Friday, May 30, 2008

Computer Issues

I've had some computer issues this week, namely my monitor. It has NOT been cooperating and that's irritating the heck out of me. My laptop is slower than molasses on a cold day, and heaven forbid I take either one of the boys' computers to do "personal" stuff with.

I knew I needed to get a new desktop, but just kept putting it off. Yesterday, I finally gave in. I had a nice, long chat with a young man from HP and he was actually from THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

We figured out what I would need and then I went ahead and ordered it. As it turned out, yesterday was the last day of their free shipping special, so that was nice. Yes, I'm fully aware that in a few weeks, they'll more than likely have ANOTHER free shipping special, but that's okay.

The new computer should be here within two weeks, or possibly a little less, so I'm thrilled about that. Let's just hope that this monitor can give me just two more weeks before shutting itself down permanently!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One Year

A year ago today I began this blog (here), not knowing exactly where it would lead. I really didn't know if I would keep up with it or not, but I have, and I actually look forward to writing here. I also look forward to reading the comments.

It was a way for me to put into words the thoughts and feelings I have floating around in my head. It was also a way for me to talk uninterrupted. Being married to a man and having two sons, sometimes (oh heck, who am I fooling??) OFTEN they interrupt me and really don't pay attention to what I'm saying and therefore I have to repeat myself.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who stops by here and reads my posts. That means a lot to me.

Having a blog has given me the reason to go out there and read more blogs, so I feel as though I've gotten to know a lot of people, even though we've never met personally. I like that feeling.

So, all in all, it's been a great year in blog-land, and I look forward to next year!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

I've been so fortunate in my life. I've reaped the benefits of freedom without suffering through the loss of a loved one in the military.

It's become "hip" to be patriotic lately. Since the tragic 9/11 incidents we've seen more displays of patriotism everywhere...flags flying, bumper stickers touting our great country, etc. Being involved in this war has also brought out the red, white, and blue.

No matter what has caused us to be more patriotic, we can never appreciate enough what those who have VOLUNTEERED in the armed forces have gone through. Our military is voluntary, so these young men and woman have not been forced into this.

Last night during the Coca Cola 600 (yes, another NASCAR race) a commercial was shown several times. I've seen it before; it's not new. Yet it still brings out the same sentiments as if I were seeing it for the first time. Not a word was spoken during this commercial and yet each and every time I saw it, there would be tears streaming down my face.

People are in an airport, going about their business, texting on cell phones, reading the paper, talking to someone, etc. Suddenly someone is clapping slowly and others start in. People stand and we see a group of American soldiers come walking through the airport, with their gear on their backs. People applaud them and a woman stepped in and shook hands with one. Some of the soldiers looked as if they were almost embarrassed by the attention. As the group passes by, one of the last soldiers turns around and looks, as if he wanted to take it all in one more time. Then a black screen came up with two simple words: Thank you.

After several seconds, the logo of the company that sponsored the commercial appears, but that's the only reference to the company throughout the ad. And by the way, it was Bud (Budweiser Beer, for those of you who don't know your alcoholic beverages).

Just thinking about the commercial makes me tear up.

We plan on stopping by the cemetery later on today to pay our respects to those who have gone before us, whether it be in the line of duty or in the line of life.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A New Friend

The other evening Alex went over to AP and UT's (that's Aunt Patty and Uncle Tim for those of you who don't know...and they live off behind us a few hundred yards...and soon the family compound will be expanding, but that's a story for another time).

AP came over then and said that Alex had a new "friend." She said that someone must have dropped a cat off at the farm (part of the family compound) and Alex is the only person the male cat would let come up to him. I looked at Patty and said, "No way. NO WAY are we going to add another cat to our household!"

Patty laughed and said it may be too late. She said it was gray cat, that might only be about 6 months or so old and it seemed to be well taken care of. I told her I didn't want to see it and Alex was NOT to bring it over to our house.

Of course, the next thing I knew Alex was at the back door holding it. It looked so thin and scared.

I tried to ignore it. I really did. The last thing we need is another feline. We love Pepina and Marina dearly, but we trip over them and a third one wouldn't make things any easier. And besides, I don't like odd numbers, so we'd have to get another one to make it an even FOUR. (yeah, I know, it's a goofy quirk, but that's how I am)

Well...Alex put some water in a bowl and some dry cat food in a bowl and Oliver (okay, so we named him, sigh) ate like there was no tomorrow. Alex took an old beach towel and put it on one of the gliders on the back porch and that's where Oliver has spent most of his time.

Now here it is, two days later, and Oliver has more or less settled in on the back porch. He meows continually, and would come right in the house if we would let him, but we're not. We have no idea if he is carrying any diseases or anything and don't want him in contact with Pepina and Marina. Alex is the only one who has held him and when he comes in, I make him take his shirt off and take it straight to the laundry room, in addition to washing his hands and forearms.

"P" and "Mimi" (as we affectionately nicknamed them) have spent a lot of time at the screen door looking at Oliver and yes, even growling and hissing at him.

Since last night Oliver has eaten three cups of dry cat food and a can of Fancy Feast, in addition to drinking a couple of cups of water. I think he was starved and dehydrated.

Patty has said that if I decide to take him to the vet to have him checked out, she will split the cost with me. In my heart I know I should take him, but my common sense side says "Are you NUTS???"

We have french doors in our bedroom that lead to the back patio, and right now he's on the steps, meowing very loudly, looking inside. Pepina and Marina are out in the living room, so they are basically ignoring him.

What have I gotten myself into???

Friday, May 23, 2008

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

I just watched Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture" on youtube. Randy Pausch is a 47 year old, father of three, professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Last fall he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 3-6 months to live. He gave a speech at Carnegie Mellon's graduation ceremony only 5 days ago. He still looks and sounds great.

His youtube lecture can be seen here, but let it be known that it's a little over an hour long. My head is still swimming with all he said, but one great thought of his is that he can't control the cards he's dealt, but how he plays the hand. How very true!

As I've mentioned here before, every single day I still think about having cancer. I keep hoping that the thoughts will cut back to maybe every other day, then eventually just a couple of times a week, but for now, it's still every day. Randy's attitude is absolutely AMAZING and so many things he said will be popping in and out of my mind for days.

Another thing I got out of his talk was to look for the best in people.

Sometimes I come across staff members or (yikes!) even students who are difficult to like. I try to like them, and in some cases, my feelings toward them eventually change. However, now I'm wondering if I give them all enough time. Maybe I don't.

There might be people out there who have that special quality buried deep within themselves and I've given up on them too soon.

This is definitely something I want to work on.

Like I said, my head is swimming with all the things he said, and I plan on watching the lecture again.

I love his passion.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

If You're Not a Cat Lover, Skip This Post

Sunday morning we were cleaning the house. It was just a convenient time for us, when we all happened to be here at the same time and I firmly believe in sharing the chore equally when we're all doing the same "other" things (like work and school), so we were really into it. Ted had gotten up early, as he's a morning person (even though he wasn't always!). Around 9:00 or so, he came back into the bedroom where I was working and said he was going to take a break and make himself some breakfast.

Okay, fine, make yourself something to eat. I'm cleaning in here and I'm not stopping right now.

He went back into the kitchen and I heard some cupboards open and close, and I heard him get some things out of the refrigerator. A couple of minutes later, he came back into the bedroom, although at this point neither one of us can remember why. We just recall that he was in the bedroom for only a minute or possibly less.

Within half a second of leaving the bedroom to head back to the kitchen, I heard, "No Marina! G** D**** IT MARINA! NOOOOOOOOO!"

I knew better than to run out and look to see what happened. I also knew better than to simply ask what happened. Then I heard more.

"Why did you DO that???? D*** it Marina! No treats for you today!"

I waited another minute, then asked what she did.

Another minute or so later Ted came back into the bedroom.

"I was going to make scrambled eggs, so I had cracked them into a plastic cup so I could mix them up. Just as I was walking out to the kitchen I saw her up on the counter with her paw gently pushing the cup toward the edge, half an inch at a time.

"She didn't even look at me when I yelled, and when I was less than 2 feet away....(can you see where this is going?)

"...she knocked the cup over and the eggs ran all over the edge of the trash compactor and the floor."

I laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

Then I said, "And do you really think it was a good idea to leave those eggs in a cup on the counter without a unattended?"

"Uh, probably not."

I'm still laughing.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Thirteen

So here it was, four days before our wedding and Ted was complaining about a pain on his tailbone. It was really bothering him. He couldn't sit, he couldn't lie down, he couldn't stand up, he couldn't do anything without a lot of PAIN.

Finally the Wednesday night before our wedding, after a short discussion with my mom (the nurse), we decided that a trip to the ER was in order. And this is where I fell short of being the perfect bride-to-be.

Mary and I had so much to do, since the wedding was just a few days away. We decided that the best plan of action would be for Ted's mom to take him to the ER while Mary and I worked on other things. If you ever waited in an ER waiting room in the early 1980s, then you know that a wait could be several hours long, and I just didn't have several hours to spare that night.

Okay, think of me as a bad person. Go ahead. I deserve it. Ted practically insisted that I NOT go along with him, but that's really not a good excuse.

Anyway, back to the story...

As soon as he got back to the apartment about five hours later, he called and filled me in on things.

It turned out that he had a pretty big abscess back by his tailbone. The doctor at the ER ended up having to drain it with a HUGE, 2 FOOT LONG NEEDLE, THAT WENT ALL THE WAY IN. At least that's what Ted said, and I had no reason not to believe him. He also said that they drained at least a gallon of fluid out of the abscess. Again, I have no reason not to believe him. (Could he possibly have exaggerated just a tad??)

When they were finished, they put a small dressing on it and he had a prescription for an antibiotic...along with a very sore tailbone.

The next morning Mary and I had to go pick up some additional things for the decorations for the reception and we also got a blow-up ring that kids use in a swimming pool. We got that for Ted to use when he sat down so that there wouldn't be any unnecessary pressure on his tailbone. He really appreciated that!

Other than Ted's issue, things were going pretty smoothly, and when that happens, I tend to get a little nervous. Nothing goes that smoothly with me without a big type of problem arising, so I was just waiting for that to happen.


It didn't happen!

The afternoon of the day before the wedding was spent decorating the reception hall and folding the programs that would be passed out at the church. We also checked in with the lady doing the flowers, the priest, the cake lady, and the caterer. Everything was just as it should be. I was shaking my head in disbelief over this, but finally accepted the fact that it was going to come off without a hitch.

That evening we all met at the church at 6:00 for the rehearsal.

As I walked down the aisle with my dad during the practice, it all sort of hit me.

I was going to get married the next day.


As in, having a HUSBAND.

As in, Mr. and Mrs.


Oh my...what was I getting myself into?!?!

To be continued...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Just an Observation

This morning Ted and I went to Sam's Club. It's about half an hour away from us and it had been a while since we'd been there, so we were in dire need of a trip. We got a lot of things (and consequently spent a lot of money, but that's how it goes sometimes). It was a tiring trip, as it usually is for us "old" folks (quit laughing), and we were glad to finally get back in the car and start heading home.

We were both tired and hungry, so about halfway home we stopped at a McDonald's to get something to eat.

This is where my "high maintenance" reputation comes into play.

I never EVER order a sandwich "as is" at a place like that because there are certain things I don't like. I do NOT like onions, mustard, or mayo or anything with a mayo/salad dressing base. And therein like the problem.

"Hi. Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order please?"

"Yes. I'll have a cheeseburger with just ketchup, medium fries and a Sprite" (because as part of my "high maintenance" life I don't drink Coke). Today I just shouted across Ted when we got to the drive through. It was just easier that way.

"That'll be $989. 74. (Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little.) Please pull up to the first window."

We pulled up to the first window, and paid and the pre-occupied high school girl gave Ted his change, and that was it.

No "thank you," "have a nice day," "kiss my rear end," or anything.

Kind of rude, if you ask me.

We pulled up to the next window and got our food. As we continued our journey home, we were eating and Ted asked if my sandwich was right, because of course 90% of the time it's messed up since I insist on ordering it a special way.

It was right. IT WAS RIGHT! I was surprised, but it was actually just how I like it AND the french fries were hot and salty, just the way I like them too!

Ted was so surprised and mentioned several times that that particular McDonald's must be great because they got my sandwich right. He went on and on about that.

So I guess the day has finally come when we get all excited when someone who is PAID TO DO THEIR JOB, does something right.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Will This School Year EVER End???

Long ago, in a schoolhouse far, far away, teachers taught.

I wish we could go back there sometime soon, sigh.

This has been an exhausting week at work. Our principal applied for and was awarded a John Madden (pro football player turned pro football coach turned NFL broadcaster). This grant covered all the costs associated with all the students in our building going to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

On Monday our kindergarten, first and second graders went. They spent several hours at the Hall of Fame, then ate lunch under a big tent because it was raining outside, then returned to school in time for dismissal.

On Tuesday, our third and fourth graders went, and I was lucky enough to be assigned to accompany them.

It's been DECADES since I've ridden in a school bus more than 3 miles. I'd forgotten that the smell of diesel fuel made me nauseous. I'd forgotten how bumpy the buses actually were. I'd forgotten how S L O W the buses traveled.

When we got there, the sign in the window said that an adult admission was $18! YES, THAT'S EIGHTEEN DOLLARS....EACH! I was shocked that it was that expensive. My initial reaction to that was, "Thank goodness I'm not paying for my admission!"

It's one thing to go to a place like this and be able to take your time, look at what you want to look at, skip over what you're not interested in and and browse at your leisure. However, it's an entirely different thing to be on a strict timetable with each section of the museum and the actual hall of fame part. Fortunately the kids were really good. In fact, the only problems with the kids were that a few of them had trouble sitting down on the bus on the way home. I can only comment on the bus I was on, so I don't know how the kids on the other buses were behaving.

We were able to eat our lunches outside because the weather was gorgeous, so that was a help. The kids got to run a little energy off before boarding the buses to come home.

On Wednesday (yesterday) our building hosted all the elementaries in our district for a "Safety Day." Our principal arranged it all and had at least 10 different stations set up and each group traveled from station to station. It was all held outside, so we were really hoping the weather would hold out. It began to rain right before lunch, so we all ended up eating inside, and by the time we went back out after lunch, the rain had stopped.

It was really a great day, much better than I thought it would be. We had 20 minutes at each station and they included an ambulance, the local dive team, a Med Flight helicopter (it was so cool to see them come in and land), an entire parking lot of different kinds of firetrucks, a "Jaws of Life" demo, the local SWAT team, seat belt demonstration, the sheriff's department K-9 unit, and police cruisers. The professionals who demonstrated each station were absolutely wonderful and extremely informative. They talked in language the children could understand and answered a TON of questions. It was a tiring, yet fun-filled day.

By last night I was in pretty bad shape. Not only was I tired, but my arthritic knees were not functioning very well. In addition to that, I was getting more and more frustrated by the minute, thinking about what all I still needed to get accomplished this week, knowing that I only had two days left.

That's when my mind started to wander...thinking about how next week is booked solid with things we need to do, including a final reading test for all the students. It's a computer generated test that we do in the computer lab, but we can only be in there on Monday morning, all day Wednesday, and Friday afternoon because the actual computer classes are held all the other times during the week. Of course it just so happens that with all the special events going on next week, the fourth graders aren't available ANY of those times! Third grade will also not be available on Wednesday due to a special event.

I keep asking for 36 hours in my day, but so far no one has approved my request.

Once again, I guess I just care about my job too much. Another teacher at school keeps telling me not to worry about what doesn't get done. She said it's not our fault that we were only given so much time to get all this stuff done, and since someone else scheduled all the extra events we shouldn't let it upset us about what we don't get finished.

Well I can't help it. I care about it. Like I said here I still have passion for my job. That's why I'm still doing it. I'm NOT just in it for the money, believe me.

And I guess I'm almost all alone in the thoughts that with a little over two weeks left, there's still some teaching to do. This will be the last time many of our kids open a book until the end of August.

That's so sad.

(Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Ah yes, another occasion developed by the greeting card companies. Don't get me wrong...I love the attention and gratitude bestowed on me as we celebrate this day. However, I don't need a special day to know that I am loved and appreciated by my sons.

They let me know this all the time in subtle ways. For instance, today we went out for dinner. I saw them using their napkins properly, and not eating like pigs, and it hit me. They must have listened to me at some point in time about proper table manners and this skill can actually be used once in a while.

Both of our sons are GOOD kids. They don't drink and they don't do drugs. They have respect for themselves and for others. They will do whatever we ask them to do (but sometimes they'll put up a little fuss about it before actually doing it). They are law-abiding young men who take their privileges as citizens of our country very seriously. They both have a good work ethic and have studied hard in school. We couldn't be prouder of them.

And this is why I don't need a special day to know that they love me and appreciate all that I do for them.

For those of you who have chosen not to become mothers, I wish you a day filled with love and appreciation from those close to you...those who have been the recipient of the motherly advice and caring that you've offered to them over the years.

And for those of you wanting to become mothers in the worst way but not there yet, I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers, hoping that your dream will come to fruition sooner rather than later.

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 9, 2008

It Figures

About 7 or 8 weeks ago I called the place that put in our pool last summer and made arrangements for them to come and open it for the season. It was a cold, blustery day when I called, not too long after the BIG snow we had in early March. What better time to think of the heat of the summer?

They told me that I was the first one who had called and they didn't even have a folder for openings yet, but would start one. They had just opened up for the year at the beginning of the week.

I told them that I wanted it opened the first weekend in May. I know, I know, that's wishful thinking, especially for east central Ohio, but you just never know with our weather. It could be 40 degrees one day, and 80 degrees the next.

About two weeks ago I called them again, just to make sure that they had actually put our pool opening in their file, and they did! The guy said that we were scheduled for Saturday, May 3! I asked them if we would be able to swim the next day and he said it was possible, all depending on our water.

Late last Thursday afternoon the phone rang and the caller ID showed that it was our pool place. They asked if it would be possible to come the next day (Friday) to open the pool instead of Saturday. They had another customer in our area and since the price of gasoline has skyrocketed, they would like to take care of both of us on the same day.


So last Friday when I got home from work, Ted was already here talking to the pool guys. They told us what to do as far as the water was concerned and said that we should be able to swim by Sunday.

Well no one told Mother Nature.

Yes, we have a heater (I like it 90 or 91 degrees) but the air temp was pretty cool and we've had rain on and off since then.

So, as is quite typical for me, we got the pool opened when we wanted, but have no idea when we'll be able to use it. The water is crystal clear, but cold. We don't want to turn the heater on until the day before we plan on using it. I was hoping for this weekend, but it's not looking good.

Oh's okay. At least everything's ready to go when the weather is ready.

I can't wait to just get out there and swim and float and relax!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Papa John's Apology Pizza

Sports is big business here in Ohio. We have the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL. We have the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds in MLB. Of course we have THE Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus.

And we also have the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA. The star of the Cavs is LeBron James.

I happen to like LeBron. I think he's a great role model for kids (with the exception of one thing) and he doesn't say "you know" a hundred times during each interview. His grammar skills are pretty good, with a few minor exceptions, but at least you can understand him and he is always the first to acknowledge that Cavs' wins are a TEAM effort. The only thing I'm not really happy about is that he lives in a beautiful new home with his mother (very good LeBron...gotta take care of Mom), his GIRLFRIEND, and their two young children. No, he's not married. Hmmmm.... No, marriage isn't for everyone, but it might be a good idea to not have children until you've gotten married IF you are a role model for young people.

Anyway, last week as the Cavaliers played the Washington Wizards in a playoff game in Washington, D.C., a man was spotted wearing a jersey with LeBron's number (23), but instead of his name over his number, the word "CRYBABY" appeared. LeBron had commented earlier in the week that he'd been fouled pretty hard. Above the word "CRYBABY" was the logo for Papa John's Pizza.



You do NOT mess with Cleveland when it comes to sports.

People went crazy and it was all over the news. People were going to avoid Papa John's and never buy pizza or anything from them again. Their corporate headquarters in Kentucky never approved of the distribution of the shirts. Apparently, according to news reports, there were only 8 shirts given out, but only ONE was enough to make a statement.

Papa Johns decided that they needed to make a move quickly to rectify this situation, so they donated $10,000 to the Cleveland Cavaliers Youth Fund and another $10,000 to the LeBron James Foundation. They also decided to sell large one-topping pizzas TODAY (Thursday) only for a mere 23 cents, with a limit of one per person.

Well. The only question was, WHICH Papa John's would be doing this. They repeatedly said that all their restaurants in the "Cleveland area" would be participating. We are a good hour and a half south of Cleveland, so it probably wouldn't include us.


It DID include our area! There is a Papa John's just a couple of blocks from where my school is located AND there's another one about half a mile away from the high school Alex attends. Guess what was going to be for dinner tonight!

The one by my school opened at 11 this morning. I began calling there about 11:50 am, wanting to order one for pickup at 4:00. The line was busy. I called for 1o minutes and then during each break I had until around 1:30 pm. It was always a busy signal. I'm sure they just took the phone off the hook. A few people had gone out for lunch and commented that the line at the pizza shop was around the building. Well, no wonder!!

Where else can you get a large pizza for less than a quarter??

We got an email around 2:10 pm. It was a forward, and had originated at 2:00 pm. It simply said that Papa Johns ran out of pizzas and was closed for the day.

Come make an offer like this and don't prepare for it???

I called Alex after he got out of school and told him to not bother with the pizza because I'm sure that the situation was the same at the shop by the high school.

Oh well, it was a good idea.

I've got the Cleveland news on now and they had to call in the police (who made a couple of arrests!) for at least one pizza shop line. They also said that the corporate HQ issued a statement about an hour ago saying that when the pizza shops used up all their dough on site, they would be closing for the day.

I'm wondering how they'll be making THIS up to the public!

And by the way, we're going to have to go to Plan B for soon as I figure out what that is!

And another by the way, the Cavs won that series against the Wizards. Now they're playing the Boston Celtics and are down 1 game.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Cindi and Ted, Chapter Twelve

Our next door neighbors were great people. They were both teachers at our local high school, and had two young daughters and an infant son at the time. I had babysat for them countless times and just adored their children. They were the sweetest things, and even when I came home for the weekends during college, I would babysit for them when they needed me. When they moved in, they didn't have any children, so we were watching these little ones grow up.

So one evening, just about 2 months before our wedding, after I came home from being with Ted my mom said that she had to talk to me about something. By the tone of her voice, I had a very strong feeling that it wasn't going to be a pleasant conversation. I sat down, and she began.

"Sheryl came over tonight while you were gone." (Sheryl was the next door neighbor.)


Mom took a deep breath and said, "She wants to host a bridal shower for you."

"WHAT? What did you tell her? You know I don't like showers!"

Mom said, "She wants to do this for you and I told her you would be honored. It's going to be in two weeks."

I knew by the tone of her voice it was a done deal, so I was going to have to put my best foot forward, and with a smile on my face, I would graciously accept this kind offer.

The next day I called Sheryl and told her how much I appreciated her wanting to do this and was looking forward to it. She told me that it would only be for the neighbors because she didn't want to invite friends that would be attending a shower that the bridesmaids would be having for me.

That's when I thought, "SAY WHAT??" but didn't say a word.

And lo and behold, before the shower at Sheryl's, the bridesmaids told me that they were having a shower too. By this time I had already accepted the fact that it was going to happen, so again, I very graciously said that that would be great!

Although my feelings on showers didn't really change, I thoroughly enjoyed both showers and Ted and I received many nice gifts. I truly appreciated everything that these wonderful people did for me AND had fun at both showers!

Who would have ever thought??

Everything with the wedding was falling into place, but we had a slight problem.

The weather was turning warmer and it was getting mighty hot in Ted's upstairs apartment. We talked about getting a room air conditioner, but knew that it would be very expensive. We decided that a few floor fans might be able to get us through the summer.

Then the downstairs tenants were getting louder and louder. It sounded as though they were fighting...a LOT. If I decided to do some tutoring during the summer, how would I be able to do it with all that going on downstairs?

About two weeks before the wedding we decided that Ted's apartment just wasn't going to cut it and we would start the search for a new place immediately. Talk about timing.

There were some townhouses just outside of town, about a mile past my parents' house, that had a vacancy. Through Ted's job he had worked for the guy who owned the apartments and made arrangements for us to go look at the vacant one.

It was a 2 story apartment with a basement too. We could have a washer and dryer down there. It had a living room, dining area, small kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. It was air conditioned too! And to top it off, the townhouses were only a couple of years old. We had two parking spots directly in front of the door. Our apartment was in the first townhouse of the allotment, so that was nice too. We wouldn't have to drive all the way to the end to get "home."

The rent was a little more than he'd been paying at the other place, but that was alright. It was well worth it. We agreed to take the apartment and made arrangements to sign the lease a few days later. In the meantime I was trying to find out all I could about the "old" apartment situation. Apparently since we never actually signed a lease (the owner never did bring the lease by for us to sign) we only had a verbal month-to-month agreement and he would HAVE to give us back the security deposit.

Armed with all this information thanks to my research, Ted called the owner. He tried to get out of returning our deposit, but Ted had enough information to get him to realize that he had no choice. He took his time about it though and didn't return it until after we got back from our honeymoon, but we DID get it back.

So one week before our wedding we enlisted the help of family members and moved into our new apartment. We were SOOOOOO much happier there!

I'd been in contact with Mary, my friend who was the maid of honor. She lived in California and would be arriving in Ohio on the Tuesday morning before the wedding. Barb, one of the bridesmaids, spent the night at my house and we got up around 3:30 am or so to get to the Cleveland airport in time to pick up Mary. Her flight was due to arrive around 6:00 am. We got there in plenty of time and back in 1980, the airport was pretty empty that early in the morning. Now, of course, it's entirely different. But we picked her up, and drove home. Mary was extremely tired as she hadn't slept very much on the plane and she was suffering from jet lag.

Of course things couldn't go too smoothly, or it just wouldn't be right.

Ted was suffering...and soon a trip to the ER would be necessary.

To be continued...

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm Finished Whining

You know, every once in a while, you just have to get it out of your system. And I did.

Our sons are wonderful and that alone is enough to be thankful for.

My mom was getting on me about Joey's grades in high school. He was really close, but one semester he didn't make a 3.0 GPA. At a 3.0 GPA they are eligible for a good student discount on our car insurance, and when you insure boys...well, it's pretty expensive.

I finally told my mom, "Listen. He's not out messing around with every girl at the high school. He doesn't do drugs. He doesn't drink. He's not out until the wee hours of the morning every weekend. We know where he is all the time, and who he's with. If the worst thing that he does is NOT get a 3.0 GPA, we can handle that."

She finally said, "I never thought of it that way. You're right."

End of subject.

So, to paraphrase this to myself, "If the worst thing that happens in Alex's life is that he doesn't go to his high school prom, then he's in pretty darn good shape."

So now I'm done whining. I think. At least I hope.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Prom Night

Tonight is our local high school prom.

Alex is not going.

We were THISCLOSE to him going, but the potential date was someone he didn't know very well (and vice versa) and, as she said, she was very flattered that he asked her to go, but didn't feel comfortable going with someone she didn't know very well. I completely understand, so that's okay.

And I'm about to whine, so for those of you who don't like whining, you can just click out of this post right now.

I know I shouldn't complain. I have so much to be thankful for as far as our two sons are concerned. They are smart, healthy, and good looking boys, but I can't help but think about the things that I won't get to experience as a parent.

(This is the second warning for those of you who hate whiners.)

It would mean a lot to me to see either of my sons all dressed up in a tux with a girl on his arm, going off to a high school prom. This is a right of passage as far as I'm concerned. It's a social event in which the guy (my son) would have to put his best foot forward and let the world see that we have tried to raise kind, polite, and caring young men. It would be a chance for our son to experience an event that would make him see that it really doesn't hurt to get dressed up once in a while.

But Alex just isn't interested. Joey definitely wasn't interested in the least, but we held out hope for Alex, however, it's not happening right now. BUT...he's only a junior, so there's still next year.

In fact, we were at a graduation party last night and two girls (also juniors) were trying to talk to him as he and Ted were walking toward the tables. He just looked at me with a look in his eye that practically screamed, "Please help me here Mom. Get me out of this situation!"

So instead, I talked to the girls for a minute or so. They even asked him if he was going to Prom and when he said "no" they seemed to be disappointed. I asked them if they were going, and of course they said yes. I asked them if he was really shy in school, and they said that he talked to them at school and wasn't all that shy. Hmmm....maybe there really IS hope for next year.

Having two sons (for which I am extremely thankful!) there are some things that you don't get to experience. There's the whole process of getting ready for something like a prom (shopping for a dress, shoes, jewelry, etc., along with getting the hair done and makeup done) that I won't get to experience.

And when they're older and they're ready to get married, I'm sure I won't be invited by the bride to be to help her look for wedding gowns. That would be such a wonderful thing to experience. It was really driven home a few years ago when Kelly, our younger niece, was planning her wedding and she and her mom Peg, grandma, sister-in-law Patty, and other niece Holly went out looking for dresses. Holly was going to be in the wedding, and they were also looking for bridesmaids' dresses.

But they all got to see Kelly trying on dresses and I didn't...and it was just sad for me to realize that I'll NEVER be able to see someone try on wedding dresses, in hopes of finding the perfect one.

Okay, I'm done whining. I know I have so much to be grateful for, and need to just get over it. So I'll try to "grow up" and do just that.