Friday, September 28, 2007


The Cubs have won the National League Central Division!!! I know, it's hard to believe! Now, on to the playoffs!

Let's party like it's 1908 (the last time the Cubs were World Series champs)!!!


Monday, September 24, 2007


Last week my friend Karen took me to lunch. We went to the Applebee's by our office. Ok, I can't help it. I love Applebee's. I love both items they have on their menu. I love the spicy orange glazed chicken bowl and I love the Oriental Chicken wrap. I really don't think they have anything else on their menu.

Anyway, Karen and I were sitting in a booth and I happened to look over her shoulder at the woman sitting in the booth behind her. There was something big and black on the lady's shoulder and I asked Karen to turn around and tell me what that was. (I've been wearing my glasses lately not my contacts and the vision isn't 20/20 anymore in my glasses!)

Karen turned to look then calmly turned to tell me that it was a bee. I can't believe there was not panic at my table, especially from me.

"A bee, huh?" I asked.

"Yes, a bee" she replied.

Both of us women, very calm. "Hmm. What should we do?"

When faced with a crisis such as this, it's best to discuss how to handle the situation without causing a riot and that's what we did. Personally, my choices were for Karen to turn around and smack the bee off of the nice, elderly lady. As my niece JoBeth taught me, it's better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Besides, it was Karen's side of the table so it was her hand swatting the bee, not mine. It was either that, or pretend the bee isn't there and let it be and hope for the best.

Karen, always the practical one, thought she should tap the lady on the opposite shoulder and tell her about the bee and ask her if she can swat the bee away. Personally, if that were me being told I had a bee on my shoulder, I'd start screaming and probably get stung in the process. However, since it was on Karen's side of the booth, she got to choose what to do about the bee.

Very calmly, Karen turned and tapped the lady on her shoulder and told her about the bee and asked if the lady would mind if she would swat at the bee.

The lady, a little less calmly, told Karen to go ahead and swat at the bee, thank you. Karen gave it quite a swat. Such a swat actually, that the bee ended up on the table across the aisle! Luckily, no one was sitting at that table.

The four of us watched the bee shake off the personal attack and then fly away, no harm no foul.

The lady thanked Karen for saving her life! Then I had to open my big mouth and tell her that my choices were to smack the lady and then tell her about the bee or to just leave the bee alone and hope for the best.

Yeah, a picture is worth a thousand words. I wish I'd had my camera on me. I'm thinking that lady was really happy she sat on THAT side of the booth instead of on my side.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

He Can't Be Gone

My Dad died - Thursday morning, 4:50 a.m. I want to write about this, but I just can't. He's gone and tomorrow I'm supposed to suck it up and go back to work and go on with life and play like everything is fine. You wanna know something? Everything is not fine.

I'm nobody's baby girl anymore. I'm no ones daughter anymore. But everything is supposed to be back to normal tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What Does It All Mean?

My good friend Maura and I used to play this game. It's called What Does It All Mean? I have been known to have some pretty freaky dreams. Maura in turn would try to interpret these dreams. Usually, she'd come up with some really off the wall interpretation about my dream that would have the both of us in stitches. Her stories were well worth any pain of the dreams, let me tell you.

However last night, I think I really had a doozy. Keep in mind, no drugs or alcohol were involved, but I did have pepperoni pizza for dinner.

I dreamed that Ron and I were laying naked on our couch. Also with us was George Lopez, who was in a thong, not naked. When I asked him in the dream why he was wearing a thong, he said it was because Ron was naked. Ok, in my dream that made perfect sense.

But, why George Lopez? I've never seen his sitcom, but I have enjoyed his stand up routine on HBO a long long time ago. I've seen him on Letterman or one of those talk shows and that is the extent of my knowledge of George Lopez.

I may not know exactly what my dream meant but I do know this:

Our couch is no way big enough for three mostly naked people to lay on.

I need to hurry home tonight and get to bed early. I need to see how THAT one came out.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

It's Everywhere!

Usually when you buy a house, you “negotiate” a few items, complain about the buyer/seller’s points of negotiation, and once the papers are signed and the keys are passed across the table, you never see that person again.

That was not the case when we got our house.

The previous owner of our house was Larry. Larry had bought this house after it had sat empty for about five years. He totally remodeled my house, knocking down walls, building new rooms, new electric, new siding, new furnace, new air conditioner, new windows upstairs, and new sheet rock. It’s barely recognizable from the before pictures we’ve seen. And, he did a great job.

When we went to view the house, Larry himself took us room by room explaining a lot of what he had done to each room. It was really like a living extension of him, this house. I’m not exactly sure why they sold it, but I think as soon as all of our points were negotiated and the papers were signed, he was regretting the sale. He was going to miss his house.

When we did the walk through after the closing (yeah, Ohio is weird about taking possession after the closing. The house isn’t mine until about three days AFTER the closing. Dumb.) Larry really went into detail about all he had done to the house and he gently touched every wall he put up in the house. He also told us about the next projects that he had planned to do, in case we wanted to follow through with them. What can I say, the man had a vision

He looked so sad at the walk through, that I told him he’d always be welcome to come back and visit any time. Who knew that would be the start of a great friendship? Larry in turn offered that any work we wanted to do on the house, he’d be glad to come over and work on it.

Now, almost four years later, he and his wife Linda are truly two of our closest friends. They are really great people. And, true to his word, Larry has been over and helped Ron with a lot of projects, like blowing the insulation into the attic floor and putting in the glass block windows in the basement. Larry also has plans for the back deck he thinks we should build! On the other hand, Ron is right there with his tool belt on any time Larry has a project at his house too; it works both ways.

They have been a blessing in our lives, for sure. The guys have become great friends themselves and like I said, the four of us have a lot of fun together. We are similar in a lot of ways, right down to our bat!

Larry called me last Friday afternoon and asked how our bat situation was working out. I told him that we decided to forego the Batman and Ron worked on plugging up all the holes himself. That seems to have helped as we haven’t seen any bats in a week or so. Larry told me he found my bat.

That morning, he heard his cats downstairs making a ruckus. He went down at oh-dark-thirty to check on them when he thought he felt something go by him. Sure enough, when he turned a light on, there was a bat in his living room. Hey, at least when the bat was in my house, he was only in the attic and basement! He tried to chase the bat and catch him but to no avail. The bat was too fast for him. Eventually, he realized that he no longer saw the bat anywhere and the cats had calmed down as well.

One of the cats was by the fireplace looking at it. Sure enough, Larry saw that the flue was open on the fireplace. Here’s hoping that’s not only how the bat got into the house but also how it got back out again as well.

Now I’m getting blamed for sending my bat to their house. What can I say? Better their house than ours!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Dad Update

Last Saturday I got a call from my brother Jim that an ambulance had been called to transport my Dad to the hospital.

The nursing home had a hard time getting a reading on his blood pressure Saturday morning. After numerous attempts, a wrist cuff was brought out and it got a reading of 80/34. Since that is way lower than it should be, the ambulance was called, and then the family was called.

As soon as I hung up with Jim, I called my brother Michael who lives close by me. There was no hesitation; we were heading to Erie. After a fast shower, I was on the road to first pick Michael up then on to Erie. For the two hour drive, we spent part of the time on the “what if” discussion. What if this is it? What if Dad doesn’t make it? What if? What if?

Reality tells us that at 83 years young and in poor health that “what if” is soon to be a reality. I don’t care how old you are or what the circumstances, facing the loss of a parent is not easy.

We finally get to the ER and Dad’s face lights up when he sees me. I can’t lie – that is a memory I will keep with me forever. I know it’s just that he doesn’t see me every day, so it’s a surprise when my mug is in front of his face. But, in my version of the story, he is happy I’m there.

We find out from the Doctor that when EMS picked Dad up, they had no trouble getting a reading on his blood pressure. I was watching the heart monitor they had him on in the ER and his pressure is running steady at about 124/54. A ton better than what the nursing home had read. Doctor said she was ready to release Dad back to the home had it not been for the raging urinary tract infection he has. That seems to be a constant in his life.

The decision is made that the hospital will keep Dad a few days to watch him, under the guise of treating the urinary tract infection.

Once we realized that Dad was doing a little better than was first reported, and that this wasn't going to be the "what if" day, our moods lightened. We spent the day with Dad pretty much watching him sleep. Once he was put in his room, had some dinner, and was in for the night, Michael and I left.

We headed up to where our brother Jim works. It sucks that the poor guy has to work every weekend! The good thing is no one else is generally in the building with him, so we all had a nice family talk. We talked with Jim for quite awhile and then it was time for the two hour drive home.

Michael and I had a deal. I drove on the way to Erie and then he was going to drive us back home. That's only fair. Michael napped on the way in, I planned on sleeping in the way back!

Um, he did make it kind of difficult to catch a few winks. There is something about driving a car that's not yours. Can you believe that a grown man like my brother was actually screeching my tires in the parking lot while trying to do donuts? Dude! C'mon now! Well, that's it. Next time we drive to Erie together, we're taking his car. I always wanted to see if I could get a car up on two wheels and drive.

Not A Morning Person

I knew I couldn’t be the only person to not like mornings. Hey, I have nothing against sunrises; I’d just rather see them when I’m going to bed at night and not when I’m getting up in the morning.

My drive to the current audit finds me on the turnpike every day. Some of the toll booths when exiting the turnpike are now equipped with automatic booths with no attendant. Personally, I like the face to face when I’m forced to pay money. Other days, the lines at the face to face booths can be quite long while the automatic booths are empty. I’m no dummy. I’ll take the short line.

The booths really are user friendly. If you’re too lazy to read the big screen that’s telling you what to do, just follow the huge numbers plastered on the front of the booth. Number one tells you to insert your ticket. Number two is payment. You can either put cash into the machine or a credit card or a toll card. Number three is to take your change and number four is an optional receipt. (Don’t get me started on this one! My employer won’t reimburse me without a receipt for a $.50 toll. Yeah, I’m gonna get rich quick bilking them for my tolls. But, I digress.)

Thursday morning, I was running late and by the time I got to the toll booths, it’s rush hour and the lines at the toll booths were pretty long. The automatic lane only had one car already at the machine so I pulled in behind her. I watched her at least 10 times try to put her dollar in the machine. The machine is not very sensitive. It will take raggedy old bills the same as it will take fresh new ones. However, this machine was not cooperating with her.

I’m sure she was getting nervous with me behind her, but I was enjoying the show. The machine would spit the bill back out to her, she’d turn it around and try again. Another spit out, another turn. I was almost ready to give her a dollar of mine seeing as how I was already late for work.

Then the light dawned on her. She inserted her toll ticket first. THEN the machine gladly took her money.

Yeah, I know honey. All those bells and whistles so early in the morning just suck - for you anyway. Thanks for the chuckle.