Saturday, August 30, 2008

And Poof It Was Gone

There are favors you can ask almost anyone.

Then there are special favors that you can only ask of certain people. You know, like hiding bodies. Or moving furniture. This was one of those special favors.

As most of you know, my brother Philip is very soon moving in with us. My goal is to be ready. The mind is there but the body isn't so willing. I have a list of things I want done before the momentous day but the list isn't getting whittled down too quickly.

For instance, I recently bought new living room furniture. Two weeks after delivery the old futon was still taking up room in the dining room. This was getting pretty irritating. (Although, as a side note, I did take a nap one morning on the futon in the dining room! Because after all, how many of you can say you've napped in your dining room?!! But, I digress.)

Thursday night is our garbage night and the futon was the last piece left to go. No one seemed to want to take it, perhaps because of the size and weight. Also, I needed to clear out the spare room, hence to be known as Philip's room, because Friday was cleaning day and I wanted that room gone over top to bottom. So, Thursday night, I had a huge list of stuff that needed doing.

I called brother Michael. He is one of those kinds of people that you call for the special favors. Michael and Mary Jane were gracious enough to agree to this physical undertaking. The futon was first. It went out to the curb. I hated to do this as it had so many good memories associated with it. JoBeth and I plopped our asses on a lot of couchs all over Houston looking for the right affordable piece of furniture before we found this futon! It was hard to let go of it. But, my attachment to this inanimate object had to be overcome and out to the curb it went.

That was the big undertaking of the evening. Just ask Michael and Ron - that damn thing was heavy. I put a sign on it that said "FREE" hoping someone would take it and get some use out of it before the garbage men came and took it.

Once that was finished, we decided to get dinner. By the time we got home from dinner, the futon was gone! That took some doing because I don't think any of the neighbors just came and carted it away. Someone with a big enough truck and muscles was involved in that one. Hopefully, someone will get some good ass plopping use out of the futon.

After that, everyone did a great job in emptying Philip's room. The bed was dismantled and moved out as was Ron's dresser. The dresser moved across the hall to our room. The room got a great cleaning on Friday so now I'm that much closer to being ready.

Thanks family, for again coming through for me. Next time I need to hide a body or move furniture again, you know you'll be hearing from me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

At Least He Wasn't Shot

I know I live in a tough town. Businesses are closing left and right and there are no jobs in town. The high crime rate reflects the jobless rate.

I was reading the online version of our local newspaper today, the Lorain Chronicle-Telegram, and here the first paragraph sure sums up living in Lorain. He may have had the crap beat out of him, but at least he wasn't shot.

LORAIN — A man received four stitches to his upper lip Thursday after a street brawl on Lorain Drive, but at least he wasn’t shot.

Yeah. Thank goodness for little favors.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Meet Me At The Fair

Wednesday night we met up with Michael and Mary Jane and headed to the Lorain County Fair.

I may not be a big one for fairs, but I was promised funnel cakes, and hey, who can resist a good funnel cake? So off to the fair we went.

The Lorain County Fair is one of the larger county fairs around here. Of course, the fairgrounds are huge and we ended up parking like a gazillion miles away from the gate. The coolest thing about this was they had rides to and from pick up points in the parking lot. All we had to do was remember that we parked near pick up spot #2. What I wasn't prepared for was our mode of transportation.

Here is a tractor, pulling a wagon of sorts. You climb up four steps into the inside of the wagon and there are two bench seats, one on each side running the length of the wagon. Ok, those were the safe seats. Then, on the outside on each side was another bench seat. On the way into the fair, we actually sat on the outside bench seat portion. Holy crap! I am such a pansy! This "ride" scared the crap out of me! Yeah, I know, I'm afraid of everything. But, geez. A wagon ride?

So, we made it into the fair and then the fun began!

Cows, pigs, horses, sheep, turkeys, chickens and of course, my favorite, the goats! I don't have the discerning eye of the judges. I couldn't tell an award winner from his lesser cousin. But it was fun watching all the kids care for their animals, and keeping the pens cleaner than I would have believed possible.

There was just one glaring error here. Right outside of the barn housing all of the pigs was the pulled pork food wagon. Hello? Pulled pork? Do you think the pig closest to the wagon was sitting there thinking he was next? Man, that was just wrong.

That aside, we finished up checking out the livestock it was time to hit the midway. I did well curbing the spending, but I did walk away with one thing I can't do without. The roasted nuts. Two bags of pecans and one bag of cashews later, I came across a wagon of Indian jewelry. I'm not a big fan of jewelry. Most days I don't even wear a watch let alone anything else. But they had some bracelets that were really beautiful. The one I chose has a teardrop piece of turquoise in the middle and some very delicate filigree for the bracelet part along with a few beads. It's hard to explain, but I couldn't resist!

After that, Ron bought me my funnel cake, and my evening was complete.

It really was a great evening, and we had the most perfect weather night of the week.

Now for the down side. It was about 11:30 by the time we got home that night. I know that's not late for most people, but for me on a work night, holy cow! I can't tell you the last time Ron and I got HOME at that time of night! Unfortunately I felt like I smelled like a barn, so I had to hit the shower before getting to bed. That made it after midnight by the time we got to bed. Again, way too late for someone my age to be up on a work night.

To prove my point, I must have been half asleep when I went to leave the house in the morning. I got all the way to work before I realized I left both of my cell phones at home! It's a truly naked feeling to be without both of my cell phones! To tell the truth though, I kind of liked the freedom of it all; the freedom of not being tied to my phones. I guess I should be happy that I was awake enough to dress properly before leaving the house. All important articles of clothes on the right body parts and everything.

So there you have it. A late night, but a great night. And, as icing on the evening, I did have a funnel cake!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Good Saturday

We had another good Saturday over here.

Ok, we pretty much goofed off all day, but isn't that what makes it a good Saturday?

Since we were both up early we started our day with the breakfast buffet at Eat 'n Park. That's the best thing about this restaurant is their breakfast buffet. We ended up running a few errands after this, I guess the only necessary evil in our day. A quick stop at the bank, the Verizon store and the grocery store then we were back to goofing off.

Did I mention I even had time for a nap? C'mon now, if that doesn't make for a good Saturday, I don't know what does!

We finished our day with a motorcycle ride. We really had no plan on where we were going or what we were going to see, he just drove. Some times we'd come to an intersection and he'd ask me which way to go. As we all know I'm great at getting us lost, I did my best. Luckily Ron is great at getting us found so all went well.

We went exploring a road I've always wanted to explore. Nice road, sort of country-ish but in town. No for sale signs though. Somehow in our meanderings we ended up on the road that parallels the lake. That's always a beautiful ride. When our butts needed resting, we stopped at a park that is on the lake with a pier going out into the lake. On our way to walk out on to the pier, we were exploring the park itself. They have added a few features since the last time we were there. Like a few gazebos. We were checking out the plants around the gazebos as well, which all showed signs of some serious bug infestation. But hey, we were on an adventure, so who cared.

After exploring that area all we wanted, we started to head down to the pier. And then THERE it was! On the side of a garbage can was the HUGEST caterpillar I've ever seen! I was brave enough to put my finger close to the caterpillar just so that you could see just how huge this thing was.

Just when I thought we saw all of it, I moved to the side and saw the caterpillar kept going and going! It was a good five inches long. I'm not sure where it ended since it started under the lid and I wasn't getting that close to take a better look!

After we got home, we did a little research. I believe this is a cecropia caterpillar which, if successful, will turn into a cecropia moth, the largest moth in North America! Yeah, no kidding!

So there was our adventures for the day. Complete with cool bugs! There went the motorcycle tough girl image when you see me "ewwing" and "ahhing" over bugs. So much for my image. It was a very cool bug.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Only 20 Years Behind

Last Friday as I was on the road coming home from the audit, I was talking to Ron on the phone. Hey, I wasn't driving so I'm allowed to talk on the phone all I want!

Anyway, he informed me that there was a little problem at home, and the whozewhatzit was broken so we had no Internet at home. Until Ron could get to the store to buy another whozewhatzit, we wouldn't have any Internet either. He thought maybe he could work on it during the upcoming week.

Hello? No Internet? No Pogo? No email? I don't think so.

I begged that right after dinner we head to Best Buy for that whozewhatzit and get us back up and running. That was a good plan as far as I was concerned.

Best Buy is overpriced but they do have quite a selection of stuff I might need.

While Ron was off comparing whozewhatzits, I left and told him I'd either be in the CD section or the Wii game section. By the time he came over to find me, I already had a few selections picked out. Of course, he asked me what I bought!

I found two CDs in the "on sale" rack that I felt I had to have. One was by Guns 'n Roses and one was by Nirvana. Ron looked at my choices and said "gee, now you're only 20 years behind the times"! Ouch!! Hey, I can't help it, I like what I like.

Hopefully, though, I redeemed myself this week.

While out of town, I finished the book I was reading way earlier than I expected. I didn't pack a second book and I couldn't go two days without reading material. Right down the street was a Super Walmart. While I'm not a fan of Walmart, it was right there and it beat trying to find a mall or a Kmart. I headed in.

I chose the Dean Koontz book Odd Hours, the fourth installment of the character Odd Thomas. A mighty good choice if I do say so myself! After choosing the book, I decided to walk around the store for awhile. I found myself to be in the CD section again. I know, I just bought two new CDs, so why did I think I needed another? But, I caved into impulse buying and bought the newest Kid Rock CD. Say what you will, I love that guy!

Eclectic mix of tastes. I should be good on CDs at least for the next 20 years.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Considering I am in a small town, the Hampton Inn I am staying at is always full.

I was in denial about having to spend another week here, so I never made my reservations for this week until last Thursday evening. By then, the number of available rooms was slim. The only rooms left were the smoking rooms.

First, I thought Ohio had gone no smoking. Why are there still smoking rooms? I was told the hotel is allowed to keep 10 smoking rooms available. Sucks to be me, I’m telling you. And, that’s a rotten loop hole.

The hotel will do what they call ionization on the room. It’s supposed to help with the smell. Let me tell you, it doesn’t. In my humble opinion, I think someone just goes through the room with a no name brand cheap Lysol type spray and does a little spritzing. It’s close to useless.

When I checked in last night, I walked into the room and was about knocked over backwards. The smell was horrendous. The front desk stated the ionization had taken place during the day but if I needed another one, she’d do it if I was leaving for dinner or she would put in a request for one to be done today while I was gone. I decided to forgo her suggestion and take matters in my own hand.

First things first. I went through my ritual of wiping down the room with my disinfectant wipes. I unpacked my bag, washed my hands and I was ready for dinner. I headed to the other side of town (a whole five miles away!) and had a pleasant dinner at Applebee’s. From there, it was across the street to the Super Walmart.

I bought some Oust spray (supposed to take out odors) and I was looking for some candles.

I was hoping for some pleasant smelling candles, but it seems that Walmart forgot to order those. The good news here is that they at least had a plethora of cheap candles. Instead of grabbing a couple of single candles, they had a gift set of five candles. There were three small ones, maybe two inches high in a glass holder and then two of the bigger ones in glass canisters with the glass tops.

I made my way back to the hotel. I had left the bathroom fan on hoping that might clear some of the smell. It didn’t smell like it did. I went to the window and figured it wasn’t very secure. Somehow, the little thingie on the top of the window that was supposed to prevent the window from opening just happened to pop off. Go figure! With that gone, I was able to open the window wide and at least let some semi fresh air into the room. I wish I’d have thought of that before I went to dinner!

So, keeping the window open for an hour or so did help. After that, I went through the room spraying my Oust all over. I gave the curtains a good dose as well as the bed and parts of the carpet. Yes, I was a crazy woman. Once the window was shut, I lit the candles. (Thanks, Ron! I’m glad you left your lighter in my car!) Ok, I only lit the three little ones; for now. I had one on each bed side table and one on the table next to the dresser with the television.

With all of that, the room was a little more livable. Before I went to bed, I blew the candles out and gave the room another good spraying of the Oust. I know, I’m probably killing myself with the fluorocarbons or something but geez, it was hard to breathe in there. This morning, I gave another good spray with the Oust and here’s hoping the room will be more pleasant when I get there tonight. Maybe I won’t need the passion fruit scented candles tonight!

Um, if someone gets a slightly used gift box of five passion fruit scented candles for Christmas, at least you’ll know they were pre-used for a good cause!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Harry Potter Puppets

Go ahead. I dare you to get this song out of your head once you've heard it!!

(psst, Michael J! I had to have additional Ron help since I needed a more hands on instruction to make it work!! Thanks for trying! I am close to hopeless!)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Day Of Fun

Ron and I had a total goof off day.

We headed south to his hometown of Barberton. From our house, Barberton is just over an hour away.

The first thing we did was hit one of the town's famous chicken joints for some Barberton Chicken. I don't know why this town has the market cornered on fried chicken, but they are famous for it. But I do know why it is so tasty. If you read the link to Wikipedia, there ain't nothing healthy about this meal! They keep out the health, keep in the taste. Anyway, we had a great lunch.

From there we headed to buy flowers. We had a few flower giving opportunities coming up so we were stocking up. But, lo and behold, what was next to the flower store? A Best Cuts! Ok, it's not a top of the line salon, but for real. All I needed was a trim. How can they screw that up?

So, five minutes and three inches later, we were out of there and next door to the flower store. We made our choices and were on our way to Barberton Citizens Hospital to see Ron's Uncle Paul and drop off our first bouquet of flowers. We sure did surprise him! For a sick guy, he did his best to pass back every zinger we threw at him. I thought he looked very good and was on top of his game with the jokes and jabs. Talking with Uncle Paul is always an event as he's a man with a dry wit and a quick verbal jab. We sat with him and his wife and daughter for quite awhile, just catching up and telling stories and jokes. Finally, Uncle Paul was looking pretty tired so we hugged and said our good byes and let him get some rest.

From the hospital we were over to Ron's brother Wes's house. After all, tomorrow is Wes's birthday so we couldn't let this occasion go by without a howdy from his favorite brother! Ok, Ron is Wes's only brother, but I digress! Again, we sat and visited for awhile before he was whisked off by his family for some birthday love. Happy Birthday, Wes!! I won't even tell how many candles are on the cake this year!

After that it was to the cemetary. Today is 12 years since Ron's Mom passed away and we went and paid our respects. After a nice talk with Mom, a little headstone cleaning and some flower arranging, we were heading home.

We had a beautiful day for a drive. The drive home was mostly uneventful. We made it home safe and sound, unpacked the car and raced to be first in the bathroom. Once business was taken care of we went outside to sit and relax a bit on our own front porch.

It was strange weather out there. The sun was shining, but the rain was coming but only in a mist. It wasn't bad until that wind started blowing with it blew with a vengence. We just sat out there and marveled at the strange weather. Then, Ron saw it. If you look closely, you can actually see a double rainbow as the second one is to the right of the first one and a lot lighter, but it is there.

So there you go. A great day followed by a rainbow. You can't beat that.

That Had To Hurt

My contact at my current audit is a hoot!

At least once a week, she and I like to head across the street to the Mexican restaurant for a few margaritas to "discuss" the progress of the audit. Hey, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

This week, my boss had joined us at the audit. The only down side to that is when he goes, he picks me up as I'm sort of on his way. It's still a couple of hours from my house, so it's better to take one car than two. Unfortunately, then I am without a car.

Anyway, Thursday my contact stated that we should do margaritas at 4:30 when she gets off of work. While I thought that was a great idea, I knew my boss had made reservations for us for dinner that same night. There is only one fine dining restaurant in this town, and by golly we felt that we needed to eat there.

The boss's view on Thursday evening was that since the restaurant was close to the job site, we just work late and then head over to dinner instead of heading over to the hotel and then come back for dinner. I informed him at lunch while his idea was good, I had a better idea.

I told him about the margarita plan. I said instead of working late, we actually leave 1/2 hour early, head across the street, have a few cocktails and then head for dinner. He said he'd think about it.

At about 4:00, I went upstairs where the boss was working and told him if he wanted to work late, he was welcome to it. I, on the other hand, was going to join the contact for drinks. He could either call me when he was ready or we can just agree on a time and I'll meet him at the car at the appointed time. He thought a second and said that no, margaritas sounded like a much better idea than working tonight! Bonus!

I told him we were leaving at 4:30 so be downstairs and ready!

Then I headed back downstairs to tell my contact we were all in for a walk across the street. However, when I got downstairs, the entire department was in an uproar and my contact was not doing well. Come to find out, she went to walk out of her office when her phone rang. While running back into her office, she kicked the chair that was on the side of her desk.

Now, like most women, she had kicked her shoes off under her desk so she was actually running back in barefoot. Her little toe went on one side of the chair leg while the rest of her toes went on the other side of the chair leg. In the couple of minutes since it happened, her toe was already turning colors.

One of the ladies in the department offered to run her to the ER as the consensus was that everyone heard a "crack" when it happened. So much for our margaritas! She went to the ER and I ended up working late anyway!

Come to find out the next day, she not only broke her little toe, she nearly broke it off. A picture of the x-ray showed that the bone of the little toe down by where it connects to the foot was cracked almost all the way through. Plus, the hit literally ripped the toe. They didn't stitch it back up since the doctor felt that would be a very irritating place to have stitches, under and between your two toes. They cleaned and bandaged the laceration, taped the two toes together and sent her off with antibiotics and pain pills.

So, for once, I talk the boss into leaving work early and actually goofing off for an hour. Then, the contact had to cancel. Dang, that hurt.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Charlie Bit Me!

Charlie Bit Me!

This is just too funny! Being the baby of the family, I can appreciate that devilish grin on the baby!