Sunday, March 30, 2008

Possible Cousin...

I've been watching a show on HGTV, called "I Want That Kitchens." They featured a family who sounded quite familiar (last name). The guy's name is Joe Quesada, and he is the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics.

He looks strikingly like my cousins who live in this area. And, to boot, my great-grandfather on my mom's side was a Quesada.

Wouldn't it be hilarious if he was a cousin? even distantly?

A number of years ago, while I and my mom were working at Ft. Dix (army base), a solider passed through my office. His last name was Culp. And, when you looked at him, he looked EXACTLY like my great-grandmother. Her maiden name was Culp. I told him he ABOSOLUTELY had to go visit my mom, telling her I sent him. After some research, his mother was listed in our family history book.

So, this guy on TV could be related too. I'll try to look up information about him in my book, but I'll also try to contact him directly.

OK. That's it for now. I think I'm getting TOO much sleep.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Since My Last Post...

All Hell broke loose on my body. This week, it was THAT TIME! I barely ate anything, have been dealing with migraines. Thank GOD Cassi went to Pa's on Thursday. This was when I started getting nauseous, etc. NO, not preggy (THAT TIME!).

I know I'm jumping the gun, but it's very interesting (and frustrating) that not one of the companies have contacted me regarding positions at their company, even though they sounded very interested in me at the career fair. I did what my career counselor suggested. I sent emails to those who I met at the fair, asking for feedback on further options with their companies. The emails were very nice. I explained how I met with a representative, discussing the company and how I might fit into the organization. The representative said they would take my resume with them back to HR and someone would call me.

OK, that definitely sounds like a line. But, I did what I was told to do.

But, in the mean time, I'm looking at freelance writing jobs. I can't wait for companies (or their insecure representatives) to decide I'm right for their organization.

I've now registered on two Web sites for freelance work. The first, which I told you about earlier, is I posted my first proposal yesterday for a Editor/Typesetter. OK, I'm not big on "terms" and couldn't think off the top of my head what a typesetter was. After a quick run through the dictionary, I realized, "Hey! I've done this before!"

A typesetter is someone who takes electronic documents and prepares them electronically for printing (adding any necessary breaks and cover sheets needed to reproduce the document in a book, etc). Hell, I did that for many years at my first job (where I learned all I know today) and where I managed syllabi, lab manuals, and information packets in an 100% electronic format. So, we'll see in a few days if I get the job or not. The project is for a book 150-200 pages to be edited and typeset. Can do!

But, I signed up Thursday night, late on another site, which is more economical for me. Let me 'splain. On, to have things verified and tests taken to prove you know what you know, you have to PAY. Oh, sure, the account right now is free. Yep, I could pay 10 a month, but why when I'm brand new, plus they charge a per project fee for freelance work. Even free accounts get charged this.

This new site is called Found it while I was be-bopping around the net Thursday night for jobs. This site, is free for me to take exams and become "expert" in the areas that Elance chooses to charge. Yes, I still would get charged the project service fee, but this site seems better. Plus, with this site, I'm able to get work in multiple area (writing, administrative, etc). On Elance, I can only do the writing category in a "free" account.

But, I just passed my first exam. I took the English (Sentence Structure) exam. Each exam oDesk gives is 40 questions in 40 minutes. I took this exam in 20 minutes and scored a 4.6 out of 5.0. Hmm! Not bad. And, based on this ONE exam, the minimum bid per hour I could expect to receive is 16.88 per hour. Not bad. As I pass more exams, that figure will go up!

OK. Thought I'd share. I want to try to take another exam before Rob gets up for work.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


032508 at 7 pm

I ended up not having class tonight. My professor had a water leak at his house. He called earlier this afternoon, saying no class because he was waiting for a plumber. And, we’re not having class Thursday night.

So, today is Rob’s lodge meeting. I tried to be good and make chicken noodle soup for the brothers. After being in the roaster for only an hour, the egg noodles had turned to mush. A complete waste of time and food. We ended up heading to Sam’s club to buy supplies for them to have sandwiches and chips. I really didn’t want him to have to use the money he had from lodge, but some things happen. He’s in charge of food and drinks for lodge and has been given a budget. When we can, we use a 50/50 split to make stuff. Tonight, it cost almost 50 for the goodies.

Since I ended up not having class this evening, and Cassi’s off school, I offered to take her roller skating. They have skating from 6:30 to 8:30 on Tuesday night’s but haven’t been able to go because I’m in class from 6-8. For the next month, though, class will only be about an hour. AND, because of the cost of gas rising, instead of taking her back and forth to dad’s, she goes with me to class. My professor doesn’t mind having her there, and she’s very good during class. We won’t have class again until next week. I called him back when he called. He asked me if I had my assignment done for tonight, for which I said yes. He said good because I am his best student. I always have my work done when it’s required (deadlines). Well, that’s what’s required when you want to be a writer. He told me what I need to do for next week since our next class is next Tuesday. I’ve got a week to get it done, but might be difficult. I need to take all of the “quotes” used in the article and try to change them into a different format. Tough, but I can handle it.

This is where I’m at right now, at the roller skating rink (need to take my hearing aids out). After writing this to post later, I’ll be working on some graphic design stuff and reading. I’m working on making the dog tags the school hands out to the kids at the end of the year. Last year, they paid over $400 for all of the tags, of which the PTO paid $233 of it. Because I’m making them myself this year, I’m charging PTO $200 for all of them. I’ve got all the supplies, except 1 ream of card stock, which I’ll buy as it gets closer to the finals for printing. AND, one of the tags they like for orchestra actually says music. This is where my graphic design comes into play. I’ll be making design changes to the overall image and “lift” the text off the tag and put different text back onto it.

This week has been quiet for me. Yesterday started, “that time.” I ended up using my 1 day out of film class to be home. I didn’t want to go all the way to downtown Cleveland for 2 hours. Sad thing is, today, I had to go downtown for 1 hour. I had a meeting with my Senior Survey professor about my Capstone project. She thinks, from my prospectus, that I should focus on how the family unit worked during medieval times. How the family survived when the woman/mother went on pilgrimage. By focusing on the project this way, it doesn’t seem as bad. In actuality, as I told her, I’m starting to understand it more. And, as I told her, because I don’t know enough about this subject as a whole, that’s where my struggle has been. But, on the positive side, I asked her about HOW to write my paper. Because I tend to think segmented, I also write segmented. This way of writing is what is typically used in scientific and technical writing, which is what I do best. I told her that writing 15 pages of prose seemed a daunted task for me. She agreed that if I needed to write this way, so be it, as long as the heading doesn’t get in the way of an important transition, which it shouldn’t.

But, this next month is going to be crazy. I think I’m going to try to finish up my research this weekend on my film class and get my 5 pages of paper ready over the next week. If I can get it done, I can help the group get their pieces together, the intro and conclusion, and the presentation. If I can get this done, I can REALLY focus on my senior survey paper.

Everything is coming into its own. Right now, I’m looking at an A in my internship and Magazine Writing. My Film class, maybe a B and B or C in Senior Survey. I’m REALLY pushing to stay at Magna Cum Laude to graduate.

Cassi’s been happy that I’ve been home this week. She’s off and I arranged with my schedule to be home during the day, even if I had class at night. This also helped as I didn’t have to have my mom and dad take off to get her, even though last Friday dad took off (Good Friday for Easter holiday) and he’s taking off this Friday. Shhh, Marie’s coming. I almost blabbed it to Cassi today. I’m completing the iron-on aprons for Marie’s Christmas present (yes, it’s 4 months late). But, I FINALLY got inspired for the one that she wanted family photos on. And, I’ve got a home-made present for her (like I gave VP).

Yesterday, I wanted to have some time at the library and pick up a book for my Senior Survey project. Luckily, I’ve got a kid who LOVES the library. I sit in one area of the first floor and can see across the library and watch her in the kid’s area. I can sit at an adult table and get my work done, which she has her own time reading books, playing with the toys, and meeting new friends. I may take her McD’s to play. I’ll get on the net over the wi-fi and do some researching. Not sure what we’ll do Thursday morning yet before she goes to Pa’s.

But, I’m gonna go now. Lots I wrote. Hope you didn’t get to crazy with boredom.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Out of the Mouths of Babes!

When children have such honesty!

Cassi JUST went into our bedroom, while her daddy was getting dressed for lodge.

"When are you going to get handsome?" she asked.

He said, "I'm always handsome." (and I chirped in and agreed)

She said, "But not when you're NAKED!"

Only a child could be that straight forward.

Lots of love,
8^ )

P.S. Hope you laughed a LITTLE (ok, a lot!)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

English Senior Survey Prospectus

Everyone will have the same feeling I do about this project. I hope to just GET DONE and get a decent grade on this project as it is the majority of my class grade. I have to do a 15-page research paper AND presentation on a topic relating to literature and Medieval Pilgrimage. YUCK!

So, without further ado, here's the prospectus I came up with for my research. I'm going to ask her Tuesday about the final product I wish to write, which is in a segmented, technical format. I think if I can THINK THIS WAY, I can write this information clearer. Right now, if I have to write 15 pages of prose (no section breaks and headers), I won't make it!

Prospectus: The correlation between fictional female pilgrims during Medieval England and actual accounts of female pilgrims during this time through the use of writing and religion.

Susan Signe Morrison has said in her writings that women were the reasons families were what they were during medieval times. Without a woman, a man would not have someone to marry; the woman was the one who gave birth to the children; and the woman cooked and cleaned the home. All of these items made up a “family” for which the woman was the central figure. If any of these items lacked, like woman not being able to have children because of being infertile to the woman having any ailment and not allowing her to manage the household, the “family” did not survive. This was a reason that a woman would go on a pilgrimage. There are also many other reasons a woman would go on a pilgrimage during the medieval times. Other writings have told how, even though women did go on pilgrimage, they were highly advised against travelling. During this time, travel was very dangerous, especially for women. Accounts have been written of women being raped and killed while on pilgrimage, not even arriving to their destinations. For all of the accounts of pilgrimage as a whole, more women did go on pilgrimage than was documented.

During this time, Chaucer wrote the book, The Canterbury Tales, of which a character, the Wife of Bath was one of the pilgrims. I intend to research more into her background. Based on what was written in the book about her and her tale, she was not portrayed as a typical woman of that time period, nor was she portrayed as a typical pilgrim. There was no presentation of children in this book. During this time in history, a woman’s primary role was to bear children. Being that the woman was the central figure in a family, why did she seem so out of place in this book? I intend to compare her character profile to accounts of real women pilgrims of that time period. I also intend to discuss how she used religion to support her claims and how religion was important to real women pilgrims of the time period.

Overall, I would like to research why women went on pilgrimage. Did women have limits to where they were allowed to go and where they did go? Many women were known pilgrimage to local religious sites. When a woman wanted to go on a pilgrimage, what issues surfaced? How did social order affect a woman’s desire for pilgrimage? Women often went on pilgrimage because of medical issues with them or their children. How did the family unit handle this desire?

I would also like to include research on The Book of Margery Kempe, however at this point, I do not know enough about the book or the character behind the book to give enough questions to answer.

That' s it! So exciting, eh?

Lots of love,
8^ )

Thursday, March 20, 2008


OK. Here we go again. Today, I was meeting with my career coordinator at school. She asked me how my day went at the career fair. For those of you reading who do not know, I went to a career fair my college put on Feb. 29. (I haven't told you about my experience there.)

But, today, I met with her. She is wonderful with pointing me where I need to go for a job.

I told her about this specific company, which will remain nameless as I would still like to consider the company for a job prospect. I told her how I talked with them at the fair and gave them my resume. They seemed eager for me to find out more about the company. The job that would be for me is called an Interactive Analyst. This job role does Internet marketing.

So, I went to the information session. First, to preface what I am about to say, I am not prejudiced. In the room, the candidates (those not presenting, worked for said company or CSU) were all but 4 of us NOT Caucasian. During the session, the main presenter explained the company, what they do, who they compare to in the area business-wise, and the 3 different roles people get hired into. He talked about how the professionals being hired need to be geared up quickly to be working for the clients quickly. There were questions regarding new hires and how long it takes to get into working with clients. He mentioned about "billable hours," but he didn't go into a further explanation of what "billable hours" was. One of the girls in the presentation I had had a class with a year ago, the news writing class. She looked VERY confused about this. She asked the presenter if she would be working for the company. What they failed to explain, that I explained to her after the presentation was, billable hours are simply this:

1. you work for said company
2. you do work for said client who is paying said company
3. said company bills said client a specific amount for the work you do for said client
4. you get paid by said company

It's as simple as this. I know MANY of the others in the presentation, being that they do not have work experience like I do, were just as confused as she was. I talked to said presenter and explained that and how I explained because I had consulting experience in the past. At the time, he was very appreciative of my explanation.

I explained to my coordinator the companies I spoke with and the results that happened (or didn't happen). Then, she told me she was COMPLETELY floored how the companies just haven't responded to me at all. I told her the story above.

She said to me that she believes these individuals are THREATENED by my level of knowledge and work. That, in some instances, either the person is "small," that I communicated not to their liking (even though I have all this knowledge), or that I'm far too overqualified for any of their jobs. I agree with the "small-thinking" mentality. I believe these reps are THREATENED by my level of knowledge, how I learn things quickly and use what I know EVERY DAY!

So, what she suggested was that I play "dumb" in interviews. I'm sorry. I can't do that! She said, because she and I are much alike how we like to help people; I like to FIX things, at home, at my school, at Cassi's school, etc. etc. But, I'm sorry. I don't think I should have to DUMB myself for anyone. I learned at Ernst & Young how to be mature and learn everything there is to know about EVERYTHING. AND, I learned to share what I know with anyone who asks.

One motto I've always said to people, "If I don't know the answer to what your question is, I'll find it."

So, in the past two years, I've now heard about being THREATENED. In this case, it deals with prospective co-workers who don't know how to be TEAM players, even though they boast how good they are at being TEAM players. She also said these people are probably seeing me as the competition to take their jobs, which is not what I would do at all and HAVE NEVER DONE SO!

Go figure. How do I feel about all this? Mad because someone would be so petty not to consider me as a candidate on the fact that they are jealous of my knowledge. Sad because I have so much to share but walls are being put up in front of me. A feeling of HA because "I know more than you do."

My coordinator said how she sees how much I've done, how much I want to do, I'm very knowledgeable but very down to Earth because of what I've done and who I've helped. She really sees me as a teacher. But, to do that, I need further education that I just can't afford now, even if ever. But, I can do "career" type training.

But, one of the things I'm working on right now (and believe me more writing is EXACTLY what I don't need), I'm prepping myself to start doing freelance writing. There's a Web site, called

This is a site that's like a middle-man for freelance jobs of ALL kinds. VP - this might be a good idea for you to look at. Once I'm finished and ready, I'll start working on creating proposals for writing opportunities. Even if I get a contract job somewhere or a full-time job, I'll still work on freelance writing as it will only help add to my writing portfolio.

But, I've gone through 2 nights now of my magazine article being reviewed by my classmates. The first night, I got some good ideas of things to add. Some of the costs associated with my purchase of the pellet stove was not included. But, some of the suggestions, things like "How do I maintain the system?"; "How do I store the fuel?" would be questions that I would add in a side-bar smaller story, or even a larger feature story. Tonight, my reader, one of the older ladies, was completely floored at all of the highly technical information included in my story. For someone in her knowledge range, this story would be above her. After, she asked me who I was targeting to send this story to. I told her I was looking at construction-type trade journal. With this reply, she agreed the level of information would be good for that type of publication. Also, I think I floorer her with all the different types of quoting and stories and overall length. I think my professor really enjoyed my story. I know he's read my first draft already. Each day now until the end of the semester, we'll be making SOME type of change to prepare it for publication.

OK. I'm going to to get my registration finished.

Wish me luck! This weekend, I've got:

1. internship tomorrow
2. pick up vacuum cleaner from annual tune up
3. help Rob get his paper 2b ready for rough draft (paper also based on alternative heating)
4. research and write prospectus for senior survey due Monday at 3pm
5. meeting with Professor Singer Tuesday morning
6. watch movies for film class discussions next week
7. Easter on Sunday
8. Cassi's off next week (no internship and no day classes)

Lots of love,
8^ )

I'm IN!

At 5:17 pm, I received the email. Now at school, I've gotten my email open.

I'm IN!

This means, if you've got a LinkedIn account and are linked to me, you can now be linked to Barack Obama.

Lots of love,
8^ )

P.S. Got another story to tell. Someone else has said how someone (or companies at large) feel threatened because of the knowledge I own.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

2 Degrees of Separation

Some of you, who read here, know that I have an account on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking site, much like myspace is personal (don't like, don't get me started).

Anyway, I added onto my profile where I went to high school at. Then, I searched for a few people from my high school. Someone who graduated a few years before me was there. I invited him to join my network. He accepted. I took at look at who's on his network.

This is cool...

Politically or not....

I am...

2 Degrees...

From Barrack Obama's LinkedIn Network!

Not sure how he's related professionally to Obama, but I'm going to ask him (or whoever is managing his network) to join my network.

I'll update and let everyone know!

That was my COOL moment for the day (before the CRAP IT'S SNOWING AGAIN! moment)

Lots of love,
8^ )


Have you ever had one of those "brain fart" moments? Well, I seem to be having them more and more lately. I think it's because of ALL the different types of writing I'm doing. Currently, for my own course-load, I'm doing 4 different types of writing: magazine, research and newsletters, and 2 different research. Then, with helping Rob, there's one more. Thank GOD Cassi isn't writing stories and things yet. She is writing short-answer "what comes first, next, etc" summaries about books she's reading. I mean SHORT-SHORT, one sentence.

Anyway, car skidded a little on the ice. So I could explain it correctly, I said to myself how I wanted to say it. Then, I forgot the word.

Have you ever done that? Well, it was 7 pm. I'd been working at my internship since 10 and class since 4 (no break but to move my car).

Let me just say, I CAN'T WAIT TIL MAY 10!

51 days left!

Lots of love,
8^ )

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Magazine Article

Yeah! My first draft of my article is DONE! And, it's more than 2500 words to boot. On paper, it's over 9 pages long. But with all the information I found and the people I talked to about the project, I could have easily gone twice as long.

Can you imagine?

Want to read it?

Sorry, not posting the article now. If you would like to see the article, by all means, email me at I would be more than happy to supply you with a copy of the first draft. I don't want to post it here because:

1. it's WAY too long;
2. I'm try to get it published and make some cash;
3. this is my story and this is how I want it.

Also, I'll have a few revisions over the next few weeks. Not ready to share it with the public just yet.

Now, I've only got BUTT-LOADS of reading to do for this week, along with 2 research papers to be researching for.

ONLY 56 days until graduation!

Lot of love,
8^ )

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gas Prices Increase!

This news story was shared with me by my internship boss. It comes from "Crain's Cleveland Business:"

Read in this morning's Crain's: (the gas prices prediction drew my eye)

A Jump at the Pump
Published:Tuesday, March 11, 2008 By Don Shilling
A jump at the pump

If gas doesn’t hit $4 a gallon this year, expect it by next year, an official says. Sandy Greathouse isn’t overly concerned that local gasoline prices set a record Monday. The Poland retiree drives a Toyota Prius hybrid that gets 60 mpg around town. “It just sips gas,” she said. By switching to a car that’s powered partly by an electric motor, Greathouse, 62, has changed her driving habits — all due to $3-a-gallon gas. She’s not alone. Experts say this year will mark the first time that gas prices will change how some people go about their daily business. Sensing high prices are here to stay, drivers are beginning to look for fuel-efficient vehicles or combining trips.

“The customer has started to acknowledge that he’s paying a high price for gasoline, and it’s cutting into his budget,” said Ed Weglarz, executive vice president of the Association of Food and Petroleum Dealers. Wait until gas prices really get high. Weglarz said he expects gas prices to continue to rise, with the national average hitting $4 a gallon by spring 2009. Some have said it could happen this year. Some places already are getting close. San Francisco, for example, has an average price of $3.71.

Today, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release its forecast for gas prices this spring. A month ago, it predicted that the national average would peak at $3.40 in May or June, topping last spring’s record of $3.21. But Todd MacIntyre, senior agency analyst, said the new forecast would be higher than $3.40 because crude oil prices have set records since then. Bevi Powell, a AAA spokeswoman, said the big jump in gas prices last spring is a warning for this year. The average price in the Mahoning Valley soared from $2.47 last March to $3.20 last May.

“That shows you what can happen between this time of year and Memorial Day. It doesn’t bode very well for drivers,” she said. AAA reported Monday that gasoline prices set a record in the Mahoning Valley at $3.219, topping the previous record by more than a penny. If prices increase by 73 cents a gallon this spring as they did last year, the local average would reach nearly $3.95. Prices spike in the spring because more people are driving and refiners are producing a more expensive summer blend of gasoline that has fewer pollutants, Powell said. A variety of global supply and demand factors also impact the price.

Some statistics show that perhaps American drivers have accepted prices will stay high and are cutting back on driving. Gasoline consumption in the past six weeks fell about 1 percent from last year’s levels. The Wall Street Journal said that was the biggest drop in 16 years, except for the declines after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Weglarz said fuel haulers in Ohio and Michigan are reporting a slightly larger drop. They are delivering between 1.5 percent and 2 percent less fuel to gas stations this year. As high prices linger, Americans will make bigger changes than just running two errands at a time instead of one, he said. “We’re going to see a return of people living closer to their jobs,” he said.

Steve Wellman, 42, of New Waterford already has made some concessions to high gas prices, but he doesn’t plan on giving up his long commute. He drives 65 minutes one way to his job as a stationary engineer in Pittsburgh. He spends about $10 a day on gas to fuel his Ford Focus for the 105-mile round trip.

Wellman said his family has combined trips when making errands and uses the Focus instead of the larger car and pickup truck when they can. But moving? “That’s not an option,” he said.

Wellman loves his house that he’s had for 12 years, and he figures that any job in his field would be a long way from New Waterford.

Weglarz said the other change Americans will be making is opting for fuel-efficient small cars and hybrids, which save on gas because they run some of the time on an electric motor. So many Americans have long-term leases, however, that it will take some time for the switch to occur, he said.

It may have already started, however. General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all reported drops in sales of trucks and sport-utility vehicles last month that ranged from 5 percent to 22 percent.

Doug Wilt, a salesman at Toyota of Boardman, said the dealership sells all of the 50 or 60 Priuses it receives each year. Usually, they are sold before they arrive. The dealership had three in stock last week, however, which Wilt attributed to a typical sales slowdown during the winter and a stagnant economy. The cars typically sell for about $23,500, he said. Other automakers have been adding hybrid engines to vehicles big and small. GM, for example, will have eight hybrid models this year. Greathouse said people often are jealous of her Prius’ gas mileage but say they don’t want to drive a small car. She said, however, that her car can fit five comfortably. Her friends have figured that out. She said that when she and her friends are going somewhere together, they will say, “Let’s let Sandy drive.”

Just so everyone knows, gas prices here in Ohio jumped to $3.459 ($3.46) a gallon. Because of being tight on money, Cassi will end up going with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays to school. My classes in the evening are only 20 minutes away (CSU has a campus closer than downtown Cleveland). Because I took her once, I'll probably end up taking her with me to these classes. Because Pa is farther than my class building, Tuesdays and Thursdays, when I've taken her to Pa's at night, I have, in essence, been taking 3 round trips from Elyria to Cleveland (yep, that's twice a week). Rob is also going to now step up to the plate. On the Monday's and Wednesday's that he has to work, he'll be getting up earlier to get her from school. Then, he'll either take her to Pa's house for me or meet me to get her. Most likely the latter. This way, if she wants to go on weekends and Pa wants her she can have weekends with him so I can focus on my dozens of pages in research and writing.

But, as I feared, the natural gas prices are also on the increase. It was a good thing we switched off our furnace. Remember, I think I said in an earlier post how natural gas increased 7% from December to March. Well, in one month, April's bill, it's suggested that the price will increase 8% more. We got our mailing about how we should "lock in" our gas rate. So, for the rest of the year, we've spent $430 total for heating, versus almost another grand. And, once the temperature starts to rise, like this week, we can cut back on the stove's use.

Want more info about our stove? The stove is made by a company, QuadraFire at I know JellyBean said she wanted one. Well, this company also makes fireplace inserts that are pellet burners. Couldn't tell you how well they work, by my assumption is that they work very well.

OK. Gotta go for now. Wanted to share this story above. I've got some dishes to put in dishwasher and get over to pick up Cassi from her play date.

Lots of love,
8^ )

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day (March 11)

This was taken directly from

Celebrate the anniversary of the death of John Chapman a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed on March 18th, 1845 in Fort Wayne, Indiana after more than 50 years of travel.

The following information comes from

Image from Howe's Historical Collection
Image from Howe's Historical Collection

Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman (September 26, 1774February 18, 1847), was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced the apple to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He became an American legend while still alive, largely because of his kind and generous ways, his great leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance of apples.

He was also a missionary for the Church of the New Jerusalem, or Swedenborgian Church, so named because it teaches the theological doctrines contained in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.[1]

No matter how you celebrate, everyone should at least eat an apple Tuesday! Since I directly copied from Wikipedia, the links should all work!

Lots of love,
8^ )

Stove Pictures

OK. Here are the first photos of the stove, right after it was put in. Rob and I built the hearth pad on the bottom. This was our first tile job. This project changed Rob's mind about tiling in the bathroom once we get to gutting and rehabing it. This stove burns dried and shelled corn and wood pellets. We use them in a 50/50 mix. It has the look of an old wood-burning fireplace. Yes, if you notice, the curtains are directly behind the stove. But, all of the heat is in the front. Where the curtains are are all the mechanical and computer components. It's completely cool there. The out pipe is located on the left side of the unit. This stove heats up to 2500 square feet. The first floor of our house (ranch-style house) stays between 70 and 73 degress, which is even warmer than the central furnace, using Natural Gas. And, the basement still stays 58-60 degrees. When the furnace ran, the basement was still at that same temperature, even though the furnace was in the basement.

This is the picture of the stove when it starts burning. We don't have it, but for the front of the unit, there is a fake wood kit. This would sit right in the front glass, in front of the burn pot. You can't see it here, but right in the center, where the you see the flame, is the round, about 2 inches diameter in the center of the pot, sized burn pot.

It does get a little louder in the living room when the stove runs, but overall, it's fine with us. This stove burns with an alternative heating source, also called biomass fuels. Some of these stoves even burn cherry pits, sunflower seeds, soy beans (dried), etc.

I'll start posting my journal for my magazine article here tomorrow. It's getting late and don't forget, tonight the clock jumps ahead an hour.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

WOW! What a Week!

OK! For all of you NOT in the Cleveland, OH area, the weather up here SUCKS! Yesterday, with only 3 hours into the snow storm, I drove home from my internship. A typical 30-40 minute trip home, took an hour. To top it off, Rob had to work last night. He ended up getting up at 2:30 pm because he had to "go." He checked to see where I was, which happened to be almost home, but REALLY slow. He ended up staying up. Good thing because I would have gotten him up by 4pm anyway.

Drove down the street to get Cassi.

We came home and I made din din. I made Chicken Alfredo, with my favorite recipe for sauce. Rob ate and took a shower. He ended up leaving by 5:30. Luckily, he was able to get to work in a little over an hour.

While he was gone last night, Cassi and cleaned and removed extra toys from her room to the basement. We also rearranged her bedroom. With us not using the central furnace, this allowed us to put her bed in front of her heating vent. This allows her to have an ENORMOUS amount of space in the middle of her bedroom for playing and having friends over for sleepover. We'll be able to put an air mattress in her room so her friends can stay in the room with her. Also, because the closet is on the wall that flanks the garage, the closet tends to ALWAYS be cold. She will be away from the closet and the cold.

Come summer we'll be able to go through her toys in the basement. I think we'll look at taking all her toys out to Jamie's Flea Market to try to sell them. If we can sell them, I'm thinking about giving her part of the money for Christmas presents for her to buy.

Today, Rob came home and snow blowed out the drive and sidewalk before he went to bed. Come the afternoon, the snow blowed back up onto the walkway and in front of the door. I've got pictures from inside the house and out the front door (like I did about this time last year). I'll try to get them posted tomorrow. Sadly, the camera I've got now has a CF card. My laptop has an opening for an SD card. Eh!

But, I've been working on a journal the past week to keep track of what we've been doing with the stove. I'll start posting information about the stove here this week as my rough draft of my magazine article is due this week. But, I won't post the full article until after I've sent it to a magazine for possible publishing.

Lots of love to all,
8^ )

Monday, March 03, 2008

20 Hours!

Can you believe that?!

From midnight Saturday night until midnight last night, I slept, yes, SLEPT 20 out of the 24 hours. Luckily enough for me, Rob was working the weekend and Cassi was at Pa's until Sunday evening.

Finally got to bed at midnight after getting my car back from Dan. We swapped car/truck because we used his truck to get shelled corn for our pellet stove on Saturday.

I slept until Rob came home. I know he was tired and exhausted from working. He got into bed at 8:30 am Sunday. I got up, pottied and fell asleep on the couch until 1:30 pm. Got up, at a bagel, cleaned out the pellet stove and fell back to sleep til 4pm.

Got up, heated up din din for Rob. Cassi got home. I took another nap from 6:3o til 8. Got up, got her ready for bed, had to sleep with me. I was up til 10:30-ish. Was back asleep by 11 pm until 7:30 am this morning.

Could REALLY go back to sleep now. But, I'm downtown until 6pm. Oh, well. And, maybe I can get a paper out this evening for my film class. We'll see.

Lots of love,
8^ )

P.S. I have had to drink 1 can of soda today. Rob thought it was my wanting to "kick" the habit that caused me to sleep so long. I say nay because I drink decaf soda. But, maybe something secret is inside, causing me to want to drink more. Now that I'm getting off soda completely, it's rearing its ugly head. I'm still working on the "kicking" the habit.