Saturday, March 19, 2011

A way that I was able to be helpful.

Capital One sent me an e-mail stating that I could use the points/miles that I had accrued on my business credit card as a donation to the American Red Cross' relief effort in Japan.  The coolest thing was that by donating the points/miles I had (which weren't enough accrued to do anything for myself), I was able to donate far more than I could have if I did so directly.  Any amount donated is a 100% donation.  What a great way to use points that were just sitting around. 

Donate to your favorite charity with the Capital One No Hassle Giving Site

No, I was not compensated or asked to post about this donation opportunity.  I did this on my own because I thought it was a great idea.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Simple things that made my day happy.

The first line dry day of the year!  I'm so excited because I sleep so well on a freshly laundered set of line dried sheets!

After the winter that would never end, there are signs of life!  They should hold up just fine to the snow that we are supposed to get this next week.  :(


Today was such a fun day!  I had a crock pot of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes and was thankful that I was able to have the windows opened all day to air out the funk.  Whew!  The leprechaun wreaked havoc in the elementary and it was good to see the kids having so much fun.  We had 3 kids come out and one invite herself to dinner.  She wasn't fond of the corned beef, but she was just thrilled to have kids to play with. 
 We were even able to get a walk in this evening and we haven't been able to do the evening walk in quite some time.  K- took the scooter and did pretty well.  Her friend even stopped by to say hey on her way to Girl Scouts.

It's been a full day.  School, church display case, home to clean, schools (to pick K-, A- and N- up at two separate elementary buildings), a play date until 6:15 PM, walking until 7 PM, the bath, the homework and soon-- bed!

Smiles in my day:
-  You just read them.
-  Ooo!  The title to the RAV arrived today.  We now officially own it! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

We have this wonderful neighbor.

You've all read about Mike.  Mike is the neighbor next door.  He's a single guy in his mid 40's. We've lived next to each other for about 11 1/2 years and we've been friends from the start.

Mike was married once.  Apparently the girl was psycho and damaged him with anything marriage related probably forever.

Mike tried to help out someone he met online and that went sour, too.  She ended up cleaning out as much of his house that she could in the suitcases that he had.  Lovely.

Most recently, he took in his elderly aunt.  She took full advantage of him and was very thoughtless.  She was not mindful of her bathrooming habits and was most definitely eating him out of house and home.  Sadly, she fell and broke her hip and has required more intensive care.  She wore him out.  She is officially moved out, which has made his life so much happier, though.

Mike is the kind of guy that will do anything for anyone.  We do our best to reciprocate.  I've helped Mike align tail pipes, pick out the seat for the motorcycle and when we were having the roofs done (we were hailed and we chose the same company), he told the company to come and ask me what color of trim that they should use on his house.  The roofer was puzzled when he came to me and I explained.  I've watched his birds and pit bull while he's been out on vacation.  I even took him to the dentist to have a tooth pulled.  They knocked him out, I got him to and from, but had to stop to pick a prescription up for him.  I remember asking him for his insurance card and he handed me the whole wallet.  I got him home and propped up in a lawn chair in his living room and ran back and forth checking on him.  It was an adventure.

He purchased beautiful leaded doors for his house.  The company sent two with gold caming and one with silver.  He paid an arm and a leg for these doors and he just wasn't up to tackling the mismatch door situation. 

I called Home Depot and acted like his wife.  I got them switched out for him.

Today, Mike was out setting up some surveillance cameras.  Sadly, he has experienced 3 bouts with vandalism since being in his home and the keying of his car this past weekend has done him in.  He was asking my opinion of where he was going to and onto what he was going to mount the cameras.

"Do you think that it is okay for me to mount the camera to the siding?"

"Just on the siding?  Is it backed with anything?"

"No, but it'll be fine, right?"


"But if I put it here, I'll be okay, right?"

"Mike, you are just like my husband!  He'll ask me something, I'll tell him no and he'll ask me the same thing again.  No!" 

All he could do was to laugh. 

We ended up troubleshooting and I came up with a solution for him to which he exclaimed, "You are so smart!"

Bless his heart. 

So tomorrow, for the neighbor who needs my opinion on a thing or two, but who is also the guy who updates our electronics with his hand-me-downs on a regular basis, provides us with computer tech support, watches our ornery animals when we are out of town, meets me at the nearest manhole to pass my house keys on to me when I lock myself out (he's a phone guy), lets our kid draw all over his driveway with chalk, power washes our sidewalk, blows the snow from our sidewalk and driveway apron and feeds our front lawn, I'll be sharing some corned beef with him.  "Like for a Reuben sandwich?"  "Mike, I'll give you a hunk.  I don't care what you do with it.  Yes, you can make a sandwich out of it if you'd like, but from me you'll get corned beef, cabbage and potatoes." 

And again, all he could do was laugh.  We're so lucky to have such a nice guy living next door.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What will my child have learned?

I was just reading over the timeline of events in regard to the Japanese nuclear crisis and I wonder; what will K- have learned from this? 

I was 5 1/2 when Three Mile Island happened.  Other than knowing it was a bad thing, I didn't know what had happened.  I mean, at 5, how could you?

Chernobyl happened when I was 12.  I understood the gravity of the situation better, but I pulled away from that just bits and pieces of bad feeling. 

Now, ask me about the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and I can tell you where I was at and what was going on.  Is that because the news was more understandable?  I mean, it was only a few months ahead of Chernobyl, but I remember it clearly.  The disaster footage was played over and over and I could more understand the impact of that since it wasn't an abstract concept like nuclear disasters can be.

By the way, I was in the 7th grade when the Challenger disaster and Chernobyl happened.  The 7th grade was divided into "teams."  The team that I was not on (AKA 1/2 of the 7th grade) watched the shuttle take off, where the rest of us were learning other things. 

The kids watched it blow up.  I think that none of them will ever forget that. 

I pray with K- about Japan.  She knows that the earthquake happened and the resulting tsunami came in.  I haven't touched on the nuclear side of things with her.  I think that it might just be something that will worry her and keep her awake. 

How much do you share with a first grader? 

Smiles in my day:
-  Leprechaun is one of K-'s bonus spelling words and bless her heart, the kid can spell it.  Hubs said that she can now officially spell better than him.
-  Looking forward to corned beef tomorrow.  I love it, but only eat it once a year.  This year, I'll be trying my hand at making my own.  I'm kind of excited.  I've never made it before, but my sister has given me full instruction.  Yum!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: I feel as if I have nothing to say.

I do.  Believe me.  I sit here and honestly think that nothing that I say is important at this moment that nuclear meltdowns are possible, people are in a country that has been shaken violently, then horribly plowed over by a wall of water, people are actually washing ashore, people are trapped, a country is partially destroyed and folks have selflessly gone to help knowing that they could be exposed to a nuclear meltdown. 

And yet, they've gone. 

I shake my head in amazement.  So often, we stand and say that the world is so selfish.  How could so-and-so do or think something.  People can be so judgmental.  And yet, there are people who see a need and go forth and act in an active way. 

Donations to the rescue effort in Japan are very important.  People racing to help is what restores my faith in the fellow man.  This one and that one can argue over ancient things, borders, rulers-gone-wrong and whatnot, but at the end of the day, there are times that we can work together as a team to help bail out our fellow neighbor on Earth.

That's where I'm at today.  Knowing that my words aren't really that significant in regard to the things that are currently going on.  Prayers.  Those are my significant words.