Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I hate to do laundry. During the school year, it accumulates during the week and I spend the better part of a day each weekend trying to get it all done. It can be very overwhelming. Of course I get so SICK of it on the weekend that I don't want to have anything to do with it during the week. I really need to break this cycle.

When we first spoke to the man who came up with our house plan, we were told to show up with a wish list. Ted wanted one thing, and one thing only....a toilet. Pretty profound for a plumber, wouldn't you say?

I, on the other hand, had a THREE page list, with specifics for each room.

Let's talk about the laundry room, shall we?

After spending years trudging down to the basement to do the laundry, I knew what I'd like in an ideal laundry room.

It had to have some space.

It had to have a laundry tub.

It had to have telephone and cable. (Hey, if I'm going to spend time in there, I need to be entertained while I'm folding!)

It had to have room for a freezer.

It had to have at least one window. (We ended up with two and I'm thrilled!)

It had to have a cabinet.

It had to have a long countertop with a shelf underneath for baskets.

When the laundry room is not overflowing, it's a very nice room. However, that's a rare occurrence.

I can't believe I'm going to share these pictures with you, but here goes...

This is what it looks like when everyone brings in their hampers and baskets filled with dirty clothes. The baskets on top of the countertop are clean clothes that still need to be folded, sigh. I just never get caught up.

I put baskets on the floor, underneath the shelf, and then sort them into various loads that must await their turn in the washer. The white baskets on the shelf hold clean, folded laundry. Everyone is responsible for taking their basket to their room, putting their own laundry away, then returning their basket to the laundry room. And preferably without me having to beg them for it for three days.

Once it's all sorted and I've started the actual washing, I fold the leftover items and put them in the appropriate baskets. Then I tell myself that it wasn't that bad and if I could only stay caught up with things, it would be a tolerable task. (Yeah, right.) I also have an opportunity to straighten the countertop. The pile of "things" next to the Shout bottle are the misfit socks. I'm sure everyone has some of these lying around. Heck, maybe some of your missing socks are in this pile here. When I'm folding, if a sock doesn't have a mate, it goes into that pile. About once a month I lay them all out on the counter and look for any matches. Some socks have been in that pile since we moved in over two and a half years ago. Somehow I seriously doubt if their mates will ever resurface. (Okay, so I sometimes put on the Weather Channel to see what to get out to wear for the upcoming week.)

Here, you can see that I've actually made a fair amount of progress. There are still four loads left to do, but I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime I had one son come and get his basket, put his things away and return the basket to me.

So what kind of a washer and dryer do I have that will take the abuse week after week?

We researched washers and dryers a few years ago, and decided to go with the Whirlpool Duet. Naturally, AFTER we got them, they came out in colors...I would love to have them in red, but these will do just fine until we wear them out.

They are both in use in this particular picture, with a small load patiently waiting its turn.

And that's when I put the camera away for fear that I wouldn't remember where I last used it and I never finished photographing the day's events. However I'm sure you get the idea.

Maybe I should just get a second job so that I can hire a laundress to come in every day and take care of all the dirty clothes.

Hey, that's a thought...

Monday, October 27, 2008


Check out this adorable toddler!

He enjoys being held upside down, and his dad is happy to oblige!

I'm just a wee bit biased, as he is our great nephew. He's 19 months old and a real sweetheart.

He was playing with his Grandpa's phone. Why? Because he wanted to, of course!

Now don't, for even a second, think he's spoiled...

He was trying to bite my toes in this shot.

Okay, maybe a little. But he's the first baby in the family since Alex, and our dear precious Alex just turned 18. In fact, we were all together Saturday night to celebrate Alex's birthday.

Apparently the smoke from the candles showed up in the picture. Wow, I have a LOT to learn about photography!

There's a reason that there's only one gift bag. Alex is a self-admitted shopaholic and when asked what he would like for his birthday, simply said....MONEY! The basket held his cards with the "cash donations" as he refers to them.

So that's how we spent our Saturday night. Of course there was also a football game. But we really don't need to talk about that, sigh.

(Our Buckeyes lost, and that's all I'm gonna say.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm So Honored

Stacia has given me an award and I'm most honored to accept it!

To translate from Portuguese to English, it means:"This blog invests and believes, the proximity." Meaning, that blogging makes us 'close'- being close through proxy."

How awesome is that??

"They all are charmed with the blogs, where in the majority of its aims are to show the marvels and to do friendship; there are persons who are not interested when we give them a prize, and then they help to cut these bows; do we want that they are cut, or that they propagate?"

Then let's try to give more attention to them!

So with this prize we must deliver it to 8 bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.

1. Angie at The Arthur Clan

2. Jen at Here We Go Again

3. Doctor Grumbles at Doctor Grumbles I Presume

4. Paulie at Postcards From the Northwest

5. EDBteach at Teacher Mom

6. Leeann at Is it Morning Already?

7. Kara at Eskimo Kisses and Air Hugs

8. Chicken Gal at Bad Attitude Farm (one of my most recent "discoveries")

Congratulations fellow bloggers! I thoroughly enjoy reading about each of you and your adventures and look forward to the latest happenings in your lives!

And thanks again Stacia, for the award!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our Chair

When we were in the midst of the building process of our house, we knew we needed some new furniture. Our recliner was on its third mechanism, and it was going to be relegated to the bedroom. Our current living room furniture was headed to the den. Therefore, we knew we needed new living room items.

Our living room is fairly big, so we decided we would get two couches, a chair, two recliners, three end tables and a coffee table. We'd never been "coffee table" people, but the big empty space in the middle of the living room dictated that we were about to become such people.

We also got bedroom furniture. We were still using the white French Provincial furniture that my parents bought for me when I was in 6th grade. Here it was, decades later, and we needed something with more storage space. Besides, the white stuff was going to the bedroom in the basement.

Anyway, we have an absolutely WONDERFUL furniture store in Amish country (no, it's not handcrafted Amish furniture). I could spend hours there. We ended up with a total of four trips there to select furniture. Our salesman is an old high school friend and he understands our needs as well as our taste. While we were looking at recliners, he had us sit in FlexSteel rocker/recliners. OH MY... we knew right away that we had discovered the ideal chairs for us.

At that time, we had only been thinking about getting one, but I immediately said, "And just how long will we argue over who gets to use this chair before we end up buying another one?"

So we ordered two identical chairs. They are so comfortable. We just love them.

Apparently we aren't the only ones who love them.

These three felines also love the chairs, especially one of them.




Sure, they may look sweet and innocent....but they're guilty. Well before Oliver entered our household this past spring, Pepina and Marina used a chair. Then they taught Oliver Standard Operating Procedure.

He picked it up rather quickly, wouldn't you agree?

HOWEVER, that's not quite what I was referring to.

Our cats love to not only sleep on the chair....

But they somehow have decided that it's a scratching post too.

The worst part? We really don't mind. They've brought us so much joy that if it costs us a chair, so be it.

And before you mention it, they've had scratch posts and pads of all kinds, but simply prefer the corners of the chair.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our House

This past summer Ted worked for a guy that used to own a photography studio here in town. In fact, he owned the studio where Joey and Alex had their senior portraits taken. This guy (Art) took both Ted's and my senior portraits, but then sold the business about 15 years later.

Now Art is semi-retired, but works occasionally for an aerial survey company that just happens to have an office next to the plumbing shop where Ted works.
One day this past summer Ted did some work for him and they got to talking. Art had known Ted's dad and knew that we had built a new home and knew where it was. I'd mentioned to Ted in the past that I would just love to have a picture of our house from the air, so Ted mentioned that to Art. Fortunately we live pretty close to our local airport, so a pilot wouldn't have to go out of his/her way.

About two weeks later, Art was coming out of the aerial survey office when Ted was walking into the shop, and Art called over to Ted. He gave Ted a couple of pictures of our house! Ted asked him what he owed him, and he said nothing! But if we wanted them enlarged, we could take them to a local store and have them done there. We haven't done that yet, but we probably will.

To the left of the house is an alfalfa field that draws an occasional deer or two and several groundhogs. To the right, a new home is being built. Ted's sister and brother-in-law are going to be living next door to us! This picture was obviously taken before we had our landscaping done around the pool, so it looks pretty blah back there. However, now it looks very nice!

We were really pleased with how these pictures turned out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I love fall. It's probably my favorite season of the year.

I love the crispness in the air. The temperature can be warm, but there's always a little hint of coolness.

I love the smell of burning leaves. Now that we live outside of the city limits, burning leaves is permitted and when our neighbors burn, I just inhale until my lungs practically burst. We have two small trees in the front yard, so we don't have enough leaves to burn....yet.

I love the cool nights. They make for excellent sleeping.

But I especially love the changing leaves. The colors are so bright and vivid.

I was recently going through some pictures on my hard drive and came up with a few autumn photos, and of course, YOU are the lucky ones because I plan on sharing them!

This is Joey, when he was six months old. The tree in front of our house had just lost all of its leaves and I couldn't resist seeing what his reaction would be to sitting amongst all those golden leaves. Naturally, he tried to put them in his mouth!

This is Alex (4) and Joey (7) one autumn afternoon, in front of our house. Ahhhhh, brotherly love at its finest!
This is the sugar maple tree we planted in our backyard. Its leaves turned the most gorgeous shade of orange.

This was our next door neighbor's tree. I loved the reddish leaves it got in the fall.

This was an absolutely GORGEOUS autumn day in 2004. We were out looking at new houses for different ideas for our new home. We were checking out brick and siding colors, shingle types, etc. We just happened to be on a road that was fairly high and I couldn't resist taking this photo.

One year when the boys were small I had this brilliant idea. I wanted to make scarecrow costumes for them for Halloween. It took me about a month to create this outfits and I was so pleased with how they came out I decided to have a professional picture taken of them. I was working half-time then and was using Ted's Grandma's sewing machine. We still have that old Singer and it still works. We think she got it in the late 1940s.

Happy Fall!

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Favorite Flower

My wonderful husband has a standard answer for anyone who might ask him what my favorite flower is.

He always says, "I believe it's Gold Medal."

I just shake my head and roll my eyes at that one. He's been using it for years. However, he really does know my favorite FLOWER.

Last Friday he came home from work with one hand behind his back. He talked to me for a moment and when I asked him what he had behind his back, he told me to close my eyes. When I opened them, there was a box of my favorite flowers!

What a sweetheart!

Of course it was the annual Lions Club Rose Day event and he knows one of the members. In fact, the guy had called Ted last week to remind him and asked if he wanted to order flowers for me. Way to go Doug!

This year I avoided reminding him of the time he ordered Lions Club Rose Day flowers for me many years ago and had them delivered...and then when the guy he ordered them from came in for parent teacher conferences a week or so later (I had his daughter in school) I casually asked if Ted had paid him yet and he said noooooooooooo, so I took care of it. Because after all, we know it's the thought that counts....right? RIGHT??

So what is my favorite flower?
The pink rose.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hairy Men

Yes, I'm fully aware that it is 5:58 am right now. I've been awake for about an hour. I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I could have either continued to toss and turn, gotten up to start working on the never ending laundry, OR write a blog post. I'll let you guess which way I went.

Last night we were watching a football game (LSU vs. Florida, for those of you who really want to know) and one of those Geico cavemen commercials came on. I've never cared for them in the least, but I tolerated it since it was only 30 seconds long. I'd never seen this one before and when it was finished, I commented that I just didn't get it. Ted explained it to me. I swear...sometimes I'm so dense when it comes to commercials.

Actually I wasn't paying full attention to it, so I really do have an excuse this time. The caveman had on short sleeves and once I saw how hairy he was, I thought about another hairy person I knew years ago.

When I was a junior in college I lived in an apartment with two friends. Our apartment complex had quite a few buildings (like maybe 30-40?) and each building had 9 apartments, with three on each floor. We lived on the bottom floor. Two floors above us was a group of four guys, all from a town in northeast Ohio (Ashtabula for those of you who know Ohio).

We got along really well with these guys. Two of them were grad students and two were undergrads. The undergrads were both italians. Mario and Al were the undergrads and had a little more free time than Tommy and Frank. My roommate Beth was very active in the theater department (she was majoring in secondary education, English and drama). She had to participate in all kinds of extra stuff and was rarely in the apartment, except to sleep. Barb and I, on the other hand, were elementary ed majors and didn't have to commit so much time to extra things.

A few evenings a week Al, Mario, Barb, and I would get together and play cards or Monopoly. There was never anything "going on" between any of us, as the guys both had girlfriends back in Ashtabula and I was seriously dating Ted. Barb was sort of waiting for the perfect man to just drop into her life, so she wasn't "looking" for anyone at that time.

Mario had this thick, naturally curly, dark hair, and was extremely handsome. We would often drop in on each other, and the guys were typical guys, not too worried about what they wore or how they looked.

One Wednesday afternoon Mario and Al stopped by. Mario had just finished a run and was relaxing a few minutes before climbing the steps to the third floor. Al had just come back from a class.

It was late October and this was the first time I'd seen Mario without a shirt on (and he had on really short shorts too...remember this was a very LONG time ago when short shorts were in style for men, yikes!).

He was so darn HAIRY! I don't like tons of hair on men and he got more than his share, that's for sure. Not only did he have a head full of hair, but he had the hairiest arms and legs I've ever seen. Not to mention that the hair on his chest and his back was so thick and curly that if you ran your fingers through it, they would get caught in the tangles.

This was a Wednesday (for some reason I've never forgotten that fact) and I hadn't seen Mario since Sunday night. I'd seen Al on Monday and Tuesday, but that's irrelevant here.

Mario had a thick beard. It was so thick that you could not see any skin through it at all. I made a comment about it and Al said that Mario grew a beard every winter because it kept his face warm. Mario said that he hadn't shaved since Sunday morning. I had seen him Sunday evening and he had a thick five o'clock shadow, but I had no idea it could fill in that fast.

After they left, Barb and I were talking about how hairy Mario was. I couldn't get over seeing all that HAIR! I was certain that there were parts of his body (not what is usually covered) that had never seen sunlight because of all the hair. It was so thick and curly and dark. But this was a little much. He was WAY too hairy for me!

I've often wondered what became of Mario and Al, and have even (I can't believe I'm admitting this!) done an online search of them. Mario had a name that would just roll off your tongue due to the italian heritage of it. Apparently there is only one person in the U.S. with his name and it must be him, and he's in Florida. Al, I believe, is living in Italy. I could only find one reference for his name too. The other two guys had very simple sounding names and there were many people with the same name, so I have no idea where they actually are.

What I really want to know is if Mario is still hairy. THAT is the real question!

Friday, October 10, 2008


I was recently looking for something in the kitchen and was having little to no luck in finding it. It was very perplexing as I knew that I had this item, but just couldn't locate it. Occasionally someone else will empty the dishwasher and they tend to put things wherever they'll fit rather than where they belong. It's frustrating to say the least, HOWEVER, it's very nice that they do take care of that chore.

While looking for this item (a 2 quart corning ware casserole), I thought back to a time many years ago when Ted and I decided to refinish the kitchen cabinets.

Of course we were living in our old house, and we didn't have children yet. One evening in June we were looking at the cabinets, talking about how they needed some work, as they looked rather tarnished.

We were young.

We were poor.

We decided to refinish them ourselves.

We went out and bought stain and varnish remover and a few tools. We took the cabinet doors off the cupboards, removed all the hardware, then took them outside. We laid them out on old newspapers, got comfortable and started stripping them.

Not only were we young and poor, but we were also naive.

"This wasn't going to take long" we thought. With eleven doors (not to mention 6 drawer fronts that couldn't be removed from the drawers) we decided that our kitchen would be back together in about 3 days, tops.


During the day Ted went to work and I continued to remove stain and varnish. It was time consuming and I'm not a patient person.

When they were bare and naked, we sanded them down, then just put on varnish. Our kitchen was on the north side of the house, so it didn't get much natural light. Therefore we wanted the cabinets to be a light color, and the wood was a perfect shade.

I remember using various grades of sandpaper in between coats of varnish. I remember going to a discount store to price new hardware, then coming home and scrubbing the old hardware until it shone.

Once the cabinet doors and drawers were finished, we had to do the rest of the surfaces in between the doors and around the drawers. Unfortunately those parts had to be done in the kitchen because they couldn't come off to be taken outside.

It took us almost two weeks to get the kitchen back together and everything looked so nice. We were so happy with the results and so proud of ourselves for completing this project all on our own.

Of course, we had a great motivator.

With all the doors off, it's like walking around your house NAKED. Anyone who walked into the kitchen could see inside all the cupboards, YUCK! Although that sure made it easy to find things, we were extremely uncomfortable with exposing ourselves that way!

We couldn't wait to get "clothes" back on our cupboards!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Pet Peeve

This post is surely going to be unpopular with some people, but since it's MY blog and MY thoughts, I'm going to roll with it.

There are about 10 blogs that I check pretty often, several times a week.

There are about 15 or so other blogs that I may check about once every couple of weeks.

I've noticed something that really irks me. Several of these blogs belong to people who happen to home school their children. In general, I have nothing against homeschooling. I know it's come a LONG way in the last ten years or so. There are many networks out there for homeschooling parents and I think many of these people really try to do their best.

However...I never cease to be amazed at how some of these homeschooling parents (mostly moms) use incorrect grammar or homophones. The one that irks me the most is your and you're. For crying out loud, learn the difference between the two!!

We teach our students skills that we, ourselves, are expected to use anytime we write anything or speak. All educators, whether they be in a school or in a home should constantly be setting an example for our students. Whether it be in an email or in a blog, we should be utilizing the grammar, spelling, and writing rules that we are teaching.

How in the world can you expect to do such a fabulous job teaching your children if you yourself don't know the difference between two (or three) homophones?!?! Then you send your children out into the world, and possibly college, with a severe lack of basic language/grammar/spelling skills. These are the kinds of things that give homeschooling parents a bad name.

If you're going to home school, please PLEASE PLEASE make sure you know what you're doing!
Don't get me wrong...I admire what you're doing, and the fact that you are willing to undertake such a huge responsibility, but in my mind, you will be held to the same standards as every teacher in a school building.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.

Go ahead and flame away if you feel the need.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Alex's Dream

Alex is a senior in high school. He really likes music, especially older rock. He's been a HUGE fan of AC/DC for several years. He knows all about them, including the story behind practically every song they've recorded. He has books about them, posters, t-shirts, etc.

A month or so ago AC/DC announced that they would be touring the US later this year and Alex was so excited he could barely contain himself when he discovered that they would be in Columbus on November 21. He wanted tickets in the worst way. He found out when the tickets would go on sale, and had many (and I do mean MANY) discussions with Ted, Aunt Patty, Uncle Tim, and Cousin Holly. They created a plan. The five of them would go to the concert, then spend the night in Columbus. The only problem was that the tickets went on sale on a Friday at 10:00 am. The only person who could possibly be at a computer at that time was Holly. Even though she was going to be at work, she said she should be able to order the tickets.

Later that day, Holly called Alex to tell him that she had not been able to get tickets and that they had sold out in TWO minutes! Alex really appreciated the fact that Holly tried so hard, but was also disappointed that he wouldn't be able to see his all-time favorite band.

I looked on Stub Hub and ebay, checking for the availability of tickets. Sure, they're available if you plan on getting a second mortgage on your house! So, needless to say, there would be no concert.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. A good friend of ours (Harry) called to tell Alex that he had heard on the radio that AC/DC was adding tour dates. Cleveland and Pittsburgh were included in the list of cities that AC/DC would now be visiting. Tickets for the Cleveland show would be on sale.....THIS MORNING AT 10:00!

A plan was devised, because Alex definitely did NOT want to miss out on this. He would be on his laptop. I was to be on the main computer in the den. Holly (who happens to live in the Cleveland area) would be on her computer. We would stay in contact with Holly via cell phone and whoever got in first with the best seats would get them.

Trust me, it was a well-oiled machine, hahaha! Alex moved his laptop into the den and we were both "refreshing" our page every second, hoping to see the "On Sale 10/4 at 10:00" link switch to the "Find Tickets" link. Suddenly he yelled, "It's there!" and we both started clicking away, mumbling to ourselves as we worked through the screen and the security page. I said, "I'm in! Section 229. Do you want them?" As he screamed "YES!" his phone buzzed. It was Holly. He waved me off to talk to her.

Not only did Holly score tickets, but she got seats in the FIFTH ROW ON THE FLOOR! Unfortunately, however, there is a limit of 4 tickets, so someone in the original group will not get to go. Ted has offered to opt out, so that settles that issue.


She has made her cousin the giddiest 17 year old in the world right now!

Now, for the only "down" side to all of this. As anyone who lives in northeast Ohio knows, the weather can change on a dime. It's nothing to experience a high of 75 one day, and a high of 32 the next. Snow is always an option any time between the end of October and the middle of April.

So, when is the concert, you may be asking?

January 5.

I just hope that Dick Goddard (Fox 8 weather guru) can bring us good weather that day!