Friday, October 31, 2008

Moen, Moen, Moen ... oh, Mowing!

As the season changed the grass in my yard started growing slower, thus making it a bit easier on my budget. Having to mow 1.5 acres of grass each week with a 20" mower takes a bit of petrol. We've been able to put off mowing for the last four weeks with the cold weather, but it's time now. I asked Ryan if he wouldn't mind making sure the mowing was done, especially the grass next to the house, before I got home from work. The look on his face was priceless, sheer puzzlement! He scratched his head and asked what do Moen faucets have to do with the grass outside? Nothing. Ryan was suffering from a "deh, deh, deh" moment. When he heard me say we needed to get mowin' he couldn't figure out what the grass next to the house had to do with our faucet which needed fixing was in the house.

Can we say selective hearing?!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Making the Most of a Day

Today I worked two shifts but at different jobs. I spent the first half of my day as a bookkeeper and the second half as a cashier. By the end of the day I was ready for some time to unwind, and one of the ways I like to do that is by writing about my adventures. I managed to catch the tail end of the weather report on television, so I'll have to read today's news online. In some ways it's easier that way, no commercials, especially those surrounding this years elections.

Speaking of elections, it would appear that most of what we are hearing now is repetitive and unlikely to change anyone's mind about their choice. Since we were already at the high school to pick up Jenn on Monday evening, Ryan and I both decided to vote early in an effort to avoid long lines next Tuesday. It was Ryan's first time voting and the staff at the polls were most helpful in making the process an easy one for him.

Regardless of who we vote for as a nation, perhaps the one thing we can all agree on this year, is that watching the results come in on Tuesday is going to be very interesting!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Inspirational Women

Today I received an email from my sister-in-law titled "MAYA ANGELOU'S' BEST POEM EVER". As I read the poem it struck me odd; for whatever reason it just didn't have that familiar feeling to it. While investigating the poem's validity on I found a link which directs the reader to Maya Angelou's site disclaiming this work as one of her own.

I had to look in another direction to discovered that it was not a poem but a list of "30 things every woman should have and should know by the time she’s 30", and was written by novelist Pamela Redmond Satran. She is an accomplished author and the message in her list of womanly needs is indeed inspirational. You can read Pamela's entire list here in her Glamour magazine article written February 1, 2007.

To satisfy my curiosity I did some additional searches for both the works of Pamela Redmond Satran and Dr. Maya Angelou. There is no doubt that both of these women have a talent for putting into words what we feel as women. If you ever get the opportunity to hear Dr. Maya Angelou perform, you may agree that she truly is an amazing woman!

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
the swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
what they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
the need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Read more information about Dr. Maya Angelou

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mom, I don't feel good :(

It's funny, that no matter where your children are when they are sick, they seem to think you have some magical power to make them well again. Ryan called yesterday morning to tell me that his throat and tongue were swollen and that it was hard to eat and talk. Any other time this would be an easy fix. Call the doctor for an appointment, pick up a prescription, and put him to bed. Why not yesterday?

Unfortunately he is in Indiana for the week until Sunday. I called the teacher who tried to take him to a local urgent care facility, or an emergency room, but the best they could do was have him sit for six hours until they could work him in. So, we called his pediatric doctor who suggested he gargle with warm salt water, take some ibuprofen for pain, and get some rest.

I called earlier this evening to see how he was feeling and surprisingly enough he was much better. The teacher said he is talking up a storm and eating healthy again. I don't think they will return before the doctor's office closes on Sunday. Yes, I said Sunday. Can you imagine your pediatrician being open on the weekend much less Sunday? If he still needs to go, we'll go Monday.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hey, which way are you going?

What a busy week! Ryan if off in Indianapolis, IN at the annual FFA National Convention, Jenn is taking drivers education on top of classes at school and color guard practice for this weekend competition, and I am have worked for the last ten days. Sound busy enough for you? I'm finding that I have little time to relax between the two jobs. It seems I've been picking up other people's chores. Guess we'll have to have a talk when everyone is home this weekend.

Until then, tonight I get a break. Thanks goodness! Thursdays are our date night for watching "Survivor" and I am really looking forward to a relaxing evening with my boyfriend. Even though we are in a long distance relationship we make it a point to spend time each week enjoying something fun together. I really miss watching "LOST" but it's not back on television yet. Anyway, it's nearly time, so I'd better get ready for some "R" time!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Troubleshooting Jumpy Monitors

My coworker's computer monitor at the office will often twitch like a nervous or stressed muscle. After performing some troubleshooting, we thought we had narrowed down the culprit. It appears that the video card could possibly be to blame for the jittery monitor screen. Since the computer is a fairly new purchase it should still be under warranty. In an attempt to narrow the field even more, I mentioned the problem to Eddie (our computer guru) who suggested we try switching out monitors. This could eliminate the video card as the core of the problem. I'm sure Eddie would rather it be the monitor as he seems swamped lately. Between one of my bosses and myself, we have the resources to solve most of our computer problems. When computers are vital to the livelihood of your business, it's important to keep them functioning properly. So I'll have to give Eddie's suggestion a try first thing in the morning.

You know, it's nice that I am able to do all of this techie stuff, but it would be even nicer if I could earn what Eddie does per hour when working on our computers. I'm working on it! ;)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Happy Anniversary, Indeed!

Around 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning I woke up and started my day by cooking two cream cheese quiches for the my daughter and her husband, Ryan and Jenn for breakfast. I had to be at work by 12:00 noon, so I had no time to waste. Lisa got up around 10:00 a.m. and helped finish putting in the second quiche as I got ready for my day. As I headed off to work I noticed that the three youngest were still in bed. It must be nice to sleep in. ;)

Lisa (my oldest daughter) and Steve (her hubby) are down for the weekend in order for Lisa and Jenn to spend some time together for her birthday. As I arrived home after work, Ryan's friend was over and wanted him to come spend the night, and Jenn, Lisa and Steve were headed out for the evening. Since everyone was going to be busy for the next 24 hours, I asked them if they minded if I made a surprise trip to see "Mr.D" in celebration of our 5th anniversary? Everyone wished us a "Happy Anniversary" and waved goodbye for the day.

I had planned on making a surprise entrance but decided to call ahead to ask if "Mr.D" was busy for the night. When I told him I was able to come for a brief visit, he was as excited as I was to be able to celebrate our anniversary together. At first he asked that I pick some wine and bread for the meal, then he called back and said he had to go to the store anyway so he would get what we needed for dinner.

I stopped by a store near the house to pick up an anniversary card and small gift. When I arrived just a few minutes later he greeted me with a huge hug and kiss. As I looked into the room, there on the dining room table was the most beautifully set table, complete with candles, a dozen roses, and a card. My heart just melted!

We had a romantic dinner, danced to Diana Krall, and celebrated our love for each other!

Visits like this definitely make the distance seem so much shorter. ;)

Three Pairs Later ...

Just what kind of shoes are best for your feet if you standing for long periods of time? I'll be standing about 24 - 35 hours per week on my new job, and even though I'm on a budget I don't want to give up comfort. Last week I purchased a simple pair of shoes from a local retail store for my new job. They met all of my needs, good fit, right color, and the price was within my budget. I had them on less an hour and they were killing my feet. In fact I had to switch them out for my old faithfuls, a pair of clogs.

I decided I'd try wearing my clogs to work on my first day at the grocery store. Bad idea! They were not made for standing still in for any length of time. So, I purchased another pair of shoes at the same store as before, but decided to choose a more expensive style shoe. These are much more comfortable, but I can tell I'll need another pair in a few months. It would appear that the old saying, "you get what you pay for" is true.

While I was at work today, I asked one of my coworkers what kind of shoe they suggested I purchase for the type of work we do. Each seemed to have on a different style, and the ones that interested me the most were the one Dansko shoes. My coworker said they were the most comfortable, and durable shoes she had ever purchased for work. I'd rather pay more for a great pair of comfortable, durable shoes, than to have to repeatedly try and find the same in a cheaper style shoe.

Three purchases of bad shoe styles? Or one pair of comfortable, durable, Dansko's!

Is this what is know as a "no brainer"?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Visitors, Work, & Celebrations

This weekend Jenn's older sister and her husband will be coming down for a visit to spend time with Jenn in celebration of her sixteenth birthday. I'm not sure what they have planned for her, but I think shopping is on the list, and what girl doesn't like to go shopping? Jenn loves it! I'm hoping they have a really nice time no matter what they end up doing together.

On Saturday I'll begin my new job at the local grocery store. They have me scheduled for just three hours and since Lisa and Jenn will be busy most of the weekend, my working and any other plans shouldn't interfere with their fun. Apparently the manager who hired me decided that he needed me more hours per week than I had originally been given last week. I'll have another partial day Sunday night for four hours and then nine hours on Monday. Whew!

If all goes as planned this weekend I should be able to pull off a surprise of my own! ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Anniversary Gift Ideas

This coming weekend Mr.D and I will celebrate our fifth year together as a couple. I'm always looking for a good deal, and for good ideas for gifts for the man in my life. Today as we sat around the conference table the subject of anniversaries came up in conversation. One of my coworkers is also celebrating an anniversary this month; she and her boyfriend have been together for one year on October 31st. Though she is thinking of getting her beau one of the new Seiko watches for their anniversary, I've got a different surprise in mind for mine. We had a sneak peek of what is in store this past weekend, and even though time was limited it was wonderful!

It's important to remember that even though money may buy pretty trinkets, baubles, and bangles, as the Beatles sang, money can't buy you love!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Longer Days Are Just Beginning

Tonight I headed to my second job for training after spending a full day at my current job. I spent my first night of training watching several videos, reading multiple procedural documents, and completing numerous tests. Five hours later I was exhausted, and since there was nothing left for me to do I headed home. Thank goodness we are only open until 11:00 p.m. each night and that I will only be working six hours per night a few days per week. After working seven hours during the day I am praying that my night shift won't wear me out. My next scheduled day for training is Saturday for just three hours ... whew! LOL!

Funny thing? As my son headed off to bed he said, "Mom, it was really weird not having you home tonight". I thought they wouldn't even notice. ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Surprise Awaits Jenn!

When Jenn arrives home today after her trip to Myrtle Beach she'll find a surprise awaiting her on her dresser. It was "Mr.D" idea to get her the companion book for the series "Ugly Betty" since she loves the show. When my favorite show is off air taping we'll grab some hot tea and a snack and watch it together. The shows main character is one of her favorite new stars; America Ferrera, who also starred in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". There have been two movies in that series of books and she loves those too. I wonder if she'd like the next book in the series for Christmas? I'll have to do some further investigation.

America Ferrera starred in three other movies that I don't believe either of us has seen, "Lords of Dogtown", "Steel City" and "American Family", so we'll need to put those on our list of must see movies.


Box Lacrosse!?

As many of you know, Ryan loves playing lacrosse. Well, he and two of his friends are getting that opportunity today as Coach Mac and Coach Kevin are hosting some games for the youth league players in our area. It's going to be a bit different in that they are playing indoors and the game is referred to as "Box Lacrosse". The rules are pretty much the same but there is a limited body contact and no boarding (knocking a player into the wall) rule for the day. If all goes well there will be games each Sunday for two age groups. This type of indoor sport should increase their stick skills for next spring.

The groups are broken up as ages U14 and 15+, each age group will play two games alternating times, one U14 then one 15+, then set again. Ryan is so glad this is becoming a fast growing sport for our area now, he has missed playing since his injury this spring. If they form an age group of 18+ some of the young marines want to play too, and Ryan says if it continues he will come home from college each weekend in order to play. If the college he attends does not have a lacrosse team, perhaps he'll help inspire a movement among students to form a team. After all, he is used to being on start-up teams!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Broadway at the Beach

Every year Jenn's high school marching band travels to compete at one other school with a nearby attractions and this year they chose Myrtle Beach. They originally had entrance into "Hard Rock Park" but they closed the park down due to the economy. So the band boosters agreed that the students could attend the attractions at "Broadway at the Beach". If they choose the "Ticket to Play" for $49 they will enjoy these fun events during their visit.

* 1 hour of play & a wand at MagiQuest
* 18 holes of mini-golf at Dragon's Lair
* 5 individual ride tickets to Pavilion Nostalgia Park
* 1 admission to Ripley's Aquarium
* 1 admission to IMAX 3D Theatre

It works out to be less than the original attraction cost and the students can add on to their fun with a race at Nascar Speedpark, a dip at Myrtle Waves Water Park, or live performances at the Palace Theatre. Sounds like a great idea for future vacations.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday, Jennifer!

We love you with all of our hearts!

4ever & always,

Mom, Mr.D, Ryan, Lisa & Steve, Pamela, Ted, Baby & Lil'Man

When Knowledge is Power

Ignorance causes fear. Ignorance being a lack of adequate information about a subject. Take for instance a child who turns the light off at night in his room. He is afraid because he doesn't realize that there is nothing more in his room in the dark than there is when the light is on. Once he is of an age where reason sets in he is able to make that distinction.

Elections can be a lot like the aforementioned situation for a first time voter. Like this child, the uninformed voter is afraid of what they cannot see. It is very intimidating to try and sift through the various media venues to find truth in either candidate's speeches or promises. On top of that, they are both slinging mud at this point in an attempt to diminish the character of the other. I once told my children that voting was like making a choice between the lesser of the two evils. This year seems no different. So, amid the political muck, where does one help find truthful information to make an educated decision before voting in November?

Any ideas?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Who let the birds out?

Ryan and I were sitting out front on the lawn when I noticed that the new Adirondack chairs he had built had some droppings on one of them. We had been talking about getting cushions for the chairs, but if we are going to have large birds flying overhead, we might want to consider purchasing some outdoor furniture covers to protect the chairs. It would keep them much cleaner and it would make visits outside more comfortable for everyone. We recently moved the chairs to the deck which makes it easier for all of us to relax after a long day, or enjoy a fresh cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Perhaps he's planning on making that love seat he's been talking about as a surprise for next spring?

Mother's day would be a great time for a surprise!

Grand Champions

Last night Jennifer, her cousin Ashley, the entire marching band and color guard competed at a high school in Edenton, NC. Since finances are so tight I stayed home while Ryan attended the competition with Ashley's parents. At about 8:15 p.m. Ryan called to tell me that they had performed the best show ever! Shortly after his call, my sister-in-law called to let me know that the band had not only placed first in drum major, visual effects, general effects, music, marching, and over all, but they won the prized award of "Grand Champion". Fortunately my brother filmed their performance and I'll get to see it tomorrow night; I can hardly wait!

Next weekend these "Grand Champions" will compete in South Carolina, and we wish you all the best of success!

Hiding from One's Responsibilities

Have you seen this man? One should be so lucky! He is my ex-husband, and we've been living in separate locations since May 31st of 2001 and are now divorced. There are several reason why the marriage was no longer working and finances was second in line. If ever there was a person who lived by the seat of his pants it was him. Between what he now owes the IRS, his first ex-wife, and me, were they all combined it would be like winning the lottery!

So how does anyone like this hide from their responsibilities? If this were any honest person they would have never allowed this to happen or been caught long before now. So what keeps him safe? Is it "hip" clothing, a wig, or a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses that easily disguise him from detection? I know it's not the beard, he can't even grow one. Even though he has been served with notifications from the IRS, and both the states of NC & VA, he has managed to escape accountability for his actions. Why?

PS The man pictured here was disguised this way to protect his identity.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Brother!

Join me as we journey back in time to the year 1960. It's is Sunday afternoon and my mother is at the hospital while two of my brothers and I stay with one of our relatives for the weekend. We are all anxiously awaiting a call to find out whether or not we are adding new brother or sister to our family. I'm wanting a baby sister, and my brothers don't seems to care one way or the other. As I sat playing with my favorite monkey "Zip" the phone rings. It's my mom with news of our newest sibling ... it's a boy! My brothers cheered as I sighed, there would be no little sister for me. :( When he came home, we all welcomed him into the fold with lots of love. Though he was not a girl, he was mistaken for one many times as a young child, and no wonder, he had the most beautiful blue eyes, and curly blond locks of hair. Today he is one of five siblings, four brothers and a sister, that's me! :)

"Happy Birthday" Steve! Thank you for being a part of our lives, and for sharing in our adventures as a family!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Time for New Tactics?

Where in the world did this year go? That's the talk you often hear around our office during this time of year. They warned us. We would no sooner complete the current tax season feeling the time would drag on before the next season, and then BAMM! It's tax season again! That doesn't bother me nearly as much as the idea that we are packing on the pounds with each season and not shedding it afterward. Time for a new tactic for managing weight loss? Indeed!

While I was at my parents home this weekend I saw a commercial for a new weight loss product. Though it sounds good, I'll need to do some research to include alli reviews, and a talk with my doctor before purchasing anything to lighten my load. I hope the reviews are good ones, and that my doctor finds nothing that will prevent me from becoming more physically active.

Of course, having an exercise buddy would help too! ;)