Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cathy's Creative Services

First Day with MY Business...

Okay, so today was slow. In fact, there was HARDLY anyone at the flea market at all. I spent time with a little girl (mom & dad had a store site a few down from me) Cassi's age. I let her watch a movie because she was bored. Cassi didn't come until the afternoon.

The little girl's mom said that the slowness was probably for a few reasons:
1. the weather (hot then rainy)
2. there have been all kinds of festivals this month that people probably spent all their money on
3. it's the end of the month and people will have money in a few days

I realized I didn't really like the space I was in. But, I figured I would keep it and see what would happen. I went over to the office to pay my money for next week. Because I didn't start this past Saturday (birthday party of Rob's daughter), I had a credit. So, today, instead of paying for 2 days next week as you have to pay a week in advance, I only had to pay for 1 day. But, after leaving, I found out the other person who was my competition, for baby shower invitations, had left. The manager said she had to leave unexpectedly because of something with her husband. The only reason I could think of was that her husband was being called up to go to Iraq.

But, her loss is my gain. I am able to move to her spot (actually the one right next to her old one). I realized it was a nicer building and seemed to be a LOT cooler. The manager said it was almost 10 degrees colder. This is a bonus for me because of bringing and using my laptop. This will help keep it cooler. And, in this building, there are more crafty-type businesses. The people I was sitting near today all said that building gets less traffic. But, I think I'll do better overall. And, this spot is only $3 more a week. When Rob came and picked me up, we packed up everything because I get to go back tomorrow morning to setup.

But, alas, I made no money today. However, I did get a nibble on someone wanting Watkins Products stuff and a nibble on someone wanting custom-made magnets for her daughter's birthday. I've got the magnet stock that will print in my printer. Why not? And, the woman only lives about 15 minutes from me. I told we could turn around her needs pretty quickly. And, she looked at my tea bag envelopes and thought it was a good idea. She couldn't believe I am only charging $1 each (that's for the design, ink to print, paper, glue, and tea bag). When you get the stuff in bulk, it's really cheap to make them. The only time consuming part is the time to design, cut, and glue the envelope. If anyone is interested in a sample, just send me an email with your mailing address. I can send on to you. email:

Okay. I'm going to close now. I think I got about 3 hours of sleep last night. I've got some laundry to fold before Rob gets back.

On the home front: I've been helping Rob paint the trim. Dan is going to help him, maybe tomorrow to put the trim up. Once it's up and the room is finished painting, it will be time to move the furniture back, bring my hutch up from the basement, and all the CRAP that goes with it. My time is coming quickly. Plus, I've got the flea market the next 2 Saturdays and Wednesday. Yep, they are open on July 4. Hopefully, it's crowded and people like my tea bag envelopes because I've got buko made that are American Pride themed.

Lots of Love,
8^ )

Monday, June 25, 2007

Email Forward from My Mom...

And DEFINITELY worth the read! If this was EVER true, this country could go bankrupt!

This sounds a good plan to me.

Becoming Illegal---------
(Actual letter from an Iowa resident and sent to his senator)

The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington DC, 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to 'illegal alien' stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone else figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.

Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Donald Ruppert
Burlington, IA

Get your Forms (NOW)!!
Call your Internal Revenue Service 1-800-289-1040.

Please pass this onto your friends so they can save on this great offer

Not a bad idea in theory. And, if this is ANY snippet true, can you image how many million people would no longer want to be citizens of the US?

Lots of love,


8^ )

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I haven't posted in ages. Then, all of a sudden, I can't shut up!

8^ )

Other Projects Going on at the House...

If the "Week from Hell" wasn't enough, we've got other side projects going on at the house.

First, we have decided to try to make our own home-made, yes, from scratch, soda. Our first batch was root beer. Our first and only problem seems to be the fact that I had light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar. Note: The next batch will have dark brown sugar as we have now acquired it. The soda took about 2 weeks to make and the batch made 7 16-ounce bottles. The taste was AWESOME. The only drawback, don't sniff in the bottle. Because the soda is made with champagne yeast, it retains the yeast-y smell. Kinda strong. But, if you pour out the soda into a glass and drink it, it reminded me of a root beer barrel piece of hard candy. So, we want Cassi to help us with the next batch of cooking and getting the liquid together. I think she'll enjoy cooking with us.

Then, we've got a batch of wine fermenting in the basement. The wine will turn out like the Amber Mist wine, which is fine with me. We're making a batch of Exotic Fruit White Zinfandel. Once it's done, Dan and Rob plan on making another batch. It's fun to watch the juice, yeast, and stuff go from individual packages of stuff into good tasting wine. We did this once when we first got married. We made about 25 bottles of wine then. Our last bottle was drank about 2 years ago. Now that we've got a basement, we can use it to make and store the wine. But, this time, I'll be making the labels for our bottles. And, if everything goes well with the final stage, the wine will be ready just before my mom's birthday that is on July 9. I think I will give her a bottle for her birthday. No, Marie, I don't know WHAT to get her for her birthday. I did just give her a pair of jeans I can't wear right now. She's down at least 1 size in clothes.

Then, I'm pushing my business. For those of you who don't know, I've been trying off and on for the past few years to get a business started. Yes, I tried the direct-selling business, but I just didn't like pushing those products. I sold Tupperware. Yes, the products sell themselves, but when you don't know many people it's tough. Right now, Rob and I run a Watkins business. You can look at the products at: If you order online, they will set you up with a customer number. Just remember to tell them I sent you with my associate #342297 that way I will get credit.

They were the first direct-selling business, still in business since 1868. Before coming home one day from work and Rob telling me, "I hope we've got enough money in the account because I just started us in Watkins," I've never heard of it. I'm so glad I know now. In July, we'll be in our 4th year. The products are WONDERFUL. They carry over 350 products, dealing with seasonings, cleaning products, personal care products, and heritage medicinals. During the 1928 World's Fair, Watkins took GOLD MEDAL awards for their Vanilla, Pepper, and Cinnamon. If you looked in my kitchen cabinets, that's about all you'll find for the seasonings. I ABSOLUTELY adore the puddings. Since I started using them, and they are stovetop cook puddings, I refuse to use instant. Also, as a bonus, the pudding mixes double as pie fillings because they are so thick. The soup bases have less sodium than the stuff at the store, etc. Just shoot me an email if you want a catalog. I'll send you one and some samples of the lotions and seasonings I've got.

But, for as long as I can remember, I've been working on a computer. Even now, I've been on this computer off and of all day, doing stuff for my business. There is a flea market about a 10 minute drive west of me, called Jamie's Flea Market. They are open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I have a spot in one of their indoor buildings. This is a good thing because I am starting my Creative Services business. I have been doing lots over the past few years with regard to graphic design and desktop publishing. I have been putting together things like custom-designed tea bag envelopes. They are designed with the computer. I print them and cut them out. Then, I fold and glue the envelope together, putting the tea bag in before I seal it. I can design them for just about any occasion and can custom-design the standard ones I've already created. And, I can take your photo and REALLY customize it. I've got other stuff I'm going to sell dealing with kids' chore charts, reading list cards, etc. I've got many products. My cost to be there the 2 days? Just $28 a week, which includes a 50 cents a day electric charge. They've got outside spots I could be at, but the bonus here is that: 1. I can leave my stuff for the next day without having to setup and tear down every time, 2. I can bring my laptop and printer and work onsite where my prospective customers can see what I'm doing. I've been binding my sample templates to show my tea bag envelopes by their categories (halloween, birthday, american pride, etc.). I've also got a Web site that will have my custom-designed stuff on it to sell. The site is: You can go there, but right now, you can't get off the main page. There appears to be technical issues going on right now. With ALL THE OTHER STUFF, we've been doing, we haven't been able to fix. However, once it's fixed, I'll post again.

So, my summer will not be dull one moment. I go back to school in August and have 3 classes, and will be at school Monday afternoon through Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, plus continue to run my business.

And, this Thursday, I have a meeting with someone about a Technical Writer position. Professor Mary, bless her heart, referred me to someone at the school who owns a business a couple of streets over from school in downtown Cleveland. I'm interested to talk with him more about the business, etc.

Plus, I've got all the paperwork to get ready for PTO this summer. Really, to be honest, the people who were in charge before didn't know what they were doing because, again, this is like running a business. The principal agreed. I am running a non-profit organization.

Boy, and did I think I would EVER be doing stuff like this 10 years ago? NOPE!

Ok. Gotta go. I've got to get up early in the am. Cassi and I are going to Jamie's. Monday's and Thursday's in the am are devoted to the inside sellers to allow them to setup, etc. I'm bringing some of my stuff, along with chairs and tables and a Watkins sign to hang up. In the afternoon, I'll be taking her to the pool as a treat. It's supposed to get really HOT!

Lots of love,
8^ )

New Template

By the way, in case you've noticed, I put my "American Pride" theme up. Hope everyone enjoys. This will probably stay this way until before Halloween.

Love to all,
8^ )

Update on Nicole

In case you're wondering, Rob's daughter's name is Nicole. She turned 16 on Wednesday, and yes, that's just one day after mine. Yesterday, we went to a birthday party her mother gave her that was at a park on Lake Erie.

I hand-made 2 cards for her, one from us and one from Cassi. Cassi also colored a picture on the way to the party and gave it to Nicole. For her birthday, I noticed the following gifts:

  • cell phone with keyboard (like my phone and Rob's and Marie's)
  • digital camera with memory card
  • a box of Twinkies (I think this was a gag gift from mom's boyfriend)

She really enjoyed Cassi picture gift. The only issue with the cell phone is that it has text messaging. Well, I am not about to upgrade our phone plan to include unlimited texting. And, I told Rob this. He agreed. Right now, we pay enough each month for a share plan on the minutes. For our texting, Rob has the ability to send and receive 1500 msgs outside of the Verizon plan and I've got 500. I haven't needed to upgrade my and don't plan on it because ALL my texting is within the Verizon network. Hmmm? Wonder why I refuse to change companies? Even though everyone else might be cheaper? I'll keep Verizon. We've been with them since it was Airtouch (yep, that long). But, I digress. Luckily, with accessing our account online, I can keep track of how many msgs he's sent and received outside of the network.

But, Cassi had a really good time. They ordered pizzas and had a cake from Giant Eagle (local grocery store that has AWESOME cake). Anyway. Because it had been so cool, we decided not to let Cassi wear her suit to the lake. But, Rob walked with her on the edge, allowing her to get her feet wet and to let her collect sea shells. Yes, even though it is a lake, there are sea shells because it is a "salt" lake. One time, she came back with the bottoms of her shorts wet. Next thing we knew, she was soaked up to her hair. She was really having a good time with Nicole. And, Nicole watched her.

We stayed at the party about 2 hours. Then, because Cassi was wet, we went to mom and dad's house. Cassi stopped short of the door to make sure her feet were clean. Then, it was straight to the bathroom to get washed up. She decided she wanted to stay. Rob and I were working on the house last night and this morning and weren't going to go to church (yes, bad us). His grandmother will be here in a little over a week. He's trying his hardest to get everything done. Right now, the floor is done. Last night and today, Rob and Dan removed the floor trim. Because we have done so much to help Dan, and he's got a friend at a lumber company, Dan is going to pay for new trim wood for our floor. And, Dan's going to help Rob get it put in. Right now, I'm not doing much, but my time will come. Once the hutch comes back upstairs and the furniture gets back into the living room, it will be my job to populate everything with the "stuff" that's in the basement. But, last night, Rob did get to paint the ceiling and fill the holes in the window trim. Today, he filled the cracks in the walls. They should be dry tomorrow when he can come back into the living room and paint the walls.

So, Cassi stayed overnight. On the way home, Rob kept getting txt messages from Nicole. Because Rob was driving, he had me send the messages back and forth. One quest she asked him was the ability to spend time with him all by herself. Yes, that means no me, no Cassi. Now, you can all understand where I'm taking this line of thinking. It means that I'm jealous because I can't spend my time with my husband. The problem I have with this is that she asked him to take her out to dinner and a movie, "just the two of them." Here are my objections, that I told Rob:

  1. We don't have the extra money
  2. You don't spend time with OUR daughter by yourself
  3. WE don't get to spend time doing things just you and me because of issue #1

I told him, "How can you decide to go out with Nicole when we continue to tell Cassi that we can't go to the movies, etc. because we just don't have the extra money. Now all of a sudden you do because of her."

That just isn't fair. I told him if he starts spending time with Nicole, he ALSO has to make time to spend with Cassi alone. I understand he hasn't seen Nicole in 15 years, but he doesn't make the attempt to spend time with Cassi. And, yes, you can agree that I'm jealous that there's someone else in his life taking his time, time that would normally be spent with me. But, I just need time to get used to the new situation.

So, as I said, we came home and he painted. My part of the job was to watch the ceiling to make sure none of the areas were missed. And, even when he's doing the work, he enjoys my being with him to talk with him.

Overall, I felt very akward at the party. I didn't know anyone there, but the ex and Nicole. One of the ex's friends introduced herself to me, but I can't remember her name. I met the ex's mom. She seemed very brash and rude because of what she was saying during the party. Not many people talked to me. I was feeling akward because of the whole, "she's your ex and you had sex thing." For me, it's akward knowing that my husband has been with someone who will now be part of my life. He thinks I'm crazy. We've had this situation before where a friend of his wanted to be friends with me, but I chose not to because they had sex together. He added in the same conversation that, "Well, I didn't feel that way when I met your ex." For me, that situation was different because: 1. we were never married, 2. we never had a kid together, 3. he never stole money from me, 4. all the other reasons not directly implied about their relationship that Rob has told me.

I do like Nicole. I know she needs him and he needs her. It just seems like my needs (yes, it's all about me) and Cassi's needs will fall to second. Again, I'll keep you all updated on what happens. His parents and grandmother are coming in about a week and a half. Dan has already agreed to come get me and take me away from the house if the situation gets to be too much on me. But, I told Dan if I can't handle it, I'll just take a walk.

Oh, at the party, I spent some time walking around the beach, getting some nice pictures of the lake, with the sailboats, downtown Cleveland, and other pictures of the area. I'll post them after I upload them to my computer. Yes, and I'll even include the latest pictures of the floor.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Silent Internet this Coming Tuesday...

Yes, my friends, on June 26, the Internet will be all quiet. We get the most unusual emails in our box from our business (more info on this to follow). However, here is an email about what's going to happen to webcasting on Tuesday:

The Day the Web Goes Silent
Jason Lee Miller Staff Writer

Not a moment of silence, but a full day of silence is planned by US-based webcasters, lots of them, in protest of the Copyright Royalty Board's increase in royalty rates. Internet radio stations argue the rate hikes are disproportionate and will shut down the entire Web radio industry.

Next Tuesday, June 26, thousands of US webcasters will go silent, including big names like Yahoo, Rhapsody, MTVOnline, and Pandora, as well as more local offerings like and RadioMilwaukee.

Some webcasters will cut off their streams entirely while others will play static, ocean sounds, or similar fare with periodic public service announcements of what is happening.

"The arbitrary and drastic rate increases set by the Copyright Royalty Board on March 2nd threaten the very livelihood of thousands of webcasters and their millions of listeners throughout the country," said Jake Ward, a spokesperson for the SaveNetRadio Coalition.

"The campaign to save Internet radio - a genuine grassroots movement comprised of hundreds of thousands of webcasters, artists and independent labels, and Net radio listeners - has quickly brought this issue to the national forefront and the halls of Congress, but there is still more to be done before the approaching deadline of July 15th.

"On Tuesday, thousands of webcasters will call on their millions of listeners to join the fight to save Internet radio and contact their Congressional representatives to ask for their support of the Internet Radio Equality Act."

After July 15, the CRB plans to impose its new rates, a policy that is retroactive, requiring Net radio providers pay the new rates for the previous 17 months as well.

The complete list on Internet radio stations participating in the Day of Silence are as follows:

Yahoo! WPNA (Oak Park, IL),
Live365 stations, 60's Chicks Radio/Seasons &
Rhapsody, Celebrations Radio,
MTV Online, STAR 107.9,
AccuRadio, WRPS/WebRadioPugetSound,
KCRW (Santa Monica, CA) Puregold Rock 'N Roll,
Pandora, NeverEndingWonder Radio,
Radioio, RadioMilwaukee,
DigitallyImported, BAGeL Radio,
RadioParadise, Gotradio/100hitz,
3WK, KDUN (Reedsport, OR),
Wizard Radio, KQLZ (Los Angeles, CA),
Born Again Radio, KXPR/KXJZ (Sacramento, CA),, NiceNoise.Net,, BlackLight Radio,
WGLI (Bablylon, NY), Pure Pop 24/7,
WMUK (Kalamazoo, MI), Smooth Jazz and More,
Head-On Radio Network, Reggae Nostalgia,
Zecom/Gemz Radio, WCH Radio/The Wave,
monkeygrip music cafe, WYGS Southern Gospel Radio
KFCF (Fresno, CA), Network,
Blue Power/Guitar Speak

Thought everyone might like to read what's going to happen on Tuesday when they can't HEAR anything on the net!

Lots of love,
8^ )

Friday, June 22, 2007

Posts, part deux...

Okay. I've added 2 posts about my week from HELL and my birthday. I decided to delete the other post and start it new now.

Lots of love,
8^ )


I promise, I've got 4 posts that I have drafted and ready to type. I just need to find the time to do them. I'll try this weekend. I can't believe, I'm off school, Cassi's off school, and I can't find time to do ANYTHING!

1. Business
2. PTO
3. Keep Cassi busy
4. Start moving furniture back into living room
5. Go to step daughter's birthday (will talk about that in another post)
6. Clean house
7. Keep Cassi busy

BTW, part of Cassi's chores this summer will include:

1. putting her laundry away
2. making her bed
3. keeping her room clean at all times
4. swiffering the living room (has been wanting to play with it, so why not?)

Okay. It's 2am and I've got to get to bed. If you can believe it, Marie gets up for work at this time.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My Birthday...


So, this week was my birthday. It was Tuesday, June 19 to be exact. I was born at 11:42 am. With that said, no wonder I don't like to get up early. If I could just get up at 9am every day, I would be just fine. Not to say that I'm not used to getting up at 7:30 am still from getting Cassi up and going to school.

Anyway, I spent my day with hubby. Cassi was at Dan's and Alexis's house. She spent the night Monday night.

For my day, I did something special. Instead of a usual cake, I made a strawberry pie. A few weeks ago, we traveled south to Amish country, where we purchased wheels of cheese that they make right on the premises. Also, we purchased a tube of strawberry jel. Monday night, we went to Super K, looking at the veggies and stuff on sale. The strawberries just didn't look good. After Cassi went to Dan's, I went to Costco. Monday, I received birthday cards from Rob's mom, Rob's grandmother, and Marie (thanks!). From Rob's grandmother, I got a $10 bill. At Costco, I was able to pick up 4 pounds of strawberries for $6.49 and a pineapple for $2.99. The total was $9.48, with 52 cents left over. Rob and I sent msgs to each other about how to spend the left over change.

But, I got my 2 favorite foods for my birthday. That night, I did a "blind bake" of a pie crust. I don't use graham cracker crusts on anything, only pastry crust will do. After the crust was ready, I put a layer of the jel in the bottom, then loaded it with strawberries. Then, jel on the top.

For my birthday, I wanted cheeseburgers and home made fries (from potatoes). We cut up the potatoes and made the fries. We took the pie over in the evening to Dan's and shared it with Dan, Mary Beth, and Alexis. Cassi didn't want any. The pie was the best. I didn't add any sugar to the pie. Whatever sugar was there, was in the jel. I definitely will get that jel again. It was thick, even thicker than the stuff you see at the grocery stores. Probably because it is made my Amish. It was almost as thick as licorice candy. Hmmm? LOTS of sugar.

Otherwise, my birthday was quiet. I know Marie tried to call on Monday, but alas, I think I was napping at the time.

Lots of love,
8^ )

P.S. No party. Cassi kept looking for people to come over for a party. She doesn't realize that we really don't do that kind of stuff when we get older. It's just another day. If I had had a job, I probably would have been working.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Week from HELL!

I can't believe the last week (and now almost 2 weeks on 6/22) has been so crazy. And, it's all from one guy. Yep, my friend, Dan.

Last week (since it's now 6/22 that I'm writing thing), we kept Alexis, his daughter almost everyday. Along with Alexis, we also got Morgan for a day (his other daughter). Last week, he had finalized his divorce.

Monday, I spent all day at court with him, in case he needed me to testify. Rob, the dearest man in the world, worked all night. He came home and tried to keep the girls all day. We figured we would be done by lunch, but NO! At lunch, I came home to get the girls. He was so tired I had to take them with me back to court. To sit! They were so bored. But, there was nothing I could do. Rob couldn't make it any more. And, I didn't want them by themselves.

So, off to court we went, but side tripped at the park for an hour. You see, Alexis's mom and dad were never married. They live in separate homes, having joint custody of Alexis. However, both of their discipline style leaves a lot to be desired. Alexis was doing a lot of acting up at court. She just didn't want to be there. Mom kept warning her to stop or else. But, never doing the "or else." However, I didn't care which adults were there, since Cassi and Alexis were under my authority, I was disciplining both. And, it didn't fall on deaf ears of grandparents. Dan's mom and step-dad, step-mom, and step-sister all agreed that Alexis listens to me. And, believe me, she does.

I've told Dan if it came down to it, and I had to spank Alexis, I would. And, he backs me up 100%. But, I think he's worried if he does it, he would get in trouble with the court. But, I've never had to spank her. But, I have had to grab her once and make her sit in timeout where I wanted her to sit. She tried to run away in the opposite direction, knowing that I can't run very fast to catch her. In that one instance, I knew she was tired.

But, Tuesday was my birthday. Will talk about it in a separate post.

Because we spent the week helping out Dan, the third layer of poly didn't get on the floor until 6/20 (Wednesday). And, because Rob had to put off the floor, the can of poly crystalized and the brush was ruined. Luckily, because we did help Dan, he gave us the money to replace what was lost because of helping him.

Saturday and Sunday was spent at Dan's house. His ex-wife was coming to the house to get the stuff on her list that was hers in the divorce. I can't believe how petty she was. She was looking for over 7 pages of hand-written stuff. Let's just say she was looking for petty things like: tampons and jewelry cleaner. Saturday, they came with 10 people and expected to get into his house. Rob solved that by making sure the house was locked. But, the police came and called Dan. To our salvation, they were not allowed in the house. They had to take what was there.

Sunday, being father's day, Dan had both of his girls. And, like we thought, all the way to Morgan's house, a police officer followed him. They must have friends with that town's police department. They've got his license plate and his mom's plate on file to follow whenever they are in that town. But, Sunday, Rob, along with Christine (Alexis's mom) and Ryan (Christine's boyfriend), went to Dan's house to allow the ex to come into find whatever else she could find. And, again, she brought a crowd. Before anyone went into the house, Rob took pictures of the entire house. Then, he told them that only the ex, ex's dad, and two other people could enter the house. They weren't going to have all those people and only a few sets of eyes to watch them.

Of course, this didn't fly with ex. She immediately called her lawyer who called the police. When the police arrived, Rob explained to him what he told the ex. The officer agreed with Rob. That was not an unreasonable request. She was fuming. And, Rob also told the officer, there's china in the hutch in his dining room that just was acquired through his grandmother's death. He just got it in a will. The china would not leave the house. Agreed. And, Alexis has a bedroom at dad's house. In the bedroom are collectible Barbie dolls dad got her for birthdays and Christmas. Also, there were collectible Precious Moments figurines. He also said none of them would leave. The officer also agreed to that too.

She was so mad. I know she figured she would leave the house empty after coming. She didn't realize who she was dealing with. Rob and Ryan told her if they didn't follow the rules, the house would get locked up and they could resolve any issues through the court.

They tried to leave with a bottle of change. Nope. Rob made them return it because it wasn't on the list. There were a lot of items she took that weren't on the list. That night, we printed out all the photos for Dan that Rob took. And, I haven't removed them from the memory chip, still original in case they need them.

All I have to say is, I NEVER want to get divorced. But, I love my husband and would never want to leave him.

So, Rob finished the floor on 6/20. It looks beautiful. It's already ready to walk on, but we're waiting long enough for the poly to set completely before moving the furniture. Plus, since everything is still gone, and he's about half done, he's going to finish painting before putting everything back. But, he's just got next week to get everything done.

With that, I'll close. I'll get the final pictures posted soon.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I Can't Believe...

It's been a whole week since my last post. Yep, Cassi's finally done school. I spent the day Friday driving back and forth to school. First, I brought the popsicles from my chest freezer for the 1st through 3rd grades. The school's field day was Friday. As a gift from the PTO, we bought popsicles. They've been in my freezer getting hard because I had over 400 of them. The little ones had their field day first. They were so grateful to get the frozen goodies right after they came into school. Then, I spent an hour confirming $1400 in money for deposit into the PTO account. Went home and came back at 2 for the 4th through 6th grades' popsicles. They enjoyed them too. Even the teachers enjoyed them. The weather started to get nasty though because a bad rain storm came through.

But Cassi is done. She went to Pa and Nana's for the weekend because Rob worked. This really helped because they were short-staffed and Saturday night/Sunday morning, he ended up being by himself with 50 patients. So, Sunday morning, I got up to get him breakfast because we hadn't had time to make din-din the night before. He was ready for bed immediately. I ended up going back to bed with him and slept until noon.

Just a tid-bit why our family rocks, etc. Sunday morning, after getting up, I spent some time texting Marie. Because she wants to help keep Cassi good for the summer, she decided to still offer her "if you're good" money. However, instead of getting it each month, she's sending it in one check and a little extra for mom and dad (that's us). She's paying for us to get summer passes to our recreation pools. So everyone knows, MARIE ROCKS!

Monday, I spent the day with at court with my friend Dan. He was going through his final 2 days of his divorce. It has taken 3 years to get to this point. It was so bad Monday. We all thought he was going to lose his house and all his stuff. She was so nasty that she wanted Alexis' bedroom set. (background: Alexis is Cassi's friend. Alexis is Dan's daughter from his first relationship with his best friend, Christina. They are still friends today.) That night, we (Rob and I) took the girls to dinner. Alexis just kept demanding that Colleen couldn't have her bedroom set. Rob and I explained to Alexis the difference between the "stuff" and what dad was doing to keep her and her sister together and to be able to keep their house. And, if that meant Colleen got to keep the bedroom set, dad would definitely get her a new one. It's more important to have dad's love than "stuff." After the way we explained that to her, she understood.

But, I had the girls on Tuesday. Dan was free! He has to give her certain things on the list (of 3 pages) that she demanded. The judge finally saw through her crap, especially when she demanded things like tampons and windex. She has to come Saturday between 12-6. Dan can't be there, but Rob said he would. This is his weekend off. He can't wait to be the "neutral" party to do this. Today, Dan was working to start taking all the stuff that she gets and put it all in his garage. He did have to go out and get a new fridge and stove. But, the new stuff is better than the old stuff. I agree!

Last night, Cassi had the opportunity to stay at Dan's overnight. Today, she stayed there while I went down to school. I got to meet with my English advisor and my transfer advisor. Dr. Larson explained to me about the graduation process and what will happen when my graduation petition gets to him. Because he has approved one of my lower level classes as transfer, I didn't have to take it. However, he has to sign off approval that I've got all my requirements to get my degree. Then, I went over and met with my transfer advisor. He started to tell me I still had 7 classes because I have to take 2 African American/Diversity classes. I told him, uhuh. I had my degree audit in hand. Because I have over 60 credits transferred in (I have an AA degree), I only had to take 1 class. He looked and agreed. Also, there's another gen ed requirement for writing that's 3 classes, but because of my transfer, I only need 2. But, I will have 4-5 when I'm done because of my English degree. But, next year, I ABSOLUTELY have to take full-time classes. That's 3 classes in the fall and 3 in the spring. The positive is that I have an opportunity to write a proposal to take an internship in the spring for 4 credits, if approved. I have the opportunity to work with Professor Nuala. That would help because I have 3 (yes three) English classes to take in the Spring. This next school year, I'm going to be trashed! Plus, President of PTO.

So, I've got my graduation application in hand. All I need is the $25 fee to turn it in. MARIE ROCKS AGAIN! She's coming before July 4 and is bringing it with her. I love my sister.

Tomorrow, I'll be back at Dan's. Because this is his day off, he does side yard work for extra money. He's got both of his girls tomorrow. With all the crap from this week and the divorce, he needs to do the side job tomorrow. So, since he kept Cassi for me today, I told him I would come over and watch the girls. I'm thinking we're going to go to Eat N Park for lunch. The girls will be $.99 each to eat.

But, with all that, I've got to go. I need to go grab food for dinner for tomorrow night. Rob's working tonight and tomorrow night. I need to cook dindin because I wasn't able to this evening. I need to shave my legs after and before I go to bed.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Our Weekend Off in Amish Country...

So, Saturday was a good day for me and for us. Cassi went to Pa's house for the weekend. Rob was off work for 5 days (he only works a 3-day a week schedule). First, I got up really early and called the doctor. Rob got what I have been dealing with for 3 weeks. Stuffed up, then draining. Sore throat, coughing that won't stop, and overall tiredness. For me, when I started this, it was at the end of school and I actually lost my voice for a few days. Cassi got it too, but only lost her voice for 2 days.

But, anyway, Rob was able to get into the doctor. A virus. Rob got the z-pack and a cough syrup with codeine. Then, the lady at the front counter suggested I see the other doctor because I'm still coughing. Now, Rob has told me about these doctors he deals with at work who are only in the biz for the money they can make prescribing all these drugs to the nursing home patients. I just never had an opportunity to experience one myself...

Well, my wait was over...

First, he talks about his famous and rich kids, how they are going to pay off a $400k house in 2 years becuase they are realtors, etc. etc. You see where I'm going...

Then, he looks in my ears (after the hearing aides come off). He has me breathe. He asks me what I've been taking for the symptoms, which are Sudafed and Dimetap. Also, because Marie had allergy problems at the same time I got sick, I figured it was my allergies kicking in. Also, because I was continuing to just cough, I figured my asthma was starting back up. You see, I've got bad allergies and asthma, but the asthma has been good for the past year or so, without any flare ups. My asthma is definitely related to my allergies and heat.

So, he gives me this breathing test. Just 1 test to blow into this little machine to give a pressure number. Comes up normal. But, after I do this blow, I start coughing and can't stop. From one test, he decides, "No you do not have asthma."

Huh? Come again? I was diagnosed with asthma about 11 years ago. It's just not active 100% of the time; it's a more moderate form. I was hoping he would prescribe to me my ventolin again for the asthma symptoms. Nope. He prescribes to me the most expensive medication on the market, Singulair. Of course, this medicine is the best for asthma. But wait, he just said I don't have asthma.

Then, he throws me another loop. "Do you get indigestion?"

"Yeah, about once a week." Wasn't sure how to answer because it's not everyday. AND, I typically know when I'm going to get it.

"Well, your coughing is probably caused by GERD (acid reflux). The acid in your stomach is going up into your eusophagus and then going down into your lungs. That's what you're coughing. Not many doctors diagnose this."


"So, I want a chest x-ray and blood work done. I want to see if you've got H Pylori bacteria in your stomach. And, I'll prescribe for you Prilosec. And, if the results of the tests come back negative, you'll have to go see a pulmonary doctor to determine if you've actually got asthma."

Rob had been turning his head the entire time. I know he wanted to deck this guy. We went out to the front counter. I told her I wanted to see my doctor this week. I got in to see her on Tuesday. She D/C'd all of the tests and meds he prescribed. We are pushing to not have to pay for the appointment. It was a waste of time and he falsely diagnosed stuff on me that doesn't need to be.

Anyway, back to the good day. The rest of the day was great. We picked up his medicines and came back to the house. Rob wanted to take camera with us. I suggested we pick up some cheese. MMMMMMMMM! So, we also brought along the cooler and ice.

We got down to Amish country and stopped at a furniture place. One of our goals was to price and find a color for our dining room table. You see, when we got the house, we inherited a HUGE dining room table. The only thing, the seller took the chairs. So, we are trying to find chairs to go with the table. But, the other problem is the coloring. At the 2 places we stopped at, they both told us that if we purchased the chairs stained from them, they could sell us the stain to re-do the table ourselves. One place said if we re-did the table first, as long as the stain was a spray, they would stain the chairs with our stain. Sounds good.

Then, we visited the cheese houses. There's one place, called Heini's (yes, we call it like the your butt). They have a HUGE cooler with dozens of types of cheese that you can sample. Hmmm. Lunch! I'm not a big swiss person, but their one brand of baby swiss is to die for. Then, we went into some of the shops. We enjoyed a bowl of homemade ice cream. (I really need to make some with Cassi this summer.) It poured a little rain while we were in a store. We found a gift to give to Dad for father's day. The Amish guy had this computer (yes, not all Amish are afraid of electric). On the machine, he was able to use a sort-of printer that burnishes into leather and cuts into wood. So, I found a nice money clip. The magnets are pretty strong. On one side, it says, "I Love You Pa From Cassi" and on the other side, a photo of Cassi will go into it. Marie, don't tell dad because it's going to be a surprise from Cassi.

I picked up an Amish cookbook. I'll share some of the recipes soon. I'm still reading it all. There's a recipe for twinkie filling and other goodies. They even have a recipe for home made root beer.

I bought a few sticks of taffy that I ate that day. Oh, and when we bought the cheese, baby swiss, bermuda onion, and co-jack, I also purchased a tube of strawberry filling. For my birthday, I'm making a strawberry pie.

After we were done, we headed over to our old campground to visit with friends. The one couple's camper we went to had the food. There were 3 of us couples there catching up with each other. We hadn't seen them since last fall when we left. We actually tried to get a spot again this year, but the owners decided not to reply to our email. Their loss. That's okay. We'll just go down to visit. And, our friends Bob and Betty who live in Wooster have offered for us to come stay with them overnight.

We had din-din and chat. Although, after a little while, we started getting eaten by the mosquitos. Time to go. We got home about 11pm. While in Amish country, we also went into an Amish-run hardware store. They had EVERYTHING there. We found supplies for making wine. We purchased a juice kit for making wine, although it will probably, more than likely make wine coolers. Mmmmm. Dan and Rob are working on the process together. It'll be fun for the 2 guys to work together.

Okay. I'm going to close this for now. I'm going to try to write about our floor project, along with pictures.

Lots of love,
8^ )

The Floor, An Update...

The Truth...

Okay. So, I think I've got some of the truth. Monday morning, Cassi's class had a "teddy bear" picnic outside next to their class during lunch time. She forgot to bring friends to class, so I came back with them just in time for lunch. Since I was there, I figured I would help herd the kids into the school who were buying lunch. As we were getting them together, I get a call from ex. I was a little winded from the kids, but the phone cut out. She called back and apologized that the phone cut out. She wanted to talk to Rob. I'm thinking something is wrong. I tell her, "I'm down at the school. Give me about 10 minutes to get back to the house and I'll have Rob call you."

"Oh, I thought I was calling the house phone?" she said.

"You are. While we're working on the floor, the house phone has been diverted to my cell phone." I said.

"Oh," was all she could said in reply. And, there was nothing else she could do. Rob's cell phone was in the office and he was sitting on his rump putting the first coat of poly (plastic seal stuff) on the hard wood floor. There was no way he would have heard the phone.

So, I get the kids into the lunch room and have to leave. I get back and tell him, "Call your ex."

Here, they wanted to meet him for lunch. But, he wanted me to go too. We met at McD's for lunch. They asked if Cassi was done school because Nicole was. Nope. This Friday.

So, we get there for lunch. We find out:
  1. Nicole is in public school for the first time this year and just finished 9th grade, even though she's turning 16 on June 20 (must have been held back a year).
  2. Husband #2 did not die. They got divorced in February.
  3. Nicole does work part-time right now as a lifeguard at a camp ground.

We found out that, as the story goes, she has photo books with pictures of Rob and Rob's parents. She actually didn't ask about Rob. She asked about his parents and wants to see them. She'll be able to in July when they come for Rob's grandmother's dedication for a war memorial that they are honoring Rob's grandfather, even though he passed away a few years ago. The grandmother will accept the honor.

But, since we were meeting them, she didn't mail the letter, she just brought it along. In the letter, she talks about how she wants to get to know Cassi and do things with her this summer. Works for me. Cassi is SO excited about having a big sister. She talked about how she couldn't call Rob, "dad" because the man who adopted her is her dad. Works too and is understandable. Then, she talks about how she works because she wants a Chevy Cobalt. She has to make the money because her parents are strapped for money right now. Whoa! Hold it a minute! We don't have the money ourselves. She didn't come out and ask for the money, but the insinuation is there. I'll just keep this to myself for right now. I did tell Rob that if she asked his parents about buying her a car, they would buy her one in a heartbeat and pay cash to boot. And still treat Cassi like dirt. Yes, Marie, I know our family is the coolest, but I had to add the info for my 3 readers who need the background.

So, afterward, being as logical as I can, because if I'm otherwise, I'm worthless, I say to Rob that logically, we need to move my office to the basement and setup the room currently being used as my office as a bedroom. He said no. If she wants to come stay over, we will bring out the blow up mattress in the living room. We are not setting up the office as a bedroom. Marie agrees because that's just a sign that we want to become financially responsible for her. Not going to happen, especially with her adopted father paying child support for her.

We do have their address. She asked us not to just show up because only mom and mom's boyfriend (oh, didn't know she's got one of them now) know about them finding us. Ex (mom) told us she paid $60 to track us down. She knew where we lived when we lived in Grafton, but once we moved and recently, our phone number isn't available publicly. But, Nicole's grandmother would be livid if she knew Nicole was seeing Rob.

That's how the weekend went. I'm doing the "wait-and-see" thing to see what will happen. She did act nice to me on Monday and said that she likes me in her letter. Her birthday is the day after mine. My b-day is on June 19 and her's is June 20. We've been invited to her party that is on the 23rd, but Rob probably won't be able to go as that's his night to work.

With that, I'll close. I've got 2 more posts to add, but will draft them and get them ready tomorrow.

Love to all,
8^ )

P.S. I'm feeling much better this week.

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Life Can't Get ANY Better...

So, my life seems to SUCK big time. For all those who said I would get that job I interviewed for 2 weeks ago...

I was not picked!

No job. NADA!

8^ (