Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 At a Glance

Kept the same job-with added responsibilities and a small raise, but am thankful I remained employed.

Health is good-had all the yearly tests required with good results.

Husband remained employed, although it was a little shaky for a while.

Kept my friends-every single one of them, which I am thankful every day to have. And made a few new ones.

Walked with my friend to celebrate her 4th free year (and many more to come)

Joined a zumba class.

Family is healthy and for the most part all employed.

Laughed with my friends over silly things.

Cried with my friends over sadness.

Comforted and was comforted by my friends.

Went to several Brewer games (not as many as I wanted to)

Enjoyed Summerfest.

Enjoyed State Fair

Went fishing.

Took a mini vacation this year camping which was enjoyable, although some one didn't come and due to work restraints someone had to cut out early. They were missed.

My daughter is doing much better and has moved out of the house. Although I worry about her, she seems happier than she has been in years. The girls are happy and in good hands, so I guess Grandma needs to relax a little.

Went to numerous baseball and football games in which Dylan played. I'm so very thankful that I am able to watch his games, and that he is able to participate.

We lost one of our cats this year after only having him one year. It's shocking how much impact this one little guy had on us. Still miss him, but am thankful for the time we were able to give him a home.

Gained a cat this year. My daughter is not able to have her cat where she is living so she stayed on with us. Not as friendly as the one we lost but with some attention she's coming around.

Bought a new fridge after ours died while we were camping. Also bought a new sump pump two days after that.

Husband still hasn't completely finished off the porch, but he's getting there.

Turned to sand pit into a swimming area. Purchased a pool that turned green because no one took care of it. I think the project for 2011 will be a giant fire pit with seating. That's my dream.

There were no babies born in our family this year.

Celebrated my mother's 75th birthday with a party at our house. So very thankful for that.

Stupidly didn't book the Vegas trip with my friends. Will try to smarten up by the next planned trip.

Once again spent more on Christmas than I planned, but hey..it's once a year.

Arnie got a new cell phone.

Arnie got Wheel of Fortune for the Wii

Try as I might I just can't keep someone out of first place playing Wheel on facebook.

Watched my son become more gainfully employed. A huge break he needed and deserved. A lot of hard work is paying off for him.

I have a lot to be thankful for as this year comes to an end. I'm just glad to be sharing it with people I enjoy and are blessed to have in my life.

Happy New Year...everyone please be careful out there. Bring on 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

I started Christmas shopping around the first week of November. I took advantage of ordering some things on-line, but ended up going to stores for about 1/2 of what I bought. I thought I started early enough to be done a week or so before Christmas, but there I was out there two days before for a last few items.
The cookies were baked, the tree decorated, the outside 50% done and gifts wrapped by the 22nd. Then came the two days of cooking and preparing for Christmas Eve and Day. All went well.
The family Christmas Eve was hosted by Ben & Gambino this year. My compliments for a very fun & enjoyable family gathering. The kids (and my 40 year old sister) were occupied with crafts in the upper level of the home. A great idea as it kept them from sitting on the couch staring at the gifts under the tree. The food was yummy, especially the home made mac & cheese. The gift opening went great. Didn't get to see to much of what people as it did get a little hectic for a few minutes there.
My husband managed to make it through the night although fighting a horrible cold. I wasn't sure he'd made the event as he sounded terrible and being a stubborn man opted out of taking anything for his illness.
After not to late of a night we headed home to get some rest before round two of Christmas started. It's always a hassle getting my kids and grand kids and mother-in-law over at the same time, but it worked out great. I filled their stomachs with lots of food and off we went to the chaos of opening gifts. From the mound of gifts I thought it would take at least a few minutes. I thought of making them open one gift at a time, but as a kid, what fun would that be? I sat and watched the utter chaos and smiles and kidding and couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be at the moment.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Colonoscopy-A Crappy Subject

What better thing to write about. I have put this routine off for a few years and after being prompted by my doctor decided to go for it. I also made an pact with my friend that we'd both have it done this year. I made enough excuses in the past few years and reality set in and I made the call.
The initial consult with the doctor wasn't bad. A few instructions and a month to mull it over and cancel if I chose to. My friend went first. There was quite a difference in the prep required. She couldn't have anything with seeds or nuts for the 5 days before and then began a pretty restricted liquid diet the day before. She also began to take a syrup substance provided by her physician. After her procedure she let me know that she was not chained to her toilet all day. Things went pretty smoothly for her. A mild cramping but that was about it.
My prep began the day after Christmas. No solid food. (hide the cookies!). Jello or liquids only. Liquids meaning clear broth, fruit juices, water and Popsicles. I had to take 4 tablets at 3 pm. Within 1/2 hour my stomach was churning. I chose not to eat anything and also was not hungry to this point. At 5 pm I was to mix a full bottle of Murilax with 64 ounces of any flavor Gatorade I chose. I chose Ice Blue Frost. I was then to drink an 8 ounce glass every 1/2 hour until it was gone. Needless to say I did miss several Packer scores. At this point I thought it would be much worse (horror stories heard) and remarked to my husband that it wasn't so bad. By the time I got to the last 8 ounces of mix I really struggled to get it down. I did get it down before the allotted 2 hours.
This is when all hell broke loose. I'm not a big sugar laden beverage drinker. The Gatorade was doing a number on me. I broke into a sweat and could feel my stomach rejecting whatever I was drinking. No where on my handy brochure did it say anything about vomiting. Without revealing the nitty gritty of it all, I will say that the garbage bags I use in my bathroom garbage can hold plenty of liquid. This little ordeal even brought my husband to the bathroom door. I could do nothing but laugh at this point. I don't know how I found humor in it but I did.
The rest of the night went well. I was clean and ready to go. The exam itself was a piece of cake. I was put into a Twilight sleep but woke up close to the end. Couldn't feel a thing but could see the screen. Kind of blurry after that until I was taken back to the holding area and my husband appeared. Within 1/2 hour was up and out the door. Checked in at 10:45 and out by 12:30.
My advice...not that big of a deal. Do what they tell you..don't cheat and eat, and buy the flavor of Gatorade that you are least likely to buy on a regular basis. This ordeal need only be done once every 10 years if you come out clean. Five years if there is a family history or they detect anything. Not bad considering it's a preventative measure.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Don't Break My Spirit




I like the Christmas season. It can be a little stressful at times, but the outcome is good. My family has get togethers throughout the year, but the Christmas gathering always seems to be the best. I don't have any bad childhood memories of Christmas, and I am thankful to my parents for that. My mother did not have a very happy childhood, and therefore went out of her way to make sure her children did.


Christmas was always special. We were raised to understand the true meaning of Christmas, but we all know that when a child sees a mound of presents in front of them, that meaning becomes a little lost. So when all the wrapping paper, boxes and bows are cleaned up and the gift cards are located in the piles of discarded boring clothes we take a few moments and relay the true meaning.


Since I have had children and grandchildren of my own I have tried to pass the excitement of Christmas on to them. The shopping can be a little rough, but has been made easier throughout the years by shopping online. The decorating can be a little much, but when all is done it's nice to take a step back and smile. Christmas should not be a chore. I know, "tell that to the person hosting Christmas at their home". That is a chore. Shopping, cooking, cleaning and making sure everything turns out OK. My family is pretty easy to please and helpful. The outcome should be a room full of happy people who enjoy spending time together.


Now put the brakes on...Someone, or should I say several people are out to break my spirit this year.
  • For 27 Christmas's I have been with my husband who's busy season of the year is Christmas. I've seen him stressed, tired and crabby to no end. I've done just about all the Christmas prep by myself minus the outside lights. Our lights are 1/2 done, yet boxes are scattered all over the basement. Figured he'd be working on them last night, but took to the couch instead.
  • My mother-in-law is in her usual "There is no Christmas this year" mode. It's getting old and I'm getting tired of it. I've tried to be sympathetic in the past but it's the same thing every year. There's no money for presents. No one expects her to buy presents. If you buy her something she wants you to return it as she got you nothing. You explain to her that it doesn't matter over and over again. Something in the back of my mind tells me that she just wants to exchange or return whatever she received as she just doesn't like it.
  • My sister-in-law is in her repetitive "I hate Christmas" mode. Another one with no money for gifts, however plenty of money for frivolous items. This one can get me to be a little bitter as I've purchased gifts for her children when there was a claim of no money only to see the brother-in-law well stocked on beer and other party products.
  • My kids are arguing. I refuse to be in the middle of this as they are both adults. I will listen but refuse to pass judgement or become involved. This should make for a lovely Christmas day if this is not resolved. I listen to them and wonder what happened to make them so bitter toward each other. I'm not saying my parenting skills were right, but I seldom screamed at my kids. Tried talking things through and treating them both equally and fairly. Their father on the other hand favored my son and did not and still does not know how to talk to them. The phone calls I've been witness to are of him in a rage over something.
  • I think I may pick up the 3 grandchildren and have a peaceful Christmas Day with them.

I hear there are plenty of movie theaters open for business on Christmas Day. After church and breakfast we may head to one.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Two Years-

Well it's been two years since you left us Randy. Most of the tears have now taken over to laughter and smiles when remembering you. The times you are missed are countless. I haven't had a hearty-gut busting laugh that would bring me to tears, in quite a while.
Still waiting for you to walk out of the office and on to the production floor-barking out some orders. Some people have attempted to break your "24 Mikes Hard Lemonade" record but it hasn't been done yet. The pudgy pie making has been handed over to Steve, but he could use a wise-cracking assistant. Jo's done a good job taking over on the "There are no Buffalo in South Dakota". We're still belting out some of your favorite songs-still working on the Ozzie stuff though.
Even though you are missed, the memories are there. Something that can never be taken away. RIP buddy!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

RIP

I make it a habit to read the obits a few times a week. Usually just scan the names and if one looks familiar I'll check out the actual obit. This morning I opened the paper and looked right at a name with picture that threw me for a loop. My high-school boyfriend died yesterday. I actually only dated him for about a year but knew him all through middle school and remained friends with him after we broke up. Over the years we ran into each other several times and did the quick update on our lives.
I broke up with him for the charms of my first husband. Everything happens for a reason right? Both his father & my ex's father were employees of Ladish so they ended up working together. He married, had two girls and was divorced shortly after the 2nd daughter was born. His wife left him with both the girls. She also worked at Ladish and ran off with some guy from there. This woman was horrible. I felt bad for him because he was just too nice of a guy and didn't deserve what she put him and his girls through. He ended up moving back home with his mom and raising his girls, and helping his mom out. The day before I married Arnie, he called me out of the blue to ask me out. Everything happens for a reason again.
I think he was in his early teens when his dad passed away. He had three brothers and their garage was the big hang out. They constantly had cars in their garage. The gear head boys of the high school. I often wondered how their mom kept up with 4 greasy, dirty boys. Once when I was over there I noticed greasy hand prints on the entrance wall and she told me she'd never wash them off as they were signs that her boys worked hard.
My brother was good friends with him and his brothers, so was also over there a lot. Drinking beer and working on cars. Send the girls for parts and food. That was my job. A lot of memories of hanging out with him and his brothers. Good bunch of guys that treated girls like gold.
Rest In Peace Tom. I'm sure your girls have a ton of memories of your kindness.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Day With An 11 year old boy

My grandson stayed over night on Thanksgiving. His dad had to work early and they would be leaving for hunting the next afternoon. It has been a while since he stayed over by himself so I was a little nervous that he'd be bored. It was quite the opposite. The time was long overdue for son grandma-grandson bonding.
He did have the choice of staying with us or going with his dad and staying home for several hours alone. He chose staying with us. That was only after I assured him that I would not be getting him up at 3am to shop. I did have fun with that while we were watching TV. Every early bird/Black Friday commercial that came on found be commenting that maybe we should get up and go. His eyes would widen and he'd ask if I was kidding.
This is kind of how the time went after everyone else left on Thanksgiving.
  • Ask if there is anymore Pumpkin Pie even though he just had a piece an hour ago.
  • Make sure there was still Redi Whip for his pie for the next day
  • Find the Lazar pointer and play with the cats for a while
  • Take a shower and sing something his grandparents could not make out.
  • Check for messages on his phone
  • Hit the man cave with Grandpa for a while
  • See if Grandma's ready to watch the Simpson's movie
  • Settle in and watch the movie
  • Pause it once to get a snack
  • Pause again for water and bathroom break
  • Ask once again if he'd be woken up early for shopping.
  • Fall asleep watching 2nd movie-it was boring anyway
  • Wake up around 830 and wander into grandmas room. Watch news and beg to not be dragged to the store.
  • Eat the pumpkin pie for breakfast and 1/2 hour later eat a Grandma prepared Turkey sandwich.
  • Bargain with Grandma-taco bell for lunch if he goes to grocery store with her.
  • eat another Turkey sandwich when grandpa gets home
  • Take a shower and text a picture of his face with "I"m watching you" attached-to his grandmother.
  • hear the giggle when grandma checks her text
  • check one more time if Taco Bell is still promised after the grocery store
  • Go back and pick up the dirty clothes left in the bathroom, find the clothes from the night before and while Grandmother is waiting stop and send another text stating he's coming. Because we live in a mansion texting is necessary.
  • Finally get shoes and coat on and once again ask about Taco Bell.
  • Try to bargain to stay in the car, but finally decide to come in.
  • Try to add things to the cart and then giggle when the items are discovered.
  • Stop and read the cover of the latest hunting magazine.
  • Finally get the Taco Bell
  • Stink up my bathroom and text me about it.
  • Watch another movie and lay on the floor and play with Sadie.
  • Father comes to pick him up. Still doesn't have all his stuff together. Typical 11 year old boy.

All in all I did have fun.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

And Here We Go....

Every year for the past 20 years or so it happens. It's usually the weekend after Thanksgiving and I thought I'd be prepared again this year. Even though shopping and preparing for Christmas can be stressful I manage to find a way to get into the spirit of Christmas.
My mother-in-law has once again called off Christmas. Through out the years I've heard horror stories of how she freaked every Christmas over the way the tree was looking, over her cookies and whatever else went wrong in her day. I did get to witness her tossing all her cookie dough one day because she couldn't remember if she added an ingredient or not.
Back in the mid 60's Arnie's dad was in a horrible car accident on Christmas Eve. The story has it that she has been down on Christmas since then. A few years ago I made the comment "Wouldn't this make you more in the spirit because you didn't lose him?" She never counts her blessings, only looks at the bad side of everything. I've had many conversations with her showing her the good in things which works for about an hour and then she starts in again.
Today marks the beginning of her call of no Christmas this year. She is convinced that by Christmas she will be in kidney dialysis. She is one a medication that needs to be monitored and was sent for blood work the other day. Her doctors office called yesterday for a consult of her blood work and an appointment was made for Tuesday. "They're going to break the news then".
The lab sent her a copy of the blood work and she has suddenly become a doctor and is able to tell that her kidneys are bad. Fortunately my mother just went through the same thing and I remembered her telling me her numbers. They are about the same as mother-in-laws meaning she's okay. I have to remind her also that she is 77 years old. To tell her that is basically means she needs to be monitored and possible taken off the medication or have the dosage decrease falls on deaf ears. I was done talking about it. Then came the best part....
She is convinced she was adopted. Being that she is 10 years younger than her sister, she doesn't believe she was a later in life child. There is a picture she found of herself in a laundry basket that now has her convinced that she was dropped off on their porch. She's damn serious. When asked why she looks so much like her siblings she replied "When people live together for a long time they look alike". I think what we have her is a case of someone who is bored out of their mind. She needs a hobby or to get to a senior center or something to socialize with others. I've told my husband and his siblings that they need to convince her to get out and do something. This woman is very talented, educated and brilliant in many ways. She lacks self-confidence. She needs to do something other than sit in her house day after day and let her mind wander. My attempts at finding her social centers which offer crafts, music (which she loves), baking or just plain talking have been ignored.
I did remind her once again this year that Christmas is not canceled. Christmas comes every year and if she chooses not to celebrate that is her own choice, but it comes no matter what she says. So once again, we're in for the ride.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Long List

Happy Thanksgiving. We should all be thankful that we are here to celebrate this holiday again.
This date seems to be the day a lot of people sit down and reflect upon what they are or need to be thankful for. I am guilty of not taking the time each day to give thanks. When something not so good happens my first reactions are anger or panic. It takes a bit of time to switch to the "well things could be worse" mode. They could be worse, which is why I am thankful :

I am thankful that I was woken up this morning by Sadie's potty bark. It means her & I are still here.
I am thankful for my husband's snoring. (well, just the part that means he's still her also)
I am thankful that 2 years ago we made the decision to adopt the cat that crawls all over us at night. He's become Arnie's little buddy.
I'm thankful for my parents who raised us all with strong family bonds and morals.
I'm thankful for my grandfather, who will forever have an impact on my life.
I'm thankful for the ability to have had children, who need a good kick once in awhile, but have brought joy & love.
I'm thankful for my first failed marriage because without it I would never have known what a good marriage is. Thankful for 26 years of a good marriage.
I'm thankful for all those have served our country and those who continue to do so. Without these courageous people we may not be able to live in the great country we do.
I'm thankful for the memory of my former mother-in-law who always had a saying for everything. I'm thankful that I can still remember the sayings.
I'm thankful that my brother, after two attempts, now has a good marriage. I'm thankful that his lovely wife is the person she is. Did I mention what a great friend she is also?
I'm thankful and blessed with some of the greatest friends. Can't say enough about them.
I'm thankful for my family & my husbands family. Without any of them life could be boring.
I'm thankful that we have had the ability to "rent" out or spare room to those in need.
I'm thankful for the forever memories I will have of my brother David. Today's memory will be the half frozen veggie casserole he brought to Thanksgiving and the "special" pumpkin creme pie he'd order each year.
I'm thankful for the time I got to spend with those taken to soon, and the memories I will always have of them.
I'm thankful for my grandchildren. They are a beyond words incredible kids.
I'm thankful for good health and the ability to fight and overcome any illness's or diseases.
I'm thankful that I can walk next to my friend each year and celebrate her victory.

This list could go on and on and I have a Turkey to prepare, which I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quiet

Hopefully this day will fly by. It seems that just about everyone in this department has taken the day off. I thought about it but didn't want to burn a vacation day. I'm out a 1 anyway and that should give me ample time for the Thanksgiving preparations.
I have a mental list in my head of things that need to be done. The mega Turkey I purchased has thawed, the to go with items have been purchased so I think I'm good to go. My husband has eagerly agreed to help peel potatoes (huge help). I'm convinced he grew up in a home void of a potato peeler. Proof can be seen in his use of one, so I'll just put him on cutting detail. There are no instant potatoes on Thanksgiving day.
I listened to Turkey cooking horror stories on the radio yesterday and had a few chuckles. I will probably jinx myself now but I've never had an issue. The first key in staying out of trouble is to purchase your Turkey ahead of time. Buying a Turkey the day before may cause issues. Those guys are frozen solid. Ours took 1 week in the fridge to thaw. I don't see the need to stress yourself out by trying to thaw a Turkey in one day. You want to make sure you coordinate your Turkey (which will take up most of your oven space) with the other items you need to cook. For the past several years I've had the Turkey done at least an hour before and had it carved and kept moist and warm in a nesco. My family doesn't care about a Turkey being brought to the table and carved in front of everyone, they just want to eat. Martha Stewart doesn't exist in our family gatherings. The Turkey is not on a special platter and decorated to the hilt. Don't get me wrong, there are serving dishes and the good plates are hauled out. There have been people caught sneaking the crunchy part of the stuffing and french fried onions off the top of the casserole dishes they were cooked in.
The eating seems to take only about 1/2 hour or so and then comes the hard part. The flurry of packing everything up and doing the dishes. The dishwasher comes in handy but we can't seem to fit everything in. I try to keep it somewhat organized and usually ask that I be able to pack leftovers away prior to having dirty dishes brought in and stacked everywhere. This is about the time I will glance at my kitchen floor and wonder how the heck it can get so messed up in such a little time. Then I'll look around at the rest of my house and wonder how it could get so messed up. You spend a lot of time cleaning and preparing for the gathering and spend just as much time cleaning up afterwards. But the extra work is well worth spending time with family. Afterwards I feel thankful that I have a job that allows the day after Thanksgiving off.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Behind The Scenes

Saturday marked the date of the 84th Annual Milwaukee "Holiday" Parade. Growing up this was always a big deal for my family. My dad would pack us up and we'd head downtown to stake our claim and watch the parade. It fizzed out for a while and picked up again when I started taking my kids. Other family members would join us and the group grew as the years went by. We missed a few due to cold weather but for the most part sucked it up and dealt with the weather.
Two years ago Ben & Nannette began to participate in the parade through her work place. We were asked if we'd care to join in this year. We were to hold the Toy Soldier balloon. When telling the rest of the family we got mixed reactions. Apparently they don't actually enjoy sitting in the cold. Bunch of spoil sports.
We then decided to join Ben & Nannette along with other friends to see the other side of the parade. The prep began in the wee hours of the morning when my alarm went off at 5:30 am. I figured I could handle being a little cold and decided to ditch the winter jacket idea and go with layers. We met in the lobby of her workplace and were given Santa hats, some directions and a warm bus ride down to the lakefront. At this point assistance was needed in preparing the balloons. We were provided with hot chocolate, coffee and Krispy Kremes and more directions. The woman coordinating threw out some helpful hints to those of us that would be handing out freebies to the parade watchers. She mentioned several times that we would be swarmed and that the adults were worse than the kids. "Don't give everything out in the beginning of the parade, pace yourselves so you have enough left at the end also, and last but not least, do not throw the items toward the crowd" They didn't want kids running into the street to retrieve the items. We were also warned about poop and to keep an eye on the road ahead of us to avoid stepping in it.
The wait began. We were to be in slot numbers 69 & 70. We could hear the bands warming up and could watch the crowd beginning to form. Our waiting spot was close to the actual beginning of the parade so we had a good view . A few minutes before the parade begins they have the bus brigade. I think there were around 70 school bus's used to transport the parade participants. Our bus driver seemed to be busy drinking coffee and wound up running toward her bus to fall in line.
As a crowd member this was always a good time. The kids would see the bus's coming and know that the parade would begin shortly. This always brought cheers from the crowd. The only thing that brought more cheers was the street sweeper and Santa.
Then came the police escort and the banner marking the 84th Annual Holiday Parade. The Homestead Band was then next. We knew we were somewhere after Ronald McDonald and began to get lined up and ready to go. Some of the girls decided to carry the beads on their arms and were once again warned about the swarming crowd. And then it was showtime...
Off we went following our balloon. I was carrying a Journal bag with rulers, little newspapers, coloring books and cookbooks. I was immediately swarmed with requests for beads. I was walking along handing out my "not too welcomed" rulers and thought I was keeping a good pace. Dodi was next to me with newspapers also. We looked ahead and found that we were quite a bit behind our balloon. Stepped it up a bit and caught up to our balloon holders. We looked back and saw the bead girls being swarmed by the crowd. They were keeping a good pace to keep up with the van so they could restock. Our balloon holders were doing a great job but were having some difficulty with two people toward the front who didn't seem to want to work together with the others.
It was a different experience seeing things from the other side. There is a lot of work that goes into the parade and I was glad to be a little part of it. The best part of my experience was having my grandson run out and hand his grandpa and me a cup of hot chocolate. It's those little things in life that warm your heart. He got a few extra "not so fun" rulers for his thoughtfulness. His mom may have gotten an extra cookbook or two.
The coordinator was right. We were swarmed, the adults are worse than the kids, and people seem to have a thing about the beads. All I heard besides "thank you" was requests for beads. Because of the swarming I decided to toss out some rulers and was pretty good at getting them close to the curb. I did get a little warning for tossing. It was either that or walk along with people clung to my arm.
Turning the final corner the parade veers off to the west but the balloons head east. This is where they met up with most of the wind. Poor Nannette looked like she was going to be carried away, but she kept things under control. One short block and it was time to set the Soldier down and begin to deflate him. Turned in my empty journal bag and our work was done.
To sum it up, it was a good time, I wasn't cold at all after walking, I made it through without stepping in any poop and I had a good time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Please Don't Help Me

I need suggestions on how to nicely tell my boss not to help me. My hours are based on production running, and for the past few weeks they have run a 10 hour a day staggered shift. My boss does not care to come in any earlier than 8:30 am, so I have the 4:30 am start time. This means I'm gone by 1 and he takes over from 1-3. I try to get any testing needed done by the time I leave.
We have been swamped this week with extra testing for a new Customer. When new products start the testing most customers require is beyond obscene. We take it in stride as we know that once regular production starts the testing amounts will decrease. A customer has every right to demand the testing and documentation to cover all their bases. The past couple days I have met with him before leaving and let him know that I could finish whatever was necessary the next morning. Every day this week I have come in to a complete mess. Uncompleted paper work, samples unlabeled, and tests done completely wrong. It has taken me more time to figure out and clean up his mess than to do it myself.
The first two days I just did it without commenting. See at home I'm accused going back over what I ask someone to do. Well 9 times out of 10 there is an issue. Taking out the garbage means taking out all the garbage, vacuuming means the whole house-not just one room, doing the dishes means-all the dishes including the pots you used to cook. So by past practice it's easier to do it myself, rather than pretending to be happy that someone did a half ass job.
Today I think may be my final straw. I came in to a bigger mess than the past 3 days, two major tests that were done wrong, and crap laying all over the lab. No notes, no paperwork-nothing. This may be my punishment for not saying anything the first couple days. Maybe I will hide any samples I do not finish by the time I leave.
My boss has made it clear that his position is only temporary. I can tell he is bored with his job and therefore puts no effort into things. He is taking night courses and figures he'll be moving up soon. He becomes very defensive when questioned about anything and actually becomes somewhat snotty with customers. There was an awkward situation in the lab with the customer that he was called out on afterwards by our manager. So I'm not sure what to do about this situation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back in Time

Speaking of crazy dreams! I decided to curl up in bed last night and watch a little TV. Flicking through channels my interest sparked when I came upon the History Channel. They were reviewing some of the countries biggest disasters. The show was about an avalanche back in 1920 or so which took out a train with passengers and coal. Must not have held my interest long as I think I fell asleep within 5 minutes or so.
The goofy dream I remember was that I had wanted to fly out and see my parent's but my husband talked me into taking the train so we could see the scenery. The problem was we weren't on a modern high speed train, we were on a very old coal type train. We got discounts on our tickets for shoveling coal for a few hours. I remember bitching (imagine that) several times on how we were taking so long to get there that we'd have to turn around and come right back.
About 1/2 way through the trip I noticed the Statue of Liberty off in the distance and questioned why we were going East. The conductor told us that the train had one route that went east and up through Canada and then back down through the west. My blood was boiling at that point and I was trying to figure out how to get off the train and to an airport. I finally managed to sneak off when we stopped at a station. Somehow I found my way to an airport but was told the only planes they had were the small open passenger single engine planes. I asked where all the jets were and was told they weren't invented yet. I was given a parachute and some goggles and boarded the plane. I had our cat with us and was worried that he'd be cold, so I was clutching him. I must have been cold in real life because we weren't much off the ground when I woke up, holding the cat.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Early Bird Gets The Prime Parking Spot

Sometimes change takes a while to adjust to. Things changed for us at work starting today. We are under the "Winter Parking Regulations". We have an L shaped building with two parking lots. One building is Corporate & the R&D labs. The other is production lines and warehouse. Our parking lot has a slight decline to it and is closed off for the winter. Melting snow seems pool up in the center of the lot and once the temperature goes down it freezes. A few years back someone had slipped in the parking lot and was out for a few weeks. The solution to this problem was to move the parking from Nov 15th through April 15th. This move causes all the production workers on this side of the building to park and walk about 1/2 block to the time clock, and then back to the production area. For years we've requested them to move the time clock. The entire process is silly. We're pretty convinced that the reasoning for leans more toward cost savings on plowing the lot. Thus we are now under the race for the prime parking spots. Being that I am an early start I usually get a prime spot. I just have to beat out the guy who comes to work 2 hours before his start time to read the paper, burn his toast and get the prime spot. Today was successful.
Had a pretty good weekend, yet a little bit on the boring side. I managed to get the kitchen painted and put back together in one day. Did get a little help from Barney with the high areas, which beat having to climb up and down the ladder. And then as a thanks to him, I dragged him Christmas shopping. Funny thing is he thinks he's done now. The few items we got are about 1/4 of the shopping that needs to be done. After the mall shopping he suggested that I do some shopping online as many places are offering free shipping.
The biggest mistake I made was suggesting that we should purchase a flat screen TV for the bedroom. My shopping trip Saturday was to purchase gifts for other people. It appeared that every store we entered that carried televisions, I lost him. If we walked past the electronics department I'd all of a sudden turn around and see him checking out televisions. I had to tell him several times that I didn't mean buy it today, as prices would most likely be dropping as Christmas neared. I found something else to do yesterday as he was plowing through the Sunday ads. I felt a little bad when I suggested we purchase a different fridge instead of the TV. The look on his face was priceless. Like I said, I felt a little bad.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Vets I Know

Though the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, November 11 remained in the public imagination as the date that marked the end of the Great War. In November 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The day's observation included. In 1954, after lobbying efforts by veterans’ service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word "Armistice" in favor of "Veterans." President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954. From then on, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Interesting. I know I learned all this in history class, and then again probably when helping my children with homework, but sometimes its good to go back and give yourself a little refresher in history.

My shout of thanks today goes out to all those who have served and those who are serving our country now. You have made it possible for the rest of us to remain safe and free. No amount of gratitude can repay the lives lost, time away from family and loved ones, or injuries suffered while serving your country. God Bless you all!

My immediate family has been blessed with having all those who served returned safely to their families. Both my grandfathers and my father served in active duty. I'm still searching for the news article from 1953 which covers a story of my father and several others being trapped on a hilltop in Korea. Their Thanksgiving dinner was air lifted to them. My grandfather used to have the article framed and it went to my father however being the humble man he is, I'm sure it's hidden somewhere. My dad cursed the air lifting of the dinner, as it gave away where they were. He never really talked much about the war itself. Just expressed his gratitude in returning home safely. My brother retired from the Air Force a few years back and was fortunate enough to never be in battle. And of course there's Bambinos brother-Mick who is still serving our country, and thank God has always returned safely to his family.

Thanks to you all!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

This is what I do when I'm bored....write poems.

For those of you that know our situation:

When I bought my childhood home at a steal
I knew that my sister came with the deal
Sister moved out, and then came a brother
Who would soon leave but then came another

Along came Ken with his daughter in tow
We nicknamed him Chico, as our lawn he would mow
He would then leave as he found a place
Whew, that should give us some space

Then came the poor unfortunate kid
Wormed his way into our hearts he did
We watched him grow up and graduate school
He was helpful in cleaning the pool.

Bout that time middle sister was in trouble
All I can say is she left on the double
Then came Air Force retiree Steve
He was here to stay, not just on a leave.

He would find work and more out on his own
Once again we had regained our home
But not so fast cause there was some lovin
And Julie would soon have a bun in the oven

The first Grandchild-oh what a joy
The added plus is it was a boy
He would be over each day for awhile
And never cease to make me smile

Shawn would then move out on his own
And call each month for a little loan
Michelle would then declare herself master
Move out with her friends which would end in disaster

The house was once again just us two
Redecorated my kitchen with cows that went moo
But not for long, wait, what the muck
Here's comes David with a loaded down truck

He has some issues, his marriage is done
He was less like a brother-more like a son
Things got patched up and back home he went
Soon to return and start to pay rent

He stayed quite a while and saved up some money
His antics annoying, but sometimes quite funny
Then off he went, out on his own
And found an apartment and called it his home

When is seemed as if things were settled down
My daughter appeared with a rather huge frown
Her back was a mess, her husband had cheated
We let her come home cause she felt defeated

And now it seems that the house is to small
Stuff from their room bursting into the hall
She's feeling much better and has met nice fellow
Who had two small children, one isn't so mellow

I would like to think that this could be good
It could lead to her leaving, really it could
I won't get my hopes up, won't declare a win
Cause next thing I know they'll be moving in.

It's been joked that our house is really an Inn
So many have stayed, it's almost a sin
Arnie's the smart one, cause he sees the light
He hides in his man-cave most every night.

The List

I lost my list from last year. This could pose an issue. The list I am speaking of is my last years Christmas list. A very important document.


My mother always kept a notebook of Christmas gifts she had purchased. Each page listed each child and the gift & amount purchased. She kept it in her nightstand drawer. Once we were on to it we'd sneak in and check the list. She did a good job of spending an equal amount on each child. Once she knew we were on to it, she made two books. The fake one would contain nothing we asked for. Didn't take to long to figure out what she was doing.


I thought it was silly, but as I got older I started a list myself. I kept a notebook and therefore could look back a few years to assure I didn't give a gift I had given in a prior year. This especially helps with purchasing collectible items for someone. Last year I decided to put the list into a word document. Worked out quite nicely. But now it's gone. Vanished. I'm wondering if I erased it on purpose or may have tittled it something else to keep the nosey people out. Problem is I, myself forgot what I did. I managed to find some scribbling in a notebook from last year, but it doesn't say much. I shall not panic until all my resources are exhausted in the hunt.


Last week my mom fell and broke her arm. Did a pretty good number on it, as it required surgery to rebuilt the socket that the bone sits in. My mom knits a lot. She's made some very nice blankets, scarves, mittens and hats over the years. We place orders with Mom. One by one she's knitting blankets for her great grandchildren. This year was Dylan's turn. Let me just say that I can do some crocheting & knitting, but not as nicely as my mother. She's got patterns and colors going. When I received the phone call telling of the accident, she started out by asking if I could finish Dylan's blanket. After hearing the details of her accident I told her to send it and I'd finish it. "Oh no, that's okay" was her reply. This makes me chuckle as I picture the look on my mothers face at my suggestion. I know for a fact that she got off the phone , looked at my father and said "I'm not having her finish that blanket...have you seen her work" Thanks mom.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Divorce

After being married for nearly ten years, my daughter began single yesterday. Single to the point of also changing her name back to her maiden name.
I've known about the court date for a few months now and have been trying to "read" her. I often wonder how ironic life can be, in that some of her life mimics my own.

Has second thoughts before marriage- check
After a year into the marriage wants out-check
Husband begs her to stay & promises to change his ways-check
Husband cheats again and this time there's no forgiving-check
Move home with two kids-check.
Sits around moping for a while until Mom tells her to "get on with your life"-check

A few days before the court date we sat and had a heart to heart. I told her that when I divorced her dad that I was sad because it wasn't the course I thought my life would take. When I got married at 19 I was naive enough to think that life would be all rosy. I became the one that would deal with any financial and family issues while he just had a free for all. She had similar circumstances and therefore resentment begins to set in. At this point you have two choices: continue your course of being responsible and trying to get ahead on your own, or succumb to this person's immaturity and "settle" for the type of life you're in for. Turn your back on your spouse's infidelity and just be there whenever he needs you.
As a parent, I didn't want to see her marriage fall apart. Like me, she didn't reveal any of the problems leading to the split, but I could sense things weren't right. When she finally did break down and talk about some issues, it was very hard to keep my thoughts to myself. I could have ripped him apart, but then there was the fear that she'd go back and always know what I thought of her husband, so I ripped him apart to myself and friends. When she told me that she was going through with the divorce I wanted to whoop it up somewhere! I'm now very proud that she has chosen to get her life back on track and find herself again. It'll be a little bit of a rocky road for a while but I see the determination in her, and I think with a few pushes (or maybe a shove) she'll be on that track in no time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Take the Squirrel

I'm not ready for the warm weather to move out. The forecast for the weekend is high 60's during the day and dipping down into the low 40's at night. I woke up this morning and it was a little nippy in our house as I'm not ready to close up all the windows yet. I like the crisp air and don't mind throwing on a sweatshirt. It may be time to close them at night. The cat was buried in the blankets and Sadie was all curled up on her rug this morning. I think if she could still make it up on the bed, she would have been there.

Ah, the camping weekend is upon me. 42 in the house is a little different then 42 outside. Canvas sides may not keep the chill out. I'm good with the forecast as long as rain doesn't sneak in there somewhere. 60's and sunny during the day is good. The bees may have already cut out so they won't be buzzing around every food item brought out and hopefully the days of the Asian beetles are over. Mosquito's=gone for the season.

We've had a owl hanging around our house for a while now. He sits on the basketball hoop. Usually when I leave for work he's setting off the sensor lights on the garage. It's nice that he lights the driveway for me. He may be after the abundance of rabbits and squirrels in our yard. It seems our dogs are not doing their job. On occasion you will see one of them get up and give chase to a rabbit. This morning I was almost to my car and heard the whoosh of the owls wings telling me that he was heading somewhere. He made a dive toward our front yard and swooped rabbit right up. I could do nothing but stand there and stare as the rabbit let out this horrible squeal. I wanted to yell "take the squirrel. They're the wreaking havoc on our yard", but he was gone and the rabbit was struggling. I think it was a lost cause.

Monday, October 04, 2010

I Am Just Way To Nice..Sometimes

"It's gotta be hotter than Africa in that huddle right now" actually came out of the radio announcers mouth during yesterdays Packer/Lions game. He was referring to the Lions huddle. I am not a huge fan of listening to the game on the radio but we made the wiser choice and chose Dylan's football game over the Packers. You can always DVR the Packers game and watch it later, but watching a tape of Dylan's game just wouldn't be the same as being there. The boys were a little sluggish in the first half allowing the Cowboys to score three times. After the half they scored two touchdowns and held the Cowboys. Whatever their coach said to them during half-time made them come out a different team. It was suggested that they not eat a big Sunday brunch prior to a game. They suffered their first loss 21-12 but didn't allow the Cowboys to score the entire second half. I tried to blame the loss on my mother-in-laws presence at the game. It seems every time she shows up for a football game they lose. She is banned.
The Cowboys have a very vocal and rude sideline and the coaches are pretty verbally brutal. We've experience this for the past several years. There is one woman in particular whose voice carries across the field. Just brutal.

I received a phone call this weekend from my ex-husbands soon to be ex-wife. They owe me some money and haven't been able to pay yet. She started making some excuses when I broke in and asked why it was her responsibility to pay me back. Why was she making this phone call and not him? Why is she sitting at home worrying about money and he's out spending money on his newest woman? Well, she wanted to talk to me and apologize for being a bitch to me when her and Ron first got together. In case she never sees or talks to me again, she just wanted to straighten some things out. Wanted to thank me for never suing them for child support and apologize for not being able to help out enough. This isn't her place to apologize for these things. These were his kids, his responsibility and his failure as a husband and father. I did however accept the first apology because she came into the relationship with him like Hitler and I wasted a lot of time arguing with her. Her famous quote was that she was "standing by her man". Well, look what that got her.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Responsibilities

Here comes another post regarding priorities. Must be a subject that really irks me because I tend to write about it a lot.

I have not always made the wisest choices in my life, but I can tell you that I have borrowed money once from someone and paid it back before I spent money on nonessential items. By nonessential, I mean things I did not need or could wait until I paid this person back. The money I borrowed haunted me until I made the last payment. This was an emergency borrowing situation and this person was kind enough to offer. I paid them back because I borrowed the money and it was my responsibility to pay them back.

I am careful about who I borrow money to. We have been hit up by relatives to help them out a little. Some were worthy of it. What makes me angry is the borrower that promises the pay back with the next check or anticipated tax return. One of the all time favorite excuses I've heard is "oh my gosh, I forgot". How do you forget you borrowed money from someone? I'm not talking about the quarter, nickle or dime one might borrow for the vending machine. I'm talking about the hundred dollar amounts.

Two issues stick out in my mind that bother me. The first was years ago when I received a call from a friend crying about how they had no money and could not afford groceries or diapers for their baby. Since we had borrowed money to them before without being paid back, I was hesitant. Instead of cash we went to the store and purchased the items for them. We brought the items over to their house and the husband came home with a case of beer and bottle of alcohol. Great priorities.

Same couple years later. Husband is in hospital on and off for two months. They're living on bare minimum as he's been out of work for a while. Many people jump forward and pay bills for them and come up with cash and gift cards to help them out. This is a situation where I didn't expect to be paid back. What I didn't expect was to drop in to visit a few weeks later and see a brand new flat screen TV in their living room and one in their bedroom. Once again-priorities. Basically the only conversations her and I have are when I listen to how broke they are. Yes, prescription medications and hospital bills will take a toll on your bank account, but so will over spending on unnecessary items.

Now lets get to the story that really bothers me. Daughter of hospitalized father lives out of state. She wanted to visit her father. The drive would have taken her 12 hours. She wanted to fly in as she had a limited amount of time. Several people offered to pay her plane fare but when it came to actually do so they backed out. The father's sister purchases her a one way ticket. She spends about 2 hours at the hospital with her father and then goes about visiting friends, getting her hair cut and picking up a few items. We get a phone call from her stating that the aunt had told her we were buying her ticket home. I offered to borrow her the money. She didn't know when she'd be able to pay me back. They were so broke. So I purchased the over-priced one way ticket and told her that we'd work something out with paying it back. A week after the girl arrives back home she sends a email with her new $600.00 dog. Within a month or so she sends pictures of her new camper. In the course of all this I get a call from her mother thanking me for paying for her ticket. I explain that we helped her out by borrowing her the money.
Over the course of the last two years the girl has purchased several big ticket items, including just recently another $600.00 dog, yet she is still posting about how she is always broke. I am so close to reminding her of her obligation to pay this money back. I am more angry now because of the disrespect that she has shown. She is my god-daughter and over the course of her life I have done more than the average person would do. The girl is 33 years old now and I am constantly reminded not to forget her birthday or Christmas. Really?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Mental Mistakes

"Don't make the same mental mistakes that caused the Green Bay Packers to lose to the Bears" This is the message that the President has passed on to students in Wisconsin. Did he just jot that down on the plane ride. Maybe he figured that talking sports was a way to hold their attention.



I'm glad yesterday is over. The loss was tough enough, but they lost the game over the penalities they committed. Period. Chat rooms were buzzing yesterday putting the blame on the refs. Co-workers were complaining about the refs. And then last night at Dylan's football game people were still talking about the bad calls made by the refs. Maybe there might have been one or two, but for the most part from what I saw, the Packers were at fault. They lost the game due to their mistakes. If they can own up to it then their fans need to also.



I watched an interesting show on PBS last night about baseball. Funny how when every day life goes on you forget something as news worthy as the baseball strike. Showed the half empty stadiums after the strikes, people throwing money onto the field and the heckling of the players. Former President Bill Clinton also stepped in (according to the program). They credit Cal Ripken Jr. with bringing baseball back to where it should be. For setting a starting record and being the greatest shortstop in baseball history. I guess I dozed off right about then, so I'll have to see if I can find it on demand to hear the rest of the story.

Back to football. A man appears at Dylan's game last night sporting a Chicago Bears hat. He took some slack for it, including from his kids. "Dad, did you forget you're a Packer fan" The guy gives the worst reply in the world. "Yeah, but the Bears have the top record right now"
Now there is a loyal fan for you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

And we're walkin

Yesterday marked the 4th year our group has walked in the Susan B Komen race for the cure. The first year was the group of girls and then the guys joined us in the years after. Proud of my daughter who along with her friend and her daughters made the walk yesterday also.

I was always aware of breast cancer and like everyone else knew someones sister, friend, mother or daughter who had breast cancer. It's something that one is aware of but unless it hits someone close to you , it's stored in the back of your mind. In the past I had donated to the Cure and read many articles and life stories of those affected. As much as I dreaded it I faithfully had my annual checks after turning 40. Than it hit our family with a double whammy. First Nanette and then my mother. Two of the strongest women I know. Two fighters.
Nanette's diagnosis woke my mother into having a mammogram which she had skipped for several years. This allowed them to find her cancer very early on and not much treatment was needed. I had been on her for years to keep having them, so this was the one time I got to say "I told you so" to my mother. Not under the best circumstances, but I think I was allowed that one.

The walk is for a good cause. Yesterday's walk was a record crowd. I have been pretty fortunate in joining Nanette for the survivor breakfast each year. As I sit with her I look around at all the people in pink Survivor tee shirts. These are ordinary people who have been stricken with the disease. I look at the time and effort these people put in to hats, tee shirts and accessories and see the smiles on their faces. This is their day. Their day to celebrate the obstacles they have over come. Their day to hope that someday soon there will be a cure for this disease. I celebrate that I can sit there with my friend feel proud to be with her. (oh, and the bagels are good also) I sit there hoping for the same thing they do. For a cure.

Once done with the Survivor breakfast it's on to meet up with the rest of our fellow walkers. We don't have an overly large group, but the group we have are close and there for a good cause and for the support of our friend. Scanning the crowd will show all the other people there for the same reason. For their mom, wife, husband, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, and the list goes on.
As I'm walking I get into the habit of looking at the tags on their backs and seeing who they're walking for or in memory of. It disturbs me to see so many "in memory of" tags.
Yesterday was a record crowd. I felt proud to be a part of it. I plan to continue walking along with my friend until there is a cure. I will walk afterward also, to give my thanks for someone finding a cure. A pat on the back to all those who took the time and effort to support the cause yesterday. It was good to be a part of it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Want Some Answers!

There may have been some details from yesterday that prompted the dream/nightmare I had last night.
Yesterday afternoon facebook was down. Upon arriving home both my granddaughters and daughter were sitting at the kitchen table brooding. I had to remind them that facebook being down is not the end of the world and life would go on. Later on when I checked my email I found a friend request from my ex-husbands current wife (divorce in process). Not only did I find one from her, but then also one from his 2nd wife. I found it funny. Was it now time to get together and bash Jon publicly? I smell some sinister reasoning for this. I also found it odd that wife #2 and wife # 3 are friends now. Is there some club forming that I am invited to? Will I feel left out if I don't join.
My thoughts and feeling regarding Jon will not be aired on facebook. It's a natural fact that people will write more than they have the guts to say in person. I've also recently been witness to a bashing on fb that involved a person who did not have fb and was therefore unable to defend them self. Facebook is for fun. It's to share things with people. It's not to publicly bash a defenseless person. Nuff said. On to the dream.

I am at Dylan's football game intently watching the game. Wife #2 and #3 come walking over wishing to speak to me. I wave them off and tell them whatever it is can wait until after the game. I begin to notice other people around me. My ex-sister-in-laws, a few friends we had as a couple, my mother and a group of current friends. I look over and see ex husband with his current girlfriend (90 lb crack head-for real). I begin to wonder if something is up.
Flash forward to end of game and Dylan coming over to the sidelines. I try to get a picture of him and new girlfriend tries to get in the picture. This makes me angry and I ask her to move. She begins to cry and asks what she needs to do to be accepted by Jon's family. I start to laugh and wish her luck.
I am then face to face with Jon and mention that he owes me some money (that part is true). He begins to cry and tell me that he cannot believe how much he messed his life up. Points to the girlfriend and two ex's and tells me none of this would have happened to him if I had never divorced him. I explain to him that cheating will get you a divorce. He swears that if I take him back that it will never happen again. He just wants a chance to be happy again. The ex's appear and back him up. My stomach begins to churn and I can feel myself getting angry. I ask him why he did it in the first place and he tells me that he just figured I wouldn't care. I go on to tell him that I'm glad he did or I wouldn't be where I am now. The ex's are still backing him up and the girlfriend begins to chime in also. I looked for Barney to tell him it was time to leave and he tells me to make a choice right now. Huh? I am so confused that I wake up from the hellish dream. I actually think I forced myself awake because I felt instant relief and sighed when I woke up.

So the dope brings the current girlfriend to Dylan's game the other night. No shocker to me as he's done worse but I think he could have maybe introduced the girl to the grand kids at a more appropriate time and place. The little I know about her had come through my kids. Wife #3 filed for a separation a few months ago. She did it in hope that it would scare him and they'd work thing out. It backfired on her as he wasted no time in making his current fling public.
I'm not really interested in joining the club. The way I see it is I got the only good part of that marriage. Two kids.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

News Flash

According to the newspaper and radio broadcasts this morning the Recession ended in July of 2009. This seems to have come as a shock to many people. If the recession has ended then why hasn't my husbands wage been restored? Why are people still having problems selling their homes? Why are so many people still out of work and still losing their jobs? Why are there still so many foreclosures and bankruptcies being filed?
Has the recession ended, or are people just learning to live with the financial downfalls?
I understand that when the economy was good people got a little more comfortable with their spending. Interest rates were down, luring people in to purchasing homes they really could not afford and using charge cards they would soon find out of control. We've always been a bit cautious about our spending, assuring that if there was a loss of a job or some sort of emergency the bills would still be payable. I can understand the trap that some people have been caught in. The realization that these things have to be paid back can slap one in the face. I have seen friends/relatives get caught up with the loss of a job or medical issues. I am no where near an expert on finances, but some of these mishaps were self-inflicted. Out of control spending.
This concludes the soap-box portion of my blog.

On to the Pirate Wedding we attended. When the details of the wedding first started coming out I thought it was kind of silly. I've been to several themed weddings in the past and thought them cute and original. Wasn't sure how well the pirate thing would go over. They picked the perfect place for the wedding. The South Shore pavilion. The building and natural scenery was perfect. The couple put a lot of time and effort into the planning and decor.
I wasn't aware that my husband was planning of dressing the part until about two weeks ago. He made several trips to thrift shops and Goodwill looking for items. We ended up running around to several Halloween stores over the weekend to complete his attire and find things for me. He looked good. Some would say there was not much of a difference but I must argue the point. His normal attire does not consist of a ruffled shirt or stripped pants. The wig he wore drove him nuts. I wanted to braid the hair for him but he'd have no part of that.
The ceremony itself was short and well written by the groom. Dinner was good and was of a Caribbean Cuisine. The beef was good but I shied away from the salmon. The reception was supposed to last until 11:30 but was almost empty of guests by 9. Being that it was a Sunday I'm going with the fact that most people needed to work on Monday. That and the fact that the band was not holding the crowd. I'm not sure that the bride and groom even cared that the place was just about empty. They seemed very relieved that things went so well, but were dead tired from all the planning and set up. All in all is was a lot of fun and the crowd participation was more than they hoped for.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Out Of Sorts

I have zero tolerance for people that lie to me. Or shall I say "attempt to pull one over". We dropped our truck off for repair yesterday afternoon and were told we'd have a free loaner. This entailed the service manager calling the rental car place a few blocks away and having them pick us up. The car rental guy showed up a few minutes driving a Jeep. My first thought was we were going to drop him off and have the Jeep. Bubble burst! We got back to the car rental place and were told we would be given a Silver Honda Civic that just came back and was getting washed at the moment. The loaner itself is free but then came the spiel regarding insurance. Our car insurance will cover any vehicle we drive, but then there's the deductible and the fact that if we take their insurance there will be no charges at all to us except the $15.00 a day to carry it. This, in my eyes, makes the loaner not free. My husband brought up the fact that our credit card automatically covers any charges incurred by an accident. Well that would be fine and dandy if we had used the credit card to rent the car in the first place.
After all the paperwork was done we went to check out the car prior to leaving. No dings, dents or damage found except normal wear and tear. The guy is talking this car up like it's the best thing since baseball. We got the keys and when starting it up I immediately notice the flashing service light. I call the guy back over and he tells us that the car is fine, they probably just forgot to reset the warning after the last oil change. Goes on to explain that the cars are checked out via computer and it checked out fine. I bring to his attention that the warning signal is noting that it required service 1.2 miles ago. Seeing that the car just came back a few moments before we came in can he honestly say it was checked out? He did note it on the paperwork and off we went.
I hate the car for several reasons. I'll never be able to find it in a parking lot unless I memorize the plate numbers. Have you ever noticed how many silver Civics's there are? It's way to low to the ground. I watched my husband just about exit on his knees. I feel vulnerable in this little car, after driving a truck for 10 plus years. I don't think it goes over 60. The stupid warning light drove me nuts as it was flashing all the way to work. The radio is good. The seat adjustment is really awkward and not power. I guess I just got spoiled.
I'm so out of sorts with this car that I forgot my phone this morning. Not that in itself is not a good feeling.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Red Mullet

I started a water aerobics class last night with my friend Donna at a suburban high school. We had taken the class about 2 years ago and the attendance was low so they had cut out the class the following season. The teacher at the time was a little more intersted in gabbing with the ladies than teaching a class.
We arrived last night and found the parking lot to be packed. I figured walking the little extra to the entrance was a good think while my friend wanted to get closer. I wasn't about to drive around waiting for a spot to open so while listening to her complain we made the hike. In the past class there were about 15 women tops. We walked into the pool area and were among the 30 women enrolled in the class. I noticed some women from the past class we had attended.
One woman in particular must have felt she was the queen bee of the class. She noticed us right away and had to make her way to welcome us back. She started bringing us up to date on the "gossip ". I have no interest nor do I know these people. I'm there for the class, so I slowly backed away from her.
When the instructor appeared I had to do a double take. Change the red mullet hair style and she could have been my friend Kim. The facial expressions, the body movements and the sternness in her voice was right on. My friend who has only met Kim and handful of times had a hard time believing it wasn't her. She was very vocal and very descriptive in the routine we should be following. I give her a 10 in teaching abilities.
I found the class to be interesting. Got a good work out but also noticed that about 1/2 of the class was much more interested in chatting and doing their own thing rather than listening to the instructor. I guess being the newbies kept us out of the loop. The head hen kept moving over toward us and letting us know she takes the class twice a week and has been for years. One girl, also new, who joined the class to lose weight commented that the "chubby head hen" should move instead of gab and maybe she'd lose a few hundred pounds.
I didn't give much thought to after the class. The changing room is a little chilly and as of right now going outside afterward was okay. The class goes until the first week in December. It's going to be a little chilly in the future. My friend brought up the fact that we could be standing outside scraping windows. I may need to find a Saturday morning class for the winter session.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sept.13th

Today would have been my brother David's birthday. Funny how certain days stick out in your mind. I remember eating dinner and my father trying to get us to hurry as he had to take Mom to the hospital. It was so quick that the dinner dishes didn't get done. My aunt and grandmother came to pick my two brothers and I up and my aunt almost got into an accident on the way back to grandma's house. We stayed there a while until my dad came back to tell us we had a brother. I had wanted a sister but got over it pretty quick. I also had to do the dishes when we got back home.
Anyway..remembering David on his day.

Vacation


This was my home for 6 days. You'll notice my husband legs as he sits in his chair which was his home for 6 days. I guess you could minus the times he sat at the table playing cards or eating, and the times he got up to play washers and go to the bathroom. He appeared to have a very relaxing week.
We hit some rain on the trip up and the credits were mounting. I'm not sure they ever cashed in on their Jack & Cokes. We stopped at the usual diner for a quick bite to eat prior to the last 10 miles to the campground. Waitress remembered offering to help one of the guys pitch his tent. I think she may have forgotten the message she had shown him on his phone, or she chose not to discuss it due to other customers being in the diner.
We lucked out with good weather. Had a few windy days which made fishing a little difficult. I did manage to catch the first fish which had to be released as he was a tad bit to small. Dick had a pretty good size carp that he had hooked in the back. He handed over his fishing pole so I could get the feel of a larger fish. Big ugly thing had to be tossed. Where was Catfish Charlie when you needed him? That would have made some good eats for his cat.

The casino took up some time but was pretty much a bust for all. I managed to come out a little ahead but nothing to write home about. Damn the no carrying in wood laws as it cost us a small fortune to purchase wood every day. It proved worth it as we had some pretty good fires. The citronella candle in the fire wasn't as great as the first one we'd done years ago. Sometimes you just can't repeat history.
As usual there were some pretty good quotes going around but I never felt like getting up and getting a paper and pen to write them down and my phone (believe it or not) was not getting service. I missed my phone but proved that I could go 6 days without it. I did cheat a little and made a few calls on the way to the Casino. I would mention some funny things and a Trevor Hoffman related comment that was made...but I guess what happens at Yellowstone stays at Yellowstone. Maybe a few beers would help to get it out.
All in all I had a great time. Coming back was hard. Missed certain people and my pets but did not miss the daily grindstone of work. The attempt was made to purchase the correct lottery ticket but I guess it's just not the right time.
Guy at work told me that camping was to much work. He doesn't get the reasoning for packing up all your stuff and sleeping outside and then having to come home and have more work waiting for you. Sometimes you have to put a little effort into having a good time. I had a great time and am looking forward to doing it again next year. Hopefully with the entire group. Two of our fellow campers were greatly missed.

Monday, August 30, 2010

And Off She Goes

Our niece is college bound as I write. She's not the first to go off, but she is the daughter of my late brother David. This is an event I know he would be beaming about. My daughter rode along with her and her mother to help move her in and "check the place out", so I'm getting updates along the way. She said Nicole shows no signs of nervousness-just plain excitement.
She wasn't scheduled to make the trip, but with a last minute ditching by another niece she was happy to fill the spot. I think she feels good about going along to assure Nicole is all set. My brother and daughter were very close so if he's looking down I'm sure he's content in knowing his daughter is in good hands.

From the time Nicole was born my brother was beaming. Proof is in the hours and hours of video taping he did of her every move. Like all families the first one has all the pictures and videos and when number two comes along they lessen. She shared his love of Mustangs and the Packers. Apparently we didn't do a good job of keeping that up as she could care less about football now. They would come over on Sunday's for Packer games and she would sit next to him and watch the entire game. The two of them had a collection of football helmets and at one time she could name every team by their helmets. I think she may have been five at the time.

I envision him being around now and her going off to College. I'm almost certain that my brother would have found a Domino's around her Campus to work at and in a heartbeat would have relocated. Otherwise he would be up there every chance he had. If all holds true to what I've always been told he's up there watching over her now. She's doing great and it's hard to watch her go. She got all the lectures last night and I'm sure she'll experience the life of freedom in some ways. We warned her that she's not that far away. Aunties J & A are all about the road trips. If she's anything like Ben's opera star, she will flourish.

It's just hard watching the little girl with the cowboy boots and hat going off on her own. I'll get over it. Soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scratch That Weekend...

Maybe it was the date, like an omen haunting us. Two years ago on this same weekend my brother passed away. The events leading up to his passing started the weekend prior when we were camping. I'm not one to be superstitious but I think I may cut the entire August camping thing off my list.

This weekend started out good. We got an early start and had things set up and were kicking back within two hours of arriving. Then the storm warnings started coming through, the wind picked up and the rain started. A few minutes into the storm we all heard a rather large thump and first thought was something bounced off the top of the camper. It wasn't much later that we discovered the thump was the tree branch that hit our truck. Left a nice dent in the hood. A picture was taken and the branch was burned in the fire pit. The rain eventually stopped, the jack & cokes were consumed and the night went on.

The next morning we discovered more damage to the truck. The windshield is cracked and there is another crack in the hood. Never saw it the night before, but there were leaves on the truck and it was raining. I feel fortunate that the falling branch did damage to the truck and not to one of us. The rest of the time spent camping went pretty well. There was a little giddiness at camp as some of the campers were taking off for Vegas later in the day.

When we got home I went to unpack the cooler and when opening the fridge I found it to be warm. The freezer items were still frozen. We ended up loading everything into the downstairs fridge and coolers. The mighty maintenance man found that the compressor was shot. The fridge is around 30 years old and came with the house. It didn't seem worth fixing so off we went to Menards to purchase a new fridge.

Ended up with a very plain fridge. I really didn't have the time to shop around and compare prices and I also knew that there really wasn't anyone around to help him carry the fridge in beside me. All in all I didn't get a fridge that I like very much. I think Barn knew it as we were walking out of the store as he has now doomed us further. "I know that's not the one you wanted but it'll be good in the basement. Plus it came with a 25% in store rebate that I'll be able to buy the sump pump with". I think he may still have the slap marks on his arm. And one should never ask "what's next". On my way to the car I simply looked up toward the sky and said" What else you got? Bring it on!

So, I felt a little sad this morning and I know family members are also still struggling with the loss of our brother/father/son. I have my moments which I thought would go away after a while. Its just not on the date he left us, or his birthday, or holidays. I miss my brother and I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of him in some way. I'll admit I don't cry as much but it still hurts. I don't know what step I'm on as far as the grieving process, but I still can't get past the anger part of it. My day was cheered up a bit with a 5:30 am phone call from my friend/sister-in-law from Vegas. I talk to a lot of people during the course of my day, but it's only a few that can get me out of a funk. I thank GOD everyday that 10 years ago my brother made a very wise choice in marrying her.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Walking To Memories

Toward the end of last week I decided to get back on track and start walking outside again. Waiting until early evening proved to be a good idea as the weather cooled a little, however the mosquito's were vicious. Early mornings on the weekend tend to work out better. I wish every day could be a weekend because I love walking in the morning. There is nothing better than having the sidewalk to yourself except for an occasional jogger or fellow dog walker. Sadie seems to do better in the early morning also. My initial thought was to get up an hour earlier every morning and hit the pavement with my four-legged walking partner. This morning my alarm went off and reality set in. Sadie was snoring away and I didn't want to wake her. She looked so peaceful. (not a valid excuse). So my walk will be after work, which really isn't to bad. The humidity and oven like heat seems to have taken a break.

So each day, with poop bag in hand, Sadie and I have set out for our 2 mile walk. I make sure she's hydrated and has made her deposit prior to leaving. I have taken to counting how many houses we go past before she feels the need to poop. The first day she made it about 3 blocks and decided to squat and poop on a semi-busy street. Nice. Nothing better than picking up poop while cars are buzzing by. Day two she waited until we were almost back home which I thanked her for. I've begun to carry two bags. One for the early deposit which I can usually find a garbage can to dump it in rather than carry it 2 miles. The other day I took Bella along also, who managed to make the entire trip without incident. By yesterday I thought Sadie would get the routine under control and be able to make it without me having to stoop and pick up poop. No, we made it four houses away and there she went. I thought for sure she wouldn't make the rest of the trip without doing it again. Even went an extra 1/2 mile. She made it! We'll see what today brings.

I like walking the neighborhood. It beats walking in the house staring at the TV. Each day I try to change up the route a little to take in some different scenery. Strolled past my elementary school and saw that they have grades K-4 through 8th grade now. Wondered if they still play dodge ball on the lower playground. The lower playground was only for the 6th graders when I attended the school. Funny how it made us feel so grown up, but yet cut off from the rest of the school.

I live in the neighborhood where I grew up so it's interesting to see the changes. Walking past former classmates and friends homes I sometimes see their parents still live in the homes. Wondering how many of my classmates bought their parents home like I did. Last night I took the path through the park that we used to hang out at. When Ben and I were younger we used to get with friends and being that the park was not developed yet, would go and have bonfires deep in the woods. Had this whole set up with logs to sit on and a small fire pit we dug out. We used trees that were down , branches and leaves to keep the fire going. The path is now asphalt and I can still see the spot we hung out at. We hung out there for an entire summer and never once had anyone come through. Of course the area was not to developed and the woods was pretty thick. There used to be a fairly large pond that I learned to ice skate on. My dad would come with us and I would skate and my brothers would sled. We had the park to ourselves. The pond has now been drained and covered up and I'm pretty sure the hill shrunk. The park is built up with basketball courts, a baseball diamond, soccer practice and a playground. The kids all looked to be having a good time but I wonder if they'll have the memories that I do.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm In a Band

In my dreams that is. I woke up the Saturday morning around 5am and decided that for being a Saturday it was just a bit to early to get up. I turned on the TV and started watching Drumline. I've watched the movie before but it won over the millions of infomercials and religious shows that were also playing.
I figure I dozed off during the first ten minutes and couldn't have been asleep more than 1/2 hour or so when I woke up laughing. Once again I fell asleep during a movie and took on a role in the movie. It was a star-studded dream.
First off my friend Kim was the band leader. We all had blue uniforms with the tall white furry hats (looked more like the guards at Buckingham Palace). Kim was out in front just marching away with her baton in hand. She also had a whistle in her mouth that she would not stop blowing (found out later that annoying noise was actually my daughters alarm clock). My husband was playing the tuba and smoking a cigar in between. Steve was walking along playing an electric guitar with an amp strapped to his back. He was sweating. Jodi was on the flute and was wearing a skirt with white boots. Then there's Janet who was playing the drums and walking next to her husband also playing the drums and they kept switching drumsticks in mid air (very talented). Our friend E was playing a trumpet and I was walking next to him holding his sheet music, not playing anything. The most vivid part of the dream was walking down Howell Avenue and Kim just going to town with that baton. Pete was standing on the curb waving us on. Gotta love the fun dreams.

Then there's the deceased brother dream. He gave me money to go to Vegas. Some of the gang are going to Vegas next week and I opted to stay home with the husband that does not fly. I have the urge to go, but I guess it can wait. In my dream my brother showed up and said he knew how much I wanted to go, and he'd take care of things while I was gone. He showed up with his suitcase and was ready to take care of the household. Don't want to analyze that dream.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dreams Again

I seem to be having a lot of action dreams lately. The ones where you wake up in the midst of moving around. At first what you're doing is a little fuzzy but then you either wake fully and laugh it off or just fall back to sleep and forget it.
The other night I went to bed and must have fallen asleep pretty quickly. According to my husband we were in the middle of conversation and I drifted off. I recall slipping into a dream where I grabbed the girls basketball off the porch to put it away in the garage where it belongs. On my way to the garage Barney intercepted the basketball and began to dribble and then shoot a couple baskets. I asked for the ball back explaining that I needed to put it away and if he continued to play with it he'd just leave it lay in the driveway. He kept urging me to shoot a few. I told him I wouldn't shoot against him because he cheats and always blocks my shots (isn't that what basketball is about..blocking shots). Anyway I took the ball and backed up to attempt a hook shot. As I put my arm out to shoot he ran up from behind me and blocked my arm and thud I hit a solid wall. "What the hell" I heard as I woke up and realized that I had carried out the motions and decked him pretty good in the chest. I was going to apologize but figured he probably had it coming for something so I went back to sleep.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

More than a book

Did you ever think about how many uses there are for a book beside reading? First you must take into account the size of the book. For example a paperback book can be used to prop a door open, add a little more height to a reading lamp, and if thin enough it can be used to prop up a table leg. A phone book or catalog has many uses. Doubled up they can make a booster seat for a child. As the child gets older and taller you can remove one book (showing my age here as we didn't have booster seats when I was younger). Short little old ladies use the phone book to sit on while driving. My use for the phone book today was to add more height to my monitor. I have had some neck and shoulder pain for the past few weeks. My monitor at home is positioned so I can look straight at it. Work is another story. There are several areas where I use a computer and the monitors are not positioned to be operator friendly. I could lug my paperwork back to my office and sit and enter it all there, but its not a very efficient practice. I find myself constantly tilting my head back to see the monitor. It's an area where the PC is at standing height and the monitor is above it. Unless you're Paul Bunyan it's not very user friendly. I'm working on getting that problem resolved. At one time someone in my office had a box made to set the monitor on. I'm a little taller than that person and have asked for a shelf several times. I've rummaged through the "old office equipment" area with no luck. This morning I took it into my own hands and found a phone book from 2004 , slid it on top of the box and my life has now been made easier. For now.

My sick husband seems to be recovering. He's a little spent but should have his energy level back to normal within a day or so. On top of his being ill he discovered that the rash he had on his leg above his ankle is poison ivy. His nurse wife fixed him up with some ointment and gauze to keep it covered. I think in his delirium he didn't realize what it was, just that it itched. Web MD is a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Flashback

When I asked my 51 year old husband what he'd like for his birthday this year I expected him to have an idea in his noggin for me. Some things ran through my head like a new weed whacker or trimmer. He had mentioned a smoker for his grill. I did go looking for that but wasn't quite sure what he had in mind. I then asked for his assistance in finding this. He headed off to the store for something else and upon returning home announced that he changed his mind and wanted a pool instead. I think the pool was more for the kids then himself because that is the kind of guy he is. Although hesitant at first, I gave in and the pool was purchased, set up and filled.

As a kid there was always a pool in our yard. Throughout the years my parents purchased several pools. It was a ritual to uncover and clean the pool over Memorial Day weekend. As it was filling we'd all be eager to swim. It would usually be ready by the the next day but usually the weather wasn't. I can remember sitting on the deck and sticking my feet in to sub-zero temperature water thinking I could handle it. My mom would be the one to lay the law down as my father would say "Hey, if they want to go in, let them go." He'd more often then not join us. I remember the first dive in and how cold it would be. Within a few minutes your body would become numb from the cold and the enjoyment of the pool would take over.

On Sunday after returning from a rather hot weekend of camping we decided to test the waters. Dylan was over and took the first step in. I watched his face for signs of frigid water but his expression didn't change. I stuck my foot in and instantly felt the coldness of the water. After standing on the ladder for a few seconds and being heckled by my grandson I took the plunge. Yes, it was a blast of cold water and a blast from the past. The air outside was 92 while the pool water was 74. It took a few minutes to adjust but as in the past the enjoyment of the pool took over.

When buying the pool I wasn't sure how the kids would react. It's not a huge pool (39 inches by 15 ft). I thought they might not get much enjoyment out of it. Yesterday I couldn't get them out of it. I went to bed around 9:30 and Michelle and the kids were still in the pool. Might have been a good idea on my husband's part. I just hope he'll be able to get in it once in awhile. I also think that next year we may need a bigger pool.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Gonna Be A Hot One

Yesterday when I got home I had two cats and Sadie waiting at the door. I think they smiled when I got home. Either that or they were trying to rat each other out for something. I checked out the house and nothing was amiss so in my head I'm telling myself they were happy to see me. Bella's been gone for a few days and I think she must be the social director as they usually don't greet me at the door.
When my alarm rudely went off at 3:20 this morning both cats were on my bed and sprung up as soon as I got up. Sadie was laying at the foot of the bed and also woke and followed us out of the room. Couldn't be the need for food or water, all the bowls were full. I gave them fresh water and got a nudge from Sadie and a meow from the cats. They were all clustered by the bathroom door when I came out my shower and proceeded to follow me around. I let Sadie out to do her business and the two cats sat by the door waiting. I was beginning to wonder if they're trying to tell me something. Am I sick and they feel they need to be lovable so they can get a free pass in also? Are they waiting for me to leave to start the daily ruckus? Are they bored, or missing Bella? Whatever the answer to this is, it's just weird to have all three of them follow me around. Especially the evil Lilo. You can pet her to your hearts content but if you try and pick her up she will give you a piece of her mind. She's a true cat bitch. But as I sat down to check emails, she jumped up on my lap. Something is up I tell you. Bella will be back today and I'm sure she'll set them all straight. Usually she is the attention seeker and will butt in between whoever is currently receiving attention. She's an attention hoarder. That could very well be the answer. The big Momma is gone and the other guys want some attention.
Heading out for a hot weekend of camping (weather wise that is). Mother Nature has already been cursed by someone, so it's quite possible we may seek the nearest air conditioned bar for a break from the heat. At any rate it'll be good to get away and have a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Interesting

We received a flyer in the mail the other day from our Neighborhood Association. I felt a little out of sorts at first because in the 19 years we've lived in our home I never knew we had a Neighborhood Association. It seems to be just a bunch of neighbors that get along. Sure you have the occasional griper but I'm not aware of any feuds going on.
We seem to be a neighborhood where everyone minds their own business, yet watches out for each other. When the hoodlums came through with their paintball guns, we all got hit. When the storms ripped through a few years back, we all helped each other move tree branches and returned lawn furniture to it's rightful owners. There are the friendly waves and idle chit chat or talking over the fence. We're pretty good friends with our neighbors to the south and across the street. The people who's backyard butts up against ours are a little on the snobby side. This goes back a few years when she wanted to pull the fence down. I had commented that if she did choose to pull it down that we'd be putting another one up for our dogs. She was all about matching the fences and wanted to "pick out" the fence we'd be putting up. It's chain link now and she didn't like that I said I'd be putting chain link back up. I'm pretty sure the fence issue is over. Plus they have a dog now, but I think it goes to the bathroom inside, as we never see it in the yard.
So, back to the letter. We can join the association for $10.00 per year. We then can be involved in the block party, movies in the park and Friday night round robins. The round robins are explained as "one family per week (Friday) opens their home/yard to other members. The round robin starts at 6:30 pm and ends by 8. The host is not obligated to put out food or drink, people are expected to have eaten before coming over. You are allowed to bring your own beverages, however if you need to keep them cool you must bring your own cooler. If the host chooses to allow people to stay longer they can, but as a visitor you must not over-stay your welcome. I didn't see much problem with this. This is basically to get to know each other and discuss any problems in the neighborhood and to solve them. Well, that is where I had the slight issue.
Like I said, we've lived here for 19 years without any major problems. Yes, I would like to be informed of any incidents involving crime in our area. I passed the flyer onto my daughter as the kids would probably enjoy the park events they have posted. Maybe she can find a nice husband.