Monday, November 30, 2009

25 Years

Yes, today is the official date. 25 years ago Barney & I said our vows in front of our families & friends. It just doesn't seem like that long. My first marriage lasted 5 years and it seemed like forever. This one has gone by quickly. Maybe because the first one was the marriage from hell and the second one has been fun.

We've accomplished a lot in 25 years and also accumulated a lot as can be seen by our storage areas in our home. I've switched jobs 3 times, he's had the same job. We've managed to stay afloat financially and have been blessed with good health. We've had 4 dogs, several birds, hamsters and cats. He's been a great father to my kids (truly grateful and blessed for that) and shared the good times and sad times. We are pretty equal when it comes to family members and their need for help. The one thing we can never do is use each others families in an argument.

Things have been good but with any marriage there have been some struggles along the way. We have managed to work through them. We've both put effort into this marriage. I remember the first year being pretty shaky, but it was also a learning experience for both of us. So today as I look over the past 25 years I can truthfully say that it's been fun, interesting, frustrating at times, exciting and adventurous. I can go for another 25.

Today I am also celebrating the fact that the ol' snowmobile has also been with me for 25 years.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

I'm thankful every day for the people & things in my life, but today seems to be the day that one vocally expresses the feelings.
I'm thankful that I was able to get up this morning and prepare a Turkey. I'm thankful that I had a Turkey to prepare as so many people don't.
I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head to share these things with.
I'm thankful that I have family to share this day with.
I'm thankful for those who are not with their families, but instead fighting for our right to do so and for those who have done so in the past, and for those who will do so in the future.
I'm thankful for my husband, who has been a rock for me throughout 25 years of marriage.
I'm thankful that we are both still employed, as so many have lost their jobs this past year.
I'm thankful for all the past experiences in my life that have allowed me to learn from the bad ones and rejoice in the good ones.
I'm thankful for my friends. I think I may qualify as one who has been blessed with only the best of them.
I'm thankful for the fond memories of have of those who can't be with us any longer. Although still sad at times, I'm thankful that I have been able to lean toward focusing on the goodness of their lives.
I'm thankful for my children. Without them I wouldn't be the person I am. They have brought plenty of joy to my life, and without them I wouldn't have the three wonderful Grandchildren that I have.

I'm sure I may have missed something, but to sum it up...I'm thankful!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Parade Issues

The annual Christmas parade has always been a "thing" for our family. It started with my dad taking us and I think it was just to get us out of the house so Mom could relax and do whatever Mom's do when kids aren't around. There were some years we missed but I've always had memories of silly things that happened and my dad always seemed to have this certain look on his face when he took us. Going places with dad were more relaxed then with Mom. He let us run around, he bought us cotton candy & popcorn and he poked good hearted fun at things at the parade. He bought us McDonald's after the parade and told us not to tell Mom.
Before I had my kids I took my sisters a few times when Dad couldn't. It made me feel good to take time out of my life to bring a little joy to them. Since I've had my own kids we've tried to go, weather permitting but have missed a few. I was hoping the tradition wouldn't die once they got older. We went along with them when they were teens and dealt with some of their friends sitting in the car because they were cold, but eventually coming out to check things out.
When the grand kids were old enough to go without being bundled we headed out again. Instead of our group getting smaller it's gotten bigger. It's more like a family gathering where we get to be silly, eat doughnuts, drink hot chocolate and hopefully not freeze. My brother David was big on the parade and always made sure his girls got to go.
We have this "spot" we always try to get and by leaving at 8am were always assured to get it. This year the route changed! We had to find a spot a block over. As we were walking up they were closing the street and the island was available for the taking. We scooped in and staked our claim. Set up the chairs & blankets and made sure the kids had prime spots. All was well until about 10 minutes before the parade. Things were getting squishy. We were all about cheer and moved closer together several times to accommodate late arrivals. Then it got ugly. My sister & family were down on the end. A late arriving group of people with kids came and decided to cram in next to her. One of the larger woman was just about sitting on my sister's lap and they were shoving her kids out of their spot. One of my niece's wasn't having it. She did a little shove back at this kid twice her size and told him to move. She didn't care, she was there first and no one was getting her spot. My sister nicely told this woman that we would slide down a bit to let her kids have a spot on the curb. We did so, and big woman then squeezes in and stands right in front of my sister. I heard the arguing. Then brother-in-law stepped in and explained how this was for the kids and we've been here since 8am and could she at least stand in back of her kids. She does this eye rolling thing and excuses herself for "sleeping in". Some how it got resolved for the moment.
The parade went on, the kids were happy, warm and well snacked up. The weather was great, they got to see Auntie Nannette and Uncle Benny in the parade and were delighted that they were waved at by someone they knew. They were like celebrities. Santa came and the parade ended. We began to clean up our mess of cups, and wrappers, chairs, blankets and most of all kids. A lady on the other side of us offered the late arrival a bag for her kid's trash. She stated nicely that we should leave it as we found it. The woman poo-poos her and states that they have people to clean the mess up. The other woman states that it's proper to clean up after yourself, at which point late arrival woman says "What is up with you white people. You all think you own the world". Fighting words were coming out. We took out trash and left.
Will we go again next year. Yes. That's what us white people do.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Working On My Last Nerve

In the past week we have received ten or more calls from toll free numbers. They show up on our caller ID and I brush them off as being un-important as theres no message left. My daughter picked one up the other day and it was for the Heart Association wanting me to pass out envelopes to my neighbors. She told them I was out of town. They call back 1/2 hour later and I answer. I nicely explain to them that my neighbor does this and I contribute therefore there are no other neighbors to ask. I live next door to her and she has it covered. He's very persistent and I continue to try to be nice. Finally I ask him if he understood me and he persists. I hang up. Last night the call comes again. I explain, he persists, I ask to speak to a manager, he declines my request. I proceed to tell him that I want to be taken off the calling list or I will call and complain. He thanks me for my time and hangs up. Sure enough, at 8 pm last night the same number! I'm done with these people. Being on the no call list does not block non-profit organizations, which is fine but once you tell them no then they should not return the call for a least 6 months. Today my call is going in to the American Heart Association.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Too Early...

3:15 a.m. is just to early to be getting up, no matter what it's for. As usual our business seems to pick up the last quarter of the year. Just when everyone is becoming busy with the Holidays and shopping. What's nice is the production associates are now back to 40 hours after being on 32 since March. And I should mention that fact that I am grateful to have a job when so many people are still losing their jobs or out of work. The downside to this is by mid January they will be back to 32 hours unless the industry picks up.

Our company Christmas party this year is an on-site event. The boss raised quite a ruckus around here regarding the party. Our work week for production is Monday-Thursday. The Christmas party is being held on a Friday afternoon. He took it upon himself to change the work week schedule to Tuesday through Friday so everyone would be here for the party. I think having a Monday off would be nice, but also see the conflict others are having. Not many of the production workers have attended the Christmas parties in the past. I have never been to one, simply because I don't enjoy them. I enjoy going out with the people I work with in a comfortable environment. The problem that arose with switching the hours is that some people have taken part-time weekend jobs to make up for the loss in hours. He's now telling these people to take either take off from those jobs or take a vacation day from here for that Friday because he's not changing the schedule. A few unhappy campers around here now.

Yesterday we received an email with details of the party. It's from 2:30 to 4:30. We are scheduled to work 5am-3. He was asked if we were shutting down 1/2 hour early to attend and they were told they can shut down at 3 and go. I'm almost certain that no one will be attending the event. It's not mandatory. The problem here is that this is considered a during the work day event. Beside the production employees the majority of the work force have a 8-4 or 9-5 workday. They are being paid to attend the event and odds are will be there the entire time.
He was asked if we could work 6-4 and shut down at 3 and go. Denied. So he came to me to find out why all the complaints when he tried to do something nice. He didn't want people to have to come in on their off day. After a brief discussion regarding production workers attire and hat hair and not much time to clean up or change I think he understood a little. The question from him that I couldn't answer was "How many production associates do you think will come" and "how many do you think will take off after their 10 hours are in"? I'm guilty of being one of them that will take off. Not because of the pay, but simply because I feel we're being forced to attend an event.

Sometimes you find the most unlikely people listening to Christmas music. It's a nice change for an hour or so a day but they've got it blasting out on the lines. Big old goofy guys singing along to Janet's favorite donkey song.

Monday, November 16, 2009

They Got Us

The past couple weeks a group of friends have been planning a small cribbage tournament. Ben, Nannette, Arn & I even had a little practice prior to a Packer game to brush up on our skills. The tournament was to be Saturday. Snacks were assigned to everyone and things were rolling into place. I received several emails regarding the tournament and noticed a few facebook posts by friends also in regards to the tournament.
Saturday morning things were going along as usual. The taco roll-ups were made and waiting. I did the weekly keep in touch phone calls to some friends & family. Everyone was pretty busy. My friend asked what we were doing after cribbage and suggested we get together. My daughter and the girls were up and out of the house for a "brunch" with a friend. We were told to be at cribbage by 1:30 to register so we could start by 2. We left the house, taco roll-ups in hand around 1:20. The thrill of the day so far was we found the bridge on Grange Avenue to be finally open. My daughter and I had walked over it the night before but the road was not open. I called her to somewhat brag about going over the fence but got no response. She called back a few minutes later and sounded pretty busy with her girls and her friend's dog. I could hear the girls practicing their "cheerleading cheers" in the background. I decided to hang up as we were pulling in the lot. Arn made the comment that he didn't want to be at the bar all night. "Let's not make this a 9 or 10 pm night". I rolled my eyes as usual.
As we were walking toward the bar I saw my husbands brother Ike walking toward the bar. "What is your brother doing here". We both paused and noticed that he just kept walking in. Hmm..Maybe he was getting in on the cribbage. We kept walking and then Arn spotted my son's truck. By that time it was to late, we were walking onto the porch of the bar. We both tried to turn around but heard the laughter and camera's were flashing. "Happy Anniversary". What a surprise! "No cribbage" was just about all we could say at first.
These guys are great. All the planning and little white lies they told. All the effort put into making it a special day for us. Neither one of us expected this. We were (still are) going out of town for our Anniversary weekend. Never, ever expected anything. We had a great time with all the people that matter the most to us. Great friends, great family, and man there was a lot of food.
Things I'm thankful for that day..of course everyone who made this possible plus Arn decided to go get his hair cut Saturday morning. Also that I changed my clothes at the last moment. I had running pants and a tee shirt on. Heck, we were just going to play cribbage.
Thanks again too all those who made this possible.
I can't leave this post without mentioning the Packers win over Dallas. I must admit that I was a leaning toward a Cowboy's win. It was just an added plus to an already great weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What To Do...

Tomorrow will be my first Friday off in quite a while due to some accumulated comp time and a little bit of a lack of work. I'm wondering if I'll be able to sleep past 5 a.m. I'm thinking negative to that because of the snooze hitter that sleeps next to me. I find myself to be a very polite riser. My alarm goes off and I get up and shut it off and head for the shower. Mr. Snooze isn't so polite. He hits the snooze several times. In the past I have found the way to solve this is to just stay up as long as I can. If I'm in a deep sleep I don't hear it. I hear nothing until he slams the door when he leaves.

I'm trying to think of things to do tomorrow. I've got some shopping to do and had plans to haul some things to Goodwill. If I get the junk I want to rid myself of in the truck tonight then I don't have to deal with my better half wondering what I'm getting rid of. Sorry to say that I can't get into his stuff. I have noticed him loading up the back of his truck with junk and making a few trips to the dump over the past several weeks. The other day I saw the snowmobile sitting in the driveway on wheels. I got a little excited thinking it was going to the dump. "Hey, is that going to the dump" I asked. "If you can move it, you can take it to the dump" was the reply. I walked over and started pushing it. He never moved so fast! Stood right between me and the hunk of scrap. My only recourse was to comment "Well, I guess it's been with me for as long as you have. Dang that thing is old". I have come to the conclusion that I am married to one stubborn man. Either that or there's some hidden treasure under that snowmobile seat. I can't think of any sentimental value it has and it's not like he's ever going to fix it. Not quite sure what goes on in the head of his sometimes.

Maybe I should just take the day for myself. Sleep in, laze on the couch and watch some Lifetime tv, prepare the taco roll-ups for the Cribbage tournament Saturday, read one of the four books I have started, watch the Wii fit video.......

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Could This Be Relief?

I get up and leave for work a little earlier than most of you so I'm not sure you got to experience the frost on the car windows this morning. Yep, there is was, nice and thick and not just the windshield, the side windows also. I turned the wipers on and heard the all to familiar noise of the wiper blades scraping across the frost. I rolled down the side windows and upon coming back up the frost remained. Because I was not in that big of a hurry I waited for them to clear while I sat in my car. Must remember to dig out the handy frost removing tool.

I should be happy to see this frost. Yesterday my doctor told me that as soon as the first big freeze comes, I should see some relief from the allergies I have suddenly encountered. Yesterday was not a good day. The month long cold and sinus headache finally got to me and I could not cure this on my own or with otc drugs any longer. I was spending just as much on DayQuil as I would on a prescription that could clear it up faster. I'm not one to run to the doctor, but I know when I can't do it without help. She was kind enough to give me some good antibiotics which I must take for 7 days. She said between that and some allergy medication she suggested I should be good to go in a few days. I took the antibiotics around 5 last night and did sleep well. For 4 hours. I woke up at 1 am wide awake. Part of this temporary sickness was feeling tired all the time. 4 hours wasn't going to cut it. I strolled around the house for a bit, took some NyQuil and went back to bed. As soon as I started feeling like I was going to fall asleep, the snoring began. WTF!! He hasn't snored like that in ages. I tried to pull the extra pillow out from under his head (not to smack him with it or smother him) because it looked like his head was propped up to high. Boy did I get a glare. But at least he turned on his side and stopped (for a short time). I think I may have dozed off for an hour or so until it started again. Chucked it in around 3:30 and got up. As far as dose number one of the medicine...nothing. I did sleep good for 4 hours but the headache is still present. I've now taken dose number two and the nose is starting to run now. I am armed with two boxes of Kleenex and lots of hand sanitizer.

This just in...Dairyland Greyhound Park is closing December 1st. Good. It was really going downhill the past few years. Although they did have some good cheese fries. We'll have to look for another spot for those on the rainy camping days.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I Wasn't Shocked....

Watching the Packers loose to Tampa Bay wasn't at all shocking. They are a poorly coached team being killed by their own penalities. By the middle of the first half I began to laugh at all the mishaps. Next up..the Cowboy's. This should be good. I shall not wager anything because I already know what the outcome of that game will be. I'm loving all the morning talk shows trying to make sense of it. Plain and simple...they are a bad team right now.

We had Dylan yesterday and it became more amusing as he started analyzing what was going wrong. My little Fantasy Football kid was flipping channels for scores. He looked like a minature bookie. Him and my daughter were still watching toward the end of the 4th quarter. I heard the yelling and knew that TB had gotten in one more time. No use crying over spilled milk.

Putting that loss aside, I had a very productive weekend thanks to the nice weather. The yard is all cleaned up and I got a lot of cleaning done. Nice to have the doors open to aide in drying the cleaned carpets.
Made several trips to my mother-in-laws house for items she needed. It appears that now that she's home the help has subsided. Sure people will run to the store for her but then leave everything on the counters. She's still using a walker and isn't quite able to put things away yet. I give her credit for trying. But, I'd like to give the two older kids a good kick in the butt. I guess they were to young to remember everything she had done for them. Put a roof over their heads and basically supported them because their drunken, deadbeat father couldn't.
She made live good for them. Yes, things suck at home for them. Their mother is going in for her 2nd hip surgery soon and depends on them a lot for help. "What 21 year old wants to be stuck taking care of people" is the comment that was made. So you leave you 15 year old sister there to do everything. The 19 year old man boy has a job now (finally) so because he works 30 hours a week he feels it's not necessary for him to do anything at home. I'm seriously thinking of getting her on the Hoarders show just so that house can get cleaned up. I will go over and clean my mother in laws house but I refuse to clean a house with 3 adults living in it. Two that should have the sense to figure out that their mother needs help right now. Either that, or they need to get out and fend for themselves.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I Don't Think So

My husband raised a question to me last night. Should he put the camper away or am I interested in going this weekend. Granted the weather man said we would have highs in the 60's for the weekend, but I think he forgot to check the lows (30's). The man who goes to bed in sweats, socks and a sweatshirt and has to have the flannel sheets on while at home in the heated house wants to camp when it's going to be in the 30's at night. Sure..I'll get right on packing up. I'm sure it would be nice during the day and we'd have a good time, once we defrosted from the night before. Now if we had the ultimate home on wheels I may reconsider. I'm thinking that once the sunsets at 4:45 pm there may not be a fire big enough to stay warm. Plus the fact that the only bathrooms available are the pit toilets makes me think this through logically. No!

Update on the football pool at work...I am still without a win. I wonder just how far this loosing streak will go on.

I received a few emails yesterday regarding the Packers loss. Most of them were expressing sympathy. I don't feel bad about it. They played horribly! Our quarterback did finally decide to scramble and run in the 3rd quarter which made the game a little more exciting, but once again penalties cost them. The whole Brett thing was over played. Nice to have a camera focused totally on him so we could see him blow snot out of his nose. My highlight of the game was hearing the comment regarding Rogers "He's a nifty runner". Cute.

So this whole cold thing is really starting to frustrate me. I have been stuck with it since October 2nd when I went to Arizona. I have gone through the sinus part, the stomach part and the returning sinus thing. My home remedies are not doing it and Stb's remedy isn't working either. I'm pretty close to going to the doctor for something to wipe it out. Problem is every time I'm ready to call and make an appointment, I feel better for a few days. It's back again, and along with it is the totally wiped out feeling. Can't seem to get enough sleep. Maybe if I just became a booze hound for a weekend I'd burn it out.