Saturday, November 7, 2009

Good things to share

Other than the fact that this picture didn't seem this dark before, I finally chose new pillows for our couch. If you remember from last year, our new couch came damaged and included incredibly ugly pillows. I mean, I don't know what they were thinking when they were choosing the fabric. Just look: I have to tell you that the new pillows were an incredible steal. They came from an LL Bean Daily Markdown sale. Their regular price is $39.50, but they were marked down to $14.99 each. Since we have their credit card, we have free shipping. Since I spent more than $25.00, they issued a $10.00 gift card to be used anytime before mid-February. Good deal! (When I looked for the link for the post, I noticed that the price went up to $29.99! I received two pillows for that!) I figure that I can put that towards a stocking stuffer for Hubs. I scored him some great, thin pants to wear as a second layer or pajama pants. He loves them.

When I came home this afternoon, there was a bag on my porch. It was my friend who borrowed my food mill. She left the food mill and a little package of home baked cookies. YUM!

I should add that K- and I both scored H1N1 shots this evening at a flu shot clinic put on by our city health department. It was no cost, and because I watch my nephew sometimes (less than 6 months old), I qualified for a shot. At first, I didn't think that I would. Yes, we do think that K- already had H1N1, but since they weren't testing and aren't completely positive, the nurse at the pediatrician's office told me that "The doctor is wanting all of her patients to get the shot." They didn't have it, but she said that it didn't matter what flu shot clinic we went to. I asked about it being a two part shot. She said that they are just thrilled if the kids get one. Of course, K- wigged out. (She always does.) I had to restrain her. I hate doing it, but it was necessary. I know you are wondering why I don't do Flu Mist with K-. Given her compromised immune system because of birth status, I'd rather stick with the shot. She did get chicken pox from the Varicella vaccination, so she did already prove that she is capable of getting an illness from a vaccine. I won't get it for myself, either. Our neighbor is a nurse and he's not a fan. Good enough for me.

So, before the flu shot clinic, we self-invited to have a combo dinner with our friends. I normally wouldn't do that with anyone but my sister and parents (because we've all done the same to each other), but we were all going to the shot thing together and Hubs had to work late. I made homemade cheesy scalloped potatoes, brought rolls and some pearsauce that I had canned. Kim made a fantastic salad and had barbecued chicken. Yum. We all ate well.

After the flu shot clinic, we returned to Ford and Kim's house to hang out near their fire pit and eat popcorn. We had a really great time. Immunization has never been so much fun!

My mom left a message to tell me that she found some Pumpkin Spice Instant Jello for me to make a pie for Thanksgiving. (I have a recipe for a two layer pie that she makes. Though I've never eaten it, it sounds and looks so good!) Mom said that it is wonderful and my brother tried to haul off with her pudding, too!

Clean sheets and a husband to help me stretch them onto the bed. No, I don't require the help, but he remembers when my thumb locked in massive pain last year while changing the sheets. He just figures that I still need the help and I'm not going to turn him down!

Walking to school with K- on crispy mornings. Mornings in general, actually. This morning was 28 F. I asked her if it snows a lot, would she want to snowshoe to school? She said no. Where is her sense of adventure?! ;)

I realized yesterday that my daughter goes down to the Nurse's office so often that she has art stuck to the nurse's wall! If there is an ill child, she offers to walk them down. If she hurts herself, she goes to get an ice pack. If her reflux kicks up causing her to dispense her lunch, she goes to the nurse's office. That happened Thursday. The teacher doesn't want vomiting children to re-enter her classroom (I don't blame her), but I've sent a note stating that I would love to "work out an action plan regarding K-'s unfortunate reflux incidents at school." The nurse and I are on a first name basis now! Hopefully, I can convince Mrs. H- that K- isn't sick. Immediately after lunch, they have recess. K- runs and runs hard. She spins. She twirls. This time wasn't school lunch. This time was too much bouncing and such. We've had that happen, too.

A good note to end on:

The ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom have two Christmas promotions going on at their blog. One is called Under the Tree, which helps to provide Christmas gifts to families in need. Here is what they are saying about it:

Under the Tree 2009 is our chance to spread some Christmas love to families in need through the generosity of the companies contributing to our Christmas Giveaway. We are so grateful for their participation!

In addition to providing the fabulous prizes for our readers to win by commenting on the individual reviews, the wonderful companies participating in the Christmas Giveaway 2008 are providing presents to selected families who are in need this

If you know a family who will not be able to provide presents for their children this Christmas, click over and read more about
Under the Tree and how you can nominate a family in need.

And don’t forget to click over and comment to show your support and enthusiasm for Under the Tree and for the participating companies!

There is also another Christmas giveaway.

Now, it is time to get into the Christmas Giveaway fun! if you’re looking for some great ideas for your Christmas shopping list – and you would you like to win some fun prizes and maybe check off some people on that list, it is time to get started with our Christmas Giveaway 2009!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Smiles in my day:
- Sprinkled in above.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A mindset that I can't understand.

All of the major news networks have picked the story up. Anthony Sowell of Cleveland has been charged with murders of 5 people now and certainly more charges to follow. At last I read, there have been 11 bodies found/uncovered at his home on Imperial Avenue that are dated to be "at least 3 weeks old." 4 bodies were found in shallow graves in the backyard. A couple of bodies were found in the attic and living room, and a few in the basement, including a skull that was found in a bucket, presumably fallen from a decayed body that has not been located as of yet.

I'm not from Cleveland, so I'm not familiar with the neighborhood that he lived in other than things I've read. I know that Anthony Sowell was a registered sex offender, having served 15 years in prison for raping someone. He's in fair company as his particular neighborhood area houses 150 registered sex offenders. It is a neighborhood structured somewhat like ours. Postage stamp sized lots and close houses. (Linked story at end regarding neighborhood.) He was neighboring a sausage company.

Apparently, there had been 14 women reported missing in the "14th district" which I'm not certain that is his particular neighborhood, but I'm guessing that it is. All of his victims appear to be African-American females that have lived a life with some unfortunate hiccups. A woman was interviewed last night who said that she hadn't reported someone she knew that was missing and now she wishes that she had. She said that had she reported them missing, perhaps she could have saved others.

I hate to have her live with that guilt.

The reports are that the stench was incredible. The sausage factory was blamed, though the owner said that they knew they weren't to blame. The heat of summer. What his house held. How could no one have known? The council person even complained about it. The sausage company stated that they upgraded traps and whatnot to the tune of $10,000. and an inspector stated that the stench was from a dead animal at the neighboring house. What it was was two dead bodies under the front porch. Should I also add that he used to barbecue out front? People report that he smelled like death himself. Being surrounded by such, I don't know how he couldn't.

Police had last been at the residence on September 22, 2009. He was a registered sex offender and I believe that they were checking in. While they admit that they smelled an odor, they weren't able to enter the residence. They needed a search warrant.

He had attacked a few women who did get away. They didn't report the incidents to the police. One said that she was afraid that because of a past conviction, she thought that the police wouldn't take her seriously. That happened right after he got out of jail for the rape charges.

How did he fall through the cracks? How could those who held him in jail for 15 years not be tuned into his probability to re-offend? I understand that offending again happens at a fairly high rate, but he was released after 15 years and went to the streets to continue where he left off, only this time he decided to go all serial killer about it.

I don't understand.

What I do understand is that I have a very good friend who experienced having the call to tell her that her sister had been murdered. Her sister was brutally beaten and details that she told me made me so upset. To this day, over 10 years later, the case is still unsolved. This is with the lead detective having admitted that it was the worse crime that he had seen. Not only was her sister murdered, but she was also set on fire.

How horrible.

My friend has kept up with the police department in the particular city that the murder occurred in. She has had some kind people. She has had some others give her the brush off. I fear though that she is experiencing what these ladies feared. Because my friend's sister didn't live a completely clean life, it seems like no one takes the case seriously and sees this crime as something that just sometimes happens. Her sister didn't deserve her death.

I can't account for Anthony Sowell's actions. I have no idea what drove him to make the choices that he did. I would guess that he had mental issues that should have been addressed while he was federally housed. However, no matter the choices that the ladies made in their lives, their lives were of worth. It wasn't up to Anthony Sowell to take their last breath with strangulation by ligature or choking. It wasn't up to Anthony Sowell to dump his latest victim in a variety of places about the property and go on to the next. It wasn't up to Anthony Sowell to weed out the population of Imperial Avenue like a dog warden does with strays while out on patrol.

These women were daughters, moms, friends and sisters. No matter what the news agencies choose to report regarding details of the victims lives, remember that these ladies didn't deserve their death.

Please keep their friends and families in your prayers, as they not only try to identify victims, but search for more at the Imperial Avenue residence as well as a 1/2 mile perimeter surrounding the property and previous properties that Anthony Sowell occupied. Please pray for the victims that escaped Anthony Sowell.

I can't imagine.

Related news stories:
Tanja Doss describes being a rape victim.
Stench still wafts from home.
Police identify first victim.
Neighborhood nothing to smile about.
Two more bodies identified.
Anthony Sowell was considered unlikely to offend again according to his 2005 evaluation.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It snowed and other things that make me happy.

It started snowing as I was on my way to work. It proceeded to snow for about an hour. (Nothing stuck, as the ground is too warm.) I love snow. I think that it is the greatest thing. K- saw it at school and it was the first thing she told me tonight. My kid has my love for snow.

I was well enough to return to work and plod along full speed ahead on my nature tree. I'll be working a partial day on Thursday to finish decorating it.

K- got her report card today. It was wonderful! Other than being a doofus and forgetting her address (she came home and admitted it to me last week), she did a great job! After I made some more sight word cards for her from the list that was included with her report card, I counted what we need to review and there are 81 words. No kidding!

I won a Santa letter from We Are THAT Family. K- will be so excited! Thanks, Kristen!

Speaking of things Christmas, our Christmas cards arrived today and I LOVE! them!

My mother-in-law made beef vegetable soup and sent some home with me tonight. It was very thoughtful and hit the spot.

My drug cocktail seems to be working for me. 2 Advil, 1 Oscillococinum, 3 Vitamin C and 1 Mucinex every 12 hours. I certainly feel that need right now. I also feel that my bed is calling my name.

Now if you'll excuse me, my bed and I have a date. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Smiles in my day:
- See above, please!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Operation Christmas Child

A holiday tradition in my family is to put together a box for Operation Christmas Child. We always choose to put a box together for an older boy, since they are the ones that have the least amount of boxes donated.

What do we put in our box? Games! We put some card games in that would be usable for children who might not speak our language. We put dinosaur puzzles, musical instruments, toothpaste, a toothbrush, floss, soap and a pop up towel, school supplies, lollipops and a book. You want to be certain not to include any war type items, nothing liquid (that could leak if broken), no medications and no chocolate. (My post from last year more thoroughly details do's and don'ts.) We try to put decent things in the box because these are poor kids who have nothing. We also like to put our items in a plastic lidded box, as opposed to a shoe box. It is another way to add to the gift.

Collection dates are November 16-23. Click on the Operation Christmas Child link to find a collection facility in your area.

Smiles in my day:
- Though I missed work today because of fever and feeling like gunk, I tested negative for H1N1 and strep. Though there is no antibiotic to give to me, I should be feeling better in 7-10 days. My smile? Hubs took very good care of me, as he always does when I am sick. He made me soup, got me chips (tortilla chips were the only thing that sounded appetizing), kept taking my temperature and bought me a Cure CD while he was out. Such a sweet guy. I think that he was thankful that I bit the bullet and got the interior of my nasal passages and my throat swabbed so that he can go to work and say that he did NOT have H1N1.
- Hubs must not have had H1N1 and he will be returning to work tomorrow. He took Tuesday off, but felt well.
- K- was able to go hang with Grandma and Grandpa today. She got a full Grandma day in, which she was really sad that she might miss because of my being ill. Grandma took her to McDonald's (the drive thru) and swimming. It was a great Grandma day! I am so thankful that my mother-in-law kept her. It gave K- a fun day, rather than having mom sleep and have her watch far too much TV.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: A PSA

Use a pot holder or risk being branded by the toaster oven. Class dismissed.

I think that it is safe to say that Hubs has fallen ill with H1N1. He called me today at work to tell me that he had a fever. His fever was 99.8 F, but he still had a fever and he has a very busy week. He called off for Tuesday to lay low and get well. He started feeling bad on Saturday night, but reported that he was feeling a bit better this AM. Hopefully this passes by him quickly and passes by me completely. Unfortunately, I have an incredibly busy two weeks at work.

Smiles in my day:
- I wore my hair down today and many people commented how much they liked it. I usually have it pulled back in some way because it gets girl curl crazy. Grant you, I had to pull it back in a loose pony tail later due to nearness to ceiling halogens (burnt hair smells nasty and I do it every year), but compliments were lovely. Makes me re-think pulling my hair back all the time.
- K-'s babysitter is getting married and was able to finalize the church and hall this past weekend. She was kind of sweating that. Now everything else can fall into place.
- K- has no school on Tuesday, so she'll be spending the day with Grandma. K- and Grandma haven't had a full day together in a while.
- I bought the game Gnip Gnop for Hubs tonight. I remember the game as a kid, called Hubs and asked him if he remembered it. He didn't, but told me to buy it for a sick present for him. Now, I don't know if you are familiar, but it's another game that I'm certain that my cousins had. We pronounced it Ga-nip Ga-nop. I know that the 'g' should be silent, but even if it is supposed to be (g)nip (g)nop, I'm still going to pronounce it Ga-nip Ga-nop. Hee, hee! I found the Gnip Gnop commercial on YouTube and I do pronounce it right! (Ping pong spelled backwards.) Look!

Have a great day!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Our dentist would be proud and other fine stories of the weekend

When your child with dental issues fetches a haul like this on Halloween weekend . . . . . . you bribe her with a bag of good loot in exchange for all but 30 pieces. We weeded out the non-sugar items/special treats. Then we had her choose 30 pieces, one for each day for a month. I traded her up for a bag of good things that I knew that she would like. The CD set is a sister set to one we already have and she loves. The CD set was $1.99. I scooped up the Barbie outfit for 97 cents, the dry erase print book and cheese dippers for $1.00 each at the dollar store and the stickers were on clearance at Walgreen's for 24 cents each with the Cow Tale as a check out bonus. She was happy with the trade and the dentist will love us, too!

Hubs is down with a cold, but still fully functional. In order to keep his germs to himself, he decided to skip church. He slept in, then took down all the halloween decorations including the haunted house he built with K- in the basement. Her play area is freed! :)!

I took K- to her very first roller skating party tonight. One of the girls in her class invited all of the kids to her birthday party tonight. Only a few of them showed. I don't know if that is typical or not, but K- was happy with the kids who did show up. It was the first time K- was on roller skates. She started with the spastic skate feet. She rolled over both of my feet multiple times, and I'm glad that I opted to wear the thicker leather Birkenstocks as opposed to my fabric Sauconys. She had so much fun. Truly, she was on the floor more than she was on her feet. I discovered that she did better when I wasn't with her, than when I was. Everytime she fell she laughed, so that was a good thing. Girlfriend is going to be bruised, though. I know that somehow she lobbed into my thigh and left a long blue bruise on it. But, she was so polite, very good and had so much fun. I was thrilled for her.

I have an odd scalp issue that has returned after a couple of years break. It's like I develop cradle cap in spots along my hairline in front. I know that hairspray can aggravate it, so I'll have to go without hair products for the week, and I've had to return to using an intensive dandruff shampoo instead. My scalp will chunk, chip, flake and seep. Oh, it is quite an attractive issue to have. I could see it coming on last week, but thought it was okay. I hate the scalp issue. It's gross.

I'm not a pocket diver when it comes to the laundry. Normally, everything is fine, though I have been the victim of a pen exploding and more laundered Chap Sticks than I can count. (Those will leave lovely grease deposits on your clothes, regardless to the fact that they are capped.) I decided to throw K-'s coat in the wash before we left for the party. I came home to transfer the coat to the dryer and found that K- had a tissue in her pocket. Duh! I knew that! Still, I didn't check the pockets and should have. I'm hoping that the dryer bounced all of the tissue remnants off of the coat.

K- has school Monday, she's off Tuesday because of voting in the schools, then back to her regularly scheduled educational days. (They can't control who comes in and out of the schools on election day, so they moved the Columbus Day holiday to voting day, in order to be certain that the kids are kept safe. K-'s school is always completely locked, with visitors having to be buzzed in and to check in with the secretary.) Hubs works a few 11 hour days, so I hope he is feeling better. I'm decorating another couple of trees this week, but will be on the long haul decorating gig next week.

In the meantime, smiles are included above and I'm tuckered. It didn't hit me until I sat down, but my bed is looking really good!

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My template is out of whack.

I don't know why. Then I decided that I would see if the other colors of the same template would do the same thing. The answer is yes. The problem is that I flipped back over to the color that I use and now it's deciding to hiccup and not let me change the font or the title color.


Evening update:
I think that maybe Blogger was having a bit of a fit, as the template was fixed tonight and I could tweak my preferences again.