Saturday, March 28, 2009

Great Way to Spend a Saturday Morning

We went to Sam's Club this morning. It's not real close, so it's not something that we do at the spur of the moment. It takes about half an hour or so to get there, depending on who's doing the driving. These days, the driver is most often Ted, as I prefer to be chauffeured around. We usually spend at least an hour in there, but often it's closer to two hours. Then there's the unloading when we get home, and putting everything away.

He does NOT like going there at all. I'm not crazy about it either, but it's become a necessary evil in our lives.

We go through paper towels like most people go through underwear. Note that I said "most people" because I know there are some out there in the real world who choose not to change their underwear with the frequency necessary to feel "fresh and clean." There are also those out there that make the choice to go commando. Good for you. Just don't tell me about it. I have no desire to know that there's nothing between those raggedy jeans and your private parts.

Anyway, we always get a huge package of Bounty paper towels. We also go through paper plates quickly. It makes things easier on me and they are SOOOOOOOOO convenient.

Please, no comments about our contribution to area landfills. Thank you.

Our cats are picky eaters...well, at least the girls are. Oliver spent time outside before he became part of our family, so I think his diet consisted of birds and mice. Therefore, he's pleased with just about anything he can get his teeth into. Our cats eat Fancy Feast canned cat food, but not the fish. So we get the box that has turkey feast, chicken feast, and beef feast, I believe. When we get two boxes at Sam's we save about 7 cents a can....times 72 cans. (that's $5.04 for those of you who prefer NOT to do the math)

Joe is on a mission to make Heinz ketchup the most popular condiment in the state of Ohio. Today we actually got TWO three packs of it. Each bottle is bigger than what you would normally get in the grocery store, and we have SIX bottles now. Hopefully they'll last for a couple of months, but I'm not crossing my fingers.

We got a bunch of other goodies since we were up there, but those are the main things we were after.

Actually I forgot to get something there. I'm afraid to tell Ted about it. He won't be interested in going back there anytime soon to get what I forgot, so we'll either have to be conservative with what we have left here at home, or venture to my all-time favorite store (I Hate Wal-Mart) to stock up.

I forgot to get AA batteries. How in the heck do we go through so many of them??

Ted's favorite items of the day? Chocolate chip cookies.

When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, he just melts.

He's such a good guy...if chocolate chip cookies make him happy, then I'm thrilled to buy them for him.

(This is where all of you Betty Crockers out there say, "Can't you just bake them for him???" And I answer, "Well, uh, I suppose I could, but I just can't seem to get around to it." I hate to disappoint everyone, but I'm not SuperWoman anymore. I'll work on baking cookies more this summer.)

I wanted to buy a DVD recorder, but they didn't have any. Oh well, I'll look online for one later today.

I did see something that I would love to have for our back porch. It was a very comfortable La-Z-Boy outdoor seating set.

I sat on the couch and one of the chairs and just imagined myself sitting on the back porch, reading a book, or watching the occasional groundhog in the back 40 of the backyard, wondering why I didn't get a shotgun instead of a seating set.

I asked Ted to sit down on it and he said that he was going to take my word for it that it was comfortable. I commented that it would look very nice on our back patio. He said we could use it all summer, then offer it to Alex's college in the fall in lieu of a tuition payment. (Okay, so it was a little over $2000, but a person can dream, can't they?)

Needless to say, we're not getting it.

In other "not so good" news, the maid and laundress didn't show up this week, so I have some things to do around the house. Oh joy. I sorted the laundry last night and have a total of 11 loads to do. This is what happens when you don't try to do a load or so each day. I guess I haven't learned a lesson yet. Gee, married for over 25 years and I still haven't figured it out.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm Still Alive

I know I haven't updated in a while, but I will get my act together this weekend.

I hope everyone out there is doing well.

See you soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ever Had a Toothache??

Over the weekend I suffered from a toothache. I was in MISERY. The whole left side of my mouth hurt, and nothing would relieve the pain. I tried ibuprofen. I tried heat. I tried cold. I tried rubbing it. I tried a surface numbing agent.


I even thought about having Ted smack me in the mouth to see if that helped. But I knew he wouldn't do it, even if I begged him to.

By Sunday morning it was excruciating. The pain was bringing tears to my eyes, and at one point it was so bad that I even got light-headed for a couple of minutes. Then, the worst part came...


Then the pain began to come and go. I tried all the things I had tried on Saturday and eventually got a wee tiny bit of relief every once in a while.

I was able to go to sleep Sunday night, but the pain woke me up in the middle of the night, and I was never able to get back to sleep.

I went to school Monday morning and told my principal that I was going to call my dentist as soon as their office opened and would beg to get in as soon as I could. She understood.

Fortunately they had a morning opening, so I was able to leave school and get to the dentist's office. He checked all around. There was no visible problem, and the x-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary, but he eventually said he thought I had something called pulpitis. He felt as though I should go to "the big city" about 30 miles away to see the specialist he occasionally refers patients to. He even called and talked to the endodontist's office, telling them that I needed to get in ASAP. They told him that they might be able to see me later in the day and asked if that would work. When Jay (my dentist) asked me if I would be able to make it, I told him I would get it to work out. He then gave them my cell number and work number and they said they would call me as soon as they knew something.

I left and went back to work. I was in the classroom for all of about 5 minutes when the phone rang, and the endodontist's office wanted to know if I could be there in two hours. I told them YES!

(My principal was very understanding about this. I'm fortunate in that department!)

I was just hoping that I would finally get some relief from the awful pain. Ted ended up leaving work to take me. That was definitely for the best, as I was so tired from being up most of the night, I was afraid I'd fall asleep while I was driving.

After we got there, I had to fill out paperwork. (I detest doing that, especially when I don't feel well. Why on earth can't there be a nationwide centralized patient information network out there so that patients do NOT have to do that paperwork crap each and every time they go to a new doctor or dentist???)

They called me back to the "inner sanctum" and I was sitting in the chair at 1:20.

I didn't get out of the chair until almost 4:00.


He tapped on things in my mouth. I bit on things. He put cold stuff in my mouth. He pushed on teeth. There was no visible problem. The x-rays showed nothing out of the ordinary (the same thing Jay had said).

For some ODD reason, all the freaking pain had STOPPED.

What the heck was up with that????

At one point, he even thought that it may all be sinus related because I was still getting over a nasty sinus infection.

Finally, he tried the cold thing again, and I just about flew out of the chair.


Then he did a root canal.

I never thought that I would enjoy having something like that done, but it was just heaven having relief from the pain.

When he finished up, he said he was not totally convinced that this would solve the problem completely.



Yesterday it was still tender and a little sore, but very tolerable.

Today it's been even better.

I still can't chew on that side, since it's getting a little better each day, I bet I'll be able to have pizza by the weekend.

That's my plan anyway.

So for any of you that have ever had a nasty toothache, I FEEL SO BADLY FOR YOU!

So speaking of teeth, I'm going to leave you with an old picture that I scanned with my new handy dandy handheld photo scanner. This old photo was taken in black and white, back in 1968, and the teeth just look so pretty.

What a great smile!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What Goes Around, Comes Around

When I was younger...MUCH younger....I would spend a few weeks each summer with my grandma, aunt, and cousin Lynne. They all lived together and when I would show up for my annual visit it was such a refreshing change. I have a younger brother and when you're anywhere between about 10 and 16, you totally want to put the thought of a younger brother out of your mind in any way possible.

At least I did.

So I always looked forward to the female only "vacation," as my aunt used to refer to my time there.

My cousin Lynne is seven years older than me. She was (and still is) absolutely beautiful. She's thin, with dark hair, high cheekbones, and extremely pretty eyes.

She was very feminine when she was younger. Well, she still is, but we all change a little as we get older.

It would take her an hour and a half to get ready to go anywhere, AND THAT IS NO EXAGGERATION.

That doesn't even include the time involved in getting her clothes out for wherever it was she was going.

She had her routine and I would just love to sit and watch her go through it.

She would wash her face and neck thoroughly, then begin to apply the various creams and lotions. She would then get out everything that she would need for her hair. She had long, dark hair and had several styles that she rotated through. Some were very simple. Others were quite complicated. But no matter which style she chose, her hair always looked gorgeous.

She performed her tasks in the bathroom. I would sit on the little stool they had next to the bathtub and just stare at her. I would watch each and every move that she made, hoping that I could learn something from her.

If something didn't go on perfectly, she took it off and did it again.

I could go through her whole routine, but that would bore you to tears. Suffice it to say that it included concealer, foundation, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, powder, and lipstick.

Then of course there was the hair to style (and if it didn't come out just right, then she would re-do it), then cover the face, and use the hairspray.

Finally she was ready to put on her clothes and shoes. Once that was accomplished, there was the jewelry to put on...the perfect necklace for that particular outfit, and of course the earrings that matched. Then there might possibly be a bracelet put on. And finally, there was the watch band to select. She had a watch that had many different color bands and her band always had to match her outfit. Once she was totally put together, she would spray her cologne on. She didn't choose her cologne until she was all ready, because she had to see what she felt like wearing once she was totally dressed.

And throughout this entire hour and a half production, I would be staring and watching in amazement. I watched each and every little thing she did. I sat there very quietly, watching an artist at work, and knew that if I did anything to distract her, she might make me leave. (She really wouldn't, but that's the impression I had.)

Fast forward to tonight.

Before I took my shower, I decided to shave my legs. We have a little stool in the bathroom and I was sitting on it, in front of the vanity and lav with my razor and shaving cream.

(I have to say the word "lav" because I'm married to a plumber and the things that hold water that are put in bathrooms are called lavatories, NOT sinks. Sigh.)

In walked Marina, our middle kitty. She sat and stared at me as I went through all the steps necessary to shave my legs. She watched the foam that appeared from the shaving cream and as I rubbed it in. She watched the razor as it started at my ankle and moved up my leg. She watched the razor as I swished it in the water in the lav.

She was mesmerized by each and every stroke I mad on my legs.

She made me think of...


when I would watch Lynne all those years ago.

Sort of brings new meaning to the old phrase "what goes around, comes around."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dress Codes

The other day I went to the website for the school system that we live in. Alex is a senior, so I occasionally check the site to see if there's anything new I should know about.

Up popped a Dress Code Survey. I had a few minutes, so I thought "what the heck" and began taking it.

There were statements, and I was to check one of four options:

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree
The statements were about things having to do with what the kids look like when they attend school, as well as enforcement policies for the dress code.

I was breezing right through this, but then got to this one:

17. Underwear and under garments should not be exposed at any time while at school.

Excuse me??

What does it say about the current state of things when we have to even INCLUDE this kind of statement in a survey about dress codes?

If I were a high school teacher I would absolutely NOT want to see a girl's bra or the top of her thong sticking out above her jeans, pants, or shorts. I would NOT want to see the tops of a guy's briefs or boxers when his pants are riding too low.

I tend to have a problem with any school having a well-defined dress code in place and it NOT being enforced. Why have it if you're not going to enforce it?

I guess now everyone has to be careful so that we don't infringe on anyone's rights or take away their freedom of expression.

Give me a break.

A student is in school for less than 8 hours a day. That means that they have a little over 16 hours a day in which they can express themselves and not have their rights violated.

One of the jobs of a school is to teach responsibility and accountability, and if that means telling students IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS what they CAN and CANNOT wear, then so be it. In my opinion, that's the school's job. The students know upfront that if they wear something that violates the dress code, then they will be held accountable for their poor choice.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Wonder....

about Oliver.

Poor thing...what could he be thinking?

For the past few days we've had warm weather here in east central Ohio. Not sunny, but at least it's been warm.

I've opened up the door in our bedroom that leads out to the patio. The screen door is slid into place, so there's no escape route for our precious felines, but when I open up the big door, they like to lie there and look outside.

Pepina and Marina were both adopted from our local cat shelter and never spent any time outside since they joined our family.

Oliver, on the other hand, showed up at our back door last May. And then we decided to keep him.

He was an outdoor cat. At one point in time, he may have been someone's indoor cat, but if he was going to become a part of our family he was going to have to adjust to the inside, because I was not going to have a cat coming and going, possibly bringing bugs and other yucky stuff into the house. I was also not going to be constantly worrying about whether or not he was safe while outside.

So Oliver is an inside cat.

Friday evening, he sat next to the screen door in our bedroom, staring outside for several hours. Like maybe 5 or 6. It didn't matter that it was dark outside, he still stared and stared.

What was he thinking?

I wish I could go back out there.

I want to run wild.

I want to feel the wind on my face.

I want to chase squirrels and mice and birds.

I'd like to feel the grass under my paws.

Why won't these people let me out?

How did I get trapped in here?

Poor Oliver...maybe he's thinking other things.

I'm so glad I'm in here and not out there.

These people give me food twice a day and I don't have to do anything to get it.

I get to be growled at by that older cat.

That other cat sometimes plays with me. And she sometimes hisses at me too.

I get to sleep on top of a bed.

These people here play with me.

I think he's pretty content here, but you just never know for sure. He likes to get in this basket and sleep. It's usually empty, on purpose, so he can use it.

I just wish I could read his mind. I hope that he's happy here and that we're not depriving him of things. But he sure makes me wonder when he lies by that door, just staring outside.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Two Words

There are two words that I absolutely can NOT stand to see misspelled. It just drives me crazy. I've told all my students and up until this year I had a policy that if they misspelled either of these words, they would write them 100 times. This year I'm not doing hardly any writing activities (not my choice...the district told us what we had to do this year, sigh) so I don't have that policy in place.

But when I did enforce it, the children knew about it from the first day of school. I reminded them often. If they were not sure how to spell either of these words, all they had to do was ask me, and I would tell them. When the kids came to see me in the classroom I share with another teacher, I even had a L O N G banner stretching across the top of the bulletin board that had the 100 most misspelled words on it and the two words in question appeared there.

I would have to dish out the 100 times assignment about once a month, and that was it. Everyone knew my pet peeve and the kids would even remind each other about it.

So just WHAT ARE the two words, you may be asking yourself???


And wouldn't you when I was reading some blogs, I saw both words misspelled. It will take a while for me to go back to those blogs....just on general principles!

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Scholarship Application Down, Tons To Go

I have a strong suspicion that the scholarship application Alex filled out this past weekend was one of the easier ones he'll be coming across. The scholarship is sponsored by the Parent Teacher Organization at the elementary school he attended. One thing he had to do was write an essay about why his years in elementary school were so special.

I know he's my son, but I was really impressed with his essay. It's as though he finally used all that he'd been taught about writing over the years.

He also had to write a paragraph as to why he felt he deserved the scholarship. He did a very nice job with that too.

(This kid just seems to amaze me sometimes.)

He had to have two letters of recommendation, one being from a teacher at the elementary school. He got in touch with his fourth grade teacher about a month or so ago and was so polite about asking her to do this. Her letter was extremely complimentary toward him and it actually made me see him in a different light.

He got everything turned in today and I was glad to be able to cross that particular application off the list. He has another one due this Friday and he's working on that one tonight. This time he is required to write a 300 word essay. Believe it or not, it can be difficult to restrict yourself to only 300 words. However, I'm sure he'll do fine with it.

He was going to apply for our school district foundation for a scholarship, but the academic scholarships require a GPA of 3.5 or higher. He's got a pretty good GPA, but it's not quite up to 3.5, so that eliminates him from those. They also have leadership scholarships available, HOWEVER, he never listened to me throughout his high school years (until just recently and now it's too late!). I told him many times that he should be more involved in various activities because it would look great on college and scholarship applications.



And now he'll soon be paying the price, in more ways than one.

Hopefully we'll be able to come across more scholarships that he may be eligible for.

So if you know of any college scholarships that are out there just waiting for a sweet 18 year old boy planning on majoring in journalism, would you send me the information? Please??