Sunday, December 7, 2008

New Christmas Tradition Started

Last night I finally started a tradition that I hope continues for years and years. I have always wanted to do this one way or another but it just never panned out until now. With seven grandchildren and friends with kids the same age as my grandchildren, I thought this was a good time to do this. So, almost at the last minute, the plans were laid and the tradition born.

We had a Christmas cookie making party!

Since it was planned at the last minute, I didn't have everything planned out that I would like to do. Still, the kids got a lot done and had a good time doing it. My place is small but I had stations set up for the kids to work at with room for each of them and the mothers to assist. My station was the oven and mixing.

Altogether the kids made cutout shortbread cookies that they decorated with sugar sprinkles, white and milk chocolate covered pretzels they also decorated with sugar sprinkles, graham cracker cookies with neon colored icing filling, and I made M&M cookies just before they got there for them to take with them. Each of them got a bag of cookies to take home with them then.

Next year I hope to add some different kinds of goodies for them to make and decorate. I think this was one of the best holiday events I have been a part of in a long time.

Following are some pictures of the results. There won't be any faces in any of the pictures because our family does not want the kids' pictures on the internet.

Cookie tray getting filled up. They will be decorated once the tray is filled, then stuck in the oven. We only had one true cookie sheet, so we used what we had available. This is actually a broiler pan. Below you will see we even used a couple pie drip pans. Hey, they worked!

A quickly growing pile of baked and decorated cookies. My kitchen counter was a mess of sugar sprinkles once all the cookies were put away.

From the looks of things, it looks like they liked the big sprinkles better than the little ones.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Too Many Questions...Not Enough Answers!

Below are some interesting websites to look at before you vote. I am not saying that the things said on these sites are true. But they raise enough questions that it makes the possibility of any of it being true to be pretty frightening for America. If nothing else, why are these questions being asked in the first place? Basically, ask yourself, what do I believe about the old adage of "Where there's smoke, there's fire"? If even one of these websites is siting truthful information, it should be enough to raise further questions. Don't just skim the articles. Look at them thoughtfully. Our country has its problems, but I wouldn't want to take it down the road that it could be going if any of these articles are correct and Obama is elected President of the United States. Anyone can make pretty speeches and say what he knows the people want to hear. It's called SPIN. It's lip service. We all should know by now that campaign promises seldom are fulfilled because it isn't just up to the President to make these things happen. It takes all of Congress.

Here is another question to ask yourself. The McCain campaign has just released another interesting commercial. This one speaks of how within 6 months of Obama taking office, our enemies will be seeking to test him by creating disaster for us. Come on, people! Obama isn't even a full fledged senator. He is a JUNIOR Senator. He is a rookie! And he, as well as our country, will be a prime target for our enemies if he becomes President. That alone makes him dangerous for us.

The PA judge dismissed the lawsuit against Obama and the DNC. Berg is appealing to the US Supreme Court. Berg is a Democrat and an attorney questioning his own party's candidate. All he asks is for Obama to produce a vault copy of his birth certificate and he has raised questions about the Hawaiian birth certificate being a forgery. There are good reasons for him to be questioning it. Those reasons are mentioned in some of these websites listed. Those questions alone should be enough for us to be asking our own questions. But the websites give even more things we should be asking questions about. Affiliations with the Democratic Socialist Party--this is not our Democratic Party as most of us know it. This is a Marxist party...and his "spread the wealth around" is a Socialist ideal. Another question that, whether he is Socialist/Marxist or not...the question alone raises a lot of red flags. He says he is not and has never been a Muslim. His school records have been produced and he is listed as a Muslim in Indonesia. Former friends and family members have stated, according to these websites, that he was a very devout Muslim all through his youth. So, okay, he was Muslim. Is he now lying about it to gain our trust? Since when would lies gain trust? He may be a real Christian now. But why lie about his childhood faith? So now we are reduced to his word against apparent evidence produced by others and now posted on these as well as other websites. All anyone has to do is a general search of any of his 6 (SIX) other legal names. He has changed his name so many times that I am not sure what name is his real legal name. Apparently, neither are the owners of these websites. One such person even questions if Barack Hussein Obama is his real legal name now because this Hawaiian birth certificate does not use that name and no record has been found or produced of his legally changing his name to Barack Hussein Obama. They state that if this is not his legal name, it shouldn't even be on the ballot. His Hawaiian birth certificate lists, back in 1961, his race as "African". In 1961, this was not the terminology used on birth certificates. He would have been listed as "Negro" according to at least one of these websites. By this they are saying that it proves this birth certificate a fraudulant copy. Some say it was his sister's birth certificate and has been doctored but that this one word was overlooked by the person making the changes, probably because they didn't think of it at the time. Another question raised is about his citizenship since birth. According to his school records in Indonesia, he would have had to have been a legal citizen of Indonesia to be accepted into the schools there at that time. They also did not recognize dual citizenship so his family would have had to do whatever was legal in Indonesia to have him listed as an Indonesian citizen. Since returning to the US, nothing has been documented that has been found, about his citizenship being renewed or reinstated, or any oath of citizenship having been made to declare himself as a naturalized American citizen. But, in that regard also, there is a big question about where he was really born. His current public, and possibly forged, birth certificate states he was born in Hawaii. According to the websites: 1. Hawaii at that time registered births of children born abroad, and 2. there is question that his mother was in her last stages of pregnancy while in Kenya, and was not allowed to travel until after his birth because of the airline policies at that time, and would in fact, still have to get special medical permission to travel today if at that stage of pregnancy. So, there is the question of was he actually born in Kenya and his birth registered in Hawaii. If he was, he is NOT eligible to be President.

So, now that I have given you an overview of just some of the questions being raised about Obama, take a good look at these websites. Then do some more searching on your own if you want to. And ask I willing to put my country, my family, and myself at risk by electing someone this controversial as the President of the United States? Is the economy the real issue here? Are jobs the real issue here?

Come on, Obama, stop talking and show us the documents. Words just don't cut it!

Too many questions...not enough answers.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Don't Like Political Posts, But.....

I don't know how many of you have noticed, but there is a lot of controversy about whether or not Barack Obama is actually an American by birth, which is a requirement for becoming President of the United States. There is a lot online about this controversy. I have been trying to follow this as best I know how. Below are some interesting websites you might want to visit before you vote.

When you know about all the controversy surrounding this presidential candidate and this election, maybe take the time to ask yourself why is Obama making advertisements for people to vote early? Is he trying to push his election through before people find out the truth about him? Just where did he come from? What are his real affiliations? Just what do we really know about him? And most of all, are you willing to vote for him based on his smooth talk and lip service or do you want to know the truth?

According to these websites, which also show the legal documents of the court judgement that has just been handed down, Mr. Obama has at least 6 legal names he has gone by over his lifetime. He and the Democratic National Party have refused to produce proof of his citizenship, they have merely tried to dismiss the case or tie it up in litigation, which the Judge in the case did not allow, and they refused to give answer within the legal time frame of the case. By not giving answer within that time frame, it is legally the same as admitting to the charges. Therefore, according to the documents, Obama has been court ordered to step down as presidential candidate, and the Democratic National Party has been court ordered to stop endorsing Obama for president.

Check out the following websites. Do some searching on your own. Don't vote blind.

Obama isn't eligible

Obama Court Ordered To Step Down

Specifically, read the portion in the court document that states that the birth certificates that were posted from the state of Hawaii do not prove that Obama was a natural born citizen. Apparently Hawaii has a policy where it also will give birth certificates to those born abroad if they are registered in Hawaii. This means that the birth certificate may be registered in Hawaii, but does not mean the child is a natural born citizen. Continue reading and find that Obama apparently is or was a citizen of Indonesia through his step/adoptive father Lolo Soetoro and was a registered school student in Jakarta, Indonesia. According to the laws of Indonesia at that time, no foreigner could be a student in an Indonesian school. All students had to be Indonesian citizens.

There is a lot more to read in this document. These are just a couple of the highlights.

At this point in time, voters need to be aware that if they are voting for Obama, they may be voting for someone who is trying to pull a scam over the American people and get himself elected against the rules of our US Constitution. There may not be time to get all the facts of this case sorted out. There may not be time, if this is all true, to do anything at this point to stop Obama. But there is time to make a decision to uphold our Constitution. The real question here is, if all of this is true, and I am not saying that it is, do we want this kind of man in the office of President of the United States? If he is that underhanded enough to go to this extent to pull the wool over the American people's eyes, don't you think he is a person who is unsafe to be called our President?

Again, I don't know if all of this is true. I have not had the time to research this latest information. What I do believe is that Obama is not the person he is claiming to be. He is full of charm, wit, charisma, and a lot of well placed words. But I believe he is not only a liar, but a dangerous liar. He is dangerous to our country. He is playing on the needs of the American people to get votes. On the internet there are ads where he is trying to convince people to vote early. I think a major reason for that is that if he can get as many as possible of his current supporters to vote for him now, it will be too late for them to change their minds if any part of the negative truth comes out about him afterwards.

What is the big deal, Obama? If you are a natural born citizen, why are you refusing to show the proof of this? Why are you and the Democratic National Party, instead, choosing to allow this to be a court issue? Why are you choosing to try to tie things up in litigation, which is basically a stall tactic? If you are a natural born American...PROVE IT. I can prove it that I am. And I am proud to prove that I am. You are running for the highest office in the land, President of the United States. Prove you are a natural born American citizen. (By the way, the man who is the Plaintiff in this case is a member of the Democratic National Party himself, and an attorney. He is not a Republican trying to slam a Democratic candidate.)

So, okay...what if he does get elected? What happens then? What if we end up finding out that he really is not a natural born American citizen, or even a citizen at all? Does he get impeached? Or will Congress have to change the Constitution--add an amendment that now allows anyone to become president? Or will there be a coverup even bigger than Watergate was?


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do You Like Class Reunions?

I enjoy get-togethers. I even sometimes enjoy parties. Class reunions? Well they can be fun--or not. This past Saturday I attended the main part of a two-day class reunion. 35 years since I graduated high school. It was okay for awhile--at the beginning. But after the dinner and the class photo, I was pretty much finished. It could have been more fun under different circumstances maybe. The biggest issue for me was that I am not much of a mingler nor do I do well with small talk. Add to this the disability so that walking around to even attempt to mingle and fake the small talk was not possible. So while everyone else was up visiting with everyone else, I sat there by myself. They had the dinner at a location which allowed for an outdoor firepit which sounded like fun to me. It required having a lawn chair. I even had my daughter go out and buy one for me which I paid for when she got back. But it stayed in my car unused. It turned out that there was very little outside lighting and the firepit was a good enough distance from the building as to be safe but require a bit of a walk. And other than the light from the building and the fire itself, there was no outside lighting. Nope! Not doing it! Not going to risk falling and doing more damage to myself by walking out there in the dark over who knows what kind of grassy ground. No way! So, I made a mentally healthy decision to go home early. Other classmates had left even before I did, leaving the most popular classmates to stick around and party. It would have been fun, maybe, to reminisce around the fire, but it was much more appealing to me to just come home and get comfortable. Just how dark was it out there? When I started to leave the parking lot, it was so dark I had a difficult time finding the drive out of the parking lot that lead to the road. It made me even more glad that I didn't try to walk out to that firepit. I haven't fallen and sprained my ankle in almost 4 years and I sure don't want to have to deal with something like that again.
The class photo? Well, generally, being tall, I get to stand in the back row and hide almost all parts of myself except my lovely chops. This time, knowing that this could be something requiring indefinite standing, I requested to be in the front row and that the front row all have chairs. They did that for me and we had a good sitting front row with a couple brave souls on the floor in front of us. But, as nice as that was to have the chairs available, there I was in the front row...the full me (not as in the Full Monty, thank you very much). As bad as I look standing up, there I will be on that front row sitting, with all this that is me squished together looking smiley, red headed, and happy, along with my beautiful cane. I didn't even get my camera out of my purse. So many classmates were taking pictures all over the place, and I just didn't feel like I wanted to at that time. I guess I was hoping it would be different, although how different I had no clue. Now the big class photo I would like a copy of. They said it would be on the school alumni website. I am still watching for that. I am not sure how long that will take. Great! Now my mug and everything else will be pasted on the internet. My mug is out there already....shoulders okay...I am not telling anyone what school this is or where to find that picture once it appears! No way! I would lose what readers I have now. LOL

So, tell me. Do you go to your class reunions? It was my 3rd time to go to a reunion. It may have been the last one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

35 Years Already???

Where did the time go? This weekend is my high school 35 year class reunion! I am going to part of it. Our class always makes it a big weekend with at least 2 days of activities and sometimes things continue going on into the third day just so people who haven't seen each other in years can visit.
I am a little bit nervous about going this time. Being disabled has changed so many things for me. Handicapped parking, walking with a cane, needing to keep close to whereever I may need to walk to or from because my walking is limited these days. Now I need to find a lawn chair because it has been added that we might be able to have a fire pit and have some outdoor activity since the weather is going to be nice this weekend and the area where the main part of the reunion is being held is an indoor/outdoor facility with a big pond and such as that. I don't own a lawn chair. I just hope I can find one on clearance somewhere between now and Saturday.
More than that, I am really hoping that now that all of us have aged a bit (just a bit???) maybe we are all a lot more mature than we were in high school and maybe even some good friendships can emerge. That would be nice. I hope a lot of my classmates are going.
There is at least one who won't be. One of my best friends from high school died last November right after his birthday and Thanksgiving. I heard there might be a few others who have died since our last reunion. I guess we are getting into that age group now. With being disabled myself, and one of those issues being a heart issue, it does put a bit of a strain on how I feel about everything these days.
Anyway, in spite of the nervousness about it all, I am looking forward to seeing everyone and finding out what has been happening in everyone else's lives. Maybe I will have some more to say about that later after the reunion.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Getting A Bit Controversial Today

I am getting a bit on the controversial here today. I am a member at MyLot and I keep what I see there filtered. Someone posted a discussion about abortion there and how she is ashamed that Republican presidential candidates are trying to take the right to choose away from women...and that this should be every woman's right in a country founded on religious freedom. I tried to post my response and it was not was classified as too mature for my filters. I did not want to change my filters so I am trying to post it here. Hopefully it will go through here....if not...oh well, I may have to put it on my personal website to make it work. I believe in what I wrote and I do not feel it is dirty or filthy or obscene. So, here goes....

"To continue to give the so called "right to choose" to women who want an abortion, to me is no different than it would be to give anyone "the right to choose" to take a gun or knife and murder another human being. Giving women the "right to choose" what happens to her own body should happen prior to having intimate relationships. Then there is no problem with whether or not she has the right to choose to murder an unborn child. In all the spin about this right women should have over their own bodies, they have degraded humanity by declaring that this unborn child is not human and is not a child and has no rights to life and has no say of it's own. However, the child IS a child. The unborn baby IS a baby even if it has not fully developed into its final form it would take at birth. People have been so deceived by the agenda of those who want to continue to keep abortion legal that they have come to believe the "big lie" that unborn babies are not really human until birth. It is no different than the "big lie" that Hitler proclaimed to get people to believe that there was a perfect race and anyone not totally white, blue-eyed, etc, was not part of that perfect race, and he was able to cause so much death and destruction during the period of the Holocaust. It is a shame that women who don't seem to care or respect their own bodies prior to having intimate relationships suddenly think they have the right to kill that living child inside them just because they don't want the responsibility of taking care of that child, or it might give them stretch marks, and other physical issues they don't want to deal with,or their boyfriend or husband doesn't want the child. Abortion is a totally selfish ideal that has been made to seem like it is an everyday right for any woman. There are of course some other issues that make abortion more difficult to decide on, such as in the case of rape, or in the case of the health of the mother. But other than that, I can think of no reason to even debate the issue. Plain and simple, life begins at conception. One single celled amoeba is alive. One single celled protozoa is alive. But the deception that allows for abortion to be legal claims that the two living cells that come together to create a new human being is not alive until it is fully formed and born is just crazy to try to believe. It is funny how the double standard exists in this issue. Those two cells are totally alive in the test tube when doctors and scientists are trying to create life outside the womb, or when trying to help infertile couples have children of their own.Then, let's talk about the aftermath. Women everywhere who have had abortions end up living with such guilt because deep down inside they know what they did was kill their child. They are never told they are going to feel that way before they have the abortion. Then they suffer afterwards, sometimes to the point of suicide. Those who have struggled through the aftermath and gone on into ministering to others who are going through it can tell you all about it. Women who choose to keep their babies and have miscarriages know that their child has died. Women who choose to keep their babies and have been attacked and the baby dies know their baby has died. And the person who attacked them goes to prison for murder. Isn't that a hoot? Someone can kill this unborn child if it is an attack against a mother who wants the child. But if the child is aborted by a mother who doesn't want is not killed because it was never alive. Come's about time we get it together and call it what it really is alive. The word fetus does not mean blob of matter. It is Latin for Infant. And Infant is a child, a baby, alive. Double standards. The unborn child is alive when it is wanted, but not alive when it isn't wanted. Afterall, you cannot kill something that isn't alive in the first place. Double standards.What we need to be ashamed of is that we have killed more babies in this country than all the deaths Hitler caused in the holocaust. What we need to be ashamed of is that we have lead women to believe that they don't have to have respect for their own bodies and their own lives so that they choose wisely before having relations and that they don't become pregnant in the first place. Women are not being treated any better because they have the right to choose. They are still being treated like animals...even more so because it is more often the men who don't want to be saddled with the responsibility of a child who will force the women into having the abortion...the right to choose becomes the choice between whether to keep the man or keep the child. We have so much to be ashamed of....but not because we want to take back the child's right to get to survive. We have become a nation of murderers. And no matter what your religious beliefs, God still exists. You cannot believe Him away. And He is the ultimate Judge. I hear people talking all the time about how we cannot legislate morality. And there is this horrible movement to take the Ten Commandments out of our courthouses. Thou shall not kill. Okay, take the Ten Commandments out. Does that mean that we can no longer go by the laws we have that are based on those commandments? Shall we no longer be able to prosecute murderers because that would be legislating morality? I am sorry, but in this case you cannot have your cake and eat it too. It can't be both ways. "

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If You Don't Know What To Do or Say...

My daughter's blog from her MySpace Profile...

To My Friend

I have lost the one I love, the one I cherish. My lover, my best friend, my whole life.Either you have stumbled across this because you want to find out how to help me, or I have given this to you.

How I am Feeling
• I am numb. I am in shock. I am emotionally exhausted.
• I am in pain. A horrible, gut-wrenching, intense, unimaginable, and indescribable pain.
• My mind is totally occupied with processing my loss. I am trying to understand what has happened. I am attempting to make sense of it all. I am trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.
• I can't sleep. I want to sleep all day. I am physically exhausted.
• I can't eat. I can't stop eating.
• I can't be bothered cooking. I can't be bothered cleaning. I don't want to go shopping.
• Everything is overwhelming. Small tasks are overwhelming. Small details are overwhelming. I just don't want to know about it right now.
• Nothing sticks in my mind. I walk out the door without my keys. I forget what I was going to do. I forget everything except that my love has gone.
• I am going through tidal waves of emotion. One minute I might be laughing, the next I may be in tears.
• Sometimes I want to talk. Sometimes I need to be alone. Sometimes I need silent company. Sometimes I need all of these things in the space of 5 minutes.
• Some days I just want to curl up in bed and do nothing. Some days I will keep myself totally occupied in an attempt to escape.
• Sometimes I will be intense. Sometimes I will be irrational. Sometimes I will be snappy, and often I will be totally lost in myself.
• Often I may not have a clue as to what I want, but it only takes a moment for me to realize what I don't want.
• I am hypersensitive and will often be offended by things you say to try and make me feel better.
• I want to wail. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to just sit.
• I have no choice how I react. This is coming from deep inside me and intelligence and self control have no effect. It comes from the basal self.
• Sometimes it so hard for me to respond to phone calls or letters or emails, but I truly appreciate that you are doing it, so please don't stop just because I don't respond.
• I still want to laugh. I need to laugh. I may suddenly go quiet mid-laugh, when hit by a sudden reminder, but I desperately need to continue to laugh.

Emotional Things You Can Do
• Let me talk about him. I want to talk about our love. I want to tell you how we met, our last days, and everything in between. I want to show you his picture, tell you how wonderful he was.
• Let me cry. Your acceptance that I need to cry and your permission to allow me to is one of the best gifts you can give me. Hand me a tissue, and do your best to sit quietly and let me cry.
• Once you have allowed me to open up or cry, please don't change the subject or try to stop me. I know you feel uncomfortable that I am in pain. Don't. Changing the subject, trying to stop me crying just makes me hold everything inside, and eats away at me.
• Tell me all your stories of when my love was sweet, courageous, rotten or funny. I need to hear everything about him. If you don't know many, find out some from those who are too scared to approach me now.
• Let me try to tell you what is going on inside me. I won't succeed, but I need to try. You don't have to do anything. Just allowing me to do it, and allowing me to feel what I need to feel means so much.
• It is really hard for me to tell other people about my loss. I'm working full time to deal with my emotions. Trying to deal with someone else's reaction or discomfort is the last thing I need, so if someone needs to know it would be good if you could explain it to them.

What Not To Do
• Don't tell me you understand how I feel, or that you can imagine the pain I am going through, unless you have lost the love of your life. Trust me, you can't. If I can't, and I am going through it, trust me, you can't – your mind will just not let you voluntarily imagine this much pain.
• Don't try to compare my loss to the loss of a parent, or a friend, or an acquaintance or pet, it's not the same. I understand that all of these things are painful, but it is not the same.
• Don't ask how I'm doing unless you really want to know. I am assuming that as you know, and as you have asked, you truly want to know.
• Don't try to save me from my feelings or make me feel better. I know you can't bear to see me in so much pain, but I need to go through all of these feelings whether I want to or not.
• Once you have "given me permission" to talk or cry, please don't try and distract me with small talk. I know it makes you feel better if I appear happy, but my pain is ever-present and it makes me feel like you don't care.
• Don't tell me everything will be okay.
• Don't tell me "he's always with you".
• Don't tell me "he's looking down on you from heaven".
• Don't tell me "you're lucky that you had such love, some people don't".
• Don't tell me "he's in a better place".
• Don't however be surprised however if I say these things…
• Don't ever tell me "you must be strong". If ever there's a time I should be permitted to be weak, this is it. What's more, if I only "need to talk" to you once every few weeks, chances are I have been strong and right now I really need you to understand that I am exhausted and need help.
• Whatever you do don't tell me "If I were you I'd…." Until you are in the same situation, you have absolutely no idea what you will do. Your logical brain has absolutely no control.
• Never try telling me "life goes on", or "he wouldn't want you to cry", or "God will never give you more than you can handle" or any other meaningless platitudes.
• Don't try to solve my "problem". Unless you can bring him back, it can't be "solved".
• Don't feel the need to fill in silences. I know the silences are hard for you, but if you can accept them, you are helping me immensely.
• Please don't try and help me find "closure", or tell me I need to find "closure". Closure is an obscene word for me right now, as is "moving .. on".

Practical Things You Can Do
I understand that a lot of you find it hard to cope with my emotional pain. Hate to see me hurting so. If you can't help me emotionally, you can help me practically.
• Don't ask me what you can do to help. I have no idea, I am overwhelmed.
• Bring me some meals that I can just put in the microwave.
• Find out what sort of bread, milk, toilet paper, etc I use and bring me them to me. I have no idea I need them until I run out, so don't bother asking me if I need anything.
• If you are an organized person offer to manage my bills. Collect the bills as they come in and let me know when they need to be paid, and make sure I do. Time has no meaning for me right now. It's only when the cut-off notices come that I realize I need to do something.
• Get copies of photos I don't have from family and friends and put them in an album for me. It will be one of the most precious gifts you could give me.

Practical Things I Need To Do
• I need to surround myself with beauty.
• Sit in the sun and just soak it up.
• Enjoy nature. Look at the majesty of mountains, and enjoy the miracle of a blade of grass.
• Cry when I need to. Tears are a release.
• Not make any big decisions for a while. A big enough life change has already taken place.

RememberGrief is an emotional injury that requires time to heal. Not a week, not a month, not even a year, it takes as long as it takes. It is similar to major physical injury. You may not be able to see the wounds on the inside, but they are there.Real-life is nothing like TV.I will not "get over it" - I will learn to live with my loss and incorporate the lessons into my life.I will get better over time, but I will never forget him. The pain ebbs and flows, but never goes completely.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why Is It.....? Another Life In The Call Center Entry

Why is it that people will talk on the phone in the bathroom and flush their toilets while they are on the phone? Do they think that the person on the other end cannot hear the toilet flushing or do they just not care? I get so many calls throughout my shift in the call center where people will be flushing the toilet at the same time as they are saying hello and starting to tell me what they called about. Sure, everybody does it...uses the toilet that is. But have good manners eluded us with the use of cell phones and cordless phones? Are we that insensitive to what people are able to hear on the other end of the line?
Personally, I don't want to hear these kinds of sounds when I am talking to someone on the phone. Why would anyone want to? It is almost like being invited into the privacy of someone else's bathroom while it is in use...not even someone in your own household...but someone who is a perfect stranger! But I am on the receiving end of this phone call and have to put up with whatever is going on on the other end. Thankfully I haven't heard anything more personal than the flushing of the toilet.

There are other sounds that can be distracting when you are on the phone. One of those is the running of water into the sink. Busy women who are washing dishes maybe, and making the phone call at the same time, so they are "multitasking". Others may be cooking something and the sizzle of the food in the pans seems amplified when heard over the phone.

What kinds of sounds do you hate hearing on the other end of the phone line?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Got Moved, But Still Working On It!

Hey folks, I finally found an apartment that pretty much meets my needs for more healthy living. It has a/c. It has laundry facilities. It is comfy and cozy and has windows that actually work and will keep out the cold in the winter as well as allow the fresh air breezes in during the cooler fall days ahead. I have a lot of work ahead of me. In some ways the apartment is smaller than what I had before and in other ways it is larger. Strange paradox, huh? Well, in the process, the smaller features forced me to get rid of my couch (or sofa if you must)...and my only other overstuffed chair I had is going in the little makeshift toyroom for my grandkids after I remove the legs from it. It was long overdue for having the legs removed. The grandkids love the chair so I have to keep it for them. So now I need new living room furniture. I am looking for a nice loveseat and a couple nice chairs to match. I still have my huge recliner that I love and my contraption with my computer attached. Sorry friends and family...if you visit me now, you must either sit on the dining chairs, or on the floor or stand up...those are the only options I have for you right now.
I don't have a real dining area. I only have a kitchenette with a small breakfast bar. That was the biggest thing I gave up to move here and gain the a/c and laundry and windows. My dining table which is big and my drop leaf craft table are both in my large bedroom. I have enough room there to make a craft area where both tables will be used. The large dining table will multitask for cooking purposes, jigsaw puzzles, and cutting out fabric for when I make my clothes. The other table will be for the actual sewing machine and such as that. I need shelves to put all my stuff on. I have been carrying around boxes for the last 9 years because I haven't had the propper shelf space to put the items. It is time I get rid of the boxes and get the shelves.
My daughter did almost all of the moving by herself. She got a couple friends to help with the big furniture, but the rest she did alone. I took care of Grandson during all that time.
After a month free of any a-fib episodes, I have had 2 of the "normal" style episodes...and a couple short short episodes during this moving process. It is such a pain! I still have a lot of work to do such as moving things from one room to the other so that when I do get the shelves, everything will be in the right rooms to put them away. And one leg on my big dining table cracked into two...split actually, so I have to glue it back together so it will hold the weight of the table. That is in my plans for tomorrow after I get off work...that along with doing some of the cooking I haven't been able to enjoy at the other place because it was just too hot to use the stove.
Oh yeh...and the microwave is in my bedroom! How funky is that? Anyone needs to microwave anything just has to go in there and have a seat on my bed while the microwave cooks. Good thing I am a friendly sort, huh?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Life In The Call Center--Calling to Check Application

Okay, so you have applied to this company or that company for employment. We are all told that we should keep calling to check on our application so that they know we are interested in the job. So, you call. But do you think about what you are doing when you call and that your call is making an impression on the people you talk to when you call?

At the call center I get calls all through my shift from people calling for just this reason. They have put in their application, want to call to check on the progress, or return a call about an interview, or for some other pre-employment reason. What do I hear on the other end of the call? TV's blaring. Children screaming. People talking and chattering. Dogs barking, and just about anything else you can think of that could be going on in the background--in the same room where the caller is. I have even had people scream in my ear--remembering I wear a headset so it is even louder and I can't move it away fast enough--as they scream at their children to be quiet, or at their spouse or some other family member or friend for whatever reason. And they are calling to check about possibly getting a job.

I tell you, if I were the one doing the hiring, I would toss their applications in the trash. I would want employees who know how to behave in a professional manner. In one class I took in preparation for employment (not at my employers'), we were taught that everything we do is part of that initial first impression and interview. How we present ourselves on the telephone is just as important as how we present ourselves when we show up for an interview. So, why would we even try to call to check about the application and hopefully talk to a hiring manager when we are not in a quiet location free from distraction and noise? Why would we make this call without thinking about what that oh so important person on the other end of the call can hear when he or she picks up the phone?

Another type of applicant caller I would not be interested in hiring is the one who calls to check about the time for their interview. They have already had that appointment set up when they were called for the interview, yet they forgot what time it was scheduled for. For me, that would be a huge strike against this potential employee because I want an employee who can keep track of a full schedule that may cover anywhere from 2 weeks to a month at a time. If they cannot keep track of one simple interview appointment, what makes me think they can keep track of their work schedule. Especially if the company has people starting at all kinds of times and shifts.

Along with this type of caller is the one who can't make it on time to the interview and calls to let the person who is interviewing them know. Oftentimes they don't even know the name of the person doing the interview so they don't know who they are even asking for when they call. Other times, they aren't just going to be late, but can't make it at all and will need to reschedule. I am aware that things do come up. I would not toss this one out completely if something legitimate came up. But it is a strike against them before the interview even starts. If they are already having difficulties to make it to a half hour or hour interview, what will be their problems when it comes time to get to their full shift on time?

Basically, what I am saying here is that if you are applying for a job, think before you make that important phone call. You don't know who is going to answer the phone. It could be the person who will be interviewing you. Or it could be someone who works close enough to the person interviewing you that they will be asked questions about how you handled yourself on the phone. Make your calls in a quiet location free of noise and distraction. Make your calls with as much previous information as possible. Try to have information about who you need to talk to. Practice what you want to say, both to the initial person who answers the phone, and to the one who will be interviewing you and hiring you. Be as prepared for this phone call as you would be for the actual interview. It all counts.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Life In The Call Center...Listening

Today, I got a new name by someone not listening to me when I said my name was Cindy. This time it was Sissy. Occassionally, we get calls from law enforcement personnel who call and ask for a specific department. This caller sounded like one of those callers although he did not identify himself as such. It struck me as funny, though, if he was in law enforcement. I mean, if he isn't a good listener on the telephone when calling someone, is he a good listener out in the middle of an investigation? At least he is in good company of those others who don't really listen when I tell them my name. Today I was also called Susie. It just makes me chuckle.

Another kind of conversation opener that tickles me, but also is a bit frustrating, is when callers say "How are you?" but then don't wait for you to answer. I have noticed this in regular life as well, but not as often as in the call center job. Most people will pause and wait for you to respond when they ask you how you are. But there are some who apparently think this phrase is just a greeting and isn't a question to be responded to. Do they think they are being more polite when they ask the question? Personally I don't think it is polite to ask and not wait for a response. In this case, it would be more polite not to ask in the first place because it is obvious you don't want to know the answer. Of course, most people are going to say "Fine", but why ask and not wait for the answer?

Both of the above incidents are just reminders of how rushed people are these days. People just don't think they have time for the niceties of having good paying attention to the person you are talking to (or in this case listening to). And it is a bit sad that people sometimes think they are expressing good manners by asking the proper questions even though they have gotten into the hurried habit of asking and not waiting for the answers before continuing with their conversation.

It is so nice that the calls are balanced out on the other side of the coin with callers who do take the time to use good manners, listen to the person on the other end of the call, get the names right, and wait for answers to whatever questions they ask. What does it actually take? A couple extra seconds of time?

I just thought of another listening issue that I think is rather rude. That is when callers ask a question about a specific topic and don't listen to the answer that is given, but instead jump in and ask to be transferred to the department that deals with that topic...even to the point of interrupting in the middle of a sentence. What was the point of asking the initial question?

I must say that this job has made me more aware of how I hold up my end of the conversation when I call a business. What kind of caller are you?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catching Up

So far this summer has not been much fun. Of course the main reason is the death of my son-in-law. In addition to that, it has been very difficult for me to deal with the summertime heat. Once the sun gets up to the 11:00 a.m. point and on into the deep afternoon and early evening shadows, my home heats up like a virtual oven. I have no air conditioning and my home is a mobile home. I have been seriously trying since March or so to find another place to move to that not only has air conditioning, preferably central air, and also laundry facilities, as well as some other details that help out when one is disabled. This whole issue of being disabled is still rather new and therefore, learning how to overcome the problems I have getting things done is still often difficult for me. It is also very humbling. When you have to hire someone to come and clean your home for you and they have to do things you would rather be doing yourself, but for whatever reason, you can't, it just chisels away at any pride you may have left. The summer heat makes doing things for myself that much more difficult.
Currently I am waiting to hear from an apartment complex about whether or not they will accept me as one of their tenants. I am really hoping I hear soon and can get moved in even sooner. LOL I am so hot I don't make sense.
Work in the call center has continued after a brief 3 week leave of absence. I don't like it anymore than I did before I took the loa, but it pays the bills and I need every penny of it. So this week I have challenged myself to become willing to learn to like my job. At first I thought I might have to be made willing to be willing, but I know I need to do this, so that part of the struggle isn't so bad. For now I am mentally listing the things I do like about the job and I am sure that in reality, there are more things that I like than I dislike. The hardest part, especially in this heat, is wearing the headset. I feel like I am wearing ear muffs! Ear muffs in 90 degree temperatures just doesn't make any sense. They are small so don't cover my ears completely, but they are big enough to be a bother. I also don't like wearing the headset because I never did like anything on my head or face. It is bad enough to have to wear glasses. Makes me feel like I am in a glass box. The headset just adds to that feeling. Hard to explain unless you also know the feeling. I feel like I am being pushed down into...well, just can't figure out how to describe the sensation.
As you may know by reading my other blogs, my name is Cindy. I use that name at the call center and for some reason, men especially, don't seem to be able to understand me when I give my name. I am making a list of the names I get called instead of Cindy. It is getting more funny all the time. Here is the list so far: Tiffany, Trinity, Cynthia (which is my real name, but not what I use at the call center), and most recently, Stoney. That was just this week, yesterday I think. Why is it the men who can't get the name right? I am not even going to try to answer that one. I like the elderly ladies who tend to call me Honey, Sweetie, Sweetheart. Makes me feel young again.
Speaking of names, it still makes me wonder what the callers are thinking when they call up a large business and ask for someone by their first name only. For example: "Can I speak with Bob?" Well, gee! Just how common is the name Bob? Or Robert? Or Mary or John? Why do people seem to think they can get transferred to this person on this information alone? But the funniest of all, and also most irritating is when they call and ask for the person by both first and last name, and I ask for the department or extension number, and they repeat the name again. When I mention that I don't have a list of names, but need more information, what do they do? They repeat the first and last name again. Are they not listening or what? I just told them I cannot transfer them by the name alone and that I need either a department or extension number. And they answer me with the name again. I always recognize these calls as probable bill collectors or other calls not related to the business they have called. We are not allowed to transfer them unless they have the information we request. It is just a bit funny how they respond. Oh, and they don't hang up when they are finally convinced we cannot transfer them. We close the conversation, and say have a good day or whatever we use to end the call, and they say thank you, etc....and they just hang there. We end up having to be the one to disconnect the call. Almost everyone of these kinds of calls go that way. So predictable.
Another one is when they will ask after they only offer a name, if we have a human resources department that can help them find this person. Well, since we are not allowed to transfer them anyway because of the type of call it is and not business related, and since we do not have an actual human resources department per se, they just don't give up. Well, do you have a personnel department? LOL Oh my! Now isn't that just repeating the previous question with different wording? Do they think we are stupid?
If you are listed in your phone book, how many calls do you get where they ask for a person who does not live at your location? If it isn't a recording with the name patched in, do you talk to the person or just hang up? These calls are the ones you can recognize as being from bill collectors. They are so formal and professional sounding. That's the same kinds of calls we get. Lots of times it is because the employee put the work number down on some application or such so now it becomes a point of contact and these guys just don't quit when trying to talk to the person they are looking for. They are doing their job. And we are doing ours. Stalemate! But, if any of you has that kind of job, once you know you won't get transferred to that person you are looking for, please just hang up when the call ends. Thanks! (HINT: If you are someone making a call such as this and you are not a bill collector and really need to get in contact with the person at the business, whatever the business, give a little information as to what the call is about. It really can help the operator locate the person for you and get you transferred.)

There haven't been any new photos to add to the photography blog since the fireworks. I am trying to figure out how to make one single video out of all the videos I took there without using And I am also trying to figure out if there is a way to download all my videos from photobucket to my computer since photobucket has converted them into a different file format. Also, I am fast running out of space at photobucket and don't want to remove videos from the site so I can add more. I am open to suggestions if any of you have any.

A new grandson is expected the end of September. With all the granddaughters on that branch of the family tree, it will be nice to have another grandson. I know his older brother is looking forward to having a little brother to play with. That is Son's family. He has two daughters, one son, and two step daughters. It is kind of a mixture of The Brady Bunch and the old movie Yours Mine and Ours. He seems to enjoy being a daddy though. He is much a big kid himself and likes playing with all the kids. They all listen to him most of the time when he needs them to behave. Now, the rest of us??? That's another story. But they are learning. The oldest is just 7.

Daughter and grandson are doing the best they can at this point in their lives. This isn't an easy time for them, but Daughter is keeping active and keeping things done that need done. She is doing a good job. I know it isn't easy for her and it makes me so sad to think of all she is going through right now. I just wish I could do more for her.

Well, I guess that is about all there is to catching you all up to where I am right now. It is so nice and cool in here right now I could keep on writing, but it is getting late and I still have other things to do before I get to bed. I wish I could bottle this and keep it for the heat of the day tomorrow. Housecleaning day tomorrow after work. That will help. I think I may have some early organizing and packing starting in the hopes that I will actually be moving out of here soon.

The World of Wordle

You just have to go to this website and give this a try. It's fun. I found the site from visiting another blog, then entered the URL of this blog and the following is the Wordle that was created from that reference. Isn't it cool? I love how the words fun and family just burst off the page amidst the rest of the words. It generated quickly even though much of this blog is made up of videos and photos. You can visit the wordle website at this link:

The blog I found this site from had an actual picture of their wordle creation. Mine just shows the link. But if you click on that link it will take you to the wordle creation made from this blog. Later, if I figure out how to do it, I will put the actual picture on here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Few Funny Ones And A Little Encouragement...

Be sure when the videos displayed are finished playing, to click on other videos at the bottom of the screens because there are more funny ones there. Just know that if YouTube snuck any in that shouldn't be there on a family-friendly wasn't from me.

Hey, this guy is really funny and it is so refreshing to find good comedy without the need for the not-so-good language so many comedians think they need to use to be funny. Real funny stuff doesn't need those kinds of words. These videos prove it! Have fun.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Time For Some Fun

I have been playing around on YouTube this afternoon and evening. Nothing special, just more classic oldies. That is, until I came across this one. That is when I decided it was time for some fun on this blog again. So here goes.....

Of course it is much more fun to find these videos by accident. Then it is a fun surprise. But below are some I looked for to add to the summertime fun.

And now.....for your comparison and pleasure....

Well??? Which one is your favorite version???

No summer party would be complete without these now would they???

Well, I hope you had fun at my little impromptu summer party. That's all for tonight...that is...unless I come across something else I might just have to add.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back at the Keyboard

Getting back on here to blog has been a bit difficult. I don't seem to know what to blog about right now. So please, just be patient as I get back in the swing of things. June was not such a nice month for our family as you know by now. In addition to my son-in-law's death, another death in the family occurred as my nephew's mom died of cancer less than 2 weeks later. We have all been out of touch with that part of the family for so long, and it is a sad thing when tragedies are the catalyst of bringing people back together. But hopefully from here on out, we won't be so out of contact with each other anymore.

My entire family seems to be in the midst of dramatic changes, some kind of planned, and others so unexpected, but now forced upon us. Everything from possible marriage, divorce, custody issues, business changes, changes in living arrangements and locations, to new births coming up and deaths unwanted, it all seems to be happening during this summer period and into early fall. We have had birthday after birthday for the or two a month since April. That has been fun, and exciting for the kids especially. Another one this weekend, {along with mine ;-)} . Then a friend's son's birthday party is coming up the following weekend.

There is one puppy left of the 8 that lived. Daughter is going to give it to Angels For Animals if no one comes to claim it this weekend. She won't give it to just anyone--wants to be sure it goes to someone who is going to keep it and take good care of it. All the other puppies went to friends of theirs. The momma dog belongs to Daughter and was Son-in-law's dog as well. The pappa dog belonged to their best friend who died last fall. So these puppies are very special to all their friends who like being able to say that they got their puppy from dogs owned by the two best friends who died so close in time. As for friend support, I have never in my life seen such a wonderful support network of friends as I have seen rallying around my daughter and grandson. It has been wonderful. Her church was also very very supportive and helpful over the past few weeks. My church, on the other hand, bordered on neglectful even though my daughter attended there with me for awhile. This has been a decisive event in my church life as I had already been seriously thinking of changing churches due to the total lack of it being a support network for me during the worst of my illness over the past two years.

Well, with that, I end this post today. I'm back, but it may be slow going for awhile. I have a lot to get caught up on.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Please Pray For Daughter

My son-in-law was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident this Saturday--the very first day he had ever rode this motorcycle he had just bought. I will be away from the computer for awhile except for very short visits to check up on things. There will be no new posts here for awhile. Please keep my daughter and all of her husband's family, as well as my family, in much prayer. Thanks

Friday, June 6, 2008

Time For the Next Baby Step To Health

For the past couple of weeks I have been mentally reviewing my changes in eating habits over the past two years since I got sick. As I review I also realize that there are more changes that have to be made. I am thinking about what those next changes should be. Here is what I have done so far.
I am a salt-aholic and a few years ago I realized that I don't like salt with my food as much as I like the taste of food with the salt. Does that make sense? I mean, for the best explanation I have for this, I enjoy the way the salt makes the foods taste. I am not talking about having bunches and bunches of salt added to food. It is just that of all seasonings that there are in this world, it is salt that I like the best. Well, when I got sick, after a few months, my feet and legs began to swell so I cut back on salt. Then I got put on diuretics and I cut back salt even more. This was not something the doctors told me to do. In fact, they never even mentioned it. Curious about that I researched the diuretics and found that cutting salt intake was not necessary with these particular medications. The medications helped some, but not as much as I would have liked. At this point in time, after almost two years of gradually lowering my salt intake, I am happy to say I have not used a salt shaker in a long, long time. I very rarely add any salt to my food and when I cook, I use a lot less than I used to. Indian foods are the hardest for me to stop adding salt once the food is on my plate, but I am working on that. Salt does do a good job of inhancing other flavors. I don't have salty snacks in my home anymore, well, maybe once or twice a year I have bought some salty snacks and brought them home. When I want them I have bought them and taken them to Daughter's house, eaten some, and left the rest there. It works much better that way. The only thing I have in the house for snacks right now is a bag of corn tortillas that I will one of these days cut up and make my own tortilla chips...without added salt. I did that about a month ago and they turned out quite good. Sometimes I have popcorn, but I don't like the microwave popcorn and I would rather make it myself on the stove. I do salt that but only when it is cooking and not afterwards. I think I probably use about half what I used to and I haven't had even popcorn for at least three months! That in itself is a breakthrough because I used to make it almost every night. That habit changed a little over two years ago when I didn't have the access to make it that often. I was buying microwave popcorn here for awhile, but got tired of it because I just don't like it as well as stove popped.
Years ago I cut way back on drinking my favorite Pepsi (or in my case--caffeine free Pepsi). At first I switched to orange juice, and water, then gradually just cut out the orange juice as well. During the time I cut out the orange juice I found out that because I ate a lot of oranges and drank a lot of orange juice, I was keeping another problem in check. That was that my fingers would split after I stopped the oranges and juice. When I would drink the juice, they would heal and not split. Gradually I figured out that I could drink juice once or twice a week and keep it under control. Someone suggested it was actually the folic acid in the juice and oranges that was helping, so I started taking folic acid instead of drinking the juice or eating the oranges. Yes I still buy oranges once in awhile because I do love them. But I don't have them all the time like I used to. Actually it ends up being just around Christmas that I have them. I take the folic acid once or twice a week and don't have anymore problems with the fingers splitting. If I forget to take it, my fingers soon remind me. So, there I cut out a lot of sugar, both the refined and the natural, but still sugar. All I drink now for the most part is water with an occassional powerade maybe once every other week, and home-sweetened koolaid with sweet n low about twice a month. About once a month I might have some caffeine free Pepsi or Sierra Mist. Other than that, I just drink water.
About two months ago, Daughter and I had a discussion about trying to figure out what was causing me to have a lot of bloating and making me feel bad. So with her suggestions, I cut out milk and yeast breads for awhile, then gradually introduced them back. It apparently wasn't either one, but at the same time, I decided to cut back on the dairy and yeast products. So I have been using milk only in cooking. Many times I use non-dairy coffee creamer as a milk replacement for cooking and have done so for years. I can't tell the difference and think the creamer makes whatever I am making creamier anyway. However I don't use cremora because of the flavoring. I just use generic unflavored creamers. Occassionally, about once or twice a year I get a craving for cereal so I will buy that and use milk in that. Don't get me started about soy milk. I tried that stuff and it is horrible! I don't know how anyone can say otherwise. Well, to each his own...
Over the past few months I have been cutting out red meats and for the past two months I have been almost 100% red meat free. I have been trying substituting turkey where possible and had turkey brats this past week. I fried them on the stove, but they were really good and if I didn't know they were turkey I would not have known the difference. On the grill they would be fabulous, and they would not need the pre-cooking if not cooked too quickly. My next goal is to try ground turkey when I make spaghetti. It's too hot to cook right now so I hope next week I will get to do that. My freezer is filled with chicken and fish and some turkey meats. Daughter and I experimented with ground turkey while cooking some Indian foods and the results are in a previous post here. We really could not tell that we used ground turkey rather than ground beef. Now, if you are wanting a plain ole hamburger or cheeseburger sandwich, you might want the real thing. I know for now I do. Thankfully I don't want them much. Even with cookouts I would rather have the hotdogs or brats, and I can have them turkey.
The very best thing I have done so far has just been in the past two to three months and that was that I have cut out all fast food--meaning things like burgers, french fries, and things like that. The last fast food I had was KFC last week when Daughter and I had a quick picnic in the park after shopping. Before that it has been at least two months and it was taco bell which isn't as bad as the other grease filled processed crap. I don't even crave it anymore. I thought giving up McDonald's french fries would be really hard, but it wasn't. Pizza is the next thing that is on its way out of my diet. At least I am not going to have it as often as I was. For awhile, when I was sickest and didn't feel up to cooking, pizza was my main foods. Around here the only thing we can get delivered is pizza or food from one Chinese restaurant. This area is really bad about having delivery foods available. When you are sick and live alone, you get your meals however you can do it. Mine mostly came from the local pizza places. I am so sick and tired of pizza. I think that is why the fast food is out too. When I would go out, just to get something other than pizza I would eat the fast food. I am so glad to not even want that stuff anymore. It sure didn't help my weight while I have been stuck in such an inactive state.
Let me there anything else I have already changed that I haven't mentioned? Yes I have increased my physical activity now that I feel better. I have a LONG way to go in that department though. I have my Richard Simmons DVD of sit down aerobics. I haven't worked out with that other than one time so far. But I still do chair exercises on my own daily for my legs. Also, since I am feeling better I am up and around more and going out more, so I am walking more.
Tonight's blog got rudely interrupted by a tornado warning and I had to leave my mobile home to go to my friend's house where she has a basement. Then when the storm was over, we drove around and looked at the sky, took some pictures I hope turn out well thru the car window glass and flash, and looked at downed trees and limbs. I ended up driving thru what was the worst of the storm. The weather radar showed nothing in our area and suddenly there was the warning so off I went. I am glad we didn't get any real damage least it looks like we didn't. If the pictures came out good, you will find them on my photography blog soon. That is enough for tonight! What an end to a hot day...and to be still hotter over the weekend...mid 90's. Whew!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Squidoo Lenses

I have been working on my Squidoo lenses the past few days and have also created a brand new lens while I was helping a friend start a lens of her own. It has kept me a bit too busy to do any blogging. Now that the lenses have all been updated, it is time to come back to the blogs.

Just as a are the URL's for all my Squidoo lenses, in case you want to take a peek and see what has been done there.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

~~Another New Blog Has Been Born Today~~

Blogitis. Is it a disease? Do I have it?
Well, no matter. There is another new blog in the making. This one is quite different from the others as you will see. Go take a peek and let me know what you think. is the link. This one is something I have been wanting to try for a long time. Although I hadn't thought of doing it in a blog until recently. It's an experiment. I expect feedback, so don't be afraid to give it. I could do this privately on my computer and hide it all on a cd. So give me your opinions. And if you want to have a challenge, follow my lead and use the writing prompt I am using to be creative on your own end. Maybe even create your own blog to do your creative writing.

Indoor Gardening

Just a few pictures of my new indoor garden. I am not sure anymore of the names of some of the plants and the pictures are a bit blurred. I am going to try to get these descriptions connected with the right pictures.

I am not sure what this green/yellow one below is called.
These purple/green ones are two types of coleus I think.

I don't know what these two rounded green/cream plants are below.
The smaller one is over a year old and I had kept it in it's original pot from the store. Are both plants the same kind? I don't know.

This one I just call a twisty ivy. I am not sure of it's correct name.

These are three geranium plants I got...two the same and one different.

Begonias are some of my favorite houseplants...I think because there are so many varieties. I got two different with dark greenish red leaves and this one with the light green leaves. There are six little plants in this pot as well as the other pot of begonias coming up later.

This in the blue pot is part of the big ivy I think of as grapevine or English ivy. I couldn't get all of this ivy into the picture the way I wanted to. I have not generally been good with ivy. We will see how well all these ivy plants I got progress.

Here are the little geranium cuttings in water in a peanut butter jar. These cuttings are all that is left from the big geranium Daughter gave me for Mother's Day two years ago. I am actually amazed any of it survived while I was sick because I pretty much neglected it. I did have other cuttings, but after several months, they finally dried up from not getting watered the way they should have been.

I am not sure what this last ivy is. I call it flat leaf ivy for now until I find out what it is. As you can tell I have some research to do online on these plants.

Here is the dark leaf begonia.

Finally, the big asparagus fern. This pot has two ferns planted in it. The camera picked up more yellow tones than you can actually see when looking at the plant. This one is the one I would expect to show the most transplant shock. But I don't expect any serious damage. This is the biggest pot I planted the other day and this one is sitting on the floor hiding wires from the grandkids. There are still other wires they could get at, but generally they don't bother with them.
Oh, and the a-fib didn't last long, thankfully. I felt better once I checked back on my calendar and found out that the last episode was almost four weeks ago.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Darn! A-fib again! This is so NOT FUN!!!

Memorial Day Weekend

Along with my regular weekend off, I also had today off. I had a really good weekend with the activities I planned. I didn't get them all accomplished, but I got a lot more done than I had been doing. Needless to say, tonight I am whipped! After you see the pictures coming up, you will know why.
Saturday, Son's girlfriend and I went garage saling together. All in all we spent close to four hours together with just one of the five kids with us. The baby was really good and seemed to enjoy being out in the car for the ride as the entire trip she didn't even make a fuss other than once after she had a nap she woke up wanting her bottle. I was really wondering how I was going to handle going to garage sales since I have such a problem with walking and standing for any length of time or distance. I wanted to check out just a few things for myself but mainly I wanted to look for things for the grandkids. Well, having Son's girlfriend along really helped out. She did all the looking around and I stayed in the car enjoying the weather. It wasn't hot out and the sun was shining so it was really nice out. It would be nice if all year long had days like that day was. She was able to find things that the kids could actually use and I paid for part of her finds so it was like it came from me anyway. She was a little worried that I wasn't having any fun because I couldn't do much of the looking. But I was happy just being out of the house enjoying the sunshine. At one sale, the owner walked close enough to where I was parked that I could talk to her and ask about some big flowerpots she had in the yard. She had 18 of them in all and after a bit of dealing, I got the whole kit and kaboodle, plus a rubber tub to carry part of them in for $3. So I was happy. Son's girlfriend and I got to spend time together and talk and get to know each other better as well. It was a good day.
Saturday night I was up much later than usual...well actually about 2 hours or so later. I was watching some good movies on tv and didn't want to go to bed. So, Sunday I slept in late, then got up and watched my church programs on tv for a few hours. I relaxed the rest of the day and ordered pizza delivered for supper. I still have pizza left over for tonight. It was going to go into the freezer, or to Daughter today, but Daughter forgot to take it home with her. After my activities today, I think it will make a good supper for tonight. Think I will eat it cold....too worn out and sore to mess with heating it up. But the soreness is well worth it!
Today, after another semi-late night playing chess on Yahoo, I slept in a little. Daughter came over and we went to our WalMart store. This time we didn't do the grocery shopping. This time was to accomplish two of the other things I wanted to get done this weekend. One was to get fishing pole, tackle box and some basic tackle, and the other was to get some good top soil and houseplants to put in at least some of those big pots I got at the garage sale. All I have to do now is go out and get my fishing license which I should hopefully be able to do at some bait shop near the lake where I will fish...or I can go back to WalMart and get it at a later time. Going fishing was the only thing I had on my list of things to do this weekend that I didn't get done...well, that and taking some landscape/lake/nature photos which I would have done while fishing.

I have been wanting to fill my home with houseplants ever since before I moved here. It was one of those things that got put off while I was sick. Now it is time to get it done. Today made a HUGE start in that project. I think I may need a little help moving all the now filled big flowerpots off my dining table. They are heavy with all that dirt in them.

Enjoy the pictures...they finish out the story of this weekend.

In this picture below, on the left you can see the bottle of rose water I will be using when Daughter and I finally make our gulab jamuns. Also you can see a jar of something yellowish. That is either moong or toor dahl. I didn't look closely at it since I took the picture to be sure which it is. It is a type of split bean or split pea used in Indian cooking.

Why am I so worn out and sore tonight? All three of those bags of top soil are now empty! Oh how good the dirt smelled and felt while I broke up the clods in the tightly packed bags. Each bag said it was .75 cubic feet of top soil. There are still a couple of plants that don't have pots to put them in or the dirt to fill the pots. All the pots I got at the garage sale were big ones so there are no small ones for the two plants I have left. I will have to leave them until the next shopping trip. They will be okay for awhile.

Now, that last picture didn't have anything to do with gardening, fishing, garage sales, or anything else that was part of the goals of the weekend. That was just the "icing on the cake" so to speak. Daughter and I had lunch at Bob Evans and both of us decided to indulge a little. We justified it this way....had we baked the actual chocolate cake at home, we would have eaten a whole lot more! For me anyway, this should hold me over for a good 6 months or more for craving chocolate cake! That was really really rich!