Friday, July 31, 2009

Short and sweet.

Smiles in my day:
1. Grandma was moved to the rehab center today and is doing miles and miles better than yesterday. She even had presence of mind to tell my aunt where her living will was kept, when the other day she had no idea.
2. While searching for Grandma's living will, we purged things from her drawers. In the purging, I found (in multiple purses, make-up bags, envelopes and the like) $843.00. It's in the fire box awaiting her return home.
3. Grandma no longer eats cereal, but had her aid continue to buy it for her. As a result, I came home with probably 12 boxes of Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Chex and Rice Krispies. (The cereal I buy, anyhow.) I don't suspect that will be on my shopping list for quite some time.
4. We tripped to the library, where I found lovely books on cooking (one on pressure cooking) and organic gardening.
5. The laundry is finished and hanging in the basement. The rain cloud hovered all day and I didn't want to risk it.
6. The bathroom is cleaned.
7. The living room is swept and tidied.
8. We went for a 3 mile walk last night.
9. Today, K and I are going to make the trip to the Akron Art Museum for the William Wegman exhibit on his dog, Fay Ray. I think that K- will love it!
10. Hubs is at an all day music festival. I'm hoping that the weather holds out. He's been excited about this for months and even took today and tomorrow off because of it.
11. Speaking of, we're going to Amish Country tomorrow. MIL watches K- all the time, so we're treating her to the trip, too. I have many things to stock up on at the bulk food store and this is the first trip all season! to our vegetable stand. How I love the Blessing Acres family. Lovely Amish folks. Yes, these were the same people that invited us to a customer appreciation party that K- proceeded to fill their outhouse with puke at. Yes. You can dress us up, but you can't take us out. (K- and I were dressed not Amish, but respectfully in dresses. Oh, she was such a mess.)
12. Have a wonderful weekend! We will! :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Whatcha Googlin'?

Me! Oh, I almost always find the search results to be hilarious. What shall I share with you today? Let me read.

Organic Beetle- I believe that they are all organic, but it doesn't mean that I like them. We've battled and battled, but they've still eaten my tree. They haven't gotten it quite as bad as last year, but the sunflowers that the birds didn't eat, they did.
How plant leaf works- Photosynthesis, if memory serves.
Do green iguanas eat chives?- I'm sure that they do, but I'm not certain that you want them to. I fed ours 4 big ole cabbage leaves a week or so ago. Let's just say that if he was constip*ated, he isn't anymore.
Walmarts polly pockets- If memory serves, their selection is horrible. But, I'm guessing that this is a search from someone who lives in the south. For some reason that I do not understand, Southerners refer to Walmart as Walmarts. The sign? No 's' on the end. In NE Ohio, we've gone to Walmarts if we have gone to more than one, which I have done in one trip.
Beetle bag full in less than a day- Yes, I feel your pain. I kind of had the same thing happen, but it took us a day and a half. Might I add that dead beetles smell very, very gross.
"Black feet" barefoot kid- Yes, my child occasionally has black feet in the summer.
Free make hair stuff organizer -ribbon- I've made hair bow organizers and I had that I gave for the Bloggy Giveaway, but I'm sorry-- I'm selling them at the gallery.
Hovering cloud- Why yes, one hovers over our house on occasion. If you are asking about the hovering black cloud? Yes, we have that from time to time, too.
Questions on elmers mess free go paint- They'll answer them the second time that you e-mail them. They are so confident in their product that they will replace your defective product with the same exact thing. Ugh with that dry finger paint. Don't buy that stuff. Waste of money.
Starting collard seed in a greenhouse- Not necessary. It is a cold weather crop that will grow nicely.
Parade candy- Are you asking about rain soaked candy that has fallen into the drain groove of the roadway? The same candy that my husband eats and I don't think he recalls where it came from?
Child yells- Yes, mine will do that. Thank you for asking.
"My braces" "our anniversary"- I don't know why I came up. I had braces when I was 12 and I've been married for 12 years.
Submissive wife- I try, but seriously, I'm not a Google roll model of submissive wife.
Georges pudding skins- More people like the pudding skin episode than I thought.
How to keep hair bows from falling apart- It's hard to tell. If it is soft ribbon, you may need to give a whip-stitch to stabilize it.
Is it safer to keep kids in 5 point booster past age 8?- You need to follow the weight specification on your particular booster. Our Britax goes to 80 pounds.
Baileys life span- I'm thinking that you are asking about the life span of bay leaves and not Bailey. I'm not certain about Bay leaves. I'd have to look it up. Spices are about a year, I think.
My shower smells funny after using scrubbing bubble automatic shower cleaner- Yes, it stinks and Rachael would tell you that if you don't rinse afterwards, your shower will be "slicker than snot."
Tumor hair bow- Don't quite know what to tell you. Perhaps try Etsy.
Is pampered chef worth it- Yes.
Exposed them to chicken pox.- Personally, I don't think that it is a wise idea. I know that people used to have and probably still do have Chicken Pox Parties. K- did get Chicken Pox from the vaccine and it was really not a severely dotted case. She suffered a 104 F fever for a week, but the spots were the mildishly moderate category. My brother, however, had a school friend die of Chicken Pox related problems when he was in Kindergarten. An entire class of children had their classmate one week and gone the next. It was sad and I'll never forget it.
Leaf eating beetles plum tree- I feel your pain. I have the same problem. I don't know if you noticed, but they find the plums particularly tasty, too.

Smiles in my day:
-- Apparently a chunk of Grandma's problem is a kidney and bladder infection along with her dehydration. Appears as though Grandma will recover from her funk. She goes to rehab today.
-- We were super busy today. Seriously, people were out spending money. It poured all day long and when that happens, either we're packed or dead.
-- Speaking of pouring, though we don't have the stone for the new patio area yet, I'm glad to report that we have no puddling whatsoever and that Hubs got the slope pitch perfect!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We have a Blog Hop '09 Winner!

True Random Number Generator Result: 4

Congratulations to Cheri-Beri! Hop on over and check her out!

Works for Me Wednesday: My Pot Rack

Oh heck! I just woke up and realized that my description looks like I'm giving away a pot rack. I'm sorry. I'm not. I love my pot rack, but today is the LAST DAY! for the $10.00 Target Gift Card giveaway that I'm doing for the Blog Hop. Sorry if my description is horrible. Eeek! Now onward to the actual stuff you came here for.

Probably 5 years ago, Hubs asked what I wanted for Christmas. I told him a pot rack. Now, I have to tell you that he scolded me for putting me something practical and a house need on the list. Still, he bought it for me. Can I tell you something? I absolutely love it and am very happy to have it!We live in a 1008 square foot ranch and our eat-in kitchen is about 12' x 16'. Cupboard space is a little short. By putting up a pot rack, it freed up the bottom portion of a cabinet. What do I have hanging up there? I have my standard set of Wear Ever pans. I also have a three piece filler set from IKEA and a miscellaneous label small sauce pan. In addition, I have my pressure cooker, the food mill, the steamer basket for the pan set and a metal colander. The lids all fit in the top. It doesn't take a lot of space, but makes good use of higher up wall space that we did have. I will never live without a pot rack again. Why? Because it Works for Me!

Last day for the Blog Hop giveaway! [The $10.00 Target gift card is dangling in front of you like a carrot.] Click! Comment! Comments close 7/29/09 at 9 PM EST.

Smiles in my day:
-- I visited with Grandma today. Seems as though she is suffering from some dehydration, which isn't all of her problem, but it does account for some. She kept commenting on the young male nurses that she has had and that ONE GAVE ME A BATH! I told her that they have a lot of young men because the older folks need some lifting sometimes. She laughed and agreed.
-- K- and my Mother-in-law had a great time at the water park today.
-- It was 85 F and humid today, but the house is cooling nicely this evening. It might be good sleeping weather after all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: The Maryland Swing and other moving(ish) violations

I should start this story by telling you that about 11 years ago, my sister moved to Ellicott City, Maryland. (That's right outside of Baltimore.) She moved from EC to Hanover, PA, then on to Waynesboro, PA before heading back to NE Ohio. While visiting her in Maryland and southern PA, we all noticed the same thing, people swing left of center for every. turn. they. make. Seriously. South of the Mason-Dixon, which was literally down the road from her in Hanover, folks are physically unable to just turn into their driveway, parking lots or whatnot. Is this a southern thing or just a south PA/Maryland thing?

Okay, now for my list of drivable gripes that covers all states in our great nation. Not all specifically moving violations, but the car had to move to get there.
1. Turn signals-- not just another pretty light.
2. Parking lot spaces are for one car, not for one car to take up two spaces. If you want to have your car far away from others, park far out in the lot. Since I do this often, I can tell you that 9 times out of 10, you'll still find that someone parked right next to you regardless.
3. People who drive vehicles larger than they can manage-- I have nothing against Hummer, Yukons or other behemoth vehicles. If you feel secure in it, have at it. I'm good with that. I'm just saying that the lady that stopped in at work last week in the Toyota Sequoia with both quarter panels scraped up with different colors of paint-- honey, I'm thinking it is too much of a vehicle for you. Don't get me wrong, I looked at getting the poor man's Hummer-- AKA the FJ Cruiser. (What we call it.) I like it, but I couldn't see out of it when I was in it. In fact, Hubs couldn't see me when I was standing behind the spare tire on the back door.
4. Texting while driving-- I've got to tell you that this is officially illegal in Cleveland and I'm hoping that it being illegal becomes a trend. It's just wrong. I don't care how pressing the issue. Pull over and text if you need. I don't want you to wreck into me or my loved ones. Keep in mind that my kid is with me about 90% of the time.
5. Running red lights-- We've all done it on accident, but you can tell if it is accidental or plainly thinking that you are above stopping. Woman in labor? Someone maimed? Extenuating circumstances are different. With that, throw on your hazards and lay on the horn. Let us all know that there is something major going on. We'll stay out of your way. But running the light? I've almost been plowed into a few different times by cars blowing through one of the main intersections that I go through several times a day. Don't be in such a rush. Slow down.
6. Speaking of, there are the school zones. It isn't a slow go area to keep you from getting to work on time. It isn't there to ruin your day. I will begin walking K- to school each morning that we can and will be using cross walks, making friends with the crossing guard (I completely plan on giving them a Christmas gift), and generally being in a school zone. Please don't make me run after you. Besides, our town uses school zone cameras. They are set up in different school zones different days. You'll get nailed with a $130.00 fine just like the kid at work. My heart will not bleed for you.
7. Make-up application while driving? What are you thinking?! There is no excuse. Sorry.
8. The interstate/expressway is generally constructed with three lanes. The furthest to your left is the fast lane. That's where the people with places to go and things to do in a lickety split go. That's usually me. Then, there is the middle lane. That is for folks doing at or a little above the speed limit. Then there is the slow lane. If you need to go a little slower than the rest, this lane is for you. It doesn't mean to go 35 MPH, but keeping at a good speed is important, but you don't need to fly. If you are a slow lane person, don't try to do your thing in the fast lane.
9. Have you ever tried to pass folks down the expressway all three lanes seem to be stuck in formation, with no one advancing ahead? Everyone is stuck behind, no one moving faster and you really, really just want someone to MOVE! If you don't want to go any faster and you are in the fast lane, let up on the pedal just a hair and drop back behind your formation buddy. It's all good. Those stuck behind you thank you.
10. If you can't see over the steering wheel, my guess is that you can't see what is in front of you. At this point, you may want to consider public transport.
11. Please don't rest your cart against someone else's car. That's rude.
12. If you put something into the back of a truck and are moving it from point A to point B down a busy highway, my guess is that the move will be way more successful if you actually strap the items down to your vehicle. That way when you get there, all cushions will be in place, you will have ALL of the dining room chairs and no drawers will have flown from the furniture.
13. Remember that slamming on your brakes in the snow is bad. Really bad. Don't do it. You'll slide, you'll cause others to panic behind you and then you will have caused a big pile-up and your insurance company won't like you so much.
14. Speaking of insurance, it isn't optional.
15. If you hit another car, leave a note. Don't smack someone else's car with your car door, back into it, rub up against it . . . and just leave the scene. Again, that is rude. My mother and father-in-law are now going to have to pay to repair their vehicle before they turn it back in on lease because some idiot backed up under it at Giant Eagle. You know when you hit a car. 'Fess up. My friend, April, did and she shocked the police department when she called to report her error.

Smiles in my day:
-- My boss preparing me for what I might expect while being interviewed for Cleveland Magazine! They are going to interview me about holiday decorating, but don't get too excited. My bit may not actually make it into the magazine. It is fun to think about it, though. Yes, I'll let you know in October if I made it in or not.
-- For the unexpected shower this evening. Not that it was hot today, but it did cool it down nicely.
-- K- had a much better day today. In fact, both Hubs and K- enjoyed the Slip and Slide this afternoon.
-- K-'s Klean Kanteen arrived! It fits perfectly in her lunch pack.

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A prayer request:
Grandma was admitted to the hospital today for a 3 day testing extravaganza to see why she has such weakness in her legs. The doctor has said that she is currently unsafe to be residing on her own, as she has fallen 4 x in the last week and a half or so. They have ruled out stroke. She does have stage 4 Small Cell Lymphoma. She was diagnosed with that in June, 2005. She has been suffering from some memory deficits that they've been trying to remedy with the use of dementia medications. These medications made her lethargic. She didn't sleep restfully. They also made her nauseous and gave her some pretty hefty intestinal discomfort. I think that they guinea pigged grandma with so much of the memory preservation stuff that her thigh muscles atrophied as they were trying to pull her noodle back around. Now, her memory is shot and so are her thigh muscles. She wants to eat little outside of sweets. After her three day visit to the local hospital, she'll be going on to rehab. Personally, I don't see her improving enough to be released. I saw it happen with my grandfather. After all of that (sheesh already, yes?), I pray that God's will is done. This doesn't mean that I want grandma no longer with us. I love her very much, but I also don't want to see her suffer, continue falling and causing herself bodily injury. Grandma is knocking on the door of 92. She has been gifted a long life. I just want Grandma's life to continue to be comfortable for her.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I tackled something that I was afraid of.

Friends, I cooked a meal in my pressure cooker. Remember that pressure cooker that I won from a Bloggy Giveaways giveaway back this winter? Well, I was really excited about it when it first came in. Then, people started telling me stories of massive burns and pressure cookers that blew up and that you have to do it just right and make sure of this and not of that and AAAAAAAAA! So, it hung beautifully from my pot rack all these months.

When preparing for my WFMW post, I caught a glimpse of that beautiful pot and thought, "I'm going to cook in you today." I did. Just look! Fresh herbs from the garden. Chives, thyme, parsley and sage. My chicken was frozen, but that is okay. The pressure cooker hasn't a problem with that. I read the directions that said that you must have at minimum 1 cup of liquid at the bottom. I did 1 1/2 cups just to be on the safe side. (2 chicken bouillon cubes were added to the cup and a half of water.) I placed the sage leaves in the liquid under the basket. Sage is wonderful, but can be a little overpowering to me. I surrounded the chicken with short cut carrots, topped it off with the remaining herbs, cracked some pepper over top and I latched the lid down. After a half hour (and having turned it up a couple of times), I finally started retaining pressure. I needed to be at the second orange ring for the chicken. Oh, look! We're there. (Blurry, but there.) I learned that this is a place that you don't want to go. See the blue after the last orange. That means too much pressure and the pressure cooker sounds like you are standing directly next to a tornado siren turned up full blast. I knew that my moms topper thingy giggled, so I just thought it was my pressure cookers way of jiggling. In fact, I called mom to let her hear it. Turns out, that it makes that horrific noise so that you know that you need to turn it down. It says immediately. I turned it down 9 1/2 minutes after the start of the ucky sound. Live and learn. After everything cooked at the correct pressure for 10 minutes, I allowed the pot to cool itself down and return the pressure to normal on its own. I was cooking whole grain rice and barley, so it needed a while still. But this was our dinner! I de-skinned and de-boned the chicken before serving. We all loved it. Now I'm not afraid of my lovely pressure cooker! I'm also not afraid to show you that K- wanted to nap on the hammock today. Hubs was building us a patio for our fire pit/grill and she wanted to keep a close watch. (Yes, you'll get pictures after it is done.) Yes, she did lay on the hammock all the while the laundry was drying. But while I was tackling things that frightened me today, I washed K-'s bed quilt. Now, that probably doesn't sound that frightening to most, but a lot of quilts like to come apart when you wash them. This was a Target 50.00 bed set from 4 years ago. I had it hung from her wall for a few years and admit that for the last year and a half, I've had it on her bed. She doesn't use it as a quilt. We use it as a bedspread, so other than sitting on it, it gets no wear. Still, it needed freshened up. I threw it in the laundry on handwash. I even ran a second rinse cycle. Only thing is that I forgot to flip the load size. This washed on an extra small load, which obviously its not. Soap (I use powder because I get it cheaper) just sat in the grooves and whatnot. I had to rerun it all the way through again. It came out nice, though. As far as hanging it on the line, I decided to spread it out and hopefully it would dry faster. I flipped it once and it seemed to dry pretty well. There was one damp spot on the top, but it dried by dinnertime. K- had a good day of fun. How do you know? You measure by how filthy her feet are. These, my friends, are very, very dirty feet. (Yes, the toe nails need repainted, too.) K- and I have done a few crafts together over the last few days. Aunt April gave K- a sock puppet set for her birthday (I think) and we got to doing it the other day. K- wanted a butterfly. Here it is, with proboscis and everything. We also decorated the top of her plastic pencil box for school. I have the Elmer's glue paints that have glitter in them and some are solid, opaque colors. We added her name in stickers I had leftover, some rhinestones and butterfly stickers from the potty training days. We also went to Lowe's for the Build and Grow Clinic. We built a helicopter. I have to tell you, it wasn't one of the easier kits to build.
We completed it, though. Both propellers turn (okay, so that isn't what the one in the back is called, a rutter, maybe), which means that I didn't use too much wood glue and glue them permanently stuck.

Smiles in my day:
- On Friday, our wonderful neighbor Mike was power washing his house. He decided to be kind and to power wash the back of our fence. Problem is, I had the sheets on the line. After I got him to stop (by jumping up and down and waving my hands over the fence), I took the sheets back in to rewash. Seriously, he was just trying to do a nice thing and he felt so bad!
- Hubs worked for 12 hours straight to get our patio area prepared for our fire pit/grill. All we need now is the stone to go in it.
- K- had a better day today than last night. Baby girl is without TV until next Monday. Ouch. At least her giant breakdown was at home and not in public this time. Tiredness is an ugly thing.
- The pressure cooker worked!
- I figured out that being on the box late disturbs my sleep. Hooray! I'm sleeping better!

Have a great week!

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