Saturday, January 10, 2009

Eating Snow: Is it Safe?

(K- making a snow angel in our front yard after the March 2008 snowstorm.)

This post all began with a twitter post (or whatever you call them because I'm so not that cool) that was talking about Snowscream. I thought, HOW GROSS! Then, I started to research. You know what? I found completely conflicting information.

WGN out of Chicago gave us this information. They say that snow is bad. Eating snow is really, really bad. But, then they are in the city, near airports, and heaven only knows what is swirling through the air.

Dick Goddard, local weather guru at Fox 8 Cleveland, says that snow is "nature's vacuum cleaner." Personally, what Dick Goddard says makes sense to me. He says that as the snow falls, it cleans the air of particulate matter floating around. If you have crub in the air and acid rain as we do in the only pristine air of NE Ohio, I don't know if you'll be wanting to dine on snow anytime soon. He claims that in the winters, he used to make ice cream with snow with his daughter. A few years or so ago, they ended up very ill from their snow ice cream. He swears that he won't do it again. He always has a bit on the weather every year cautioning folks NOT to make ice cream with snow.

I kept on reading and found at Eco Child's Play their thoughts. Basically, licking snow off of gloves is okay, but making an entire meal of it is probably not the best idea.

At Safety Issues, they've been told that there is not much need for worry and their are no clinical reports about children getting ill from eating snow.

So, are you grossed out by eating snow? I mean, I'm sure it is more a location thing. Still, K- likes to stick her tongue out and collect flakes, but I don't know that I want her making a lunchtime snack out of the white stuff. So as we are under an official Winter Storm Warning until Sunday at 1 AM we'll be making snowmen, but no snowscream.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Quick Couch Update

As y'all have been on the edge of your seat (ba-dump), you'd be glad to know that the new couch replacement arrived BEAUTIFULLY today. After giving it the fine toothed comb treatment, I gave the go-ahead to the drivers that she was all good. I tell you, I inspected that thing from the top to the bottom- literally. They understood completely! The guy said that he was inspecting it before he even brought it off the truck. He couldn't believe that it took a month for the switch to happen. Oh well, it's all over at least.

I did learn a few interesting things. First, the driver-drop off guy was one of their senior guys. He believes that the couch left the warehouse damaged and that it was not damaged on the truck. Also, that whole dark line situation across the full top of the couch was probably over-saturation in the Guardsman fabric coating stuff. I wonder that for a few reasons. First, this couch doesn't have dark spots anywhere. Secondly, the first couch stunk so bad that I couldn't even sit on it for a week. I laid down on this one, even fell asleep, and was fine. Yup. I think the first one was a clinker.

So to La-Z-Boy of NE Ohio, you did redeem yourself. Even if it took me threatening to come up there and telling you that I was going to turn you over to the BBB. Finally, I got through the heads of the three people who authorized the switch to GET ME A FREAKIN' NEW COUCH, please. They should have been glad. I had PMS the week previous. Just think of the damage that I could have done.

We're on the No Cavi-Tree!

We have a Sponge Bob book about going to the dentist and he wants to be on the No Cavi-tree. So does Patrick, but Patrick had never been to the dentist. I believe that initially he had some cavities, but did get on the No Cavi-Tree the next time. Behold, No Cavities!

So, we are cavity free. We were also told that we have no periodontal disease, no gingivitis and that we take excellent care of our teeth. That's good to know. I thought we had been doing a good job, but you always get a little nervous when it comes right down to it. Especially since K- seems to have been affected by her in utero drug exposure in the areas of teeth and immunity. We're working on the teeth. The immunity seems to be much better than it was, too.

But, this brings us to the next thing. Poor kid had to have her tooth re-filled-- for the 5th time. Now, before you think that we go to some back alley hack, our dentist is a wonderful, kind and very gentle man. When he first put the filling in, it popped out twice while she was in the chair. Seems as though her saliva kept sneaking in and under the filling. Then, a week after filling number 3 had held, it decided to take a hike down her digestive tract. We had it re-filled, at no additional charge to us, and a few weeks later it seemed to be slightly pulling way from the tooth. It held all the way up to today, but I had sent him a picture of said tooth along with the payment of our bill. At that time, gas was $4.00 per gallon and a 50 mile round trip didn't seem that appealing if we didn't need to make it. So, when we were in today, it was determined that for a 5th time, we needed to re-fill that tooth. I asked Dr. Rick if there was any way that we could tend to that today while we were already out there. Such a nice man, he said yes. He realized that making an additional drive was insane and that K- was an absolute ANGEL today and we needed to keep it going. I knew that if I had to tell her that we needed to come back for a filling that all the love for Dr. Rick that day would be lost.

You know what my baby did? She asked that I not go in with her. Grant you, the office is sub-divided into 4 smaller "stalls" so it really isn't that large, but she asked me not to go in. She was doing it on her own. I told her okay, gave her a kiss and hug and sent her off to the big chair. She is generally pretty clingy when it comes to things like that and considering that I had to practically pry her off of my leg when we first came in, I was pretty proud that she had become that comfortable. Oh, don't think for a minute that I abandon her. I stood right around the corner and well within eye shot of everything going on. They knew that I was there and she did not. She did cry when they gave her the shot, but in a whimpering kind of way. The hygienist looked at me with such sad eyes for K-, but kiddo held in there. In the end, she wasn't too fond of opening her mouth for the actual filling, and they did have to talk her into understanding that it wasn't going to hurt one bit.

You know what? She did great! Such a big girl, she is.

You wanna know something else? That popping filling problem? Apparently K- has one doozy of a strong overbite on that particular tooth, which is what caused the filling to come away from the tooth. We're trying another filling and we'll see what we have to do after that.

In the meantime, we'll take no cavities and good gum health as a great thing!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Don't You Love It When You Find Deals?

I had a list of things to do today. It started with last night. I got off work a few hours early since my portion of the inventory count was done, and I had been stuck in two of the worse counting areas-- the dusty, old basement and outside. My partner and I were given the green light to go home. My allergy attack thanked them. So, I landed home much earlier than I expected. I answered a few e-mails and decided that I would get to work. I was on a mission. I had to go through K-'s toys without her present. I tried to be diplomatic and do it with her here, but after the 10th time of hearing, "No Mommy, I still play with that," I had to do it when she was off in other places. I gathered up a box of toys to drop off at a friends house and a paper sack full of McDonald's Happy Meal toys and a few other small things that I knew my friend couldn't use.

My day began with getting K- up and out to school. I knew that I needed to change the school bulletin board, but do it without her knowledge. I dropped her off, went by my friends house to drop off the box o' toys, flew by the Goodwill drop off, then back to school. I was able to get the bulletin board done with enough time to return some slippers that I bought that were too small. I was returning them with the intention of getting K- a cute shirt that I saw at the freestanding JC Penney. (It is the only real store in the plaza up the street. A Goodwill is next to it and Joann's is around the corner.) I ruined a shirt of hers with stain remover. Removed the stain and color in one fell swoop. But, she got the shirt for Christmas, wore it once and I felt horrible. I was able to make the exchange. Since Goodwill was next door and the coupon from my toy drop off was still very warm and burning a hole in my pocket, I decided to see what I could find. OH SWEET HEAVEN! I cashed in.
I admit that I spent 16.00, but I don't think that I did that bad. I bought a beautiful zip up sweater for K- that looks brand new. The blue shirt has lots of sparkles and seems hardly worn, as well. (I am kind of a thrift snob, I buy the stuff that only looks new.) I found a few pair of Nikes for her and since that is the only brand of tennis shoe that fit on her skinny feet, I'm happy to run a mommy refurb on them. (Run them through the washer, hit with scuff cover if needed, use mink oil or saddle soap to keep 'em nice.) I found shorts for Hubs. We only buy shorts and pants for work for him at the thrift or Goodwill. With what he does, he just ruins them. The shorts were on sale and with my coupon, they were 80 cents a pair. I even found myself a pair! I did buy K- a few pair of pants in the next size up. I also found a yard of fabric that I thought would be enough to recover my hideous couch pillows, but it isn't even close. I can use it on something else. That was only 80 cents, so it isn't a loss. I did find an item for a gift for next Christmas. They had a gorgeous table runner from Target-- in the packaging and in perfect condition-- for $2.00. It is tagged $19.99. (Of course, my discount made it all of $1.60.) I haven't had a good thrift day like that in a long time! A great part of it was that I was able to hit JC Penney and Goodwill, and be back at the school in one hours time. Now, that is a real good shopping day!

We're off to the dental unit in just a bit. K- and I have simultaneous cleaning appointments. Our dentist is 25 miles away, so it is a bit of a haul to get out there. We love him dearly, though and aren't willing to change to save on gas. Here's to hoping that we are cavity free!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Fire Box Updating

Let's face it, none of us want to think of the real reason that we should all have a fire box. It is a scary thought, but an important item to have. I update ours on a regular basis, but have had an overwhelming need these past few days to include all of our digital photo disks into the box. All of K-'s life has been chronicled by digital photo and I really don't want to lose that.
So, I decided that my Works for Me Wednesday would be our fire box and what we have in it. Here goes:

1. Updated copies of our insurance policies. I switch those out when the updates come in.
2. Birth certificates. K- and I have been adopted, which means that our local copies of our birth certificates have been destroyed. We have to file to Columbus to get new ones and that would take some time. Since it took almost one full year to get K-'s the first time, I really want to make certain that this is safe. (BTW, I was adopted at the age of 15 by my step father, thus resulting in a legal name change and a new issue birth certificate.)
3. Social Security Cards. I don't know about you, but I really don't like traveling to that office if I don't have to.
4. Savings bonds. We've collected a handful of savings bonds for K- from a variety of occasions. We'd like to keep those safe!
5. Marriage License. We'd like to think that is important!
6. Warranties. Extended warranties for the rings on my fingers and the car. We also have one for Bailey's stone.
7. Tercel title and memorandum title for the new RAV4. Because, well, we don't own it yet. When a company crashes into your already paid-in-full car and totals it, you get blue book for the totaled car, a pittance for pain and a car with a car payment. Sounds fair, yes?
8. Yearly property re-appraisal. Why not save the paper that says that my house is worth $9000.00 less than it was last year? Oh, it sounds super to me!
9. Gift certificates. The ones that we give as gifts, generally, but we have another one in there for stone that I have yet to pick out for the front walk that we still don't have. Don't worry, it's on the to-do list.
10. A stack of new $2.00 bills and a couple of $1.00 silver certificates that I've been collecting since I was a kid.
11. House purchase paperwork. Yes, we've been here for 9 years, but I still have all of the paperwork for the mortgage and all that. I kind of thought that should go in there, too.
12. A stack of digital photo CD's. I learned from the neighbor that you can store so much more on a CD-R. I sat a couple of evenings ago for a good couple of hours and transferred all of the photos that were on our computer onto a CD-R to store into the fire box. I will be transferring photos from the old disks to the more compact CD-R. I also plan on purchasing a little CD book to keep all those disks organized. At least they will be happier in there than the quart-sized freezer bag that I currently have them in!
13. Adoption paperwork. You know, the stuff that states that K- is legally our kid? Yup. That's in there. We worked hard for that stuff!

So that's it for us. We're keeping our paperwork safe. Hope you are, too!

Edited to add:
A master prescription list-- a must for those with many life saving prescriptions!
Shot records
Passports (I admit I don't have one.)
Child safe kits (Fingerprints, DNA sample, hair sample . . . I'm getting more info from Jamie at Mrs. Sour Britches to see exactly what she has.)

Obviously, there are many other things that can go in here. These are just a few more items that came to my attention today. Be safe, my friends!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Modern Convenience Returns to the House of Bailey's Leaf

You know what? I can turn the faucet and water comes out. I can flush the toilet and "stuff" goes away without my force flushing it with 1/2 bucket of water. I can wash my hands without Purell. Grant you, the water is yellow and we aren't going to drink it for a day, but it is water. Oh, and I got to take a nice, hot bath this evening. (For those of you anti-bath people-- shush! I love my baths and don't look at it as wallowing in my own filth.) Though I must add that Hubs just came in and asked, "Were you really that dirty or is the water that gross?" "Um, the water is that gross right now. Thanks, though."

Hubs had to go to work late today because the city had to inspect the plumbing. Apparently, they get a little miffy when you have to take the water meter off. We had a real-live certified plumber come and do the work, so they were impressed. In fact, they told Hubs that our plumber was "awesome." Of course, we know that. :)

So, we are now up with modern conveniences again. Brushing your teeth with bottled water is kind of a bummer. But, at least I have teeth to brush!

Tales from the Trenches: Feeling Entitled in a Big Box

A few days ago, I ended up in a conversation with a young man about theft. I was giving a few illustrations of store thefts that I knew of. Then, in a way that could have knocked me over with a feather, he told me that he stole from a Big Box store.

I said, "What?"
"Oh yeah, I stole a computer one time and a bike another time from [Big Box]."
"You've got to be kidding me."
"No, it's [Big Box] so what does it matter?"
"What do you mean? It's not yours."
"But they have such a large loss margin per store per year. It's like $100,000.00 per store." "Then that doesn't give you entitlement to thinking that a portion of that $100,000.00 loss margin is your responsibility to take."
"But, it's [Big Box]."
"I don't care."
"They are in every country in the world."
"So is McDonald's."
"But, they aren't a good company and the family that owns [Big Box] is mean and rude and needs no more money anyhow."
"So, you'll just thieve anywhere?"
"Oh, no. Just at the big box stores. I wouldn't do it at a Mom and Pop or a locally owned chain. That's just bad."
"So, if you had kids-- which I don't know if you do-- what would you teach them about stealing? Would you teach them that it is okay as long as they do it at a larger, corporately owned store?"
"I'd let them make that decision for themselves."
"You do know that this will bite you in the butt someday."
"Hasn't yet. Nope. It isn't."
(I ended my conversation with him and literally walked away. It was wasted breath. I was doing nothing other than making myself upset and clearly not understanding his point of view.)

This is the same guy who told me that I needed to stop being optimistic and start living a happy life. "I am living a happy life." The day previous, we were discussing Pink Floyd and my co-worker announced that you have to be stru*ng out on dru*gs to get Pink Floyd. I told her that I've enjoyed them just fine having not partaken. "You've got to be kidding me." Um, no. In response, another co-worker announced that I needed to start to live a life. To which I announced, "I am living a life. A happy one."

So, let's get this straight. I don't drink, smoke, take dr*ugs or party. (Yes, I did drink and go to a few parties for a very short time in college.) I am optimistic and somehow managed to go to a liberal arts college, major in art and came out clean. I was married at 23. I bought a house with hubs at 25. I've been at the same job for 7 1/2 years. I have a 5 year old daughter who seems to be thriving just fine. Huh. Yes, I can see where I'm not living a life at all. Each person makes their own choices. As my choices might not be the choices for the masses, they are the choices that we are happy with. Sure, I don't drink or smoke, but that doesn't mean that I don't love people who do. For several reasons, I don't choose to do that myself.

I'm sorry to vent. This conversation just really bugged me. Hubs and I are working hard on raising K- to be a responsible, honest little person. I wonder if upbringing had anything to do with his decisions to thieve from [Big Box] or was it just some weird independent entitlement streak that struck him. Whatever it is, I've decided that I'll pray about it. Perhaps if the conversation comes up again, I can be a bit more constructive with my speech.

What would you have said?

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Place to Sit, Heat, Not a Drop to Drink, and Bargains Galore!

Well, we'll start with first things first. I think that it deserves bold, capital letters and a splash of color. Watch out . . . hold on . . .



I'm a happy girl. La-Z-Boy has thanked me profusely for my "kindness, consideration and understanding." I'm thinking that the long-winded call to the district manager's voice mail and threatening them with the BBB may have helped. So, I was sorry to say that they sucked, but the day that I wrote that-- they did.

Onward. My house is toasty. That's always nice. Outside is not so toasty. It's 25 degrees F.

The plumber was here for three hours. We haven't gotten the bill yet. He's a kind man, though. He replaced the main valve shut off, replaced a bunch of pipes by the washer, hooked up the new washer hook up's and set up the new wash tub. He's stopping in tomorrow after work to check on all of the shut off's to make certain that they do what they are supposed to do.

After work, I ended up swinging by home to pick up a few things that I needed to return. I returned some ill fitting socks to JC Penney and got myself a nifty sweater in return. I also bought some slippers with some remaining credit, which ended up being too small. Now, if only I can find that receipt. I need to check. AHHH! Maybe the refrigerator! At any rate, I took the broken frame back to Target (don't you love it when the packaging conceals that kind of thing?) and exchanged it for a laundry soap organizer that fits between the washer and dryer. It fits! My big ole bulk boxes of soap fit on there too! Now Hubs doesn't have to complain about the top of the dryer anymore! Oh, but on my shopping extravaganza, I stopped in to Kohl's to see what they had. Frankly, they had nothing I needed, but I was eyeing a cast iron pot. Hubs called while I was out to check on my progress. I told him of my quandary with not finding anything but the pot and he told me, "You've wanted one for a long time. JUST BUY THE POT!" I had gift cards, so I did. I am now a proud owner of an on-sale Paula Deen sculpted cast iron, pre-seasoned lidded pot. Other than absolutely rocking baked beans, I must find other things to make in my oh-so-extravagant bean pot. More recipes will make me feel better about spending all but $11.00 of my $75.00 worth of gift certificates on it. (It is a gift to me and aren't you supposed to buy yourself things that you normally wouldn't?!) I still feel guilty. Can't you tell? But, the pot will always fit. It won't wear out and clothing-- well, the thrift is my gig. For the most part, anyway!

So I with my bean pot and a laundry organizing rack, must now settle down for a winter night's nap.

We'll be a primitive, water-free family this evening.

We need to have the main valve shut off replaced. We've known this for years, but have been scared of the fact that if something plumbing wise breaks, we have full force city water flowing in our home until we can get the city's emergency services out to turn our water off. This shut off replacement requires the city to come in and turn our water off at the tree lawn. Since the plumber fixing our stuck plumbing can't come until after work, we'll be water-free from the tap until sometime on Tuesday morning, because the city stops working at 4:30 PM. Oh, we've all given ourselves an extra good scrub tonight, we have flush buckets, a full tub of water and the neighbors on standby for emergency water if needed. I made a crockpot of turkey/vegetable/barley soup today. Should I tell you that I also had the three hour festival of church meetings this evening and it was the only way to assure my family a wholesome, hot meal?! Mom and Dad are just 10 minutes away. Mom even offered their tub and to make us dinner. I told them that we would be okay, but it's always nice hear. Both my parents and Hubs' parents are always at the ready to bail us out if need be.

God willing, the plumbing will be a quick repair. We'll have no leaks and the world at Bailey's Leaf will be dry, but with the option to turn off the main valve if needed.

Enjoy your running water tonight for us.