Friday, March 19, 2010

It'll be like the mystery can game.

You know the one. The one where some can of food lost the label and you had to guess at the contents? Well, we'll get to do that with our seedlings! How fun!!! Today, while talking on the phone, I wanted to check the seedling heat pad and somehow lost control. The seedlings flipped into the air and landed dirt down on my floor.


I was going to sweep everything up and flip it into a flower bed, but then I kept finding shoots. So, now I have a bowl of a variety of seedlings. I don't know what is in there, but once they grow up enough, I'll be able to figure it out.

This is my second post today. Don't forget to read on!

6 miles

I walked K- to school this morning, hung out and volunteered for an hour and walked back.

I walked back to school to get K- this afternoon. We hung out and let her play until the bell rang (15 minutes after school was over) and we walked home.

I walked K- back to school for the Camp H- reading event this evening. We hung out, had a pizza dinner, sang camp songs and laughed at the staff as they filled in where the no-show story teller was supposed to be. When we left, they gave each child a drawstring back pack with two books in it. Then we walked back home.

Y'all, I've walked 6 miles today. I'm good with that. Lord knows that the posterior needs some help from our Blessed Lord.

In between all of that, I got caught up on my laundry from being a little behind due to cold/allergies this week. I was able to hang a few loads on the line, wash towels and a variety of other things. It was good.

I had a 10 AM meeting with our pastor and one of the church members to work on a church history display. I started working on it and got bogged down by a ton of details that I couldn't fit into proper places. Last year I also ran across a letter signed-- in ink!-- by Charles Stanley. That one made me stop and call my mom. Mom always had us listen to the Christian radio station growing up and Charles Stanley was one of the guys. At any rate, after we got done discussing the find, we tossed some ideas around. I'll be the one to set the display. The other church member is in charge of hunting down the details. Pastor is the guy in charge of all, so we'll run all details past him. At least it is moving forward.

Then, I sandwiched in spring cleaning the living room. I thought I would start with the easiest room. Kind of a way to ease myself into it. It took me a few hours, since I moved all of the furniture around, washed the windows inside and out, including tracks, the door glass inside and out, dusted and all that.

I was so thankful that school was providing us dinner tonight, because I didn't have time to cook any!

After school, K- decided that her attitude needed a little adjustment and figured that perhaps a small nap would be a good idea. At that point, the child had already walked 2 miles, had been out for recess, gym and "necklace time" (AKA centers.) She was a wet rag. After she got up from her much needed spot of slumber, we tackled homework. We read books then, but when we got back from the reading event at school, K- wanted to read more. And more. And more. It took a half hour, but she read the entire book of Ten Apples Up on Top to me. There were only a few words that she needed help on. That's good with me!

Now that I'm sitting, I have to admit that I'm tired. Gee, I wonder why? Oh, and all this was completely without caffeine! :) The sun came out and I need caffeine no more. I have a little bit of an addiction to my one can of pop per day, but I have Diet Cherry 7-Up, since that was what was on sale and I'm cheap. Well, when it comes to soda, which is a completely unnecessary purchase.

A side note: There is nothing on TV this evening. I have it playing in the background and fear that I will have to step away to put a DVD in. Hold on . . . okay. I've put The Village on. Much more my speed. I'm sure that your life is more complete knowing that.

K-'s Easter watch arrived today. I think that she'll like it. It has a stretchy band that Hubs and I are both curious about, but I'm hoping that it holds well. I think that it'll do just fine.

I did remember the little silver ring that I bought for K- a few years ago. I bought it at work and tied it onto her Easter basket. Sadly, it was too big. This evening, I pulled it out. Guess what? It fits! She was so excited with it that she kissed it. It has a little enameled butterfly on it, with antenna that could catch on sweaters. I taught her how to turn the ring to the inside as she puts her sleeve on, then to flip it back out so she doesn't pull her sweaters. She thought that lesson was pretty neat. It's hard to find quality jewelry for young girls, so I was happy to put this one up until it fit properly. I'm happy that she is so thrilled with it!

Soon and very soon, we will be a part of the large Zhu Zhu pet family. Aunt K- sent K-'s Easter gift and Jilly with a Hawaiian skirt were included. I laughed and said that I'm thankful to skip the hamster smell. K- will love it. She sent it in an Easter basket with candy. Oh, K- will be so surprised!

Smiles in my day:
- The gorgeous weather and the ability to line dry laundry to allow me to catch back up.
- Reading night.
- K-'s excitement for reading.
- We have marigolds up in our little greenhouse. :) More is to sprout soon, I'm sure!
- Hubs talking and talking about work. He just needed to unload. He told me how thankful he is that he can come home and unload.
- Being tired. Hopefully, I'll sleep all night tonight. My cold/allergies have made sleep a bit spit-spotty. It's sad that I know the middle-of-the-night programming line-up.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The unexpected death.

My cell rang at work today. I saw it was my mom and let it roll over to voice mail. When I had a chance to listen to it, mom told me of the sudden death of one of our previous neighbors. She was 51, had an enlarged heart and entered the hospital on Sunday with some health problems. I'm not completely clear on the details, but what I do know is that she ended up in a coma, had renal failure and died unexpectedly on Wednesday morning at 3 AM.

K- has four children. One of her children, J-, basically lived at our house for years. He was always there, hanging out with my brothers. What concerns me most about her children is her daughter Kalli. She has brain cancer. She has been living with brain cancer for probably 3 years or so. Her cancer diagnosis has been devastating enough for the family. Now to lose their mom is just another blow.

My mom didn't deal well with this news. My cell phone rang multiple times. I was on the sales floor, displaying and unable to take the calls. She would call and hang up. Later, she would call again. Mom called 4 times. This evening, she called and said how she had been "bouncing off the wall." She's doing better, but it stresses her out when women that she knows are younger than her and dying.

It is the second person in a year for mom.

I feel like a downer this week. I'm really not. Remember, this blog serves as my journal. I go here to dump. I go here to ask how I need to be better to those who serve us (thanks for the tip tips!) Thank you for being so prayerful for those on my list. Mom brought me up to be a prayer warrior. It's in my blood!

Smiles in my day:
- K- was so excited about her St. Patrick's Day celebration that she couldn't get the words out of her mouth fast enough! The Leprechaun had been to her room, had messed it all up and left glittery footprints behind. He popped up in the windows from the outside bushes twice. He even "bit Mr. Davis, Mom!" They had a really good time today.
- My mother-in-law sent me home a DELICIOUS meal of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage. As I was shoveling the corned beef in, my husband said, "You don't actually like corned beef, do you?" "No, I LOVE corned beef!" It was absolutely delightful. For dessert, they sent me a delicious sugar cookie. Yum!
- My cold/allergies are getting better. Thankfully, it wasn't a severe thing. I'm glad that I could reassure my sister last night that the cold wouldn't be that bad. She was gearing herself up for something ugly.

Thank you for being so kind. Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I came here today thinking that I would post about starting seeds. Then, I popped in to check on Rachael. She's going through testing for preeclampsia.

Y'all, that was an ugly road I walked. It makes me concerned.

I have friends who, in about 3 months, will both be officially unemployed and moving. Right now, very little is on their employment horizon.

It makes me concerned.

My brother's ex-to-be will be having a hysterectomy on Monday. My brother will have his children this weekend, who no doubt will be concerned for their mother. Even as much as I may disagree with how things have happened with S- and my brother, I still wish the best for her.

My little brother is looking for a job. The department that he works in is being dissolved.

That concerns me.

My father is due to have hernia surgery on April 1. He was told at his last hernia surgery that he shouldn't smoke. He is very overweight. The anesthesiologist told him that he had his wake up call.

This concerns me.

I read about Sweeney, friend of the Lots of Scotts family. He isn't doing so well. He has stage 4 cancer (melanoma). So young.

It concerns me.

Kalli, on my prayer list because of brain cancer, is due to visit the Cleveland Clinic again next month for another brain scan. She just had one last month. Having walked this road with my aunt a year and a half ago, I know that this is not good. They are seeing changes.

It concerns me.

I just found out on Sunday that good friends of ours had separated. The husband was the one that told me and was surprised that we didn't know. I had called the wife, a very good friend that I can be blunt with and said, "I think that you may have forgotten to tell me something BIG." She said that they had agreed to NOT tell anyone and of course, I felt bad. (She wasn't mad at me at all.) I told her that I wasn't calling to dig dirt, but I was calling to see how she was. He wants to work on it. She has specific things that she wants to see change. He always pops back in and changes for 2 weeks or maybe a month, then rolls back into the same behavior. I don't see the marriage surviving.

It saddens me.

I have friends in a land contract situation. If they don't pull a home loan by January 2011, they will have to leave their residence.

It really concerns me.

Then there is leaning. I have this hymn running through my head, "Leaning on the promises of God." There are promises. There are great things that have happened.

My friend Rachael is feeling well. Having run the road of preeclampsia before, she knows what it can feel like.

My friends who will be moving have all along their several year journey have always been provided for. God has led them to places to live, employment situations, educational opportunities and though very tight, the money has been there in some capacity.

My niece and nephew have really seemed to perk up each weekend I pick them up for visitation with my brother. I think that they have been able to develop a renewed trust and relationship with him. They see that he HAS changed, he HAS carried out his what he has promised, he HAS stayed clean and he is trying to do well by his family.

My little brother has always seemed to find work. He has managed to provide for his family, despite monetarily loss.

My dad is stubborn and comes through things generally well.

Sweeney and Kalli are believers. Though they are both in different bodily struggles with a similar disease, they are plodding along and doing the best that they can do on a daily basis.

My separated friends will continue to do the best that they can do together for their children. If a divorce is what will happen, their children will be as well adjusted as they can be. They will continue to work together as a team for their children.

The land contract situation? The home is filled with love. No matter where my friends will land, I know that if it is a small apartment or a mansion, the children will be loved on and provided for in the best possible way that my friends can manage it.

Even so, if you would consider praying for anyone on my leaning list today, I would appreciate it.

Smiles in my day:
- K-, having lost her privilege of TV viewing (albeit only an hour, but still), because she wouldn't get up yesterday got up today and insisted on leaving for school about 10 minutes early. The leprechaun was to arrive, you see. He had, I assure you. The classrooms had been upset and the children were wearing as much legal green as they could with their uniforms. It was nice to see them so excited.
- My MIL and FIL sent home pierogies yesterday. Apparently my FIL's boss bought them in Slavic Village and they were delightful! In fact, they may be going in my lunch today. Mmmm.
- My MIL is making corned beef and is sending some home for me. I am not a red meat eater, but corned beef is definitely a once-a-year exception for me. Yum.
- The sun. The warmth. The seeds sitting in my garden window, working on sprouting.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Who do you tip?

This thought came to mind on Friday when I took the RAV for a run through the car wash. I made sure that I had a few extra bucks to tip the towel guys at the end. When I got there, I realized that they had started using this "spot free rinse" which negates the need for towel boys anymore. I paid my $8.00, put my car in drive at the end and off I went.

Should I have paid a tip to the attendant? The attendant that sprayed my car down with soap and pressed the button to make the car wash start?

I admit that I've always been a little confused on who to tip. Obviously, I give a tip to the waiter/waitress serving us in a restaurant. We almost always ride the 20% rule, though I admit that we've given the quarter salute just twice when the service was beyond horrible. We don't punish servers for quality of food. That is not their job. When the one server was just unable to get our bill correct, even after I had corrected it on the initial bill and it took her a half hour to get things straightened, she got a quarter. When the one server never returned, even though she owed us more food, she got a quarter. (She knew that she owed us food and was busy standing around a doorway, waiting for us to leave. No, we weren't rude. She brought entrees for both us and the table next to us. All of it was messed up, but we giggled and flipped plates back and forth before we got everyone's full meal in the proper place. Hey! You have my corn! Oh geeze, I think I have your peas. We made the best of it.) Still, the service has to stink to the high heavens for us to pretty much stiff a server.

The newspaper delivery person and mail carrier get a Christmas gift from us. I don't monetarily tip them, as I figure that for the mail person, that might not be something that they are technically able to take. I still leave a nice gift, though.

Do you tip a maid in a hotel? I admit that we could possibly be classified as scum under someones feet, but we never have. For years, you never knew that was a thing to do. Now, wrinkly envelopes are left behind. Envelopes have been recycled from previous overnighters that have given. Still, I've always thought that we pay a handsome sum to stay in a hotel. We leave a tidy room. Everything is all straightened. The towels are all gathered into a pile. The garbage is all collected and put into the proper receptacles. This one I'm hedging to think that we are probably not doing the proper thing.

If I'm in the city and take a cab, we give a tip. How much do you give a cabbie, though?

We don't visit the city very often at all, but do you tip bathroom attendants? To date, I've only seen one bathroom attendant ever and that was at Planet Hollywood in Baltimore. What do you tip them?

We never get food delivered, but I would tip them. If they are grotesquely late, what do you do?

We've had furniture delivered. We had an entire storage barn delivered. Now that I think about it, should we have tipped those people? The furniture was damaged, not that it was specifically their fault, but I was so distracted that if I were to tip, it didn't come to mind. The barn delivery guy was Amish and sold us a 10 lb bag of fresh dug potatoes before he hauled out. Still, did we miss the boat?

It is so rare that we get a tip at work that it is almost a public announcement. We gift wrap probably 80% of what we sell and only 3 times in my 8 1/2 years of employment at the gallery have I ever received a tip. I do a great job. I also do my job not expecting a tip. It's just not something that comes along. However, if I were on the other side of the counter having multiple things gift wrapped for me, I would certainly tip the sales person.

Your honest opinion is always appreciated! Who do you tip?

- I was tip-toeing the line of getting a cold, then the guy who sat behind me at church coughed, hacked and sneezed through the whole service and basically solidified by fate of getting said cold.
- I had an older guy grump at me today as I was tallying his bill. "JUST WHY ARE YOU PRESSING ALL THOSE NUMBERS INTO THAT THING?" "Sir, I'm just entering the prices of the items that you've chosen." After, I tallied the bill one more time and verbally called out the prices, so he would know what I was doing. And yes, he still checked my math.
- It was far too much perfume day today. Even with a nasal impairment, I had to open the door to air out the massive cloud.
- It seems as though K-'s system is out of balance from the stomach funk of last week. I'm on project reprogram right now. Generally, it takes me a few weeks to return her flora back around.

Smiles in my day:
- K-'s class won the canned food drive. All those kindergartners hauled cans in by hand, by backpack and by parent to get to 193 cans collected by 22 children over 5 days. They get to have a pizza party, which I will be hosting on behalf of the PTA on Friday. They are so excited!
- K-'s stomach ache did disappear about 5 minutes before walking out the door this morning. I seriously considered keeping her at home, but I kept her moving to get ready and all. I had her eat a plain piece of bread (great breakfast, I know) and it seems to have soaked up the rest of the onion unrest. She said that her stomach didn't hurt her at all and believe me, I checked while I was at the school on can count.
- My co-worker is happily taking the leftover toasted orzo for lunch tomorrow. I thought it was very good, but I could seem myself hovering on the stomach ache bit, too. I'm a little onion sensitive like K-. Next time, no onion.
- Another good paper day for K-! Well done papers and no bad marks. Now those are the papers I'm used to getting!

Have a great day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The weekend ends with a stomach ache

Poor kid. I decided to make a new recipe and the onion seems to have left K-'s stomach a little unsettled. I made Toasted Orzo Pasta that called for onion and a bit of butter. K- was fine before dinner, but she's been battling a bit of a stomach ache since. It's not a flu thing. It's mama trying to sneak the onions in and making them really teeny. Boy did that bite me in the butt. Ugh. We had my niece, J-, stay the night Saturday night. Before she was dropped off, I told my sister to outfit her with appropriate footwear, as we were probably going to see if we could catch the amphibian and reptile migration down in the valley.

A side note question: Do other places close the road for amphibian and reptile migration or is it only us?

We had perfect conditions-- almost. It was dark. It was raining, but not too much. The temperature dropped, though. Really, it needs to be 50 F or higher. By the time we reached our destination, it was about 45 F. There were also cars lined up all along the road, which made it difficult to hunt for the salamanders, frogs and peepers. Well, the volume of people made it difficult, that is. Before we arrived, they were able to catch a few before the temperature dropped too much. I was glad that the girls at least saw what they didn't get to see along the road. (I think it might be a little blurry. I was using the night setting in the rain.)
J- was so funny when she arrived. I didn't tell K- that J- was coming. If I did, all I would have heard was, "Is she coming? Is she here? When will she be here? Is it almost time?" The girls were great. They had a nice time playing and both were in bed by 9 PM. I had fruit and veggie plates for the girls for dinner, which I knew J- would be thrilled with since she is basically vegetarian anyhow. I picked up Klondike bars for a treat. I informed J- that we don't keep Klondikes on hand and they were a prize for us, too!

At this point of the evening, I'm tired. An hour is still an hour and I miss it. I've obligated myself to counting food cans tomorrow morning at the school, so I'm looking at an early day. We had a food can drive last week to benefit Harvest for Hunger. The PTA is matching student donations can for can. Still, I must trot up and down the hallways gathering cans in a big ole grocery cart. It's all for a great cause, though. Hunger is a horrible thing and anything we can do to help.

Smiles in my weekend:
- K- was so surprised when J- showed up!
- Swimming lessons resumed today and K- had a great time.
- I got the RAV washed on Friday. Grant you, it has rained non-stop since then, but I couldn't stand it anymore!
- K- funny in the store, telling a woman that she loved her flashing four leaf clover necklace. Then, on our walk, she told a woman about how great her little dog was. To me, that shows that she is thinking about people other than herself. It is something that we've been trying to have her consider a bit more. It was nice to see it put into action.
- I found a Timex wrist watch for K- on eBay. I wanted to include one in her Easter basket and all I found at the stores were cheapie watches. In school, they've been working on telling time so I had a few specific needs. I wanted a nice girly watch. I needed it to have numbers all the way around. I didn't want digital. It needed to be easy to read. It also needed to be water resistant. (I didn't want her to worry when washing her hands.) Though I only got a small discount, it was well worth not needing to run all over town trying to track it down. It'll be here by the end of the week. Hooray!
- We got our seeds planted in the little starter cells. Now if I can just give my garden window a quick clean, we'll be in business!

Have a great day!