Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Paperless Billing - Now With Paper

Isn't paperless billing supposed to be paperless? Well, not according to Capital One it's not.

I've had my Capital One card for years and for years I've chosen the paperless billing route. There's never much on my credit card. I go in every month and see if I have a charge; if I do, I set up the payment. Easy, right?

This month, I got a paper statement in the mail! Hello?? Paperless billing? I'm kinda pissed about this. Not only is my full name and address on my statement, but so is the entire credit card number. Now there is one more document I need to shred.

I called Capital One last night to express my dissatisfaction with the whole statement issue. I was transferred to another country to talk to a representative. He couldn't understand why this was an issue with me. After all, Capital One has a new statement format and they wanted everyone to see it. I tried to explain that I don't care about their new format since I never looked at their old one. I did NOT want a statement coming to my house. Ever.

Again, he said it was just this month to show off the new statements. I asked did they plan on mailing them now and again just to surprise me? He stated that yes, Capital One very well could mail statements now and again when they felt like it. Gee, I was getting no where. He couldn't understand why a little piece of paper was bothering me.

I started to think about that very thing last night. Why was it bothering me? Is it the fact that in my neighborhood, or any neighborhood, I don't want a piece of paper sitting outside unlocked with my credit card number on it? Is it because for years, I have not seen a statement come in the mail and suddenly there it is? Or have there been other statements that just didn't make it all the way to me? Does someone out there have my credit card number from a stolen statement that I wasn't expecting?

Have I been too indoctrinated into protecting my identity? When the bank sends you your ATM card, they always send your password under separate cover. Shouldn't I expect as much from my credit card company to not put all of my information on one piece of paper and mail it to me? Should I just say no big deal and move on? Am I over reacting?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kudos To Target in Amherst

Ok, those aren't words that come out of my mouth often!

I'm not anti-Target, but I'm not exactly pro-Target either. K-mart is much closer, but Target is a bright clean lovely store. But, I've had an issue where they didn't stand behind their brand of items. That said, on the other hand, I LOVE some of their Archer Farms snacks. If you're ever at Target, the highest three highest recommendations I have are:
  • Macadamia Nut Carmel Clusters
  • Spinach and Artichoke Tortilla Chips
  • Honey Mustard Savory Pretzels

I'm telling you, their snacks are good but these three are outstanding! RUN to your nearest Target and try them. They're a little pricey but I think these tidbits are worth it.

Now back to topic.

We were at Target on Saturday with a small list of stuff I wanted. One of the things was an accessory for our Wii, the Wii Motion Sensor. Damn Wii Sports Resorts game makes you spend more money for accessories. If I'd only known. But, I digress.

Like most stores, a lot of the gaming stuff is kept behind locks. If you go to Wal-Mart or K-mart, you have to hunt down an employee with a key to get your item. Target was different. There is a button at the end of the aisles that you can press to call for assistance. I pressed said button and was greeted with an electronic voice that stated something like they acknowledge that I need assistance and an associate would be with me in less than 60 seconds!

C'mon now, that's a bold promise for anyone to make! Being the smart ass I am, I timed the guy. If he wasn't there in 60 seconds, he was going to hear me give him a ration of crap over broken promises! Timer is going. I'm looking around. Ron is laughing. Work with me here, it looks like I was syncing up my watch for something important! Suddenly, I see an employee coming my way. That has to be coincidence! He can't be there because I called him! Sure enough, in 59 seconds since I pressed the button, he walked right up to me and asked "may I help you?" HA! He was extremely friendly and got a laugh out of the thought of me thinking Target was lying to me about him being there in under 60 seconds! I told him I was totally impressed with him on that, as well as impressed with Target. They definitely got Kudos from me for that.

We checked out of the store through a line with another great employee of Target's. She was personable, joked with us and was extremely pleasant while also being professional and helpful. Again, good for Target for hiring quality employees! It was just a great shopping experience at Target.

As we're walking out of the store, we hear someone shout out to us. What? We don't know than many people in Ohio! Who could know us at Target in Amherst? It was one of our neighbors from across the street! Even living just across the street, most times the most contact we have with him is waving at each other as one of us drives by. Well, the three of us stepped outside and shot the breeze for awhile. That was a nice catch up with him.

From Target we headed home. We did run another errand later to pick up some food at a new restaurant in town (I'm not ready to critique that one yet. I think we need one more try before I mention a name) then back home to eat a late lunch. It was now hours since we left the house for the first time and suddenly Ron realized that his work phone is missing! Not just the phone but the holster for it and everything! CRAP! This is not good. It's bad enough if you lose your personal phone but your work phone? Especially since Ron is on call 24/7. We both went into a panic mode.

First stop, outside. We had been in both of our vehicles yesterday, so Ron ran to his van, I ran to my car, and I called his phone, hoping one of us would hear it. His voice mail finally picked up but we heard no ringing. Maybe he lost it in the house!

We ran into the house and I called his phone again as we were sweeping each floor of the house. Suddenly, I hear "hello?" What????? My mind went blank. Finally I said, "um, we lost our phone today. Where is it?" to which she answered "it's here at the Target Store in Amherst!" Wow! She confirmed that she was in customer service and I said we'd be right there!

Sure enough, customer service had Ron's phone and his holster. We figured when he took his heavy jacket off in the store, he must have knocked the holster right out from his belt and we just never heard the dang thing fall. We asked if someone left a name when they took the phone to customer service, but no, they just dropped the phone off.

So, a huge THANK YOU to the person who handed Ron's phone in so that we could get it back in one piece. And, kudos to Target in Amherst. I may just have to change my overall opinion about you and start handing some more of my business over your way. Our experience with Target this week was definitely all good.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Could Live Without It

When Phil has other plans and is not having dinner with us, we like to do something that Phil would not like. For instance, we'll have seafood or ethnic food. Monday night when he had other plans, Ron and I decided to go for Mexican food.

Since our favorite Mexican place closed up about a year or so ago, and the restaurant that replaced it made both of us sick, we only have one Mexican restaurant that we really like but it's in Vermilion. Monday night we wanted to stay closer to home than that.

There is a chain restaurant, Don Tequila, in our area on Cooper Foster Road. We had been there probably three years ago. We weren't overly impressed with the food, however we did have a great time with the people sitting at the table next to us! You all know how I love to talk to strangers!

But, since the food was just mediocre, we never had any strong desire to return to Don Tequila. However, they have closed down their old restaurant on Cooper Foster Road and built a brand spanking new one over on Kresge by the Giant Eagle. We've been watching the construction and for some reason, I thought I wanted to try it again after it re-opened. Monday was our opportunity.

First let me say, the place is absolutely beautiful. I love the decor in there and I couldn't even explain to you the booth backs and the chair backs. Each one was different and you have to see them to appreciate them; gorgeous! We had a very nice server who offered suggestions and helped us through the menu. Now, here is my critique.

I'm not that crazy about authentic Mexican food. I was spoiled with the Tex Mex in Texas. I could eat that all day. But authentic Mexican, bleh. Not my favorite. Usually the margaritas are what make the dinner experience worthwhile. So, let's start there.

Even though we ordered the top shelf margaritas, they sucked. They were way too sour. Lime margaritas should be a little on the sour side but these were ridiculous. We had ordered a half of a pitcher to split between the two of us and we did NOT empty the pitcher. That alone could have made this blog appear in the pages of "That's Just Wrong!".

The food I usually order in Mexican restaurants is fajitas. You can't go wrong with some sliced steak, some onions and peppers, a little salad, guacamole and sour cream all wrapped up in a soft tortilla shell. This was a horrible representation of a fajita! Well, perhaps if you liked really spicy it might be good. I don't like spicy. My freakin' mouth was burning by the time I was done! Yeah, too much for me.

So, even though they seriously upgraded the building, I still didn't care for the food or drink. Yeah, I am crossing that one off of the list of restaurants to go to in our area. It's back to Vermilion to hit a good Mexican restaurant, Tijuana Grill. Now that's good eats.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Buzz Kill

Ok, here I go, bitching about my job already.

You know, the day to day stuff, I'm ok with. If anything comes up I don't know about, I email Mike about it and he answers via email or video chat. So far, so good.

But what happened today really came out of left field. Then again, maybe I was warned that this could happen during one of my talks with my brother/boss that first week.

I was sitting in my office, minding my own business, working on paperwork. The guy that works in the shop came in and we were chatting a bit. We started talking about family. We talked siblings, and he asked about my husband. I was dumb enough to tell him that Ron and I aren't married, just living together.

Holy crap, did I open the flood gates!

I have learned this afternoon that I am a horrible person and I am going straight to HELL. I do not pass Go, I do NOT collect $200. Straight to HELL. I've been lectured on the evils of fornication (obviously he's been doing it wrong) for way too long this afternoon.

Keep in mind, there are only four people that work in this building, and that includes me and my brother. That sure does keep the options low for people to talk to during the day. Besides, I have to deal with him every day on a business level. So, I tried to be the bigger person; I ignored him. I kept working away all the while trying to tune out talk of the second coming, the Antichrist, passages from the bible, the rapture, how people like me will not be saved. Oh, the horror.

I believe in live and let live. I have my own set of beliefs that I refuse to shove down your throat and I expect the same level of respect from you. You ARE entitled to your opinion and I wish you a long and happy life within your beliefs. I just don't want to be lectured about them and have them forced upon me.

Like I said, I tried to just ignore him and let him rant and rave and go on with his lecture. Whatever. Until he crossed the line.

When he got to the point that the people in Haiti were getting what they deserved because there is so much voodoo there, that went over the line. And, at that point, he was lucky my fat ass didn't come across my desk and punch him right in the nose.

I took the wuss way out. I texted Ron via the internet and said it was an emergency to please call me and keep me on the phone for awhile. A few seconds later, my cell rang and of course, I answered it. Poor Ron was trying to think fast on his feet to keep me talking about nothing for the next five minutes. Luckily, bozo took the hint and didn't wait around any longer and went back to work.

I need to grow a set of nads and figure out a way to tell this idiot to F-off while maintaining a working relationship with him the next time he tries to start this conversation again. With the small number of us, I definitely can't have any animosity in the work place. But I'll be damned (or so I've been told) that I'm going to take that crap from any punk.

So, F him. No one should have to live through what the Haitian people are living through. I don't care if you pray to God, Allah, Jesus, Mohammad, a tree, Buddha or not at all. The people of Haiti need all of the help they can get.

Please give to the Red Cross or to the charity of your choice.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Week In Review

In case anyone missed it, I am employed once again!

I have finished my first week of work and what a week it was.

It is so difficult to try to wrap my mind around concepts that I haven't thought about in over a year. Some of it is coming back easier than other parts of it. Heaven help my brother, he had a tough week of trying to teach me what I need to know while trying to get everything he had to do while getting ready to leave the country for 2-1/2 weeks. I think after this past week we both have a few more gray hairs!

We went through a lot of information every day. I came home every night with brain cramps! I was exhausted mentally and physically even though I sat most of the day. I'll tell you one thing, I slept like a log every night this week!

Brother Michael and I are trying to get used to working together. We are learning each others idiosyncrasies. For example, when he gives me "the look" over his glasses, I know I'm in trouble! I've either put a mental block against something he's trying to teach me or else I've gone over the line on something. Hey, I have definitely learned "the look" this week! It's all good though; we'll get there.

One thing about this job though is that it has really put me in a nostalgic mood.

My first job ever was when I was 15 years old and my sister Barbara was the office manager at the Erie Cab Company. Actually, the name of the company at the time could have been a number of things. The business changed names back then more often than some people change their underwear. But, I digress.

A little background: I grew up in the days of Twin Tech. My high school was split into two sessions, one session beginning the school year going 8-5 Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The other session would start school 8-5 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. In the middle of the school year, each session would switch. Granted, you ended up for half of the year going to school on Saturdays, but you only went three days a week. For four hours of the day you would have the normal academic studies of math, English, chemistry, whatever. The other four hours would be in a particular field of study. My choice at the time was medical assistant. Some of the other choices were diesel mechanics, business, cosmetology, welding and a bunch of others. Supposedly we would be ready for life after school! Anyway, you went three days a week with the idea that in your junior and senior years you would be out in the world working on the days you weren't in school.

While I didn't originally get a job in medical assisting while in school, my sister Barb hired me. She hired me at age 15 to do her grunt work. Keep in mind, this was in the days before having computers at work; everything was done by hand. (If you read my last post, you know I AM old!) I could never explain to you the crappy job of typing by HAND all of the 1099s and W2s with the five carbon papers put in between the copies. Holy crap. At the end of January, I'd work with carbon papers so much, my fingertips would be constantly black. What a mess. I had to keep drivers records by hand, payroll was done by hand.

The first computer we got took up half of the room and was loud. I did progress from grunt to accounts receivable. I got to take it over by the age of 18 and run with it. How crazy is that? I learned so much from Barbara throughout those years. I learned all about how business works and accounting overall. And, we did it all on hand ledgers. Those were the days.

Now working for my brother, the comparisons are sometimes so strong they come up and smack me right in the face. Working for a sibling in a building that is very reminiscent of the Erie Cab Company. Ahh, those were the days. I have been so nostalgic this week that I can't tell you how often I've picked up the phone wanting to talk to her and tell her just how much she is on my mind.

Anyway, on to bigger and better things. I am learning my new job. Not as quickly as I'd hoped, but I'm learning. My big test came on Friday when I was alone in the office for most of the day as Michael have left in the morning for his trip to China. I was so nervous, I was throwing up in the morning! But, I put on my big girl pants and went on to work. I may not have done everything perfectly or even correctly, but I didn't kill any one and I didn't burn the building down. All in all, I'd say that was a pretty successful day.

The good news about this job is that we have decided that there will be no TPS reports. They have been deemed unnecessary! A silver lining in every cloud!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 16, 1963, 11:25 a.m.

Holy crap! It's my birthday!

If you know me, you know that my birthday is the most important day of the year for me. It's one day that is just for ME!

Let the emails, phone calls, smoke signals, text messages and happy thoughts begin!

Happy Birthday to me!!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Yes, read that again. Finally, I am once again a contributing member of society. I have an honest to goodness, income generating, tax paying, job. And, I started it on Saturday.

After countless resumes sent out, I finally received and accepted an offer on Saturday morning. I walked into the office, hugged my new boss, accepted the offer and we started working. Hugged my new boss? Yes, hugged him. Ok, he's my brother!

I am not above a bit of nepotism. I've done it before. I used to work for my sister Barb for almost 10 years. She's who taught me most of what I know. But, on to my brother.

He is one of the owners of a manufacturing company here in the area. A position has opened up in his organization and he was crazy enough to think I was right for the position! Hey, all of my family has a few loose screws, but I think that's why we all get along so well.

There are a handful of good news/bad news about this position.

Good news: I have a real job with real income.
Bad news: I now have to go back to setting an alarm to get up in the morning.

Good news: It's good to get back to work since my brain has been going to mush from not having to think about too much.
Bad news: I think I've forgotten most of what I used to know.

Good news: I already started my new job on Saturday. I got the tour of the place, I got to drive a jitney (SHH! Don't tell anyone! That's supposed to be a secret!), I learned about relieving raw material inventory while building finished goods inventory, I posted the Accounts Receivable and made the daily deposit, I posted an Accounts Payable ACH payment and even got a shipment ready to go out on Monday. I think there was even more that I did, but that's off the top of my head.
Bad news: My brother is going back to China on Friday for a few weeks so I have a limited time to learn what I need to learn before he's gone and I am working without his side by side help. Yeah, that scares me a little bit!

Good news: I love to blog.
Bad news: It's impossible to blog about your boss being an asshole when he reads your blog! I love you, my brother! I'm sure we'll have our bad days, but I won't be able to just call him by a pseudonym and vent here. That's ok though. I'm sure we'll be able to work through any major problems and as long as he doesn't have PMS on the same weeks that I do, all should be manageable in our worlds.

So there you go. I am finally working again. One of the things that I do love about this position is that I will have my fingers in a lot of different things. That makes for much more interesting days. When all you do is one thing in a day, life can be boring. But when I'm doing receivables, payables, shipping, receiving, purchasing, cleaning the toilet, whatever needs done, that makes for some good days.

I have my own office, my own bathroom. That's moving up in the world!

To celebrate my first day of work, Michael even brought donuts into work. C'mon now, any job is about the perks! Donuts are a freakin' perk! Even better than that, he bought dinner. We had planned on hitting a great Chinese restaurant by his house and have Ron and Phil meet up with us at his house for family dinner and new job celebration. Here is what my fortune cookie said:

The hard times will begin to fade. Joy will take their place.

Amen to that. People, I am EMPLOYED! Let the joy begin!

Friday, January 08, 2010

I'm Cured!

I have been having a painful, almost paralyzing, need to get a cat. Pay no attention to the fact that I'm allergic to them (so is Ron). If I could have found the Lorain County Humane Society a few days ago I would have come home with a cat regardless.

Well . . . THIS might just have cured me of that need.

Possessed Cat Makes Freaky Noises - Watch more Funny Videos

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Day Of Firsts!

In my 46 years (almost 47, thank you very much!) on this earth, there are still a few things I've never done before. One of those things is get a manicure!

My hands have not been one of my best features every since I developed Dyshidrotic Eczema almost 30 years ago. When I'm having an outbreak, I do everything I can to hide my hands from sight. At the moment I'm in what I call my remission phase, but that too shall pass. The only evidence now is I have issues with the nail growth due to the eczema.

Anyway, I don't give my hands much thought. Then came Christmas! For Christmas, I received this nail care collection from Seacret.

Since I've never had a manicure, it took me a few days to pick up the box and pull out the directions and start from scratch on how to give myself a manicure. Here is my right hand before playing with my new nail care toys.

I started with the buffing pad. There are three different colored surfaces that I liken to different grits of sandpaper. In a specific order, you take this buffing pad and one color at a time buff all of your nails. If done properly, here is what it should look like!

Do you see how nice and shiny my nails are? All this without nail polish! This is all just with the buffing pad! Here are both hands together, bottom one done, top one undone with Phil's ankles in the picture! Hey, I needed a button pusher for the camera and Phil was willing!

The best part of this story is that I started with the buffing of the first color, after reading all of the directions of course. It was decided that since Ron was the expert here, he should finish my nails. Why, you ask, is Ron the expert? Believe it or not, in his previous life, he's HAD an actual manicure! This is one man who is very secure in his masculinity!

Besides that, when he was at the mall, (I have NO idea when that happened!) the salesgirl not only did one of his fingernails for him, she made him do another one so that she knew he knew how easy it was. She must have been one heck of a hand holder, because she sold him on the collection! I'm not complaining though!

So, there you go. Ron gave me my manicure. Is that the bomb or what?? Thank you honey! You did a GREAT job! And, here are both hands done! I gotta tell you, this is the first time since I was 17 years old that I thought my hands looked pretty. That alone is worth its weight in gold.

I gotta tell you, if Ron's job ever gets eliminated in my life time, if someone we ALL learn to fix all there is to fix on a computer, a server, a printer or a robotic library, Ron definitely has a new career ready. We've already talked about how I need to make an appointment for my next manicure in two weeks! I just hope I can afford his rates.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Congratulations, Hawk!!!

Today Andre "The Hawk" Dawson was inducted into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame!! And, deservedly so.

Andre Dawson won the National League MVP in 1987 while with the Cubs. What made this such a feat was the fact that the Cubs were in LAST place in their division. I don't know if it's been done since, but he was the first player to win MVP while a member of a last place team. In his 20 year career, he hit 438 homers and 1,591 RBIs. He was a great ball player and definitely a bright shining spot in the Cubs' history.

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan and have been for more years than I'd like to admit.

Only once in my life, so far, have I made it inside of my Mecca called Wrigley Field. The day I was there, before the game, I walked down the stands to as close to the field as I could get. Andre Dawson, right fielder for the Cubs, was standing at the rail talking to a few people.

I stood there, soooooo close to the greatness that is Andre Dawson, waved my arms like an idiot, while screaming ANDRE! ANDRE! ANDRE!!

Finally, probably to shut me up, he waved back. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is Andre "The Hawk" Dawson waving at ME in none other than Wrigley Field. One of my best days ever, for sure!

Congratulations, Hawk. You earned it.

I'm Sure This Was Ron's Fault!

As I've written previously, ever since our garage was broken into, Ron has put an alarm on the house and the detached garage.

Now, we've had some growing pains getting used to turn on and turn off the alarm. We all have key fobs on our key chains to make it even easier to turn on or turn off the alarm. The guys seem to carry these fobs in their pockets and sometimes their movements set the alarm when it shouldn't be set! I, on the other hand, have my fob on my key chain but tend to forget to turn off the alarm before I hit the button to open the garage door. Yeah, I do love that siren.

There are two options to set the alarm. One option is the home setting where all of the doors and window sensors are active and the other option is the away setting where all of the doors and window sensors are active as are the motion detectors downstairs.

Even though the motion detectors are downstairs, we turn the alarm on to the home setting at night so if anyone raids the kitchen during the night, or when Phil goes down for breakfast in the morning, the alarm doesn't go off. The away setting is only for when we're all out of the house.

Yesterday evening, Ron went up in the attic for a cigarette and when he sat down, something in his pocket hit the key fob and I heard the alarm get activated. He futzed with the alarm upstairs and then again on the second floor where our alarm base is, setting it correctly. Or so we thought.

Picture this: it's after midnight and everyone in the house is sleeping but me. I'm in the office watching TV and playing Pogo and I was hearing funny noises in the house. While that's not altogether unusual, sometimes it is unnerving. I was trying to ignore the bumps in the night when an emergency unfrosted strawberry Poptart, toasted hard, hankering overtook me. Hey, my Poptart addiction is just one of the manifestations of my obsessive behaviour. You never know when an emergency unfrosted strawberry Poptart, toasted hard, hankering will take over my body. There was nothing that was going to get that hot strawberry goodness out of my head other than going downstairs, opening a packet and throwing it in the toaster on level 5.

Of course, that's what I did. However, as soon as I got to the bottom of the stairs and turned the corner, BLAM! The alarm was going off, the lights were flashing off and on, I didn't know what the hell was going on! This is what separates the girls from the women! Do I search the downstairs to find the breach in security or do I run upstairs, look at the base to see where the breach is and make the guys get up and take care of it? In case anyone had any doubt, I ran like a little girl up the stairs to check out the base.

Based on the lights lit on the base of the system, what tripped the alarm was me getting in sight of the motion detector. Duh. What happened after this, you ask? Well, not much. I reset the alarm, counted a few extra gray hairs in my head, got my heart rate slowed down to sub sonic speed, noted that NEITHER of the guys got up during the hub bub, then I went downstairs to toast my damn unfrosted strawberry Poptarts hard.

Aside from the extra gray hairs, my Poptarts were soooo worth it the extra excitement. That is some darn awesome strawberry goodness.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

That's Just Wrong, Page 21

Where do I start this blog? Let's start with my buddy Howie Mandel here on the right.

I can relate to Howie in more ways than one. I have an understanding of his OCD. From the obsessive thoughts that are sometimes hard to get out of my head to the compulsive behavior and heaven help me, the germ phobia.

Now segue into my love of the library which can sometimes be the antithesis of my need to protect myself from germs.

Has anyone gotten a book from the library? No one knows what people do when they read public books. I have had pages freakin' stuck together. For real, I do NOT read the kind of books that you would expect to have pages stuck together. I have found what I believe to be pubic hair between the pages of library books as well as other bodily fluids and excretions. Ugh. From someone suffering from her own form of germ phobia, this is NOT good.

Anyway, I have a list of books that I want to read. I have a dozen or so authors like John Sandford, Robin Cook, Patricia Cornwell and David Baldacci just to name a few. I have lists printed on the works of each author I am currently reading and order them from the library in the order that they were written. I would never read an author out of order! One of my compulsions. Anyway, in between the authors I read, I come across a book that I hear about on line or on TV and I order it from my local library.

One of these books was the one shown above by Howie Mandel. It's a memoir of his life struggling with his ADHD, OCD and of course his germ phobia. I'm telling you, I could so relate to many parts of this book.

Anyway, I picked this book up from my library on Friday. Now, a book about a germ phobic being read by a fellow germ phobic should NOT be is this condition:

I have no idea what in the heck was spilled on this book but I actually had to argue with myself on whether or not to walk out of the library with this book! This is not one to read in bed since there is no way the bottom of this book is touching my bed, bedclothes, blankets, or even me. I read it sitting up while holding it away from my body. And, I washed my hands . . . A LOT.
I give this book two clean thumbs up. It was a good read that had some comedic parts but was a touching story of a man trying to live his life and raise his family in spite of the obstacles set in front of him. Howie Mandel's "Here's the Deal, Don't Touch Me". Get it from the book store, order it from Amazon, just don't order it from the Lorain County Library.
Defacing any book, let alone a library book, is just wrong.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Had To Move To Plan B

Look at this picture. Do you notice anything? Is there something missing here? Any one??

Yeah, that's what I thought. I've been looking at this hole in my kitchen toy cupboard for a few days now. For the life of me, I can't think of what it is. Bread machine? Bottom right, check. Bread slicer, steamer? Top left, check. George Foreman grills? Bottom middle, got it. Waffle irons? Top right, yeah, got two of them. What the heck is missing on the bottom left?

I even called Ron into the kitchen. I know I don't have that many toys in the kitchen, or at least not as many as I'd like, but c'mon, not even I would leave a space this big without storing something in there. Ron came over and looked and also drew a blank. No idea what was there. He even thought that perhaps that spot was always empty. Yeah, he's a guy; he didn't see anything wrong with a huge hole in a storage cabinet!

I let it go. I figured it couldn't be too important otherwise I'd know right off what was missing.

Fast forward a few days. I took a beef roast out of the freezer downstairs on Saturday to defrost it for Sunday. I thought, throw a roast in the crock pot and be done with working hard to get dinner on the table. I do love my crock pot!

Sunday morning, I was up and started working with the roast around 11:00 am. I had the roast seasoned and browning in a pan. That's when it happened. I went to the cupboard to get my crock pot out and what did I find? The empty hole in the cupboard! DUH!

It all came back to me. We had my family's Christmas dinner on Tuesday, December 29th. We carried Ron's famous vegan ranch beans to the party in my crock pot! When we left, we left the crock pot there with promises of getting together soon to retake possession of the crock pot. Yeah, who thought, huh?

So here I am, a roast already seasoned and browned and it's 11:30 am. What the heck am I to do? The old me would have made someone drive the seven miles to my brother's house to pick up the dang crock pot. But the new me came up with plan B. I decided to put the roast in a baking dish, put some tented foil over the roast and throw it in the oven on low and let it cook that way all day. I am good, huh?

I set the oven at 250 degrees, put the roast and some beef and veggie stock in, tented the foil and threw it in the oven. I honestly had no idea how long to cook this so I warned the guys that dinner could be ready at any time; not necessarily our regular dinner time.

I peeled and cut some potatoes and carrots to add into the roast at about 3:00. When I took the foil off of the roast, I could see the bone in the roast sticking out of the meat and the meat looked like it was falling apart already! I had to get the veggies in. Once I have a plan, it's hard to do a plan B on more than one portion of any activity! I've already used my one plan B up for making dinner!

I threw the veggies in and hoped that the meat would hold up until the veggies cooked. By 4:30 I could smell dinner all through the house. I was afraid any longer and dinner would just burn. So, like the old people that we are, we had dinner last night at 4:30 pm!

It was freakin' awesome! This had to be absolutely the best roast I've ever made. The meat absolutely fell apart and the veggies were cooked perfectly. We may have eaten on old people time, but we sure ate like we all had healthy appetites. Here is what was left when we were done.

So while I didn't have my crock pot, my plan B sure did work out well.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Say Hello, Say So Long

My friends, David and Edna, now live in San Diego. Between email, cell phones and video chats, we stay in touch as much as we can. So, talking to them recently, I knew they planned on staying in California this holiday season. There were NO plans on coming home this year.

Let's start with the day after Christmas. I had a lazy day and in the middle of the afternoon, David called me to wish me a happy holiday. Did I mention that I was having a lazy day? It was so lazy in fact that I was back in bed taking a serious nap. So, I'm woken out of a dead sleep by this phone call. Some days David is a bit off the wall when you're awake and sober! Waking from a dead sleep, it's sometimes hard to be on the same page with him.

All I know is that he kept saying "what's that noise?" I kept hearing someone knocking on his door. I told him to answer his damn door and the knocking would stop! He then told me it wasn't HIS door that had the knocking!

Luckily, Ron was wide awake during this time, heard the knocking for real and not just in my phone, and ran down the stairs to open the door. Sure enough, there was David and Edna at our door! Ron let them in, (hey, they were carrying TWO pies!! Of course, we'd let just about anybody in who was carrying TWO pies!)

Ron came running upstairs to tell me to get dressed because David and Edna were downstairs. I was still shaking the cobwebs from my head as I told him they couldn't be! I was on the phone with David after all! Surprise, surprise, they snuck into town without telling anyone and they were indeed downstairs.

Did I mention they brought pie?

So we had a great visit in our dining room, having coffee and eating pie. Now that was worth being woken from a nap for!

Last night we were hooking up again, this time including Edna's parents, Nick and Sally for a party at Lone Star Steakhouse.

Here is Sally and Nick:

The guests of honor, David and Edna!

Last but not least, I tried to take a picture of me and Ron! I'm the one you can barely see in the bottom corner of the picture! My niece JoBeth is the champ at taking pictures like this. Obviously, the length of my arm just isn't right. Either that or I can't aim. Yeah, one of those!

We were there for good times, for sure! We enjoyed the party, and even the food. Granted, I barely got pictures of the appetizers before the plates were empty.

Then, back to Nick and Sally's for Arabic coffee and good times.

We all had a great evening and now it's time to say so long, for now. Until the next visit, or until Ron and I knock on YOUR door with pies in hand!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Decade Brings Changes

Since it's a new decade, I thought this blog needed a new look. So, here it is!

Other than that, I really don't have much to blog about today. Ron and I were planning a nice drive to his home town of Barberton, which is about an hour plus to the south east of us, just for a day out. After all, my back is doing better so we thought we'd road test it!

Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating. It's only 18 degrees out here and we're expecting one to three inches of snow today! That does NOT make for a great day to travel! After all, how could I enjoy my walk around Lake Anna when it's that cold? I'm telling you, it can't be done.

So, no Barberton Chicken today for us. No Sweet Henrie's Ice Cream. Hey, it's never too cold for Sweet Henrie's! But since we're not going, I don't get to get any Sweet Henrie's today. That's a huge bummer. And, of course, no Lake Anna.

So, what is a girl to do on a cold blustery day in Ohio? I'm cleaning my house. I know, it sucks, but it needs to be done.

That's is why on a day I am cleaning the house, I look for happiness where ever I can find it. And today, that happiness is a new look to my blog! Enjoy!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it's 2010? Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that most of the world was panicking over Y2K? I rang in 2000 in Houston Texas, huddled in my apartment afraid with most of the world that planes were going to come crashing out of the air and that the world as we know it would no longer exist. I know, the biggest non-event ever, huh?

And believe it or not, it's 10 years later. An entire new decade. And, a time for firsts.

My FIRST New Year's resolution! I've never done this before because I've always thought it silly. No one should promise life changing events with a hangover. That just seems like a recipe for disaster to me. However, I am not hungover so I am ready to make a life changing promise to myself.

Before you get too excited, this is not going to be a vow to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthy or any of those things I SHOULD be resolving to do. No, this is more personal and frankly a bad habit of mine that is getting on my nerves already.

Here we go. I resolve to STOP dropping the F-bomb!

C'mon now, where did that come from? In my younger years of tending bar, I picked up that bad habit. Hey, I heard it every night so much that I started saying it myself. I haven't tended bar in 20 years so that's not my excuse any longer. (Wow! 20 years? It still amazes me sometimes that I got old! But, I digress.)

I've only heard Ron drop an F-bomb a few times with one of those times being when he put his finger through a table saw. My brother Phil lives here now and while he's been known to drop an F-bomb, it's not the most predominant word in his vocabulary. So, why do I do it? Where did I re-pick that up from? Well, I don't know, but it HAS to stop. Even I'm tired of hearing me say it.

So there you go. I have publicly resolved to stop dropping the F-bomb. I need some kind of repercussion for messing up. I'm not sure what that's going to be yet, but please, if you hear me slip, remind me of this post. This is my start to trying to be a better person in 2010!

Happy New Year to all. May this be a healthy and prosperous year for us all.