were foam bunnies, lambs, and smore bunnies. We got them started. At some point, we had to quit because glue was everywhere and the foamies needed to dry.

The girls got their jammies on and got ready for bed. The girls crashed in the living room, in front of the TV. With the new windows (oh, didn't you know we FINALLY GOT THEM?) in place, it was a heck of a lot warmer in the living room. I was more comfortable letting them sleep there. They watched the Disney Movie, The Wild and ate popcorn. By 11:30, they were tired, even though the movie wasn't over. Shut the movie down and they went straight to sleep.

Me, another story. After doing some texting back and forth to Rob, he tells me he is super busy. I shut off my TV and go to sleep. I am awake by 6:30 this morning. They are up by 9. So, today, we completed craft projects, more games, and even went to BK for lunch. I had 2 coupons for free happy meals. The girls got nuggets. But, I also got a cheeseburger meal for myself. I split the fries amongst the girls. I ate my burger and a Hershey Ice Cream pie. OK. Guys kills me! But, I didn't eat any fries and I've lost another 3 pounds this week. My reward since I've been eating less.

This afternoon, the girls played on Cassi computer some, played in the basement some, and also played on the PS2 again. Pa and Nana got there at 4. Alexis's mom got there about 4:30. Alexis took all her crafts home, along with 6 of the eggs we made. I think her mom was happy that Alexis had fun. I told her the truth. It was a little demanding on me today, but okay. She's independent just like Cassi is. This is a good thing.

Then, Pa, Nana, and Cassi left. Yeah for me! Got to relax. Rob and I had dinner. I put Rob's clothes out for work. I printed Cassi's pictures. Some will go in the mail, some will be handed out. I gave mom and dad their Easter gift. Marie will get hers when she comes for a visit next week (sorry Vegas Princess, we get all the luck!) before her 30th Birthday. Ooops! Did that slip out? Yep, my little sister will be 30! It's all DOWN HILL from here!

I've still got more pictures to send the friends. Still trying to decide which pictures to print for them.

Okay. Gonna go now. I'm in better spirits today. I'm relaxing by myself this evening. Sunday will be crazy as we'll have a house full for Easter (Marie, call us here).

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

CRAPPY Wednesday...

Okay. For all my adoring fans (all 4 of you and you know who you are), yesterday SUCKED. I've already quickly sent a message to Marie, my wonderful sister, explaining shortly what happened.

As you know, I put my letter of recommendation out here a few days ago. Yesterday was a reception and announcement of a $2500 scholarship, given by National City Bank. This was the first time for this scholarship. I felt I was the prime candidate to receive the gift because: 1. I am a woman, 2. I have a family, and 3. I am a non-traditional student (35 right now).

None of that mattered. As a matter of fact, I was the only non-colored person in the room besides Rob who came with me and the Career Services director and some of the staff from National City Bank. This scholarship was to be given to someone who is a minority. Granted, I don't look like a minority, but I am. I am descended from an Argentinian (sp). My mother's mother's father was born in Argentina. This makes me hispanic, even though I present myself with European traits. If anyone has ever seen my sister, you would see the hispanic in our family line as she looks exactly like my grandmother, but a little taller.

So, even before the event began, Rob and I were able to see the "check" with the name. Wasn't me. With all of the students in the room, I was the oldest. So, the whole thing was ruined for me.

But, to start the day, the whole day was crap. Rob finished working at the clinic and needed to turn in stuff. So, we went. One of my nails broke while I was waiting. AND, it hurt. Went to the salon to get them fixed. I was going there anyway because I was having them done for the reception. The paint job didn't turn out well and I had to go back to get them to fix it.

So, I got home to get ready. Remember that wardrobe malfunction last month? Well, I got the new one like I told you all, but left it hanging in my closet. Yesterday was the perfect day to wear it. I wasn't even in it 30 minutes when I ran my hands down the front of my dress to make sure everything was ok. UHUH! This time, on both sides of my dress, there was a rip. I hadn't even bent down to pick up anything. AND, this dress was one size larger than the first. You can believe I took the dress back. Luckily they gave me my money back for it.

But, when it happened, about 5 minutes before leaving, I told Rob then, I wondered why I was even going. If this was the precursor to what was happening for the day, then I know I didn't win. What a way to realize this!

To top off my night, I got home and got an email from DFAS. DFAS is Defense Finance and Accounting Service. This is where mom and dad work. Mom sent me the posting for summer employment in their office. Sounded like a good deal for me. The job was for an office clerk. I applied and put all my information back to when I formerly worked for the federal government. Plus, the fact that I'm in school because this job is for college students. I received my "email" last night saying they've processed my application. IF there is an opening, they will contact me. It was the old, "Thanks for applying but we don't really want you message." At least they were prompt with it.

So, needless to say, Wednesday was NOT good for me at all.

On a bright note, Cassi has had a VERY good week. She went to Dan's and Alexis's house Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday, she got invited to the IX Indoor Amusement Park (annual thing here at our MAJOR convention center). Then, got to spend the night. She is still there now. I will go about noon to get her. Then, tomorrow afternoon, she's going to Pa's until Sunday when they'll come here for Easter.

Okay. Gonna go now. Not going to be a good day.

Love to all,
8^ )

Monday, April 02, 2007

Been Sick...

I know Marie just called our dad to "gloat" as dad said about how healthy she is. Well, this weekend, my body decided to call it quits for me. First, I was tired Saturday, but I wanted to get my journals caught up for both classes.

But, first, Rob took me to breakfast before he went to bed as he worked Friday night and again Saturday night.

By the afternoon, my blood pressure decided to start skyrocketing. And, it didn't stop. Even now, my bp has been going up and down. It's been as high as 193/175 and as low as 110/60. It was a good thing Cassi wasn't home. My sleep was all off. I spent lots of time with the bathroom. I was nauseous.

This morning, Rob, after working Sunday night, took an hour nap and took me to the doctor. She didn't know what to take of my spikes in blood pressure. So, I'm on a bland food and liquid diet for the next week. But, when I went, I have come to find out that I've lost 11 pounds in the last 2 months. The doctor said the office would call me when the results were in. But, since my chart is on the internet, I think I'll take a look.

Well, last night, I did something bad. I don't want to go into it. But, just know I did my husband wrong. And for that I am truly sorry. This is something that has never happened before to us since we've been married. I don't know what scared me, but it made me very upset. Something that was none of my business.

For the world to know: Robert, I am SORRY! Don't know if you'll read it, but I mean it when I say it. You're the best thing that has ever happened to me. I intend to remain your wife for as long as you'll have me (40+ years).

Okay. That's it for now. I've got to call Nuala tonight. I ended up not going to class as I was REALLY tired. And, I won't be in class Wednesday as that is the night of the announcement of the scholarship. I still feel tired.

Love to all,
8^ )