Saturday, April 4, 2009

Because we can't just attend a public event.

Public puking. Yes. Puke.

We had a wedding shower to attend today. We were about an hour late due to K-'s swimming lessons. We got there, things were well underway and we quietly got a lovely and very delicious assortment of salads and had some lemonade.

K- loves lemonade. She had some more. She had some more. Then she had cake with lots of frosting. And finished off my frosting, too. She was spinning around with her friends, having "horsie rides" and bouncing.

The one girl brought her over and said that K- was tired. I scooped her up like a sack of potatoes only to hear, "Mommy I think I'm going to" and it happened.

I ran with her in my arms, hoping to spare the folks the sight of her. I had a straight shot to the kitchen. Good. A trash can. Until I got there and found all the garbage cans were out in the party room. UGH! A friend's mother was washing dishes, stepped aside and gave me the sink. Poor K-. I had her curled up on her side using the sink as her waste disposal.

How gross. I bleached and cleaned it out after she was done. Super nasty gross.

I'm glad to report that she's fine. She has consumed enough saltines to keep a soup kitchen happy. She's had ginger ale and kept it down.

I think that she had far too much fun. I hope the bride understands!

A great thing to show the kids.

I found this on the Yahoo front page. It's about a couple that appeared on Dr. Phil, talking all about how they steal things -- WITH THEIR YOUNG KIDS -- then sell the stuff on eBay.

Lovely. Let's wonder why kids don't know any better.


Kleenex is our friend.

I can't open my windows. Oh, it's not that they are painted shut or broken. We replaced those crappy windows with Pella windows several years ago.

We all suffer from spring allergies. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Hubs is using Nasonex and cough drops. (For the drainage.) K- is back on her seasonal Children's Zyrtec and will be through mid-June. (Though I've just signed up for the Bzz Agent trial of Children's Claritin! I'm excited to try it with her.) Me? I'm taking Advil Cold and Sinus.

I don't know about all of you, but in Ohio they ID us for stuff like that. You are limited on the amount of allergy medication that you can purchase in a period of time for fear that you are making met*ham*phe*ta*mine*s with it. (Can't use enough *, sorry.) Oh, we have to sign for it, too. It's behind the pharmacy counter so you almost feel like a criminal for having allergies and a nasty runny nose.

So if you'll pardon me, I may wiping my nose excessively. Ah yes. The season is here.

Day 15: Love is honorable. Live with your wives in an understanding way (I don't think they mean plural) . . . and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life. -- 1 Peter 3:7

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Busy, busy Thursday

Boy, I'm tired. I sit here on Thursday evening to write this and I'm flat tuckered. It's been a busy day.

The day actually started early in the AM. Well, I suppose it really started Wednesday night at 11:30 PM. That's when the dog on the corner lot started barking. It kept up the "I need something bark" for 4 hours. And yes, the 4 hours were not such great sleep to me. I felt like I wanted to poke the owner in the eye this morning, but that's not really being a good Christian, is it? And, before you think that I'm prematurely intolerant, I should tell you that said dog barks like this on a fairly regular basis, so much so that we can't even leave our windows to our bedroom open as Hubs can't sleep at all of the dog barks at all. The problem? For years she used to keep them in the house. They were used to that, she has a man living in her house and now the dogs got kicked to the curb, so to speak. We get to suffer. Oh thank you, funky neighbor.

K- woke up at 6:35 AM and ready to watch Martha. (Martha Speaks.) Well, it wasn't quite time for Martha for another hour, so I had her snuggle in with us until the alarm went off at 7:00 AM.

K- and I hung out in bed for a little while, then it was off to school to do the bulletin board. I'm the bulletin board mom and it needed tended to. She's off on Spring Break now, but the first Thursday of the month is my obligated bulletin board day. We also had Parent/Teacher conferences today, so it was a two birds with one stone kind of morning.

I'm pleased-- actually thrilled-- to report that the conference went swimmingly well. K- has much improved in all areas under the teaching of her saint-like teacher, Mrs. K-. (Again, I think the woman can walk on water.) She even counted to 60 for her teacher! I know that to some that isn't a big deal, but I've only gotten her to go to 50 with a few limps here and there. My concerns about K- so concerned with what others are doing and thinking that she is missing out was dismissed by the teacher. She said that she does well, but that is something that all kids her age do. She wouldn't be concerned about it. She can do all tasks that were asked of her at good or excellent level. The only satisfactory that she received was in the way that she holds her pencil. She needs to develop her own feel, her own way. We'll work on that. Her pronunciation issues were something that I brought up, but the teacher (and pediatrician) both feel that K- is improving greatly and they would both like to have us wait until she goes to Kindergarten to have speech therapy to iron the issues out. I'm continuing to work on that with her, so I'm hoping to move her on to more correct pronunciation.

After school was home! It was a "beautiful day, Mom!" A day perfect for playing. K- made herself a peanut butter sandwich (yes, I was aware and believe that her doing that on her own is perfectly fine), got her bug net (the little cover to keep bugs out of her food) and off and away she went. I laundered the towels before we left and dropped them into the dryer. I stripped our bed and laundered those while we were gone. Since it was gorgeous and the upper 60's, I decided to put them out on the line. :) I love line dried sheets! They were drying so fast that I pulled K-'s bed apart and did the same for her. Here's my little clothes line:
The towels, which were tumble dried, ended up wound up with the bath mat that never quite dries all the way, but I have sheets and K-'s "Linus"-- AKA her security blanket. I'm fully aware that there is a giant hole in the very corner that "Tag" lives on, but she loves this blanket. She has used it since she was an infant (you couldn't tell at all, could you?) and rubs her face in it the first thing she finds it. One day she'll get married and I'm afraid that Linus may very well be moving into her home with her. :) "I take you K- and Linus to be my lawfully wedded pairing . . ."
K- decided that it was a barefoot day. The child just wouldn't wear shoes if she didn't have to.
See? Here she is tip-toeing through the rotted crab apples all the way down the street. That's okay. We have soap. The child's feet this evening? BLACK.
It was a great day for drawing on the neighbor's driveway. She's drawing puppies. She wanted to know how many legs they have. It appears on the one that she made is a cross between a puppy and a centipede. That's okay. It's all about creativity, yes?
She's right into it. Don't worry. She's just made herself comfortable. She's just fuzzing out her lines with one of her new chalk tools.

I cleaned the bathroom, did a little extra laundry, swept, dusted, trimmed up the butterfly bushes (one is about 9 feet tall, which I hadn't realized it was that big until about now), raked up all of those trimmings to put in the can as well as some leftovers from last week. The can is full enough to allow us garbage space, then I'll fill it up again next week.

I forgot to mention that we did make a trip to KMart. I'm not a fan of KMart, unlike Rainman, but I thought I read the Sunday ad to read that Color Wonder kits were on sale for 4.00. (They weren't there and now I can't remember what store, but it isn't Target or KMart. Oh, maybe Toys R Us!) At any rate, we did find a gift for the bowling birthday party next week. K- and I thought it was kind of neat. In fact, K- wanted me to buy her one. I explained that we were there for a gift only. Here is what we bought. She is the Bath Beauty Cinderella. I'm pleased to say that KMart had her for 1/2 off. Sold!

With that, I need to shove off and bathe a very tired child. She was so tired when she undressed for the bath, that she fell asleep on her floor. Pardon me, I have some coal black feet to scrub! :)

Day 14: Love takes delight. Enjoy life with the wife you love all the days of your fleeting life. -- Ecclesiastes 9:9 HCSB

Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on. Just be together.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Beginnings of Our Classic Toys

Pardon me. I'm probably still on the Conficker worm watch. I miss reading about you and your adventures! -- Nah. I'm back. I've done a thorough scan of the computer this morning and will continue to do so. The self imposed computer ban netted much time and allowed me to get a lot done. Not a bad thing! :)

The following was linked to my Yahoo front page on Monday night. I enjoyed it and thought you might, too! Remember, this isn't me writing it, though I do love the comments! Especially about the Sea Monkeys! Eeee!

1. Lincoln Logs were invented by John Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s son. The original instructions included a how to construct a replica of Abraham Lincoln’s cabin, but also how to construct Uncle Tom’s cabin.
2. Tinkertoys were invented after a stonemason saw kids being totally entertained by building things with pencils and spools of thread.
3. Hula Hoops have been around forever in various formats, but the “official” Wham-O toy was invented in 1958. The inventors promoted it by going around to various playgrounds and parks giving children samples and showing them how to use it. Something tells me two random men showing up in a park handing out toys wouldn’t go over that well today…
4. Sea Monkeys are real (and that’s what they look like). I always thought they were a scam because I never once saw living Sea Monkeys swimming around in their little plastic home. Not once. They were “invented” in 1957 by Harold von Braunhut, the guy who invented X-Ray specs. They’re really brine shrimp and are ideal for packaging as a toy because they enter a natural state of suspended animation in certain (shippable) environments. When kids release the “monkeys” into the prepared water, they “hatch.” The reason they’re so active (supposedly… I’m still bitter that mine never worked) is because one of the packets you dump into the aquarium contains a type of salt that increases the sexual activity of the little critters. Yep. Think about that the next time your kid is fascinated by Sea Monkeys.
5. Play-Doh was first sold as a wallpaper cleaner. How’s that for weird? You rolled it on the walls to remove coal dust.
6. Troll dolls were created in 1949 by a Danish fisherman who needed a cheap Christmas gift for his daughter because he couldn’t afford to buy anything. He used sheep’s wool for the hair. Thomas Dam’s dolls caught on; thus the original dolls were called Dam Dolls. I got in on the whole troll craze in the early ‘90s; I think they still reside somewhere in my parents’ basement. I remember some of their names… I believe Dud the Surfer was my favorite. That’s not a typo: Dud. Not Dude. He had his own theme song. I’m not entirely sure why I’m sharing this.
7. Slinky was invented by Naval engineer Richard James. He knocked a spring off of a shelf when he was working to develop springs that could keep ship instruments stable in choppy waters. The spring did what a Slinky does… it stepped down to a stack of books, then to the table, and then to the floor, where it righted itself into a cylinder. James knew it would be a great toy, and tests by neighborhood kids proved him right. 8. LEGO blocks were invented by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a master carpenter who lived in Denmark. The word comes from the Danish words LEg and GOdt, which together means “play well.” They later discovered that in Latin, Lego means “I put together.”
9. Raggedy Ann and Andy were created by writer and illustrator Johnny Gruelle. Ann was created as a doll in 1915 for Gruelle’s daughter – he reportedly named the doll after two books poems from a James Whitcomb Riley book – “The Raggedy Man” and “Little Orphan Annie.” Ann inspired Gruelle to write stories about her adventures, and in 1918, Raggedy Ann Stories was released. Her brother, Andy, showed up in 1920. I had a Raggedy Ann doll and she scared the crap out of me. Most dolls did. I had a porcelain doll once and I accidentally broke her arm, and I was convinced that she was going to kill me in the middle of the night for breaking her, so I kept her shut in the closet. To this day I have to have the closet doors closed when I sleep. Have I ever mentioned that my first horror movie was Dolls and I was in third grade? Let the psychoanalysis begin!
10. Sock Monkeys. The sock monkeys that we have come to know and love today – the ones made with Red-Heel socks – are thought to have come about in 1932. The distinctive red heel was given to the socks so customers would know they were getting authentic Rockford socks. When the Nelson Knitting Company discovered that their socks were being used across the country in this arts-and-crafts movement, they won the design patent for the sock monkey pattern and started including it in the packaging of their socks.

What is your favorite classic toy? I love Play Doh. I love the smell of Play Doh! I tell you, a few cans of Play Doh and a few cookie cutters have been known to quiet a whole bunch of kids at my house. (Yes, we only have K-, but occasionally people come to play!)

Day 13: Love fights fair. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. -- Mark 3:25

Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to "fight" by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Homemade cleaner recipes, anyone?

Know that because of the concern about the Conficker worm, I will not be online until I'm absolutely certain that it is safe. I have fully updated Windows Live One Care, have run Microsoft updates, virus scans and such. Since my computer ate a worm last year this exact time (I was able to save all photos and files and the neighbor caught the problem just prior to when it would have crashed), I just don't want to trash out our computer. So, while I won't be reading your updates for at least today, please feel the love! I'll see you in a day or two-- or at least when the dust settles.

Remember that today is backwards day here at WFMW. So I ask, do you have any "recipes" for homemade cleaners or environmental cleaning techniques? Let me know, please! I'd love to look into doing something a bit more environmental with my cleaning.

Thanks in advance for your help! :)

We're working on the Love Dare. We welcome you to follow us along.

Day 12: Love lets the other win. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. -- Philippians 2:4

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse. Tell them you are putting their preference first.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Fundraising in the non-traditional sense

Fundraising. This is our term for folks who bring anciently old things back, trying to return them for money. The hoot is that they get mad at us for not taking things back that are clearly out of return time.

1. The other day I had a woman bring a package in. I asked, "Is there anything I can help you with?" "Well, I'd like to know if you can return this?" The package had burgundy and dark green tissue sticking out of the top. It screamed to me "CHRISTMAS RETURN." I said, "Well, let me see." There was a receipt in the package. I unfolded it, looked at the purchase date and told her that I was sorry that I couldn't return it. The purchase date was November 30, 2008. Our return policy is 30 days. Now, we do have room to fudge that a little, but obviously that was well overdue. "You still have them on the shelf for sale." "Yes." "Well, what if I didn't have my receipt?! You wouldn't know when I bought it!" "Yes I would. [As I point to a product tag on a counter item.] We have our coding system so that we know when a particular item was purchased. I would have been able to phone the office and they could have looked it up for me." "Well, the weather has been so bad." [I live here. It was bad off and on, but I was able to function just fine.] "Ma'am, I'm very sorry but I cannot return this item. You are more than welcome to speak to our Gallery Director, M-, but she will tell you the same thing." She walked off in a slight huff, as I ran upstairs to page M- to let her know not to return the item. People play the two sales counters. If they don't get their own way at one, they'll go to another. In the end, she just had my co-worker re-wrap it to give as a gift to someone else.
2. In August, I had a customer bring a Labradorite ring back that she had purchased just a few days prior. It was a sale item. Sale items are sold as final sales. I asked her when she purchased the ring and she admitted that it was a sale item, but she was happy to take a "due bill." "But Ma'am, I'm unable to return a sale item." "There is a cloud in the stone. This is not the quality of -- Gallery and I will take a due bill." "Again, I'm unable to return your item, as sales items are not returnable. If you would like, I would be happy to fetch a manager for you." "WELL I'LL JUST GO WITH YOU!" "Um, Ma'am, you can't. I have to go to our office." "Well, I'm going with you!" "Ma'am, our office is closed to the public. If you'd like to stay here, I'm happy to bring a manager back with me." In a huff, she decided to stand on the porch. I went to the office to find that a co-worker over there had worked with her extensively during the purchase. It was an 80.00 ring marked to 30.00, she had talked all about the "cloud" which is not a cloud but a kind of angular-like stone inclusion within the stone itself. Labradorite has a glisten to it, and this was a particularly lovely and large stone of it. I brought up the fact that if we had taken the ring back, it was obvious that it had been worn all weekend in a vigorous type fashion and since it was so scratched and banged up, I could never sell it. My theory, she bought it to wear to an event, wore it, showed it to all her friends, it got the face time it needed and now she was bringing it back. No go, honey. She was ticked. She yelled. She left with it in hand, though.
3. I had a woman bring a bag in with several jewelry boxes full of jewelry to return. She had no receipts. Since it was a pile of no fewer than 15 items, I had to take it to the office, as it would be easier than calling and yelling out numbers. What we found? These were items that were mostly sale purchases, purchased 2 1/2 years previous. When we told the customer that we were unable to return them, she was mad. You see, she had been piling these things up in boxes for 2 1/2 years to return because "she lives in Virginia and couldn't bring them back any sooner." We returned nothing. She was mad. Oh well.
4. I had a woman earlier this year come to tell me that she had a bag full of handcrafted lightswitch plates to return. She purchased them 2 years previous, had them displayed and used in her home throughout that entire time, they were selling said home, not including the switchplates in with the sale and she wanted to return them, because the new home they purchased had different switch configurations and these couldn't be used. Of course, I told her that I could not return them, but suggested that she sell them on eBay.

Toys R Us won't even look at you if you don't have a receipt. If you have no receipt at Target? You can pull that one twice in a year and then it's Bummerville for you. Regular big box stores have very strict and very unapologetic return policies. Why is it that people can adhere to those, but can't understand that the Mom and Pop have return policies that they need to stay within, as well?


Day 11: Love Cherishes. Husbands ought to love their own wifes as their own bodies. -- Ephesians 5:28

What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand? Give a back rub or a foot massage? Is there housework that you could help with? Choose a gesture that says, "I cherish you" and do it with a smile.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Clean-Up Report Monday

I cleaned out the beds this weekend. As I did, the Goodyear blimp was flying overhead as my dear K- kept jumping up and down yelling, "IT'S THE BLIMP!!! IT'S THE BLIMP!!!" And yes, it is the blimp. It's a regular sight around NE Ohio 3 seasons a year.
So, I found this curled up thing as I was cleaning the herb garden out. I thought it was a dried up carcass until I gave it a nudge with a stick. It was still smooshy. Guess what? It's alive! That's amazing considering how stinkin' cold it was this winter! We don't quite know what it is. Hubs is going to take him to work and do some research. He isn't in any of our books! (If you know, let us know!) K- and I are banking on it being a moth. He's enjoying our Romaine lettuce, though!
Here is one part of my herb garden. (Up and green are chives, onions, sage, oregano, volunteer mint and some chamomile in the drive, but not in the bed.) It is adjacent to the gravel driveway, so you will see bits of gravel in there. Also, spring clean-up to me does not mean to take every blasted leaf out of the bed. Some stray leaves here or there will get pulled out or will just decay naturally. I'm good with that. Today the aim was to deal with the bulk of it and the fine details will come at a later date. It was threatening to rain all day, so I kept a move at a pretty good clip.
The other half of the herb garden. (Up and green are yarrow and onions right now.) I gave the thyme plants a good shearing. I have a few plants of regular thyme and lemon thyme. They just needed a good topping to give them a great start this year. That blank spot right up front? That's where my parsley will go. Again, ignore the leaves caught up in the plants.
Here is the butterfly garden. (Up and green are day lilies, Asiatic lilies, myrtle and tulips.) I have a lot of lilies and tulips coming up in there. The Asiatic lilies were all of 1.01 from Breck's. (I had a coupon.) Over the years, they have multiplied and now the plants are big and beautiful. The tulip bulbs came free from my parents. My dad works at a mom and pop hardware and they were getting rid of the balance of the bulbs left one year. My mom gave me 50 bulbs! I have some planted up front, but in the butterfly bed, I just did a nice naturalization. I tossed them up in the air and planted them where they landed in the bed. Works for me! This is my perennial bed. (Up and green are day lilies, Shasta daisies, several varieties of sedum and Obedient plant.) The vine arbor, just built in September, will be covered in vines before we know it.
Here is one of the many piles of deadness sitting out back. I crammed our garbage can so full that they are just going to have to wait to go out next week. I'll put some in the neighbors garbage tomorrow night, but only after he has put his can out. And yes, he gave me permission to fill his can the rest of the way. See? It can't decide if it is going to say "Parkay" or "Butter." :)

But, while I was out, I trimmed up all the ivy on the one side of the house. I pulled it out from underneath the siding and trimmed the rose bush way back. I trimmed the branches on the Purple Plum that were beginning to grow towards, but not touch, the utility lines. While I had the ladder out, I cleaned the garden window. I also raked up all of the leftover leaves from the fall. I cleaned them out in the fall, but always end up with a yard full to clean up in Spring. Well, that and the pieces of garbage here and there that got caught up in our plants all the while the winter winds blew. All the while doing this, K- and her friend E- were running between houses. The girls decided to watch a movie and Michelle decided to give me some free Mommy work time! :) Hooray!

After all of that work, I was bushed. Hubs worked late Saturday night, so K- and I were left on our own. We bought a cheese pizza at Little Caesars for a whole 5.00, had it for lunch and dinner, then got our baths and decided to observe Earth Hour. She went to bed with only a little night light. I went to my bed to watch some TV, but turned everything off and didn't turn on our outside lights. But then, I fell asleep before 10 PM. When Hubs got home, it was a completely dark house, which left him fumbling in the dark just to get in. Yikes. I normally leave a light on for him. He understood when I told him that we were in observance and trying to save the Earth. :)

Day 10: Love is unconditional. God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. -- Romans 5:8

Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse -- something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car. Clean the kitchen. Buy his favorite dessert. Fold the laundry. Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dealie-Do Sunday

I wrote this in advance and scheduled the post. Don't worry! I'm staying with my agreement to unplug today!

I went grocery shopping Thursday evening. I went because we needed me to, but also to pick up some mushy food for K- to eat after her baby root canal. She might not need soft stuff, but I figured it couldn't hurt. While out, I fetched some decent bargains. Oh, look at some of my deals:

14 lb box of Fresh Step Cat Litter for free (reg 8.49)
4- 8.2 oz tubes of Crest toothpaste for 88 cents/tube (reg 2.59 each)
* I won't pay more than a dollar for a tube of toothpaste, and it hasn't been on sale for a while! I will only buy Crest or Colgate.
6- containers Yoplait yogurt for 42 cents each
1 - Kashi Sweet and Sour Frozen Entree for 1.79 (reg 4.49)
Spray N' Wash Bright and White for 2.49 (reg 4.99)
Pledge Multi Surface for 2.25 (reg 4.29)
Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni 1.88 for a two pack (reg 1.75 each at GE)
* A guilty pleasure. Gross to some, extremely yummy to me! (Made with turkey.)
3 - pkgs Star Kist Tuna (2 Lemon Pepper, 1 regular) for 83 cents each
Milk for 1.99/gallon! Hormone free, too!

I saved 19.50 in coupons and double coupon savings. All things I bought at Giant Eagle were on sale. I went to the local grocery discounter on the other end of the plaza and did the bulk of my grocery shopping, though. I behaved at the discounter and only purchased one item in the "crap aisles." (AKA closeouts) That one item was K-'s baby root canal prize for a whole 3.99.

Any good deals in your shopping week?

Day 9: Love makes good impressions. Greet one another with a kiss of love. -- 1 Peter 5:14

Think of a specific way you'd like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.