Thursday, December 29, 2011

Color me cautious and other bits of whatnot.

I've still been scanning the computer like a mad woman, because the wound is still a little raw from all of the uglies that I had to extract from my computer's interiors.  Funny thing is that Avast popped up a virus update report today and had a survey for me to fill out.  Gee, what do you think I did?  Well golly, I told them exactly how much I loved their software not blocking potentially harmful things that nearly disabled our whole system.  (I was nice and didn't swear, I promise.)  I'm wondering what their response will be. 

I still say that Ad-aware is my hero. 

Onward!  We're spending day with family today.  My husband's sister and her family are in town, so we're going to go to an indoor exhibit that Hubs helped to put together, we'll cruise past his "home base" for work, then toodle on back to my in-law's.  Then, we'll cruise on down the road to K-'s sib's house, hang with them for a while and go back to my MIL's for dinner.  It's good for K- to be able to spend time with both hunks of family, as she doesn't get to see them often at all. 

Tomorrow, we have a play date with friends and lunch, followed by a run past my cousin's house to drop K-'s little kid kitchen off (she is happy to donate it to E-, who will be one very soon), then onward to my sister's house for a tea party to make up for the cancellation of K-'s original family cake and ice cream fest. 

Between both, my house will get a cleaning, not that it is really that out of sorts other than some gifts in weird places, as we haven't been her this week to mess it up.  The bathroom, as always, needs a bit of love. 

We're being an old couple and we're locking ourselves in for the weekend.  They'll be lots of fat pants worn (AKA elastic waistband yoga or jogging pants) with games and movies and delicious something-or-anothers for eating.  Hubs' only request when he found that we weren't otherwise obligated was, "Can we just stay home?"  Absolutely! 

So here's to hoping that all of you have a wonderful weekend and a grand new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The computer ate a worm.

I've been out trying to save my computer.  It ate a worm.  And some virus'.  And some other funky stuff.

Thank goodness we pay for virus protection that proved to be rather ineffective.

The worm was trouncing through the operating system and Hubs reported the other day that the volume control on the monitor came on itself and was operating by itself and that we have several drives that no longer worked.

Not good.

I've spent the last few days running the Microsoft Safety Scan, the Avast protection that we buy but reported "no immediate threats found" and reinstalling Ad-aware and running that.  Hours and hours of scanning has proved that Ad-aware (hooray!) picked, pulled and saved our illin' computer.  Hubs was able to uninstall and reinstall one of the drives that went out and he will be on the hunt for the others.

Y'all, it got ugly.  We were walking the line of losing all.  I still have the 11,000 photos on the computer from the reclaim this fall.  (Deleting printer program to install a new one also took the photo program with it and left my photos hanging in some mysterious cloud in my computer.)

I can tell you that one day when we grow up and buy a new computer (no time soon at all), we'll be buying a Mac.  This virus, trojan and infectation crap with the computer is the pits. 

On a sunshiny note, we had a grand Christmas, went to a lovely service and even landed at home at 5 PM to have more than enough time to decompress and spend time with each other. 

Now if you'll pardon me, after holiday retail awaits.  People want their stuff.  They want it half price.  Surprisingly, some still expect it gift wrapped. 

I don't think so.

Have a great, worm-free day!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A wonderful day!

To each and everyone, 

A very Merry Christmas!


The Bailey's Leaf Family

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Operation Christmas Child: Our shoe box made it to Georgia!

Our Samaritan's Purse shoe box went to Georgia.  Now, I did a bit of checking to make certain that I could share with K- exactly where it went.  It did not go to the State of Georgia, but rather it went to the Country of Georgia.  Last year, our box went to Iraq.

I always pass my box over to the one lady at work who takes it to church to put in their donation pile.  She laughs because she knows that we pack every nook and cranny full.  If there is any type of void in the box, I try to fill it.  "You put so much in the box!"  "I do that so that they can share with their family!"  Who knows if every child in the family scores a shoe box?  At least this way, the child who receives it can share, because there is more than enough.

I love that we can find out where the boxes went off to.  What about you?  If you sent a box, did you find out where your box got off to?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Force was with her.

Yoda.  Who would think?  I found a Yoda peep-esque pop at the store the other day.  As a treat for K-, I bought it and included it in her lunch with a note that said that she was to, "Eat it at Grandma's house."  Lunchtime got the better of her, as well as her being a glutton for punishment, and she ate the whole thing.  "Mom, it was just so delicious, I just couldn't stop." 

Okay then.

After lunch, they had their class party.  Why yes, with my child's history, you know where this is going.  Apparently, she had pepperoni pizza where she actually ate the pepperonis.  She never does that.  She had a few bites of pizza, then a brownie followed up by a trip to the nurse. 

She made it, but the nurse said that she nearly took her out.

I got the call at work.  "Is this Amy?  Amy L-?"  "Yes."  "This is the Health Aide at -- Elementary." "Oh, no."  "K- is in my office and got sick."  "She just had pizza."  "Yes."  :understanding tone as we had dealt with this in the past:  "I think it is her reflux, but let me talk to her please."  K- agreed that she thought it was reflux, but it freaked her out enough to say, "Mom, can you please come get me?" 

How could I say no?

I left my co-workers stranded and hauled off to get my kid.  I stood at the secretary's check out desk with tears in my eyes.  "You know it's her birthday."  The clerical assistant was so sad.  We moved her birthday celebration to tomorrow night.  We wanted to err on the side of caution.  It's just not worth a slice of cake by potentially taking out the whole family with the stomach bug. 

We hung out.  I taught K- how to weave on her loom.  Hubs built a Star Wars Lego ship (some Naboo thing) with K-.  She played with Squinkies and we watched Christmas Vacation together.  (Yes, some questionable bits, but K- knows what is right and wrong and knows that it isn't a wholesome movie.  She wanted to watch it.)  Hubs brought Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes home and we sang happy birthday to her with an "8" candle in one.  (Not that we didn't have cake that we could have used.  Dad brought those home special.) 

It was a laid back night and it wasn't so bad.  It was the first quiet birthday she's ever had.  Frankly, it was kind of nice being able to just focus on her and not everyone else.   A blessing in disguise, really.

She's back to her regularly scheduled programming.  It's a good day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Eight is great!

To my girl who loves to do lickety letters with the mixing bowls (minus raw egg, of course!) Baby girl, today you are 8. You wanna know what? Eight IS great! You've been so excited about your birthday that you've reminded your teacher an exhaustive number of times. You went down with your classmate (both with the same birthday) on Thursday to try to cash in on your "Today is my birthday" ribbon and pencil. (Mr. B- giggled, hugged you and told you to come back!) We had your girl party on Saturday-- your first one! You had snow on both Saturday and today and secretly, you think that is a special gift that God sent to just you. Don't worry. I won't tell anyone. ;)

You've become more independent, more of a problem solver and quite a worker if you want to be. I laugh because you kind of freaked a couple of cashiers out the other day when you told them, "I like your store!" I think that holiday fatigue had the best of them at that point. They didn't know what to say!

We hope that you have a wonderful day and a wonderful year of 8. We can't wait to see what 8 brings! 

Happy birthday, K-!


Mom (and Dad, too!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Can we have a Christmas without a check list?

Is it possible?  Can we have a Christmas season without checking things off of the ever-growing list of things?  Probably not.



Shopping again for the ones that crop up.

Christmas cards.

Holiday parties.


School functions.

Birthday parties.  (For those of us with holiday babies.)


Miscellaneous medical appointments.  (For those of us who have a bee sting that won't go away.)


Trimming the tree and decorating the house.


Church.  Should it be on a checklist?  Uh, no.  Just like we should give the first fruits monetarily, we shouldn't give church/God our leftovers, either.  I think about last week.  We're still extremely new to the church that we are attending, though falling in quite nicely.  They had a church Christmas dinner.  A few in our Sunday School class brought it up to us, but in the end, we just didn't go.  I still don't know quite enough people (I know, I know-- that is a way to get to know people) and I was eyeball deep in cookie dough.  I felt guilty, as I felt that I chose checking things off my list over spending time of fellowship with the members of the new church.  Actually, "feeling" that I was choosing was more so "choosing" cookie dough and baking over them.  Had I known earlier than just that morning, we'd be in a different boat. 

Still, I sit here on a quiet Sunday thinking about what I'm going to cook in the pressure cooker.  (Chicken.)  There is a hum of the computer.  K- is in her bedroom taking a "Mommy Math Practice Test" and Hubs is downstairs working on putting things together for our bird feeding area outside. 

My baking is done.

My shopping list is complete.

The surprise pop-up's of gift needs are handled.

Christmas cards were mailed the day after Thanksgiving.

Holiday parties have been attended or are planned.  In fact, I had to step away from writing this to assemble the craft kits for K-'s party.  Eeek!

Donations have been given, but there's room for more should the need arise.

School functions have been attended or attended to.

Birthday parties. (For those of us with holiday babies.)  One was yesterday and one will be Tuesday.  There will be one on Wednesday for school.  That girl can't say that we didn't properly recognize her holiday season birthday!

Cleaning.  Well, that runs on the rinse and repeat, but it's done-- for now.

Miscellaneous medical appointments. (For those of us who have a bee sting that won't go away.)  I'm thankful for doctors who you can get in to see right away, most of the time.

Wrapping.  Just a few minor incidentals left.

Trimming the tree and decorating the house.  Day after Thanksgiving thankyouverymuch.

Church.  Each week and Christmas falling on a Sunday isn't even enough to scare us away.

I want this week to be check list free.  I don't see that it can completely happen, but I've done everything that I can to ensure a fairly low-stress check list of a week.  It's not how it always goes. 

We can always hope.

Have a great day!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Teachers need to remember that we have a life outside of the PTA.

Today was a fine example of, "Hey, I'm happy to volunteer, but please recall that I have to scrub my toilet, too."

K-'s teacher, lovely woman she is, has now decided that she wants to show The Polar Express next week.  She needs a crock-pot of hot chocolate on and a copy of the movie provided.  She needs no volunteers, though.  Alrighty then.  Please never mind that we have the class party the day before and I can't ask these moms to provide anything else.  I'll be swinging the stuff and I assume that the crock-pot will be returned to me at the end of winter break. 

I had a teacher whose class earned a pizza party back in October tell me today that her kids have been asking about it.  "Oh, when were you looking to have that?"  "Tomorrow."  Really?!  "Is that possible?"  "Barely, but I can make it happen."  I showed her that I had juice boxes set aside, a bag of chips and I need to purchase more, plates and napkins.  She wanted the pizza delivered.  That would be seven additional dollars, so I'll just order from up the street and pick it up myself.  I need to go help to do said party, which leaves me at school in the early AM to help with snowgrams (for my friend Kay that had surgery) and then come back mid afternoon. 

The oil needs changed in my truck.

The sheets need changed on the beds.

My bathroom needs cleaned.

My daughter's "girl party" is Saturday and I was planning on basically not leaving the house tomorrow in hopes of getting things done, but now I can't.


I love the PTA.  I love helping.  I had a handful of teachers tell me independent of each other of how they appreciate what I do.  That is wonderful.  I'm happy to help out.  Just please, for the love of the cleanliness of my toilet and home in general, remember that I do not have a time card and I do not get paid for my position.  I'm just a volunteer!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Retail Potpourri

My day involved the following:

1.  No one was there to help me open.  I was thinking that I was going to be a one man band.  Turns out, my co-worker was late.  All was well.
2.  A woman bought and wanted wrapped a flower that is taller than me.  I'm 5'1".  The head of the flower was wrapped by a co-worker (as round as our Tercel tire) and the stalk was dealt with by me.  I ended up floofing some tissue with the leaves, put some ribbons on it and did the best I could. 
3.  The perfume assault band of old ladies came in.  It gave me an instant headache and though it was 35 F out, I had to turn the air on with it blowing directly at the desk to hopefully blow it away.  Customers looked at me weird and I decided to just tell them.  "I'm so sorry.  I suffer from wretched perfume sensitivity and I have a horrible headache right now."  My customer apologized and said that it wasn't her.  The next lady in line said that she has the same problem as me.  Geeze people! 
4.  I was told by another co-worker that there was a lady that was sitting down in another room, I needed to take care of her purchases and bring the items to her.  I did that and found a very disabled woman sitting in a chair with one of those seat walkers in front of her.  She was very lovely, we got her purchase handled and then the challenge was how to get her back out.  I told her that I would walk ahead of her to clear the path.  She ended up taking out doorway merchandise (she felt so bad), we got that picked up, then her husband couldn't get her and her trappings all underhand.  I took her purse and her oxygen.  She toodled behind me as I cleared the way and opened doors.  We got her down the stairs, then I had her hang onto my back as I lead her between cars.  We got her to the van in one piece.  Whew.  I thought we were seriously going to lose her. 
5.  We had a return from something purchased nearly 2 months ago because they decided that "it smells like chemicals."  I sent them to our gallery director.
6.  A co-worker (office staff) was sent home because, with the blessing of her doctor, she came to work with shingles.  Still, one of the owners has a supressed immune system and, well, there is the rest of us. 
7.  Someone had my shingle co-worker blocked in and didn't hear the pages to move her car.  I ended up accidentally tracking her down by kidding with her friend about the car being paged, she went, moved her car but was given a hard time by another co-worker.  I apologized profusely and did an extra foofy job on her gift wrap.  She said that she noticed and I told her that I just felt so bad. 
8.  I can't handle hearing that steel drum band Christmas CD one more time.  I think that the other co-workers are going to fling it.  We have one co-worker who insists on playing it and playing it and playing it because we have three for sale.  She put it on while the #7 was lady at the counter.  The co-worker at the counter with me was going to begin to plead with the music CD player to please not and I told her to just let it go.  "It's not worth the energy."  All #7 could do was to laugh and agree.
9.  Self-service caused a customer to reach way high to get something that she shouldn't, knocked down a $35.00 Christmas figure which bounced off the carpet and her friend quickly scooped it up and went to put it back on the shelf.  "Ma'am, may I please have that.  I need to check it.  I'm sure that the drop broke it."  I looked at it and sure enough, the nose busted clean off of its face.  I told them that.  "Truly, if there is anything I can help you with, please let me know.  I'm happy to get it for you."  Apparently, they ducked back out.  No apology.  No offer to pay for the breakage.  Nothing.  Lovely.
10. Of course, we deal with people's inability to just back out of the parking lot.  E-r-e-r.  (That is the sound of them toggling between reverse and drive.)  It's a tiny lot, people.  JUST BACK OUT!  Thank you.

Smiles in my day:
-  The betamethasone that Dr. A-, allergist extraordinaire, prescribed seems to have lightened my redness with just one application.  Let's hope it continues to work.
-  It's Wednesday and that means that the second part of my "work week" starts tomorrow.  I can switch focus and, here's a thought, sit.
-  K-'s teacher called this evening and had a lovely chat with me. 

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From the allergist's office.

Today I went back to have a nice, long visit with Dr. A-.  It seems as though my bee sting from October 23, 2011 flared up when I smacked my shin on the step, it was healing and I itched it, causing the bee sting area to get big, red and welted. 

Y'all, it wasn't so pretty.

On Monday morning, I called the allergist's office to see if he had any available appointments.  He didn't have any, but they said that they would call if he added some to his schedule.  I told her that I would go ahead and make an appointment with Dr. W-, my family doctor.  An hour later, I got a call that there were free appointments and would I like to have one.

Yes, please.

I had to leave work for an hour and a half, but the time was more than well worth it.  Here's the scoop:

Dr. A- said that he was "stunned by the negative bee tests given [my] family history" and my reaction to the yellow jacket sting.  I said that I was rather surprised myself and it was a two-sided coin.  On one hand, I was relieved to have it come back negative.  On the other hand, I told him that I feared that it made me look like a fool.

He assured me that wasn't he case.

He went on to tell me that though I tested negative, he's having me come back in 6 months for a retest on the bee venom (skin only) and to continue with the remainder of the skin testing for general allergies.  Then, I was told the most interesting piece of information. 

He's not convinced that I'm not allergic to bees. 

Seems as though there is 3% of the bee allergic population that tests negative.  Though he has never had such a case in his office, he said that he certainly would not discount it.  Family history (Grandpa died as a result of bee stings) and my reaction are enough to keep me hauling the Epi.  He said that I should have one, especially if I go down south.  "Do you go golfing?"  "No, but we camp."  "Do you camp in cabins or in a camper?"  "No, we tent camp."  "Oh!  Hearty people!"  He asked where we go and I told him Hocking Hills and Ohiopyle were a few places, and those aren't particularly close to hospitals.  He reviewed my concerns, discussed my welted and discolored leg and has given me a delightful prescription for a cream to apply "one week on and one week off" as it can cause skin atrophy.

"I like my skin.  I'd rather not have atrophy."  He smirked.

He discussed that when I shave my legs, I want to make sure to use the cream 12 hours later.  "Dr. A-, it is the winter and women don't shave their legs much in the winter."  "I didn't really know that."  "Just take a poll.  Others will agree."  He couldn't help but to laugh. 

So, the wind-up is this.  I have this cream.  I'll use it as directed.  If the cream doesn't make the bee irritation bit go away, I'll need to go to Dr. W- and have him perform a "punch biopsy" to remove the core of the scar that I have.  Perhaps that is something in there that is causing an irritation and the punch biopsy would possibly take care of it.  Hey, it could be worse. 

What is truly delightful is that Dr. A- is extremely thorough.  He takes his time with you.  He was with me for about a half hour.  He didn't think that I was a nut case and completely understood my concerns.  Hooray for scoring yet another wonderful doctor!

On a somewhat related note, I took my cream prescription to the local grocery up the street.  I was able to speak with the pharmacist at length about my need to fire my pharmacy, my desire to switch over to them and how things will be filled through their pharmacy.  I explained what happened with the Lipitor and he explained that insurance companies will possibly not be honoring the name brand version anymore.  Generics have to be the same active ingredient as their name brand counterpart, but their filler components can be different.  I explained my concern about switching to generic from name branded Lipitor and he understood.  He told me that I would need to have the prescription written "dispense as written" and all would be well with the insurance companies.  He was a wonderful young man who really took his time with me.  I did find out that they only carry Allegra D OTC, so I'll have to have the prescription for that transferred over to another Giant Eagle, or just bite it and leave it there.  Argh.

Hooray for good medical people!  What a wonderful thing to be thankful for!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: So sad.

I read this article online.  It is so very sad that a young man strayed off the trail and fell to his death.  This is an absolutely beautiful park.  We've vacationed at Hocking Hills several times.  I can absolutely tell you that the area is well posted with this sign:
I remember what it was like to be in college and thinking that I was invincible.  Our prayers to this family.  What an incredible loss.

Please keep this family in your prayers.

Monday, December 12, 2011

". . . And a cartridge in a pear tree."

"Babe, it's partridge."

"Mom, it's cartridge.  Like DS!" 
So I sit here on Sunday night, tuckered out and somewhat accomplished.  Laundry is twirling and swooshing in machines, the kitchen counters have been found, cookies are mounded and awaiting tomorrow evenings divvying up, we've eaten, we've played and we've accomplished much.

Friday was dough day.  I was able to make up all the cookie doughs that I needed for cookie baking this year.  What did I make?  Well, let me make you a list:

Cherry Thumbprints
Oatmeal Craisin Cinnamon Chip
Lemon Chip
Peanut Butter
Ginger Kisses
Chocolate Chippety Chunk
Red Hot Sugar Cookies
Butter Crisp
Triple Chocolate Fudge Bars

Being in the rather chilly environment that we're in, I kept the doughs in the back of my car, as it was too much to fit in the fridge.  It was freezing out there and I had to leave the dough out for a while to make it pliable enough to even work with.  If it's cold, embrace it.  What else can you do?

K- and Hubs got onto cleaning K-'s play area in the basement.  We were trying to encourage her to donate items, but the child is rather sentimental about everything-- major awards, rocks from the driveway, paper dots she's punched from homework . . .  I remembered that Goodyear was having a Toys for Tots toy drive at the blimp hangar a bit down the road.  I told her that we would make the trek to the hangar and that she could donate her new items that she never played with to the Marines that were there.  That put a spring in her step, especially after I explained to her that her donations may be the only things a child receives for Christmas this year.  The hangar closed at 6 PM, but I left more than enough time for travel and any type of line.  I had travel time right.  What I didn't have right was the time the line would take.  Last year we went, and we drove right on in.  This year the wait was an hour and 45 minutes. 

No kidding.

Hubs wanted to bag on the trip, but I was determined to allow K- donate the toys that she gathered-- tonight.  I figured that her step to thinking of others would lose steam and possibly have her reconsider her donations.  We waited, listed to K- read, listened to the radio and finally, it was our time to go in.  I had K- keep the donations in the back seat with her and she was able to pass them onto the Marine through her window.  When we left, she asked, "Mom, did I do the right thing?"  "Yes, baby.  You did."  "You know at first, it was hard.  I didn't want to give that doll away.  I put more things into the bag and it became easier."  She had received two dolls from my aunt last year that were very similar.  She had opened one, but one she never got to.  Over the years, she had amassed so many craft kits that she just didn't get to all of them.  K- didn't complain about the line we sat in, but occasionally I'd hear her in the back seat say, "Dude!  Pay attention and move up!"  Gee, where does her back seat driverism come from? 

The unexpected hours that we logged away from the house completely put me behind on the remainder of the baking.  I left the thumbprints for last, because K- told me about how her thumb was the perfect size for holes.  By the time we ate the pizza that we picked up (dinner on the fly because of the line), we bathed and only had enough time to have her help me with two sheets of thumbprints before she went to bed.  She was good with it, though. 

We did Lowe's this weekend.  She built her coal car and next week will be the third part to her three part train.  We'll be taking her friend, Rebecca, along with us.  Rebecca doesn't get to go to K-'s girl birthday party because of a family Christmas celebration that came up, but we were more than happy to party with her early.  K- and Rebecca went to preschool together and Rebecca's mom, Kay, is one of my best friends.  Kay would have done the same thing for K-. 


Hubs' Christmas party was Saturday night.  Talk about a snoozer.  I was able to check out the miniature golf course that Hubs and his coworkers have been crafting this past year.  That was cool.  The rest of it was rather lame.  There was dinner, which was a lovely turkey and ham, but the rest was boxed sides and the most disgusting stuffing I've ever eaten in my entire life.  They had a dinner mystery theater theme to the evening.  After dinner, Hubs scooted me out so that I could jet back home to retrieve K- from the sitter.  He said that he knew that I was hitting my limit of actors milling around and yelling at us while we ate.  He said that the evening got no better. 

Church this morning was absolutely delightful.  Pastor Karen did a visualization with us about love.  It brings shivers to me just thinking about it.  One of the teachers at K-'s school busted down out of the choir and tracked us down to fill me in a bit more on Sunday School.  (I left her a note in her mailbox at school pleading for some guidance.)  We cruised on down, had 17 in Sunday School and our topic today was what gift we would give Christ for his birthday.  It is a current issue class, which is right up our alley, but we were feeling a little wonky about it.  Today, we had different people recognize us, make us feel at home and even Pastor Karen caught us at the top of the steps and said, "The L- family!"  She double checked on K-'s name pronunciation (often mispronounced, misspelled, never remembered and just generally butchered in a number of other ways that I may not have listed) to which Hubs replied, "You are one of the few people to get it right!"  (It's not a weird name, just a really old name that isn't very popular in the states.)  I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart to have people really reaching out to us today.  I had been struggling this last week.  I just hadn't felt at home with the grove of Sunday School and this past week made a complete turn.  Even Mrs. McC-, the one who dashed down from choir, told me at school this week that she looked to see if we were there at the choir cantata last week.  (I had the tea and explained that is why we didn't get to go.)  Hubs and I are feeling more and more at home at this new church.  It really warms my heart to be able to say that. 

Now if you'll pardon me, I do believe that I have an evening of slumber and some cartridges in a pear tree to dream about.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Toy and donation drive whoas.

Today ends our school Civic Drive.  The Civic Drive was for collecting "new or lightly used toys for children in need."  Allow me to inform all of you that most of what was donated, which was very little, was used.  We're talking extremely used.  There is a Doodle Bear, all doodled, not laundered and without the doodly pens.  The doodles?  Not so artful or purposeful.  Scribbles, really.  There is a stuffed Mickey Mouse that has met his fate with some type of cream colored latex house paint on several areas of his body.  There is a little bitty oven with stickers on it.  Barbie accessories with marker on them and missing parts.  We received all of three new things, at least in the batch that I saw.  (Not all have been collected yet, as I know what K- donated hadn't made it to the PTA room yet.)

Let me decode for the reading public-- "lightly used" doesn't mean whipped to no end.  "Lightly used" is the polite way for saying, "Basically new and out of the box."  Please consider who will be receiving this toy.  K- and I had a discussion about it.  I told her that the toys that are donated may very well be the only item that the child receives for Christmas and I certainly would hate to think that if we were in the same situation, my child's only Christmas gift would be something that Goodwill wouldn't consider selling. 

She gasped.  As well she should.

I have to consider the other side, too.  Perhaps all of you recall the story of K- and the used Christmas exchange book.  Maybe the kids were donating just something of theirs so that their name could be put in the drawing to win a skate ticket pack.  Perhaps the parents had nothing to do with it.  So often, parents know very little about what their children are doing at school.  (I have teachers who would back me up on that statement.) 

We're looking towards doing our annual canned food drive in March.  Last year, we had to toss nearly 80 expired items.  One item dated back to 1999.  On the collection notice that we send, we will be specifying that any expired items will not be counted toward the class total and we will be discarding them. 

Who would seriously want to eat a boxed meal item dating back 11 years?  Well, it could have been longer.  The expiration was back in 1999.  Goodness knows when the item was actually purchased!

Again, I think of the recipients.  For about a year, Hubs and I volunteered at the local homeless shelter.  We directly saw who received items/meals and interacted with them on a regular basis.  In fact, I ate with the ladies every Monday night.  (To earn their trust, I learned that declining a meal that I thought I shouldn't take from them was them viewing me as looking down upon them and thinking that they were icky, as opposed to my trying to conserve food for others.)  I've worked at the church food pantry.  I've picked up from the church food pantry for my brother on numerous occasions.  I've been in the thick of who receives such donations.  I couldn't ever hand potentially inedible items off to them-- ever.  Not to anyone. 

I hate that times that drives come up, people feel the need to donate the unwanted.  Isn't it when donating to church, it is to be the first fruits that you set aside for God?  Well, let's look at donations to the public in the same way.  Let us give them our first fruits and not the leftover table scraps that have been in the fridge for a week.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Giant Eagle Pharmacy-- You are fired.

I'm done.  I e-mailed them tonight on their 2000 character max customer contact page.  I'll follow-up with their response. 

I'm officially firing your pharmacy. In the last month and a half, I've either received partial rx that I've had to come back for remaining or tonight, a long term rx that I've been on and have only filled through you was switched to generic w/a higher co-pay. Rx #62----9 was a partial fill with 10 pills, having me come back in 2 days for the remainder. Less than a month later, my daughter's antibiotic (rx 62----8) was confirmed to be filled 3x by rx tech by phone. "We just need to mix it when you get here." When I arrived, we found that the rx was only 1/2 filled, requiring me to come back the day after Thanksgiving for the remainder. When I was irritated and I admit that while I didn't scream or yell, the staff did completely get that I was irritated, I was told by the young man behind the counter, "Well, Ma'am, it IS flu season." Yes it is. You need to be more prepared and order more. A little more kindness would have been appreciated, but I admit that I was ticked, so I wasn't the happiest either. I also admit that the tech was shocked by my suggestion to give 1/2 copay for 1/2 meds. Of course, that doesn't happen. Fast forward to today. I re-filled my monthly rx (rx 62----3), went to pick it up to find that what had always been name brand had been switched (company policy perhaps) to generic and the co-pay was actually $20. and not $10. as it was with name brand. Since I had a Lipitor copay voucher, the tech said, "Well, it is filled generic, if you want, I can have it filled name brand but it'll be 10 minutes." Why would the filling of a 2 1/2 year old + rx be now switched to generic when last month it was name brand, as every other month? I chose to wait the 10 additional minutes for the rx that I should have had.

With this, I'm transferring my rx to a different pharmacy and officially fire you. Perhaps when you put customers out and require add'l trips, you could accommodate them for inability to deliver goods. That would be good customer service.
They've irritated me for the very last time.  I shouldn't have to continue to go back and forth for remainder of meds undelivered.  I should also have my rx filled as it was filled and if it is to change to generic, I should be given the option, not just be something chosen for me. 

Thoughts?  Pharmacy irritations?  Are you a pharmacist or a tech that would love to chew me out?  Go for it.  Be polite, though.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: How does that stuff get in there?

My computer is flashing that I have some root kit with possible malware and RRRR!  I just spent the last hour and a half running a boot time scan and deleting the win32:julkpoly bit from my computer's interiors.  Avast!, you suck right now.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm so tired.

 I had the Ladies Christmas Tea today.  I would show you photos, but I forgot to take them.  I do know plenty of others did, so that'll probably make up for it.  I just got too wrapped up in hosting the shin dig to take photos of the shin dig.  Final word is that everyone liked it better at our house vs. the church and they would like an invite for next year. 

We finished painting in the kitchen.  We have a border, chair rail and photos to hang, but I'm not to highly pressed to do that right at this very second.  We'll do the back splash in the new year.  I also want to paint the table legs and bits of the chairs that are green and need to be chocolate cherry.  Rome wasn't built in a day or year and a half, you know.

Hubs and K- kicked in major on helping with the tea party prep.  They even freed the refrigerator from the confines of years of memories.  We have a freezer door of magnets, K-'s Honor Roll and report card bits are on the side of the fridge, but it is otherwise empty. 


I scrubbed and cleaned parts of the bathroom that needed some extra tending.  I wiped upper parts of walls and gave a good spring cleaning on an otherwise wintry date.

Speaking of, I have some windows open and it is December 4.  It's 8:54 PM.  It says that it is 48 F out, but seriously our home is nice and toasty.  Fresh air, fresh air!

I have to comment that in the midst of writing this, I got distracted, then watched some TV and fell asleep sitting up on the bed at 7:45 PM.  I had been up until about 1:30 AM doing things, probably until about 2 AM because I just didn't fall right to sleep and was back up at 6:15 AM with K- snuggling in on the end of the couch, wanting to turn the TV on.  (Not 'til 7 AM, thankyouverymuch.) 

I end this post by being thankful to Hubs and K- for digging in and working all together as a family on hauling, painting, organizing, doing and preparing our home for a month of festivities.  My sister was the people hauler, bringing Aunt Donna in tow.  It was a particularly important day for Aunt Donna, as today was the one year anniversary of my Grandmother's death.  She really needed not to be hanging at home on her own.  The ladies all brought desserts to share, loved the chicken corn chowder, rolls and salad bar that I provided.  LeAnne got in there and was a food flinger with me. 

All went well.  Now if you'll pardon me, I need to have a date with my pillow.

Smiles in my weekend:
-  The kitchen.  I'm not embarrassed of it anymore!  The ladies loved the colors, too. 
-  I think that I've decided that our bathroom will be a nice sea aqua slightly greenish color.  Now, to find the right chip.
-  When Hubs ran clear away from today's tea party, he went to a music resale store and found me another copy of Ben Folds and WASO Live in Perth.  I loaned my copy to a friend's husband.  They are separated now, she knows nothing about the DVD, he never returned it and I loved it.  I will never loan him anything ever again.

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Something that just made me smile.

My husband is in the living room doing Just Dance Kids with K-.  The funniest thing is that right now I heard him say, "Oh!  I won!"

Hubs and K- have had a great Happy Daddy Day together.  This weekend, we're winding down Hubs' vacation.  It wasn't really a vacation, as he was busy slaving away in the house.  He and K- played Star Wars, video games and watched movies.  They went to Santa Shop and Winter Wonderland together, while I did the PTA mama thing.  Hub took K- to Lowe's so that she could build the caboose of the three part train.

How lucky I am that I have such an involved husband and father.  Something I'm more grateful for than most people know.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Because the tonsils are still gigantic.

Last night, K- started complaining about a stomach ache that she had all day.  Now, that is where the strep started.  I had her open wide and by the light of the little LED, her tonsils were waving back at me. 

Boy those suckers are huge.

This AM, I made a call to my favorite pediatric gate keeper, Toni, to find out if we could store a golden ticket to see Dr. P-.  3:40 PM was our time to go before the wizard. 

Word is this.  Yes, her tonsils are rather large.  That is typical for this age.  Completely normal, actually.  She tossed a NEGATIVE! strep in office.  Can we raise our hands all Baptist like and belt out an AMEN?!  Dr. P- is still sending out the cultures to positive that we don't have errant germies running the joint.  She said that she is getting better, but completely understood my concern.

Now onward to the next appointment.  It seems as though K- has developed a bit of a toothache in the last day.  A toothache for K- is not a good thing, as the last one resulted in a root canal.  (Eeek!)  I called Dr. Rick, Lindsay (the gate keeper of dental health) got us an appointment for tomorrow, but was able to bump us up because of a cancellation.  Now, I'm going to have to leave the house at the butt crack of just barely dawn to get to the dentist who is 25 miles one way.  We love Dr. Rick, he is fantastic and knowing K-'s birth history, he said he will always fit her in for a toothache at anytime.  Gotta love that!  I don't even mind the mileage that I log to get to him.  He is beyond well worth it.

With that, I have a bath call, call, calling my name.  Yes, I know that it is only 6:04 PM, but I just feel it necessary.  A bath for me is renewing.  I can get so much more accomplished after one.  It is my evening caffeine.

Smiles in my day:
-  The negative strep test!
-  Unbashed cards arrived!
-  I hit the Scholastic Book Sale with my friend Kay and we bought a ton of books for the library, a book giveaway and for gifts.  I was able to get Magic Tree House books and a Jesus Calling devotional book for K- from my aunt, and some other gifts.  Because Kay and I combined our orders, she had a coupon for $25.00 off $100.00, so the books that were basically half off (not all but almost) ended up being even cheaper.  Hooray!
-  Doctors who could give me appointments without waiting for days.
-  My husband has worked so hard on our kitchen.  He's been doing dances with caulk.  The man loves caulk.  The kitchen?  It looks lovely.  Yes, I will post pictures when it is done, but don't expect them before next week.

Have a great weekend!

ETA:  We made our round trip tour to the Wizard of Dentistry and Dr. Rick pronounces K-'s teeth as okay.  He said to watch them, let him know if anything is awry, but that this just may be a case like a similar time I took her-- she gets a bacteria and occasionally, it pockets under her tooth/teeth.  K- was delivered to school 18 minutes late.  Considering that we left at 7:15 AM, made the half hour drive, saw the dentist and hauled back the 1/2 hour + at that point, being only 18 minutes late to school wasn't so bad.  She was thrilled that she made it in time for gym.  Bless her heart. 

I've decided that I need a name tag that says, "Mama Amy, Health Management Director."  Wow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: Hairy toes, stolen dogs and sketchy people.

Hairy toes:  Remember this post?  In 42 degree weather, we had a flip flop clad man with TUFTS OF HAIR about the top of his toes.  YARG! 

Stolen dogs:  A customer who was waiting for her friend to finish shopping decided to tell our security guard how the dogs in her car were stolen from a variety of places and how the one dog is always right there and won't let the other dogs be with her.  Um, my heart bleeds purple peanut butter for you.

Sketchy people:  Friend of the dog stealer was flying through like you would a convenience store for bread and milk.  She was plunking things on the counter like they were a Black Friday limited time sale, but making comments about how expensive they were.  I was certain that I was either 1.  getting a bad check, 2.  getting counterfeit money or 3.  getting a stolen credit card.  She paid cash and bless her, all of it marked correct.  I was stunned.

Sketchy people #2:  We had a presumably homeless man (I work in a bad neighborhood anyhow) proceed to question the security guard on what time we close, what items we sell, what fire arm that he has . . . you know-- inappropriate questions to ask.  We're all on high alert and now I have the security guard's phone number in my phone.  I also added the owner's cell to my phone.  He was very kind in coming to grab me up to give me the low down on what was going on. 

I swear, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Smiles in my day:
-  Nothing more has been mentioned about my crappy Wednesday.  Water under the gallery bridge.  Hoorah!
-  Hubs is painting the cabinet doors for the kitchen.  Rachael, you won't need to rescue me.  I will be buying Hubs a "thank you for saving me" prize.  Me thinks a gift certificate to his favorite resale music store is in order.  Dude is on vacation this week and has been slaving away.
-  K- went to see the Nutcracker at the local theater.  She loved it!
-  My final box to mail out was sent this morning.  All cards and parcels have been sent for the holiday season.  Hooray!!!
-  New Storage Wars tonight!  Now if I can just stay awake for it!

Have a great day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm alive!

More importantly, so is my kid.  Second tour of duty on strep with the kids z-pack is working-- I think. 

Thanksgiving was low key, as we stayed home and enjoyed a quiet day together.  I ran to my family dinner, but because I was in charge of rolls, no one else had them and we couldn't have that carb absent from the table. 

My sister and I did Black Friday shopping, which started Thursday night at 11:30 PM.  We went to the wealthier section of town, didn't witness smack-downs, macing, pepper spraying or fighting.  I did find that people would whip around the corner and come full force down the aisle at me (aisle chicken) and I didn't budge.  I was a lot shorter than them, but really-- y'all can hold onto your fanny panties and be polite.  We hit 10 stores in 8 1/2 hours out and we were toast by the time we returned.  We got everything but an external hard drive, which I'm not convinced that Office Max had anyhow.

I worked on decorating the tree after I awoke from my brief slumber and Hubs and K- worked on the outside lights.  We had dinner, I fell asleep sitting up on the couch and all was well. 

Saturday, we took my niece and nephew to Bass Pro Shops for the day.  It was about a 2 hour drive, but they went, they had fun and we were able to lavish a bit of Christmas on them that they haven't had probably ever.  We dropped them off with their bags of loot, came home, worked on the tree some more and fell asleep sitting up on the couch again.

Sunday took us to church, we came home, K- and I baked a pumpkin pie, I worked on the tree, we went to the in-law's for dessert (rescheduled from the Thanksgiving strep quarantine), came home, worked on the tree some more, worked on finding the rest of the house and displaying the rest of Christmas because as I told Hubs, "If it isn't up tonight, it isn't going up," K- went to bed, I watched and watched American Pickers until I felt like I was full of rust in my veins and was climbing into honey holes along with them and went to bed.

That brings me to today.  I work.  Wednesday left me with kind of a crappy sense of funk and I'm hoping not to have that bit of retail replay.  People can be so blasted crabby at the holidays. 

I shall shove off, pack my lunch and put my heart into the right place.  Of course, a can of coke with some pretty caffeine won't hurt matters much, either.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Pediatric Phone Line Lottery

Will I win?  I mean, my child finished her antibiotic on Monday night and now has the return of a sore throat, the stomach is still rotten and is now running a low-grade fever.  Can we say SCORE?!

She's cried because she'll be missing their Thanksgiving celebration and her awards assembly today along with potentially missing Thanksgiving with the family. 

I feel so bad for her.


ETA:  It is strep.  She ran another positive on rapid strep at the office.  Children's version of z-pack sent her into 45 minutes of vomiting.  Was on the Children's Hospital nurse's line on hold for 20+ minutes, but had a lovely and very apologetic nurse.  Had a crap day at work and that translated to my getting on the people at Big Bird Rx for giving me half a prescription-- again.  Snot-nosed (not literally, just in attitude) guy behind the counter said, "Well, it IS flu season."  "Yes, so BUY MORE!"  I didn't swear and I didn't scream, but I did let them know that having me come back-- again-- is just not working for me.  I'm sure that they all talked about me when I left.  It just didn't help that they confirmed twice to Hubs and once to me by phone that they had the script there and all was good.  Yes, their customer service line number will be getting a phone call.  I mean, it is delightful to pay full co-pay for half of the goods.  I proposed otherwise and the lady thought I was a raving lunatic.  Hey, they are giving me half of what they owe me.  Why not give them half of what I owe them?  Oh, but it doesn't work that way. 

I'm too tired to bake pumpkin pies.  I think I might collapse.  I've been up since 4:15 AM and I'm beat.  It'll be the first time that I've never had pumpkin pie on T-Day for breakfast.  Maybe I can force myself.  :shakes head in tirednesss:

So tired.  :yawn:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: This is something I HAVEN'T hung on a tree.

My friend Cj sent me a link to a Christmas craft.  Now, I've hung some goofy things in trees.  I've made things from milkweed fluff, spices, nuts and dried corn.  I've used things like topiary frames as tree toppers that clearly shouldn't go into trees. 

Can't imagine how you would answer, "So, how did you make this?"

Mmmm.  No thank you.  Once a month contact is good enough.  Don't want that hangin' all over my tree.  Call me picky if you want. 


Smiles in my day:
-  I had a $5.00 coupon on a $50.00 toy purchase for Target.  I purchased said toy (an Our Generation wardrobe for K-'s American Girl doll).  I took it back today (three times through customer service thankyouverymuch) was able to repurchase the wardrobe and get a doll outfit and I could use the coupon.  Hooray for me, right?  Well, they gave me a $5.00 gift card.  "Another one?"  The CS lady said yes.  So, I went on, picked out another outfit (they said that they were on sale for 10.99 so SCORE!), went to purchase it and it came up as 13.49.  Hmmm.  Back to CS.  (One of the three times.)  Apparently, the sale from last week wasn't pulled, they honored it and I got both outfits for 4.00 (including tax) as opposed to 13.49 each.  It was a lot of CS trips, but it was worth it!  Between sales, coupons and the surprise gift card, I saved 25.00 between all three things.  The list price on the wardrobe was 54.99.  Even with the outfits, I didn't break $50.00.  Now, the birthday gift is done.  :)!

Have a great day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I feel like I've run a printing service these past few days.

The Christmas cards from Shutterfly arrived.  They are delightful!  They have been stuffed into envelopes, personally hand addressed, posted and are awaiting their Wednesday drop.  What all went into making that happen?

I spent last weekend designing the card.

The first box came in and were wonderful.  The second packet of 15 came in looking like it had been wrangled by the postal machines.  Shutterfly is sending me a replacement set and apologized profusely.

With the Christmas cards, I send K-'s birthday invites.

She's having two parties this year.  She's having one girl party at the house with the lovely number of 8 girls.  We'll be having a second party on the evening of her birthday that is just family cake and ice cream.  She'll have school the next day, so it's not like we can party like it is 1999.

Her invites are never print, cut and roll.  I printed the card.  We found shimmery purple and silver polka dotted backer stock, a sticker had to be put on front and some plastic flare needed attached.  Since I didn't see those making it through the postal system, we hand delivered them.  With what I hoped but knew wouldn't be a simple fly-by delivery, there was much jumping, singing and dancing with friends as we delivered.  I still made it home in time to make dinner. 

The second batch was made with a change of date and minus the flare.  I had to assemble and stuff those in. 

I needed to make invitations for the Ladies Christmas Tea that K- and I will be hosting at our home.  Those were a simple cut and drop in, but I needed to find clip art, which was actually a full page border that I had to cut and paste, then track down a classy font I liked, figure out wording and so on and so forth.  I knocked those out.  Then, I pestered my sister for names and/or phone numbers since she couldn't give me addresses for her guests.  (I love the White Pages online!) 

Speaking of hunting addresses down, I spent time online doing that and when that failed, I tracked down my cousin to give me her brother's address. 

Since my weekends are hopelessly full from now through Christmas, I was able to bang out the favors I wanted to do for K-.  I made a CD to go with the theme of her party, designed, printed and assembled a CD cover, burned CD's, stuffed them, found that the glue I used wasn't adhering, did a double layer of glue, found that wasn't adhering and finally went to clear Alene's and gave them a good press in a phone book overnight.  You'd be glad to know that the third gluing is holding.  I divied up the hair doodles (we're Tangled themed and hair doodles seemed appropriate), had to attach those to the long note pad I bought, stuffed those into the neato make up case with a pencil, stickers and a button and we're done.  She's having a taco bar and she'll be going through some of her back stocked craft kits to see what we can do with 8 girls.  I found a Flynn Rider wanted poster, printed it and a few sheets of frying pans.  I'll cut those out and we'll have them pin the frying pan on Flynn for a game.  (So not taking credit.  Go to for more details.) 

Finally, I wanted to give a thank you to those who donated to K-'s elementary school Walkathon.  I had taken a photo of her as she was doing the walk, so I flipped that through Picasa, did a quick thank you on the photo and printed those off for the people who needed them. 

And I still have ink left.

Today, we tackled the grocery.  We got all of the Thanksgiving necessities, dropped a load o' cash at the grocery (meat was on sale, too) and came home and unloaded it all. 

K- wanted to play with E-, the neighbor, and her mom and grandma were out raking the last of the red oak leaves that just won't go away.  Since grandma was raking what was technically our yard (but they are our leaves!), I went out to help. 

Now, I'm tired.  The start of the work week is tomorrow and it will only get busier and busier each day.  Wednesday, we should be slammed. 

Chicken is baking away and I must go start some wheat pilaf and steam some broccoli.  Pardon me.  The smell is making me mighty hungry!

Have a great day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Allergies and the Honor Roll

First off, I was at the Allergist's office for the hour and a half that they promised, with a bonus trip to the lab for IgE and Bee Venom RAST blood testing.  (Decoding here would be great, Janeen.  I know the IgE thing, but need more info on RAST.)  Skin testing came up with nothing, but the doctor was concerned about the reaction I had with the bee sting, made sure I had an Epi, gave me more information on that and a disk to view about it.  He was a rather lovely gentleman.  That office was very busy.  Allergies are a big business!

They had TV.  Hooray!  It was on allergy shots.  Boo. 

I went straight from my appointment to the school (with a mid-stop at Wendy's.  Thank goodness, as Kay and I didn't get to eat anything after that.)  We had the book fair today.  I sold books from 2:30-6:30 PM and I'm beat.

I did have a conference with K-'s teacher.  She has three A's and two B's.  She's on Honor Roll!  Her reading is where she needs to be (as the teacher informed me that due to the MAZE scale that they have, they can confirm whether the kids are being worked with at home.  They don't doubt that we work with K-.)  An interesting thing that came about from the conference was that Mrs. B- told K- to stop using Touch Math.  I talked to Mrs. B- about it last week and told her that now that they are using Touch Math, K- seems to have forgotten her math facts.  She said that she raises her hand all the time now and has shot so far ahead, just by her telling her to stop using it.  Mrs. B- told me that if I ever see anything that comes up like that, to let her know.  A major improvement happened with her work by simply talking to the teacher in the hall. 

Mr. B-, the principal, told me that K- was "Caught being good" and that she is to come down to the Principal's office tomorrow to get a prize.  Her teacher turned her in for being so thoughtful and helpful.  :)!!!  They'll take her photo with the other children that were caught being good this month and their pictures will be posted on a bulletin board in the hall all year.  HOORAY! 

I'm beat, but today was a good day.

Have a great night.  Smiles are above.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hello, Allergy doctor.

How are you this fine day?  You say that you want to give me pokes to my arms and to see what bubbles up in reaction?  :pushing sleeves up:  Okay.

Today is the day that I find out what I'm allergic to and more importantly, get down to the details of the bee thing. 

I don't like being poked.

I don't plan on watching. 

I wonder if they have TV.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Public irritations.

Dear General Public,

When I put the air freshener in the public bathroom at work last week (bought out of my own pocket), never did I think that it would be emptied and flushed within a week.  Really?  I'm thinking that the little beads were flushed since I've found the evidence no where else.  Is it sad that we've had to shove another in its place behind the toilet so that we don't have to smell the funk that emits, and yet, be assured that someone won't make the dumb decision again to flush them? 

When I took my daughter to the shoe department at Target last night for a quick run at some holiday shoes, I had to explain to her why there were funky shoes left under her bench and no one around that seemed to have needed them.  "Babe, they left their shoes behind and put on new from here.  They decided that they needed a change of shoes and thought that Target should provide that to them."  She was mortified.  She wanted to tell the "worker" that was in the other aisle, but the damage had been done and no one was around that would have qualified for that type of shoe.  Thanks for giving me yet another opportunity to teach my child that people look at things, decide that they want them and take them.  Truly, the boat trailer being taken off the back of my truck while my husband was floating on a boat at the lake really didn't drive that lesson home quite enough. 

As we were straightening the store, Julia found that someone decided that they had to have a $3.00 badge holder.  They took the tags off and tucked them in under merchandise.  Did someone steal it out of need or out of the wondering if they could get away with it?  All I could say was that it wasn't putting real good energy out there for them in regard to job security. 

When there is an area of a store blocked off, that would mean that customers probably shouldn't go there, right?  Yes, well, I guess that the block makes it more intriguing and people feel that they have the right to go there.  I had some mirrors and different items on the floor and on a display case yesterday.  We have a rolling library cart and I had it blocking the area that I was working in.  I went to get something, came back and found two ladies walking through my mess.  "Oh ladies!  I'm so sorry.  I had this blocked off as it is kind of dangerous back here.  Is there anything that I can get for you?"  "No, we were just looking."  "I'm so sorry.  I blocked this area off, as the items tend to grab peoples feet while they walk by.  I'm so sorry that I didn't put a note on the cart."  I put a note on the cart and as I was working, I had someone rolling the cart and saying at the same time, "Do you mind if I come back here?"  (It was a smallish area, probably 5' x 5' at that point."  "Yes, actually.  Let me move these things on the floor.  I have this area blocked off so that I can keep customers safe.  I have a note on the cart, because I don't want anyone to fall."  "OH!"  :thunks to the forehead:  Really?  Julia battled the same problem the other day.

When we have an opening, we have a cup count.  How many people had food and drink and felt the need to leave the empty cups in a display? 

When people shop and leave a pile of wrapped packages visible in the back window of their car, they are begging people to break into their vehicle.  STOP DOING THAT! 

Folks, please stop crop dusting.  I mean, really.  I get that sometimes y'all might have something sneak out, but the front room stunk so bad the other day that I had to open up the door to be able to breathe.  What was going on up there was air deposited by force.  There are outdoor gardens.  Please oh please, take that air to the great outdoors where it isn't going to linger.

I know it is difficult, but if you just put your car between the painted lines, there would be more room for the rest of us.  Just sayin'.

Why yes, thank you for considering my safety when nearly backing over me in the parking lot.  It's not like I was sneaking in behind you.  I was there before you were.

I'm not normally this crabby.  People had bugged me and I needed to let this list go.

Smiles in my day:
-  K-, having a rotten stomach ache compliments of antibiotics and strep, thanked me for calling the doctor to see if there was anything we can do and said, "Mom, I'm just going to have to get used to it."  Sadly, for now, that's the way it will be.  I'm thinking that knowing that she's just going to have to sweat this one out means that she isn't going to obsess about it quite as much.  It has fallen into the category of it-is-what-it-is. 
-  Hubs came home early from work because he wasn't feeling well.  K- wanted to buy him a "sick prize."  (He buys them for us, as I have a singing apple that he purchased for me in July.)  She decided that he must have the Operation R2D2.  (No, we didn't pay nearly that for it.)  Sadly, he took AAA instead of AA and we have to play it tonight instead.
-  My MIL had dinner for me when I picked K- up.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: Alligator ankles

My love and I were sitting on the couch the other evening, watching TV.  I saw him look over kind of weird.  He reached down real slow and with one finger, rubbed on my ankle bone.  He sat back up, grabbed the bottle of hand lotion he hand nearby, got a squirt, then very gently rubbed some on said ankle bone with one very delicate finger. 

"Well, can you at least check my other?" 

"That one's fine.  The other one is rather dry."

It seems like a weird thing, but there was my husband, armed with lotion and taking care of my calloused ankle bone needs.  It made me giggle and after nearly 15 years, I know that he still pays attention, even to little things.

Smiles in my day:
-  I was able to talk to my brother.  He phoned, told me that he's wearing (what I refer to as) a Lindsay Lohan bracelet and has a GPS strapped to his back.  He's thankful to be out, spent 8 days, "Reading more of the bible than I have in 27 years." 
-  The neighbor made soup and had me run over (between horrible storms) to grab some to put in K-'s lunch today.
-  Having K- eat a piece of bread right after taking her antibiotic seems to be helping her stomach ache.
-  I stood for 8 hours straight yesterday and my foot didn't hurt at all.  That, my friends, is a miracle itself. 

Have a great day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A big pile of many things.

Accomplished, that is.

This weekend, despite the illness that had overtaken K-'s throat, was quite busy for Hubs and me.  We worked in the yard, cleaning through some of the plants, Hubs worked on clearing the shed out, ditching unneeded stuff (mainly Pergo remnants from last year) and reset everything.  I got the mums planted, trimmed up the ivy that was overtaking one of the basement windows, trimmed up the old mums and the attack rose bush, was finally able to take down the last tomato plant, drained the rain barrel and stowed that away, trimmed the peonies down to the ground, helped Hubs haul leaves for pick-up and helped to get the outside furniture picked up for winter storage.  Whew.

:side note:  K- is feeling back to her ole self.  I should have probably put that first.

I had a goal to have the Christmas card done this weekend.  I had an incident with our photo program about 2 months ago, where I had (what turned out to be 10,993 photos) photos in limbo that I could not find.  You see, we replaced our Kodak Easy Share printer (don't buy one, they are horrible) with a lovely Epson Work Force 630 (I could kiss it and tell it how nice it is to me).  When I removed the Kodak printer out of the computer, it decided to take all of Kodak off and took my Easy Share camera software with it.  That is the software that I use with the Nikon and I had years of photos (many on disk, but not since last Christmas!) that I just could not find after the program decided to take hostages with it. 

I was hating on Kodak Easy Share anyhow, but that really ticked me off.
Back to the subject at hand, right?  Well, I decided that if I re-installed the Kodak Easy Share camera software, perhaps God would smile on me and put the photos back in their proper creature home.

God is good.  He did smile.  My photos are back.  :deep sigh of relief:

It took quite a while to re-install and to import the photos back into the program.  Since the program has had an update or 10 since I originally had it, I fumbled with the workings.  After hours, and I mean hours, of work, I was able to get all the photos off the Nikon, combine photos that I pulled, burn a disk and download them to Shutterfly.  Because I failed to read the fine print, I designed a card that didn't qualify for my free 50 cards, so I had to readjust.  I went ahead and designed a few cards last night, but decided that I would order the cards this AM, when I had a fresh brain.  (We skipped church because of K-'s strep.)  What card did Hubs and I decide on? 

The merry moments collage Christmas card!  You can also get it with green blocks instead of black.
I'm thrilled.  Since what I chose was a flat stationery card, I could give a quick run-down on the back of the card and include one more photo of our family.  It negates the need for the holiday Christmas letter. 

:side note:  Yes, Aunt Patti, I know your fondness of the letter.  I tell you, I got quite a whisker lickin' for the letter last year as I had three women at a family dinner tell me about how depressing my letter was.  It wasn't my aim to list depressing things and have people all funky about them.  My aim was that though crappy crap happened, we were all taken care of, everyone is well and all is good.  Besides, Grandma was dying and I wasn't as chipper as I usually am.  Still, I had people give me a very hard time.  Sheesh.

Now that I have Aunt Patti's note all handled (hi, Aunt Patti!!!), I shall share with you the dealie-do of the day.  I purchased 65 cards.  Of those 65 cards, I had 50 + shipping provided to me for free from Shutterfly for blogging about their Holiday card selection.  I had no problem doing that, of course.  Then, when I received K-'s school photos, there was a $20.00 code for Shutterfly included in there.  On the remaining 15 cards, I was able to apply the 40% discount sale that they are currently running and the $20.00 credit, which left me a balance of $7.05 for a little over $200.00.  Hubs was impressed.  His second question was, "Do people really spend that much for their cards?"  "Yes, there are some.  I'm not one of them."  My sister told me that I was her hero.  God bless her.

I'm now left with a bathroom to clean and laundry to fold and! to put away.  Hubs has been quite the man today and in Mike Holmes style, he pulled the entire dryer and lines out, cleaned them all and put everything back together.  The dryer is running so much faster now.  It really needed a good clean-out and Hubs spent a few hours doing an awesome job.  Now he's tidying the basement.  What a man!

Dinner is in the crock pot and if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a toilet bowl brush. 

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

If it walks like a duck and looks like a duck . . .

. . . it is probably the duck that you think that it is.

Yesterday, K- woke up complaining of a sore throat.  She looked fine otherwise.  She said that she had a belly ache, but if I kept the child home everytime she said that her stomach hurt, she'd never go to school.  I gave her a dose of Advil, sent her off and called the pediatrician for an appointment later on that day.  Normally, I wouldn't call for a sore throat, but I knew that she had been accidentally exposed to strep on Monday.  The mom reported that the rapid strep came back fine on her son, even though she insisted that strep was the problem.  She was sent home with nothing, thinking that he was fine, she sent him to school on Monday, the doctor's office was closed on Tuesday, then she found out Wednesday that his culture came back positive.  She kept him home, did the 24 hour hold on antibiotics, then farmed him back off.  In the meantime, children have been falling ill in their class and all over the school.

Yesterday, K- was one of them.

I was wheeling down the hall, distributing shirts out to the classes, when my dear sweet child was on her way down the hall.  "What's up, Babe?"  "Mom, I'm going to the nurse."  "You don't feel any better?"  "No." 

She went down, the nurse gave her a once over, asked me, "Are her tonsils usually that big?"  "I don't know, I've never looked at them before."  (I should be embarrassed to say that, but I don't know what I'm looking at.)  She handed me a flashlight and without knowledge of what I was looking at at all, I could see.  "Whoa." 

Of course, yesterday was a day that I could not leave.  I had to finish distributing t-shirts, had to finish directories and pass those out and I had a pizza party for 45 K-2 kids.  I gave Hubs a heads up before work telling him the spot I was in. 

God bless him.  He came the 35 minutes in to grab her up and take her home so that I could press on with what I had to do.  It was National Metal Day on VH1 anyhow, so it wasn't like it took much coaxing.

I had a 3:50 PM appointment and we went together as a family.  K-'s pediatrician didn't have any appointments left, so we saw the other doctor in the practice.  Before K- even opened her mouth, she said, "She smells like strep."  She explained that while there was a lot of viral funk going around, she would lay money down on the fact that K- had strep. 

Her rapidly rapid strep came back positive. 

I cruised by Big Bird to pick up the prescription.  Of course, I was the only person in line.  "Oh, we just received the fax.  Give us 15 minutes."  I decided to do some shopping (their ploy, I'm sure) and by the time I got back, it was like the entire NE Ohio population was in line.  I waited and waited and then! K-'s prescription needed mixed calling for me to wait some more.  Hooray!!! 

I got the Rx in her and she kept it down, even though she had a vomiting session to rival just about any other she's ever had.  (Advil is what put her over the edge.)  Later, she opted for 1 spoonful of Advil, which she successfully kept down, she slept through the night and I woke up to, "Mom?  Um, I think I need to stay in bed all day and watch TV, but I can swallow now and my throat doesn't even hurt!" 

Thank God for modern day antibiotics.  It also doesn't hurt that they were free.

Be healthy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The week that keeps on keepin' on.

Magnet available from Quotable Cards.
This has been my week.  I'll tell you, I didn't let go, so there were some areas that I felt dragged through.  Allow me to let you in on some of the things I've accomplished:

1.  Joe and I finished 3 major displays involving 4 trees.  I decorated the trees and he did two of the three display areas surrounding the trees.  One, I must admit, was more like a double display area. Bless him.  He rocked it. 
2.  I've become quote proficient in climbing the ladder sideways.  (Foot on the rungs long wise and not short wise.)  I tried to avoid it, but it was just unavoidable.  There is a certain point where I'm kind of a control freak with the trees (must get the top right!) and I just can't hand it off, as it is a dance.  I can't see if something is going to work out until I go and live with it up in the ceiling. 
3.  Yes, my foot hurt.  Yesterday was my third day of pulling nearly 12 hour days on a still bum foot and I assure you, the swelling in my foot confirmed that yesterday was the last day of the long haul.
4.  I picked up and have now bundled probably 75% of the 202 shirts needed to distribute throughout the school for Walkathon prizes.  I requested orange shirts with blue printing.  (Our district school color is orange.)  I assure you, they are orange.  Hunting orange.  Whoooo-boy, we'll see the kids.  Sheesh!
5.  Kay, wonder of wonders, has started working on getting the directories distributed for me.  She was able to put room numbers on all of the PTA membership cards that I have, so now I can staple and bind.  Yipee!
6.  Report cards come home tomorrow!  K- is excited and I hope that math grade is excitable in a good way.
7.  My brother is still federally housed, received my card, has been calling the house to talk to me but since it is a collect call (on my caller ID as "A call from Texas" even when we live in Ohio), I can't accept it.  We were victims of phone slamming this past summer and we changed the account to where we can't get charges like that again.  When he calls mom, he'll find out that I'm not ignoring him.
8.  We have another part of our family going through some tough times and that has been of big discussion this week.
9.  ISSUE 2 FAILED!  Hooray!  We only knew of two people voting for it.  I'm glad that my husband will continue making his smallish pay with the retirement and insurance benefits, that we pay into, will remain intact. 
10.  Our school levy failed by just less than 1 percent.  Really?  There was a fire levy that failed near where Hubs works.  Yet another one I can't get.  That one I have a harder time understanding.  Not everyone has a kid, but everyone needs the ability to phone the police or fire at a moments notice.  I don't understand voting down a fire/EMS/police levy.  Let's face it, if your house is burning down, who are you going to call?  Even if you vote it down, you'll expect them to show up and do their best work for you. 
11.  I have a pizza party tomorrow for 45 kids.  I have the same thing next week. 
12.  I worked until 9 each night and there was one night that I actually fell asleep sitting up on the couch.  :so tired:
13.  It's supposed to snow some tonight.  It's not going to be a high stickage situation.  It'll be mixed precipitation, but wow.  SNOW!  I embrace it.  Truly, no use in fighting it around here. 
14.  I'm scheduled for allergy testing this following week.  I had to dump my Allegra D in preparation.  The choking and gagging that I'm doing in the AM only confirms that the Allegra D is a very good and necessary thing for me.  I'm hoping that the allergist can figure out which items I'm allergic to and perhaps we can use a more targeted therapy for them. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Busy week = bloggy break.

I had a busy weekend, one that was more busy with home stuff than outside stuff. That's good.  For the first time since ye ole snapping o' the metatarsal, all laundry is brought up to speed, folded and! put away.  Navigating the steps with laundry was not something so easy for me to do up until this point, a day of going through K-'s drawers for items grown out of and making space for new things, hauling laundry up and down landed me with a rather sore foot at the end of the night.  No, I don't think it is what Dr. W- meant by "don't do anything crazy," but at least I accomplished good things for the pain that I endured.  A good thing is that now I can stand on the front of my feet (like I'm standing in heels.)  I showed Hubs.  He asked that I not do that again.  I think that the loud crack is still too loud in his head. 

I've assembled 290 PTA directories for our school.  The assembly alone took me probably 7 hours, but that part is done.  I now have to staple membership cards to the front of each book and sort according to classrooms.  The classrooms I have to look up, so that will take an awesome amount of time, as well.  All told, so far this membership gig has taken probably 60 hours in in-put and directory creation.  I easily have another 3 hours to go in just membership card stapling and piling for distribution.  The lady who handed this job off to me never made mention of all that.  Argh.

Yesterday, I did grocery shopping with many coupons.  I'm not an extreme shopper and they wouldn't at all be impressed with my spending vs. saving, but I did save $35.00 in coupons and yes, it is for things that we need.  A lot of baking things were on sale and I had coupons.  We needed cereal and granola bars.  I bought toothpaste and other basics.  It took a lot of time, though.  Thank goodness K- brought her DS with her.  She sat in the cart and played while I shopped.

This week, I have the final decorating push before the Holiday Open House.  I'll be working longacious hours. 

Sometime this week, 200 shirts will be ready for me to sort and distribute at school.

Friday, I have a pizza party for 45 kids. 

K- has decided to grow her bangs out.  That leaves me trying to figure out how to pin her thick bangs out of her face everyday so that she looks nice and not like a shaggy dog.  I think I'll get it figured out.  This morning, a touch of hair spray had to be used.  She was none too pleased with that, but I told her that girls aren't having bangs so much in the 3rd grade anyhow, so it is perfect that she's decided to grow them out now.  Once they get far enough along, I'll take her for a real hair cut (it'll be her first not done by me) to blend those puppies in.  I'm not thinking that is until late spring, though.

:deep breath:

Oh, and did I fail to mention that my brother has managed to pull a stint at our local federal housing?  What does that mean?  What that means is that he got tossed in jail.  It's a big mess of yucky detail, but I can say from the bottom of my heart that though I know that he's made bad decisions, he could have left and didn't, I believe that he was falsely accused and that he's in the big house for sheer stupidity.  :glove smack:  I love my brother with all my heart, but until he starts making better decisions for himself and removes himself from toxic situations, we can't do anything to save him until he comes to that conclusion on his own.  In the meantime, we pray.

I shuttle onward.  I've borrowed a big ole stapler that I have to drop off at school while on my way to work.  The PTA directory is going to kill me before my brothers dumb decisions do. 

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Darned that VH1

I've loved Rush since I was in college.  I dated a guy who liked them very much and we listened to them a lot.  Imagine my surprise last night when Hubs, knowing my affection for Rush, said, "Hey!  Rush is on VH1 tonight.  Do you want to watch it?" 

We proceeded to watch it for hours. 

I told him that I knew that I had Rush on something (cassette or CD), but I couldn't remember what.  (Though I knew I had Roll the Bones, since I had just listened to it a few weeks ago.)  "Well, I own them.  I used to own more, but those were the tapes I loaned you in college that ended up all over your car."  I told him that the one guy I dated listened to them and that's where it all started.  "When you broke up, did you return them?"  "He never gave me any of them."  "Well then, he's a smart guy." 

Hubs never did get over the fact that one of the tapes he loaned me, Faith No More- Epic, fell out of my car when it was really cold and literally shattered in the driveway.  I don't know that we've ever replaced it by CD.  (And no, I didn't mistakenly call it a tape.  CDs came out in mass production when I was in college.) 

It brings us to another point of discussion that Hubs and I had.  He is a CD hoarder.  He's organized about it, but dude had our bed specially built (waited 6 months for it) so that he could fit the rolling containers of CDs he has under the bed.

No, I'm not kidding.

He has them carefully arranged by genre, I believe, and padded with pool noodles to keep them from flapping against the side of the box when pulling in and out.  Each is pristinely cleaned, housed and loved. 

Then there is me.

I have stacks of CDs.  I have them in the studio, the living room, the truck and the bedroom.  I listen to a bunch of different stuff (excluding country), but mainly alternative.  Hubs, as part of a birthday gift, took CDs and put them in a lovely binder for me and has them in my RAV.  I have a few CD cases in there, but most of everything is in the binder.

They are not pristinely cleaned.

They are not carefully housed. 

They are loved, but on different levels of love depending upon my mood. 

My CD hygiene has never been in line with Hubs and I think that he would probably claim that is one of the bigger pet peeves about me. 

What I do know is that Rush is now playing on the stereo in the living room.  Where was the CD?  In the Little House on the Prairie episode binder that Hubs gave me last year for Christmas, just where he put it. 

I know I have the case somewhere here . . .

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today's theme is miscellaneous bits of life and stuff.

1.  I dislike Old Navy.  I ordered things online, again, and for the second time I found that their sizing is just not in line with what my child is.  Today, I took the things back to exchange, found that the online regular items are now the store clearance items and I ended up having to spend $11.00 more to get the same number of rather like items.  Argh.
2.  I have left a message with the referral department of the doctor's office.  I'm wondering if Dr. W- can refer me on to a lovely allergist who can figure out this pesky bee thing and to see what generalized "seasonal" allergies I have.  This year, I have been on Allegra D since June.  It's kind of a forever thing, I think.  I sure would like to know what I'm allergic to and if we can, I'd like to try to work that allergyness out of my system.  Words of advice, Janeen?
3.  K- got her health project done.  She had to do a Family Fire Safety Plan and she did a great job.  They had two weeks to do the project and K- really threw herself into it. 
4.  Grades close tomorrow and I'm holding my breath on that math grade.  :turning blue from lack of oxygen: 
5.  I picked my rings up today from the jeweler and whoever worked on them this time to retip the prongs did a better job than anyone ever has.  Truly, I don't recall anyone having tipped all of the tips before.  I only recall them having given attention to the center stone.  My, oh my are they clean! 
6.  I left a note on someones window today about a low tire.  I hope that they were able to get their tire aired back up.  I would hope that if someone saw the same problem with my car, they'd leave me a note.  My car would have thrown an idiot light at me, but I think that this van was pre-tire pressure idiot light.  Still, I hope that they are safe.
7.  My friend called crying to tell me that her niece had stopped breathing 4 times today and that she had prayed and prayed but could I pray, too?  So there I stood in Old Navy while the child was trying on shirts and belting out a prayer for Rachel, Kay and her family.  Turns out that Rachel is holding her breath and passing out.  (I did that when I was three.  Rachel is 8 or 9, but she has Rett's Syndrome.)  She had a seizure and fell flat on her face, if I have the facts right. 
8.  Don, our neighbor, had a great report today from his orthopedic surgeon.  He can ditch the coumadin, walk with the cane, drive himself to the store and get back to some light volunteer work at the church.  Don had his hip replaced three weeks ago and has truly done fantastic. 
9.  I'm tired.  It's amazing how I'm as tired as I was when I broke my foot initially.  Having gotten out of the boot, but being very careful with walking, driving and everyday tasks takes a toll.  I forgot my mid-afternoon 2 Advil snack and I felt it.  (I've only been back to that since I have been de-booted.  In boot, I hadn't taken Advil for quite a while.)  I have to remember that the foot won't be fully healed for another 7 weeks and it is going to take time.  It's just surprising quite how tiring that healing process is. 

It's time for bed.  I have a long day tomorrow.  'Night!

Smiles in my day:
-  K- and her excitement over her project.
-  K- was up and ready well before scatter time in the AM.  This last week has been difficult to get up and out.  Time change is Sunday.  I'm sure that won't help matters at all.  :(

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Samaritan's Purse: Operation Christmas Child

It's that time of year again!  Operation Christmas Child boxes will be collected from November 14-21.  We choose to do the Follow Your Box donation, so that way we can see where our box went to.  Last year, our box was sent to Iraq. 

Need to know drop off locations?  Click here.

Need to know what to pack and what not to pack in your box?  Why lookie here:
What is in our box?  We have a set of marbles and a book on how to play them, a mini bowling set, buildable animals, a slinky, a whoopie cushion (every culture has to think it is funny!), a tic-tac-toe wood board game, a reusable steel water bottle filled with hard candy and suckers, toothpaste, deodorant, floss, a tooth brush, stickers, a paddle ball game, a bar of Ivory soap, a pan flute, a kazoo, a rainbow pencil, a wood peg jumping game, pencils, pens, a highlighter, glue sticks, a pair of scissors (blunt end), a wood ruler, cap erasers, a pencil sharpener, a box of crayons, a box of markers, a box of colored pencils and a set of watercolors.  I still have a tiny space that I can put a compressed wash cloth into.  (The pop-up kind that you buy at the store.)  All of this fits into a plastic latch standard shoe-sized box.  Sometimes I do trim the packaging a little to make it work.  I also work hard at engineering everything into the box so that our kid gets the maximum amount for the space they have.  I like the idea of the plastic latch lid box.  I've always done those and I look at it this way, it is an extra gift that they can reuse forever.

We do our box for boys age 10-14, because that is the area where the donations are the lowest. 

We love doing a shoe box!

Have a great day!