Friday, February 19, 2010

Pardon me, but have you seen my red, white and blue striped rheumatism crutch?

(Channeling my inner Uncle Wiggily.)

Okay, I've got a body ache complaint. I always have a body part that takes to aching all. winter. long. Last year, it was my thumb. I had tendonitis, the doctor put me in a splint and it made it worse. The cure? Warm weather.

This year, I have the hip pain again. It is an every other year thing. A few years ago, I had this awful pain, couldn't tell if it was a hip or ovary so I had the undercarriage inspected :mmm, hmmm: and it truly was just the hip. The right hip. The hip that I insist that will be my first replacement part.

Maybe they will make them in fashion colors then.

So, I find myself longing for warmth this week. So does my husband. He ends up getting a tad bit of the chills an hour after the thermostat kicks down, so he gets into bed and absolutely cranks the electric blanket on his side of the bed.

I've been awake the last two nights feeling like a chicken in a 350 F roaster. Wow. Still, all that incredible heat therapy that my husband's side of the bed is radiating to my side is not helping my old, aching hip.

Am I 36 or 63?!

Still, regardless to the 36 F temperature that my computer currently has on read (the warmest that we have been in about a month) I would love to walk to school to get K-. Too bad people don't clean their sidewalks. Why don't they? I don't know if I told you that the fine, fine city that I live in states that if you clean your walk and someone falls, you are liable for whatever injury that they suffer. However, if you choose not to clean your walk and someone falls, voila!-- Act of God. (I know, punctuation isn't my strongest thing. Just ignore the problematic punctuation that makes you twitch.) That bugs the heck out of me, but my coworker complained to the Mayor about this very thing when she moved back. In NYC, if you don't clean your sidewalk you get fined. Period. Here in good ole No Name City, Ohio folks were clogging the courts with their, "I was walking in the winter and fell so it must be someone else's fault but mine" suits are the reason that they made the clear-your-walk-risk-being-sued ruling.

Dumb, I tell you.

On a different subject completely, guess what song I found that I love on a new CD Hubs got for me?

I had to go with the Jimmy Kimmel Live version, as the Ben Folds video was a little too inappropriate to put up here.

I do have to say that Regina Spektor is a cross between a short Tori Amos and Edie Brickell. In fact, I swore that it was Edie Brickell until I saw the song credits. Who knew?

Smiles in my day:
- Helping K-'s principal hang the updates to the 100 book challenge wall. Such a great guy!
- The little girl from K-'s class that came out from breakfast and gave me a big hug. How sweet!
- Preparing K-'s Presidential Show and Tell was a project for me today. I have saved newspapers from each of the campaigns that K- has been alive for. I've also saved buttons, bumper stickers, mailers and the plastic portion of the signs from our yard. I searched through the CD photo archives to find the pictures that I took of K- with the presidential yard signs. It took me a while, but I found them and transferred them to Walgreen's for printing. Each presidential packet is Food Saver sealed with her pictures, so she can take them and not worry about anything happening to the contents.
- When K- and I were walking down the school sidewalk, I noticed that her friend's van had driven up. D- had been out for a few days and it made K- sad. So, she anxiously waited for D- to make his way down the sidewalk, took his hand then mine and walked down the sidewalk together. The mom smiled a big smile and I gave her a thumbs up. D- is such a nice boy. The two walked all the way to the school holding hands and even stood there waiting holding hands. I'm so happy that none of the kids standing there made fun of them. As a side note though, my daughter towers over D- by about 5" or so. It's hilarious!

Have a great day!

And yes, I realize that the song is old, but we buy used CD's. Sometimes we aren't quite up with the times until a year or more after!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good things

1. My friend C- got THE CALL today. Her biopsies came back benign, thus making the girls just fine! We were so happy for her. She ran around the gallery sharing the news with everyone who was willing to hear. I'm so happy for her!
2. My brother went to court-- again-- today for the Temporary Restraining Order violation. (Remember when he picked his son up as his ex-to-be asked and she turned him in for it?) Well, she went in as somewhat of a raving lunatic with an entourage of equally well-behaving folks and it turned out that my brother has two days of community service and he is good. I am listed as a mutually agreed upon transporter for the children, so I'm on every other week until November 3, when the TPO expires. My brother apologized in advance, but I made him swear that he wouldn't so much as lay a toe nail on the property. He said that believe him, it wouldn't be a problem.
3. I took my first Lipitor in three weeks about 35 minutes ago and so far so good. I didn't get the medicative head flush that I got when I first started taking it, so that is one step in the right direction. I had to hop back on it to make a definitive ruling of whether my body aches were Lipitor induced or a virus running through my body. Either could be possible, as body aches can be a Lipitor thing and at the time I was having intense aches, Hubs and K- both had colds.
4. My nieces will be in town from Chicago and K- is so excited to play with them. I believe that is basically what we will be doing on Saturday until we need to leave for my dad's birthday party.
5. I brought K- and her classmates into the Kindergarten door this AM and had them sit on benches. The one child was so afraid that he would get into trouble. (He is older, but his sister is in Kindergarten.) I promised him that I was staying with them until the bell rang and if anyone would get in trouble, it would be me. I told him since it was so cold out, I was just keeping everyone quiet on the hall benches until class and I promised it was okay!
6. Mrs. H- told me that she wore her necklace yesterday and that it tickled K- to death. (We gave her a necklace that I picked up for her from the gallery in celebration of her being named Teacher of the Year at their elementary school.)
7. We were out of little juices that my aunt usually gives K-, so I sent her Klean Kanteen full of water. I thought she might be miffed at me, but she was fine.
8. The ham and bean soup that I cooked overnight (and stirred at 1:30 AM), turned out DELICIOUS! I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hubs' response was, "I believe I'll be sleeping on the couch." :S
9. Taking a sack lunch to Julia. She shared her wonderful hot chocolate with me yesterday and puts up with me on a daily basis. I thought she might like a bowl of soup.
10. MIL wants me to freeze her some. Not a problem!
11. Resetting the toy room at work was a longish process since displaying the same merchandise can get boring, but I took out a bunch of shelves, tightened things up and was able to walk away pleased with the end result. Until more merchandise comes in, the toy room tidy worked out nicely.
12. I knocked down all of the icicles on the house (it is a twice daily job right now to keep the gutters intact) before Hubs got home. Of course, I went to the backyard with snow past my knees, forgot that the sandbox turtle was there (under more than 2 feet of snow) and fell flat down, nearly on my face. I caught myself and since it was snow, I was uninjured. In case Old Man Winter is keeping count, I've officially now fallen this season, you can make winter end now.
13. I love winter, snow and all that, but I admit that hearing that our region has now officially entered our weather books as the snowiest February on record, (a good thing) I'm ready for all this to melt and for the blooming to begin. I always start that itch about this time of year. March 1 is my official personal end of winter. Weather doesn't always cooperate, though.
14. Lindsey Vonn! Hooray! I cheered for her around every turn. Her leg has got to still be so sore.
15. I'm apparently well known as a walker at K-'s school. Last Thursday when waiting to enter K-'s class to help with her Valentine party, I had a mom ask if I ran marathons. "No, that would be my sister-in-law." "I just see you walk all the time and even when it is really cold out!" I told her that we had to suspend walking due to the sidewalks not being cleared (of nearly 28" of snow), but that it is one mile each way. I told her that on a good day, I can walk in the AM and afternoon and knock out an easy 4 miles. She was amazed. On Wednesday morning, I had an older gentleman roll his window down and offer to give me a ride. He said that he knew that I walked all the time and wanted to offer me a ride. I told him that I appreciated his offer, but my vehicle was right behind him. We weren't walking because of the sidewalks, but I assured him that I do own a car and do use it if I need. Very sweet to offer, though!
16. My sister's family is feeling better after their bout of the yucky stomach flu. All three of her children got it, but were back around to normal within a few days.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Turbo Tax & State/City eFile

I am so happy! I was able to get all of my taxes filed on Friday at the bargain price of $15.92! That saved us at least $60.00. You see, I took our taxes to a tax preparer for the last 12 years. We owed one year-- big-- and I was afraid that I would goof everything up. After all, numbers are on the wrong side of the artist brain. So we got past the icky "we owe" stuff, then we adopted K-. Adopting a child gives you a big fat credit that you chip away at over 5 years. Okay, so I didn't want to goof that up. We've officially passed that adoption credit time frame and since I was less than thrilled with the tax preparer that took over our lovely tax man's office, I decided to branch out and try to do the taxes on my own.

Oh, it was lovely. Turbo Tax came to my rescue. I filed only federal, since Turbo Tax wanted $36.95 to eFile my state refund. I'm pleased to say that Turbo Tax was easy and would have taken me much less time if the internet didn't keep kicking off line. (We're working on getting that fixed.)

I had saved the state card when it came in, so the address for eFiling was listed there. To file with the state of Ohio online was free. It also took less than 5 minutes and saved us the additional $36.95.

I also saved the city card when it came in. Our city also eFiles, so while it took a bit of time to load (I blame both my connection and the city site), I was able to easily file it with no charge to do so.

I am so excited that it is all done. D-O-N-E, done! :)!!!

Rest assured that you can have a numerically challenged brain like me and do just fine filing your own taxes.

Filing our own taxes works for us!

Smiles in my day:
- Join in on the comments on my previous day's post. I would really love to know your thoughts. It was a most upsetting thing to me.
- Flipping the fixin's of ham and bean soup into the Crock-Pot tonight so that I'll have a nice, hot lunch tomorrow. Yes, I realize that the smell of it cooking overnight may keep me awake.
- K- got her interim report card today. (It feels like just last week was report cards.) She did excellent overall, but needs some help with her handwriting. Each day, we'll do some handwriting homework to add onto her homework to turn in for the week. Any suggestions you have, feel free to toss them my way.
- Being able to help my brother by bringing him a food order drop.
- Rachael had a wonderful visit with her OB today. Miss Ellie is baking rather nicely. :)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Something confusing to me.

Today was museum day at work. More specifically, since it was a government holiday, we had lots of lookers, lots of touchers and not a whole lot of buying. I felt like the shirt folder at the Gap. I did a lot of straightening. Then I straightened what I straightened.

Don't think that I'm complaining about this or that this is the part that is confusing to me. Other than the older man going to the public restroom, peeing, leaving the seat up and not flushing when he left, all the rest of it was fine retail stuff.

I had a customer come in. He was a well dressed man, full length wool coat, beautiful scarf tucked in just so and cruising around with a group of equally well-dressed friends. Julia was speaking to me about comparing the three work calendars, letting them know days that need to be covered for our store and noticing that their calendar talks about the weird theme days that they decide to set at our sister store, but forget to tell us about. We were going through the list. Yellow day. Animal print day. Hat day. We're cool with being forgotten, though. We're not really the joiners anyhow.

So, full-length wool coat guy chimes and starts talking about a fun theme party that he had with his friends. He said that they had a "Whi*te Tr*ash Party" and they had great fun.

I'm not often offended, but this time I was. I held my tongue and really gnawed on it all day. I'm confused. Why is it okay to make fun of a certain subset of people that are lower income than you? Maybe I'm missing it. Maybe it isn't about disadvantage. Maybe it is about socially off substitution choices.

You know, I did a search to see about celebrities that had done such a party. I thought that I had remembered Ashl*ee Simp*son doing one, but apparently Za*c Efr*on had such a party and Hei*di Klu*m decided to renew her vows with her husband with the same theme.


About 5 years ago, Hubs went on a week-long park conference with his previous park system that was held in the Hocking Hills area of southern Ohio. This area is very deeply set into the Appalachian region of Ohio. Poverty is so, so sad. The housing is somewhat makeshift at times. Such very poor housing conditions surrounded by only the most gorgeous of state parks. Hubs said that his coworkers made fun of the folks living in the Hocking Hills region all. week. long. He was left shaking his head and so sad.

Am I confusing a theme with extreme poverty and a need to "make do?" Is it just that some folks are a little backwards and do things a little different than the norm? Why does it seem that people think that it is acceptable to make fun of a certain subset of folks, when it certainly wouldn't be acceptable to do it with others?

Provide clarity, please.

Smiles in my day:
- Both Hubs and K- slept all night long and didn't disturb me once. No calls for "Mommy!" to have me run, panicked and to find that K- "needs my CD changed." No early morning request to climb into my bed. No early morning request from my much needed slumber to please "pinch my pimple." No bellyaching from Hubs during the night with the belt to the side that "Your nose is whistling. You're snoring. Move over!" Y'all I love my people and fully realize that I married a light sleeper (found that out after marriage since we lived separate until the vows), but still a night of uninterrupted sleep. Just typing that has just jinxed me for tonight, I'm sure.
- We made it to 501 on the 100 book challenge. My goal is to bust out 100 twice a quarter and since interims are Thursday, my goal date was coming close.
- Hubs and I were able to sit down to discuss finances and future big purchases. We need to purchase a new truck for him in two years and devised a reasonable savings plan.
- We'll be purchasing Hubs a new lawn mower and his dream weed eater-- the Worx GT. Bless his heart, but after living here for 10 years, his current equipment is in need of replacement. The mower is limping along with a wheel that flops off. The weed eater had to be screwed back together after he tripped over it and stepped on it. Poor guy is working with some tools that are way suffering.
- We found a lovely Amish couple that sell play systems that they deliver and! put together. We really think that we'll be going that route. A requirement? That at least I can swing on the swings, too. Oh how I love to swing on a swing.

Have a great day!