Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Boating Weekend

It's been a fun filled boating weekend. Well, mostly!

It started with Ron's brother, Wes and his wife Bev coming up from Barberton to go for a ride. Wes is enjoying a ride in his baby brother's boat!

While Bev and I relaxed on the back of the boat and caught up on all of the gossip in our lives. I tried to take a JoBeth special picture! She is the queen of self potraits! I did better than most here! And, yes, I still wear my life preserver. Wimp that I am!

This trip, we headed from the marina in Vermilion back to Lorain to see some familiar sights. Let me tell you something about familiar sights. They aren't so familiar from the other side! Even the power plant over at the foot of Oberlin didn't look the same. You'd think something that big should be easy to pick out. Not so from the lake.

I'm not exactly sure what this tower is, but it's across a channel from the lighthouse. I really don't remember seeing it from shore, but I just must not have paid attention. Anyway, this caught my eye out on the water.

This tower was at the end of a pier. The pier was filled with birds, wing to wing! I don't think I've ever seen so many birds in one place at the same time! I was waiting for the mass exodus over the boat for a head full of poop! But I guess I'm just a pessimist at heart. The birds stayed where they were and my hair stayed poop free!

Eh, I'm still learning how to use my camera properly. The birds didn't show up like I'd hoped. You gotta trust me, this was close to a gazillion birds!

Anyway, across this small channel to the lighthouse. From what I hear, this is one of the most photographed sights in Lorain. Let me tell you something, it's much prettier from land. Up close, you can see this poor landmark needs some love. Doing some research, there is a fundraiser under way to restore her to her former beauty.

As you can see, we went around the lighthouse. She's not terrible, but she's aged and weather worn; in need of some TLC. It was still great to get the up close look!

Then, I tried a few videos on my camera. Here's one with my head over the side like a dog's head in a car window! From the back, it's the only way to see what's going on!

And, then since I love how the flag looks flapping in the breeze, I took another video watching where we were!

Those two short videos and a hand full of photos and my memory card was full. So, that's the end of the pictures. That's a good thing though, because for the rest of the story, you really don't want photographic evidence. I am out of eye bleach to hand out to y'all.

Sunday we were finally going to go FISHING! I've been waiting for this, ever since Ron said he was buying a boat! I wasn't thrilled with the early morning start time, but I was in!

We actually met up with Larry and Linda at George's Bait Shop where we proceeded to pick up fishing licenses and a few odds and ends for the day. We also hit the Drug Mart in Vermilion to pick up some more odds and ends like sun block (too late since I got a bad burn Saturday!) and some Dramamine.

I did take a Dramamine before we got on the boat and I used the sun block on my face, neck and hands. Since I did have a burn, I wore a long sleeve t-shirt to cover my arms and some Capri's to cover my burned thighs. I thought I was being a smart boater!

We got on the boat and headed out. It was another picture perfect day with blue skies and calm waters. We headed out with the fish finder out into the lake. The guys picked out a spot that looked good to them and we dropped anchor.

Do you have any idea how much a boat MOVES when anchored? Holy crap! This boat was going up. And down. And up. And down. Ugh. I never expected, on such a calm day, that the boat would bob like it did. As soon the boat started bobbing, I am terrified. I guess I didn't know what to expect. I immediately broke out in a cold sweat that I attributed to being terrified. I couldn't breathe I was so hot, so I actually ripped my life preserver off and tossed it. Next I headed into the cabin as I heard if you are seasick, the best place to be is low in the boat. I sat in the galley with the fan directly on me, trying to cool off.

Well, as you can guess, within five minutes, I was chumming for perch. It hit so fast and so hard, I couldn't believe it. They guys barely got the minnows on the hooks and the hooks in the water and I was done. (Now aren't you glad there are no pictures with this part of the story??!) Ron saw I was ill and he immediately pulled up the anchor, took the lines out of the water and high tailed it into shore. I felt absolutely terrible for ruining every one's day. I wanted him to just drop me off on shore, I'd go home and the three of them could go back to fishing. But I guess they all called it a day.

I had my own car at the marina, so I turned on my a/c full blast and I headed home with a bucket on the seat next to me. Luckily I made it home in one piece.

I cranked the a/c down at home as well, ripped my clothes off and laid on the couch. I think Ron was home what seemed like ten minutes after me. I was asleep on the couch by noon and didn't move until Ron woke me up at 5:00. I slept hard!

I headed back to bed before 10:00 pm but I had the "I drank too much" feeling. As soon as I was down in the bed with my eyes closed, my world started to go up and down and up and down again. It was not a good night.

I was down for most of Monday as well, although I did make it to work. Every time I looked at my monitor, my world would start moving on me again. I have never been seasick or carsick before but I sure got it Sunday. I am finally starting to feel better, but it's taken me a few days! I have a whole new respect for the crews of Deadliest Catch. I know it's like comparing an acorn to a forest but this acorn sure couldn't take it.

Ron and Larry have both told me that next time I need to take the Dramamine sooner, as it didn't have enough time to take hold. The next time? For real???

Sunday, August 29, 2010

PhotoPhun Challenge: Red

Well, what have I gotten myself into! It was up to me to pick the theme for this week's PhotoPhun and I picked red, as in the color red. Um, remember me? The color blind one? If any of my pictures aren't really red, I don't want to hear it!

I did have a blast this week though, going out and looking for red. Who knew so much red was out there! The first thing I learned though was that I really need to learn how to work my camera and figure out what all those settings on the camera are for. I really had a couple of what I thought were great ideas for shots, but try as I might, I couldn't get a usable picture. I just couldn't make the camera focus on what I wanted.

In the mean time, to see what real good pictures look like, make sure you go look at Lisa and Mark's pages to see what they found.

First, this is the side of a drink machine. It was all lit up and that red just jumped out at me.

We were over in Avon Lake by the boat ramp and I saw these flowers. I took a ton of pictures, but this one came out the best.

Right by the above flowers was this old fashioned water pump. I just fell in love with this! Don't ask me why!

The top of a lighthouse birdhouse! Unfortunately, no birds were at home at the time I was snapping pictures.

Lastly, I may not be allowed at Apple's in Sheffield Lake any longer, but c'mon now, why do you need to buy flowers when I'm busy taking pictures? Geez, some people!

I am looking forward to our next assignment! This was a lot of fun!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Five Bells, It Must Be Seven O'Clock!

We have a mystery going on at our house!

But, a little background to the story first.

I don't usually sleep the night through. Some time during the night, I can't take my bed any more so I grab my cell phone (which doubles as my alarm clock) and I head down to finish out the night on the couch.

My alarm starts going off at 6:40 a.m. and the fourth snooze is at 7:00 a.m. Yes, my cell phone alarm even has a snooze alarm! The freakin' thing rings every five minutes, but it's better than nothing. About 30 seconds after my 7:00 a.m. snooze, I hear five bells chime. From the couch, it sounds like they are coming from upstairs.

We have an alarm on the house. The base of the alarm is located on the second floor of our house. For months now, I've been telling Ron that the alarm is trying to turn on the downstairs light and since I have it shut off, it can't turn it on. You see, our alarm system will also turn lights on and off automatically in the house. Ron tried to set it so that the lights were on downstairs when I went down to make coffee. Unfortunately, with me sleeping on the couch in the morning, I don't want the darn living room lights turning on and waking me before my fourth snooze on the cell phone! Anyway, the bell sounds to me to be very similar to the bell noise the alarm makes when you turn on or shut off the alarm. The alarm chimes once to say the alarm is set, twice to say the alarm has been disarmed, so I figured five of them meant "HEY! I'm trying to turn the damn light on!"

Well, Ron vehemently disagreed with my assessment of the chiming bell, but I wouldn't believe him. Come to think of it, I don't think he really believed that I was hearing bells every morning either!

Recently, Ron has been having to get up much earlier than usual for work. Now HE'S hearing it too! See, honey? I'm NOT crazy! Well, not much anyway!

Now the only problem is that we can't narrow down just where the dang bell is ringing from. It's not a door bell noise. Besides, we don't have a door bell. It's not the guy across the street backing his dump truck out of his driveway, because his back up alarm sounds much different, and it's not always just five dings.

What is it? From my perspective on the couch, it sounds like it's coming from upstairs. That's why I kept blaming our alarm system. But Ron was sitting up in the computer room and from there he says it sounds like it's coming from downstairs. The other day I made it up to the landing before the dings went off and I still say it sounds like it's coming from upstairs. I know it's not coming from the computer room, the bathroom or our bedroom. We've had Ron at the top of the stairs, me at the bottom of the stairs and we still can't decide where the sound is coming from. I even asked Phil if he had something in his room that would ring every morning. I don't care if he does, I just need to know WHAT it is!

So here is my idea. I'll get donuts, and put coffee on. Everyone show up at my house and we'll stake it out before 7:00 a.m. We'll put some one in every room and at least four people outside, so we can surround the outside of the house. It's driving me nuts that I can't figure this out!

I'm telling you, it's a head scratcher! It's not the alarm and I don't think it's our ghosts. Any other ideas?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keeping Your "Girls" Happy!

This blog is about boobs. Before you get too excited, there will be NO pictures of boobs in this blog!

There was a study done by Brigham Young University about the positive effect of having sisters as siblings in your life. I can attest to that fact as I was blessed with the two best sisters there ever were. They both were extremely instrumental in helping me to evolve into the woman I am. I am sure our brothers will also vouch for the fact that their lives have been greatly enriched by having us as sisters! (At least two of you better agree with me or face the possible future of no more home cooked meals from me!)

The study from BYU aside, there is a special bond between sisters. From cradle to grave, no one else knows you or where your skeletons are buried like a sister. I talk to my sister about things that no one else in their right minds wants to hear about. Things like cramps, sex, menopause, broken hearts, sex, unfulfilled dreams, recipes, sex, you get the idea.

My sister and I talk just about daily. If not on the phone, or video chat, we are on gmail chat. There isn't much we won't talk about or advise each other on.

I have been telling Cathie about buying my first sports bra awhile back. It's not that I am athletic, in spite of my new found regime of treadmill walking. It's just hard to find a good bra that fits properly and makes my "girls" happy. Either something is pinching, poking, or straps are falling. You women out there know what a pain in the boobs a bra is. So, I tried a sports bra. I fell in love the minute it was on!

It does hold the girls in nice and tight, but not in an uncomfortable way. You are totally supported, no straps to fall, and honestly, after I get the bra on and the girls situated in there, I forget I have the bra on! THAT never happened with a regular bra. A regular bra gets taken off immediately when I got home, not to be looked at again until it's time to go to work again. They are terrible!

Cathie was planning a shopping trip to get new bras. I reminded her again how wonderful the sports bra is and that she should seriously consider giving them a try. Luckily, she listened to me and actually bought a few! She called me that night to let me know just how happy her "girls" were! These fit like no other bra! Like I said, no pinching, no wires stabbing, no uncomfortable straps that keep falling down. Just pure bliss and support!

Once in awhile, even your baby sister comes up with great ideas! That's what a good sister does for you. Helps make your boobs happy, and of course, helps you bury a few bodies through the years! But I digress! ;-)

Here is my public service announcement for any ladies out there that wear bras. Go buy a sports bra. I'm telling you, I will never go back to a regular bra again. When my "girls" are happy, I am happy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Time For A Murse

One of the things that I really like about Ron is that he is one of the most secure men I've ever met. He is the least homophobic person I know. He knows who he is, and he's good with it. You know what? So am I!

A few examples of what I'm talking about:

I have had to buy some new shorts since the ones I have sometimes want to fall off as I'm walking! (GO ME!) Unfortunately we are getting to the end of the shorts buying season and the selection I found in my size was minimal. I usually go for colors that I can mix and match with most of what I have in my closet, but all I had to choose from was white (I do NOT do white pants!), yellow and salmon. Yellow was good, I have a lot to go with yellow. Salmon? The color was beautiful, in my mind, I was buying it and I'll find something to match!

I have one blouse that matched perfectly! Keep in mind, I am color blind so I didn't know if anything else I owned would go with the new shorts. Picture this: Ron and I standing in front of my closet, going through my clothes. I pulled out blouse after blouse after sweater after shirt and held them up to my salmon shorts.

Me: Does this go?
Ron: No.
Me: How about this?
Ron: Ugh.
Me: Maybe this:
Ron: Maybe, but no.

It was tough! I really only had that one blouse that went with the salmon shorts! Ron helped me pick out one other blouse that "wasn't terrible" with the shorts! So, if you see me and I don't match, blame Ron! I'm the color blind one!

I've blogged before about waking the poor guy up in the morning to ask him what color my slacks were. Who can tell the difference between black and blue some days?

Then, there is Project Runway! As much as Ron hates my addiction to reality TV, I do catch him watching some of it in spite of himself! The only part of Project Runway he will watch is the runway. That's when all of the models are dressed in the designer's clothes, and walking the runway to show the clothes to the judges. You need to hear him give his critique!

Ron: I like the color on that one, but not how it hangs.
Ron: That would be ok, but I think it looks funny how it hangs under her boobs there.
Ron: That makes her hips look terrible!

That's my man! Fashion guru!! Or maybe it's just that he has the hots for Heidi Klum! Either way, I'm jiggy with it.

Now lets look at Ron for a moment. (Who knew when we got together that you'd be so instrumental in SO many blogs?!!) My biggest complaint about him is his need to carry the tools of his trade with him at all times! I've been poked by screwdrivers coming out of his pockets just sitting next to him. He's poked himself and almost stabbed himself with a screwdriver in his coat pocket once. It's a dangerous thing! Your pockets are NOT the place for sharp objects!

He claims that since he is on call 24/7, and he sometimes leaves the house at a moment's notice, he HAS to have all of those screwdrivers, wrenches, ratchets, etc. in his pockets at all times. I dare you to grab any pair of pants of his and NOT find holes in his pockets from the tools he always carries around!

I have a solution! A Murse! I think this would be perfect for him! We could leave it in his van, or by the door and he can grab it on his way out of the house and have everything he might need for any service call and them some! AND no more holes in his pockets! C'mon now, isn't this a great idea? They come in numerous shapes, styles and sizes. I'm sure we can find something to go with his personal style!

For some reason, I can't seem to convince Ron that this is the answer to some of his problems! I think he'd be thrilled with it, if he just gave it a chance. He thinks he should just stick with helping me color coordinate myself.

Don't be surprised this Christmas if the accessories Santa doesn't bring you a great gift! You can be the first in our neighborhood (and probably in all of Lorain!) with your very own Murse! Heidi would be so proud of you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

That Wasn't Worth It

I gotta tell you, I was trying to reward myself for a job well done on the diet. They say rewards are good to keep you motivated, they just shouldn't be food rewards! Dang, that part sucks!

What's the second best thing to food? Massages! Holy crap, I could feel it already!

I found a local hair salon in Lorain that also offered massages. Unfortunately, this was my only knowledge of the place. I've never had my hair done there, but they offered massages! What more do I need to know? I called and made an appointment.

I was so excited about this appointment that I had the blog already half written telling you how much I loved that massage! Well, since you're not reading THAT blog, perhaps you can guess how this came out!

I am not mentioning the name of the salon since the massage therapist was very nice, even if she didn't give a great massage. Oy vey it wasn't a good massage.

I was a little taken aback when I got to the HAIR SALON and was asked to fill out a medical questionnaire. I was also asked to sign a release so that the "massage therapist" could speak with my doctor directly regarding my treatment. Hello??? It's a freakin' hair salon! All I wanted was a relaxation massage! They need my medical information for this? How do I know if they follow HIPAA laws! Is MY information safe at a salon? C'mon now! Is this crazy or is this just me?!?

Needless to say, I did not fill in any doctor's information. I also claimed to be the picture of health, aside from my back issues. I did want to mention the back issues since I didn't want her rubbing too hard back there but I could sure use a good back rub.

That just wasn't to be!

I'm telling you, she pushed so hard on my neck and shoulders with her thumbs that I just wanted to cry. I have never had a massage where as I was laying on the table, all I could think of is "is she almost done yet?". That's just wrong! I honestly felt beat up when I got out of there and of course, I was much worse over the next few days.

I had my massage on Wednesday evening. It took until Sunday before I could even stand my purse on my shoulder. That is ridiculous, especially when you figure I actually PAID for that much discomfort!

She did want me to book my next appointment with her but I declined, claiming I had to check my schedule first. I wish my ovaries were big enough to just stand there and tell her the truth. The truth was that I was hurting like hell and wanted nothing to do with her any more!

I just went home and sulked. My back hurt more and nothing on me felt good. I was just so disappointed! That just goes to show you: if Ron's not willing to do the rub down, it just shouldn't be done. That was a lot of money spent (yes, I even tipped her like an idiot!) for nothing.

I so need to come up with a better reward for myself! One that's less painful!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

PhotoPhun Challenge: Beauty

A new blog series! PhotoPhun! This week's topic is Beauty, as in the eye of the beholder.

Thank you to Lisa for the invitation to join this PhotoPhun party. I am in no way a great photographer, but this sounds like a fun weekly project! Please check out Lisa and Mark's contribution to this week's topic.

Since I am joining the party late, I have no new pictures to add to the blog, so I went through my archive. This is what I see as beautiful.

This is a picture I took at the park on Lake Road in Avon Lake over by the pier. I liked this picture so much I made it my desktop on my home computer!

Another beautiful thing to me is courtship. These swans are in Lake Anna in Barberton Ohio. Ain't love grand!

Nothing is more beautiful than a happy little boy! This is my great nephew, Noah, playing at the beach at Lakeview Park in Lorain OH.

Peace is beauty. This picture came from Lakeview Cemetary in Cleveland OH.

And, lastly, my brother Phil, working! He was helping shovel our driveway last winter. Now THAT'S a beautiful thing!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

What Prayer Can Do

Ok, I am not making fun of any one's religious beliefs. We all know I'm not the good Catholic that I once was, but it seems that some of the lessons pounded into me throughout my life have stuck with me!

Believe it or not, this is a story about my vacuum. I have an attachment for the vacuum that you hook on to the hose, and it turns the hose into a small hand held vacuum complete with the beater brush. This attachment I use to vacuum the carpet on the stairs. It's a pain in the ass as you still have to lug the main vacuum up and down the stairs with you, but the attachment is easier to maneuver back and forth on the individual steps than the main vacuum.

Our house isn't that big that I should lose stuff in it. Most things have their place, and I try to keep stuff in their place. I didn't say it was always a good place, but a place is a place! The vacuum itself for instance. I used to keep it in the closet at the foot of the stairs until that closet got too full and now the vacuum doesn't fit in there. So, when not in use, the vacuum is usually behind our bedroom door. Not the perfect place for it, but it's a place. I know where to find the vacuum and it's mostly out of sight and out of the way.

As for that attachment for the stairs. Its place is usually in the corner next to Ron's desk. Why? I have no idea! I think just because he's sort of at the top of the stairs, and that corner is out of the way, mostly out of sight, and I know where the attachment is when I need it.

Or so I thought.

Ron was the last one to vacuum the stairs. (Thanks, honey!) Then, the next time, I went to vacuum the stairs and I can't find the damn attachment. I tore the corner apart where I put the attachment when not in use, I routed around in the closet at the bottom of the stairs, I even looked in the drawers in the sewing machine as well as in the doors in the end tables in the living room. Why? Because it had to be somewhere and I was looking in spaces that were big enough to house the attachment, that's why!

Finally, I did the next logical thing. I asked Ron where he put the dang thing after he used it last! Surprise on me, he didn't use the attachment to do the stairs, he just lugged the big vacuum back and forth on the stairs! Wow! He told me HE couldn't find the attachment, so that's why he didn't use it.

I asked him to look around, it had to be somewhere! Ron went through the same motions I did. I had just cleaned our bedroom and the office, so I was pretty sure it wasn't in either of these rooms as I totally went through the rooms moving furniture and everything. But, he looked again anyway, even in the corner next to his desk where I usually put it. It's not there.

He also took everything out of the closet at the bottom of the stairs, and looked through the dining room and kitchen too. It was no where to be found.

We looked in with the electric blanket, through the dresser drawers, just about every where. Finally, my Catholic upbringing came back to me.

I explained to Ron that any time my Mom couldn't find anything, she'd say a prayer to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost items. Well, this was a lost item and I wasn't above saying a prayer for it.

I uttered a quick hello to St. Anthony, and asked, if he wasn't too busy, to please help us out looking for my vacuum attachment.

Sure enough, after my prayer, Ron headed upstairs and guess what he found?!! The vacuum attachment!!! And, guess where! Right in the corner, next to his desk, that I cleaned through, looked through and he looked through! I swear it was NOT in that corner before! One fast prayer and there it was!

I'm not saying it was a miracle, but I'm telling you, as sure as I'm sitting here, that attachment was NOT there during the previous week that Ron and I were both searching for it.

Maybe I need to give this prayer thing another go. With that attachment missing, I haven't vacuumed the stairs because the big vacuum is too heavy for me to futz with doing it without the attachment. So, the last two times, Ron did the stairs! Bonus! So . . .

Hi, St. Anthony, it's me again! I hate to bother you again so soon, but if you're not too busy, could you please hide that attachment again? I really hate vacuuming those stairs!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sunday Boat Ride

We finally took our inaugural ride on Ron's boat last Sunday!

The morning was beautiful, so we grabbed our friends, Larry and Linda, and headed to the marina. Luckily, Larry and Linda were better prepared than we were. I worried about getting to Dick's Sporting Goods the day before to get me a life preserver (I wanted to make sure we had one that FIT me!) while Larry and Linda thought to bring a cooler of ice and soda. That was a darn good idea as it turned out!

Note to self: Make sure WE think to carry beverages on to the boat on a hot summer day!

Anyway, I tried to take some pictures to capture our first journey. And, since I'm blogging about it, we made it back in one piece!

Here is Captain Ron and First Mate Larry, taking the boat out of the slip. I was so proud of Ron! It looked like a tough job to maneuver that big boat through the tight marina but he handled it like a champ going out and coming back in! Way to go, honey!

When we were out of the slip, I turned backwards to show where we came from. Ron's slip is on the near right, between that boat and the blue dock. I'm telling you, it's tight in there! It was even more amazing watching Ron bring the boat back in and back it into the slip! But, I'm getting ahead of myself here.

It seemed to be a long ride going from the slip, through the marina, through the river, before we got out onto Lake Erie. The part I really liked about this long drive to the Lake is I was really terrified, and, this gave me about 10 minutes or so in a no wake zone to try to get my sea legs under me. A no wake zone means you have to go really slow so that you don't produce a wake behind your boat. I was A-OK with the grandpa speed to start out with! And, it was a beautiful drive along the way.

We had to go under a couple of bridges, which felt kind of weird. One of the bridges we went under had a bunch of swallows and their nests under the bridges. Even at no wake speed, we went through too fast for me to get any good pictures. I just wasn't prepared because when I first saw all of the nests under the bridge, I thought they were hornet's nests! Shows you what I know! But, they set me straight and seeing all of the birds down there as well, it sure made sense that I was seeing their nests. Oh well, next time I'll try to get better pictures.

Here is one of the bridges, a railroad trestle over the water. I got one picture as we were coming up to the bridge and I tried to get one as we were under the bridge, but you know, I suck at photography!

The next bridge is Liberty Avenue in Vermilion. I think this is also Route 6 but I'm not sure. I still get confused between the roads here and the roads in Erie! Route 6 runs along the Lake in Erie so I assume it does here too! No wonder I'm always lost!

After this bridge, we were on our way through the channel to get out of the Vermilion River and out onto Lake Erie.

Now I was starting to get REALLY nervous! I tightened my life preserver and hung on tight!

Before I knew it, Ron hit the gas and away we went! It was a picture perfect day with blue skies, moderate temperatures and pretty calm waters!

Anyone that knows me, knows I am afraid of everything. Once we were out on the water, I about freaked! Where are the lanes? Where are we supposed to be? Does he see the other boats out there? Does he realize that we are on a collision course with about ten different boats? Aargh! Who in the hell has the right of way out there?

All in all, I think I did well. I only screamed once and didn't badger Ron at all (at least not that he could hear!) about slowing down or watching for that boat or whatever. It was a scary experience, but yes, in spite of it all, I had fun.

We headed over to Huron to a place that they heard was good for swimming. There was only one guy there enjoying the water, and I think the water was a little shallower than we bargained for so we didn't stay. Besides, none of us had suits with us but luckily, we did have a cooler of iced cold soda! We did sit there and drift around for a bit, just enjoying the scenery while we cracked open a couple of Frescas. MMMM.

Here is a shot of Linda, cool as a cucumber, with a life preserver on, just enjoying the ride.

And then there's me! Pay no attention to that death grip I have on the boat! I really was enjoying myself, most of the time!

The morning was beautiful, but the afternoon was getting pretty damn hot. We were out for about three hours and by the end of that, I was absolutely done. We packed up our stuff, zipped and snapped the covers back on the boat and we all headed home. I for one, enjoyed a nice long nap on our couch in the air conditioning back home! Now that's a way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Thanks for the ride, honey! You really did a great job with the boat!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm Sweeping Up!

I've blogged in the last few months about a new hobby I have taken up. Sweepstaking! It's been a long cold spell with nothing in the plus column but this weekend has sure made up for it!

Before you get too excited, I haven't won a car or a cruise yet, but I am on my way!

I came home from work on Friday to find a nice, plain white envelope on the table. I was a big winner in the REESE'S/Walgreens Summer Sweepstakes! I won a $25 gift card to Walgreens! Big win for me!! I am at Walgreens often enough, for sure I'm going to make use of an extra $25 in buying power there. As an added bonus, this was an online sweepstake, so it didn't cost me anything to play. Gotta love free!

Saturday as I've already told you, I won the 50/50 at the Barberton Geezer Gathering. That cost me a whopping $5 for tickets, but I got that back in my $29 dollar win.

Monday I hit the jackpot again! I won a prize from the "I Love Reese's Day Sweepstakes"! Woo hoo! This prize was one free Reese's Cup candy bar, value not to exceed $1.25! Like I said, it's not a car or a cruise, but I'm over the moon with this! Again, an online sweepstake, so it didn't cost me anything. And, when the sweepstaking gods speak, I listen. If they are sending me one of my favorite candy bars for free, I fully intend on eating it! By myself! mmmm I can taste it already!

It's been a good weekend for sure. Next is the ticket I bought on tonight's Mega Million drawing. Who knows? The next blog you read from me might very well be written from an island paradise somewhere. I am on a roll after all.

Just in case that doesn't work out for me, I need to get back to my 30 or so daily online sweepstakes I need to enter. There could be another candy bar in my future.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Update # 3 - Good News!

Ok, I wasn't going to blog a diet update this week, but I just HAD to!

I had my three month check up today and I passed with flying colors!

The doctor is thrilled with my weight loss through diet and exercise. He was happy with my blood sugar readings over the last month and most importantly, my A1C test was 5.9!!!!!

This is huge. My last appointment with him, my A1C test was over 10. A diabetic reading should be equal to or less than 7. With a reading of 5.9, I am well below the limit and I'm told, I'm bordering on NON-diabetic! For real!

He has also cut my medication in half. Next stop will be off of the medication altogether, which is of course, my goal. How am I going to do this? I'm glad you asked. I'm going to do this by continuing what I'm doing. Eating much better and getting some exercise. Who knew that was really the secret.

The only down side to this whole thing is how I'll know that I probably no longer need to take medication. You see, the only way to know is when your sugar starts going too low. I was told if I keep this up, I can expect that! So, what to look for:

First sign is you start having weird dreams, even nightmares. Yeah. Welcome to my life. As long as I can remember, my dreams have been weird. If they are not weird, then they are nightmares. Yeah, this test might not work so well with me.

The next clue is that I could just break out in a cold sweat and be very confused. If this happens, I am to take some candy or some juice to bring my sugar back up and then call the doctor. Hmm, if I'm that confused, am I going to know to eat some candy or drink some juice? Probably not. So, I went over this with the guys at home so they can watch over me if I get a little crazy. I talked to Mike about this at work, and of course, he's worried about being able to tell my normal confusion from a low sugar confusion! Funny guy, that Mike! So, that's what I have to look forward to. I'm ready for it!

Now, since I am in such a good mood tonight, I am even going to give you one free tip. As I just said, part of the secret is eating better.

Have you seen those commercials on TV for Yoplait Light Yogurt? I have to tell you, those commercials are 100% truth in advertising! No lie!

For breakfast this morning, I had red velvet cake! If you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely your answer. The flavors in this yogurt really are unbelievable. I think my favorite is the very cherry. That is until I have an apple turnover, with chunks of apples in there. Then again, how can you beat the lemon pie? Strawberry banana? Orange creme? This for me is the perfect breakfast food.

Even if you don't like yogurt, try it. For either 19 or 20 grams of carbs, depending on the flavor, this is a winner all the way. So, a free diet tip for you and some great news from the doctor for me.

All of my hard work is definitely paying off. It's been a darn good Monday! I can't WAIT to be confused!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Barberton Picnic

Every year, the alumni from Barberton High School (in Barberton Ohio of course!) have a picnic at Tuscarawas Park that is open to any graduate of the school.

All that was requested was a response to the invitation and they asked that you bring a dish. Ron (class of 1978) wanted to go, so he made a batch of his ranch beans and away we went!

It was a beautiful day in a beautiful park. There was a pavilion with electricity for the crock pots and a lot of picnic tables. People came in and out all day, we got to meet new people while Ron got to catch up with some old class mates. I even got to meet his high school girlfriend! (Hi, Chris!!)

The food was good, the games were fun! While I didn't win anything with my partner Christine on the Newlyfriend game, I did pick up a prize on a trivia contest. Free stuff is free stuff! We all know how I feel about this! Here is my prize!

Way too cool. They also had a corn hole game set up by the pavilion. Ron had stepped out to have a cigarette when this little cutie patootie, someone's granddaughter, came up and asked him to play. Who could resist her? So, they headed to the game.

The little girl has obviously watched the game played before as she grabbed some bean bags, stood next to the target and tried to throw across the field to the other target. Her little arm only got her a shot at about three feet away! Ron kept telling her to get closer to the target since she was little and to try again. She sure took the hint, and here is how she ended up kicking Ron's butt!

All in all it was a great day. The weather was warm but at least the rain held out until the last of us were leaving.

While I might not be a graduate of Barberton High School, I appreciate that they let me play their reindeer games for the day. Especially since I'm the lucky winner of their 50/50 drawing as well! Yeah, count me in for next year! I see another t-shirt prize in my future!

Friday, August 13, 2010

More Freebies!

I've posted recently about getting some freebies just for ordering some office supplies. Well, I found another source of free stuff, so I thought I'd pass it along.

I found this through my sweep-staking hobby. Before you ask, I haven't won anything else yet on my sweeps! I need a win! Postage is going up in January and I need to fund my habit!! But, I digress.

Here is a link to a website. Every day, they will give you a link to some company offering free samples! All you need to do is fill out a short form with your name and address, and while supplies last, a free sample will be heading your way!

I've gone back on the calendar to find more free stuff, but supplies really are limited. If you try to go back too far, you will be out of luck. Therefore, I try to check daily to get in on the free stuff. I don't request everything, just what interests me. So far, I've gotten a free sample of coffee and a free sample of shampoo and conditioner. I've sent away for hand cream, tampons, face cleanser, vitamins and sticky notes, to name a few. All the while steering clear of things that don't interest me, like Attends Adult Diapers, free kid's meals, and dog food. Hey, there is something for everyone here.

Like I've said, free is my favorite price! Check out the site. It's free!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

And they still don't seem to help!

I'm telling you, I am getting old. I can't always remember things like I used to! I have adopted a course of action to help me remember things I need to do. Unfortunately, it doesn't always help!

This picture is on my monitor at work. I see it every day and I look right there before I leave at night, when I shut my monitor off. But do I remember? Not always.

It started with the thermostat. I started working here in January. While my brother might like to freeze his balls off, I need a little heat. He lets me turn up the heat to 64 degrees! BUT, before I leave at night, I have to turn it back to 60 where he would prefer it. Ok, some days I remembered, some days I didn't. You get yelled at enough, you want to do what you can to remember!

Then the weather started to warm up. I have a window in my office and it does open. I am on the ground floor, with an open window, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know you need to shut and lock your window before you go. That's a mistake I only made once! While Mike added the reminder to my note shown above on my monitor, I also posted this gem on the door frame of my office. I HAVE to walk by this to leave! I can't miss it!

Now we're in the summer. As much as Mike likes to freeze, he likes to sweat. I don't think he'd ever turn on the a/c if it weren't for me here. I can't do that heat! I need to turn on the air. We've compromised and instead of turning on the air to 73 like I do at home, I have it at 76 here. Better than 90, so I'm not complaining! But, as the energy miser says, I mean as Mike says, no running the a/c if I'm not here! I need to turn it off before I leave! This note is posted next to the front door, right next to the outgoing mail holder. I have to grab all of the mail, the note is right there, hopefully, I remember to turn back around and shut off the a/c! I've forgotten this way more than I would like to admit. Bad. Very bad.

My personal effects are not exempt from my bad memory. Twice now, I've left work and left my purse here! It's not that I have much money in there but that's all I need, to be pulled over for something and not have my purse! Besides, now with the diabetes, I had my pills in my purse. Ok, that part I've fixed and now keep my pills in the bathroom at home. But, how to remember to grab the damn thing before I leave work?

This little gem now sits on my steering wheel in my car. I get in the car, check the note, and check to see if my purse is with me. So far, so good.

Until last Friday.

I got up from my desk:

Window closed - check
A/C off - check
Grabbed the mail - check
Do I have my purse - check

Start the car. Start to back up. Luckily I realized I didn't have my book and I didn't have the bank deposit that was sitting on my desk.


"F" the signs. I need an "I'm leaving work check off sheet".

Damn I'm old.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Update # 2

It's time for a diet update.

Here is a picture of me at my heaviest. It's not pretty! I'm not ready to make public just yet how much I weigh in this picture, but it's a lot! The cutie patootie next to me is my Dad!

And, now here I am today, 50 pounds lighter! Yes, 50 pounds!!

Still too big and still not pretty but it's a hell of a start!

Go me!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Mad Banker

My contract at work includes, under duties, the fine print "or whatever else someone deems necessary". That includes for me to run errands on my way to work or after work. I go to the post office once, sometimes twice a day, I go to UPS, Office Max and to the bank or where ever else is deemed necessary.

Thursday after work, I went to the Chase Bank drive through over on 21st Street by Broadway in Lorain. It's a nice location, easy to get to and out of, and usually I can get in and out quickly. Thursday when I got there, it was a little busier than usual. Two lanes of drive through open and a car in each one. I opted for the lane on the left, right next to the window. I like that they slide that little tray out and I don't have to use those tubes! I am not a fan of those tubes!

Anyway, even with two cars to be waited on before me, I didn't expect my wait to be long. I know, you see it coming . . . there were issues! The car in front of me had a younger couple in it that seemed like they'd never done a banking transaction in their lives. The teller may be close to you, but they are in a building, probably behind bullet proof glass. Until they turn the microphone on, I don't believe they can hear you inside.

That didn't stop the guy in front of me from yelling at the glass asking for help! I watched the tray slide out, him put stuff in, tray goes in. Then the tray comes out, he takes stuff out, puts other stuff in, tray in. Tray out, another exchange of items, tray in. Then, he starts rummaging under the front seats while she climbs over the front seats and is looking in the back seat! C'mon people! Why can't you be ready when you get to the teller???

I am not going to lie. I was fuming sitting there behind this jerk. If you need that much help, go across the street and go INTO the bank for some face to face time with a teller. I know, you're wondering why I didn't just back up and go into the other lane. Well, I did think about it. But, I didn't think that would be a safe move, to back up out of a lane. Besides, there was a steady stream of cars coming and going into that lane. They seemed to get waited on pretty quickly, so I had to watch at least four other cars go through that lane before the dufus in front of me finally finished up whatever he was doing!

Now it's my turn. I have my deposit slip in my hand, the checks to be deposited are all stamped and in order, easy peasy. But, I am pissed. I get up to the window and this girl couldn't have been more apologetic! She was actually pretty funny. Arms waving, she couldn't apologize enough, along with feeling like she had to explain that the people in front of me were a little unorganized. Duh. You think? She said she was trying to wave me over to the other lane, but I couldn't see here where I was at, plus I told her I felt safer just waiting in my line. Anyway, she diffused my mood instantly and she and I ended up having a good laugh while it took her all of 30 seconds to get my deposit done. That definitely made me go home in a much better mood than I thought I was going to have.

Now it's Friday. Again, another bank deposit. Deposit slip is ready, and I have my checks stamped and in order. This time however, I decided to stop at the Chase Bank on Fairless Avenue. I think that's in Elyria. Anyway, I always go to one of these two branches, depending on my mood and how many errands I am running after work.

When I got to the bank, the drive through was pretty backed up. Personally, I think the drive through here is as slow as molasses anyway, so I chose to park and just walk in. I figured I'd be in and out, easy peasy.

There was maybe three or four people in line ahead of me and two tellers working. And, one of them I was almost positive was the girl from the other branch that I dealt with the day before! So, I get in line.

No problem. Except for the guy in front of me. I am going to call him The Player for the sake of this blog. Trust me, if you looked up "Player" in the dictionary, this guy's picture would be in there! This idiot is standing in line on his cell phone. Being The Player, of course he is very important and can't put that damn phone away. I got to listen to him tell whomever just how important he was and that he has a lot of money but he needed a lot more money and that as a matter of fact, he was expecting his expense check to come in any day now because it would be over $1,000. After all that hard work selling those McDonald's gift cards, he was owed that much money. No lie. How do I get a job selling McDonald's gift cards and earn an easy grand? But, I digress.

It's now the turn of the lady in front of The Player. She walks up to her teller and lays a couple of bank bags on the counter. She is going to be awhile.

Now it's The Player's turn, and he goes to my girl from yesterday. He is standing in front of her, at the counter, but still carrying on his conversation on the damn phone. She had to TELL him to shut off the phone if he wanted to do bank business. She told him that three times and he still wouldn't turn off the damn phone! For real, how dare she expect that of The Player?

Finally, he hands her a bank card from another bank and in a dismissive tone, tells her to transfer money from that bank into this bank. She tries to explain to him that she does not have access to his accounts at other banks and that she can't help him. In between his conversation on the phone he tells her that since he can do that on line, she MUST be able to do it here. Again, she explains that to him and hands him back his card.

Now he's pissed and bitching about her to whomever is on the phone! I'm telling you, she has more chutzpah than I do because I think I would have reached out over the counter and grabbed that phone and flung it. But, I digress.

Finally, he decides that he just wants money transferred from his savings to his checking account then. The Player just looks at her like she should snap to it as He has spoken. Butting into his conversation again, she has to explain to this numb nut that she needs him to fill out a form and she needs to see some identification. He can't believe he is being treated like this! Finally, with her having all of the paper work she needs and his ID, all the while still listening to him bad mouthing her on the phone, she tells him "You only have $46.22 in your savings account. How much do you want transferred to checking"? He was PISSED! He said "I don't need you to tell me how much I have, just transfer all you can!"

Go girl! I had to chuckle! Finally, he gets done whatever he was getting done and it's my turn. She immediately recognized me and it's like we were long lost buddies! We both had a good laugh at that, while no one else in the bank understood what the hell we were laughing at! She again is apologizing and asked what it was about me that turned the people in front of me into challenging customers? I agreed that it probably was all my fault! It's either that or the combination of the two of us together is absolutely dangerous!

We did enjoy a good laugh and I left the bank, going on my merry way.

I wish I'd have looked at her name to give her a shout out, but I gotta tell you, she's the bomb! She handled both trouble customers with more dignity than I would have plus stopped me from bitching about it! Who else could walk away with two stories from two different bank branches in two days?

Watch out for the mad banker! You never know where I will appear next!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Bathroom Humor

What can I tell you? My family loves bathroom humor!!

Only a real man can use this kind of toilet paper!

And, actually, I was thinking of hanging this one by my toilet at home. One thing this diet has taught me: Don't weigh yourself if you haven't had a bowel movement the day before! Good advice for any of us!

Friday, August 06, 2010

My Coffee Pot Hates Me

At least that's the way it feels. Granted, some days it's the coffee pot's fault and some days it's my fault.

We have just a plain old Mr. Coffee. In the last few weeks, I have cleaned up spilled coffee and grounds from the counter, the sink, the floor, the dishwasher, my feet, etc. You get the picture!

I really don't like this set up for the coffee pot. First of all, I can't clean it the way I'd like because of the design of this contraption. There is a basket where you put the filter and the coffee in but the basket sits IN the coffee maker. It's hard as heck to clean the spot where the basket sits, and of course while the basket is black, where it sits is white. It's constantly stained like coffee. Ok, that probably bothers no one in the world but me, but that's enough! It bugs ME!

Also, the filter just sits in this basket. A little arm swings over this basket. The water sucks up into this arm from the water reservoir and then the water drips from the front of the arm into the filter with the grounds. I can't tell you how many times the water dripping has caused the filter to fold over, giving you a coffee pot full of grounds.

Um, also, we don't empty the grounds after every pot of coffee. Don't ask me why but we like it that way!

A filter will end up holding four or five days worth of coffee. It's usually only the first pot of coffee in which the filter can fold over letting out all of the grounds. If you get beyond that first pot, you're good to go. Hey, don't laugh at me, this is how we like our coffee! And, it's just plain Maxwell House coffee in there. We're people of simple tastes!

Another feature of this stupid pot is that under the filter basket is a little doo hickey that sticks out. That doo hickey is pressed up when the coffee pot lid is under neath it, letting the coffee drain into the pot. If you take the pot out to pour a cup mid brew, the doo hickey isn't pressed up so the coffee doesn't keep dripping. It stays in the filter until you replace the pot, the lid then pressing up on the doo hickey opening the way to drain the coffee out of the filter into the pot.

Um, if you have one of these, when you wash the coffee pot, make SURE you put the lid back on before you start the coffee. Yeah, a lesson learned the hard way. That happened on a day when there was five days worth of grounds in the filter. The coffee couldn't drain out so it filled up the filter basket then went every where. I do mean every where. There was grounds every where. That was really kinda gross!

On one hand, I think my coffee pot hates me since I swear so much when I'm cleaning up after it. Then again, there is a slim chance that all this is my fault, since I seem to be making coffee with only one eye open in the morning. Nah, that can't be it. It has to be the defective pot!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Captain Ron

We call him Captain Ron! Yes, he finally did it. Last weekend, Ron went out and bought a boat! Can you believe it? I'm telling you, the grin on his face couldn't be wiped off, even by a plastic surgeon!

Here is Captain Ron, on his new baby.

I don't know much about much, but what I do know is that this is a 1985, Wellcraft 2900 Express Cruiser with twin engines, and it's blue and white! So much for my expertise on boats. That's about it! I can tell you the important things, at least as far as I'm concerned. It's got air conditioning and heat! Yeah, what more do I need to know?!!

Here is Ron is looking over the controls:

Here is one just of the cock pit. This boat came equipped with fish finder, GPS, and even auto pilot! Sweet deal!

Please forgive me, I don't have all of my nautical terms down yet. But, starting at the front of the boat working back, we have:

The V Berth or sleeping area. This is up into the nose of the boat, hence the name. You can't tell from the pictures, but the bed is about hip high when I'm standing down in cabin. It's an interesting picture watching me climb my big butt up into there! Speaking of butts, I'm a little worried about claustrophobia in there as well, once Ron and I are BOTH in there! This could be interesting! I know you can't tell well, but it is shaped like a V with the skinniest part in the very front and it does get much wider as the berth gets closer to where I'm standing.

I'm not a great photographer, so it's hard for me to really show what this looks like. The first one with better light, I was up close to the berth, then I backed up a little to show there is not much room top to bottom. That black square on top is the hatch to go topside. It's kinda tight in there!

With my back to the V Berth, I am looking into the galley, or kitchen area. On the left is the kitchen sink, stove, refrigerator, cupboards, etc.

On the right is the eating area. The table you see will actually turn and lower, creating another sleeping area. There are pads that go on top of the table once it's lowered, hence another bed.

Walking a little farther, there is the head on the left. That is a bathroom for us non-seafarers! As I always say, "when Mama has to pee, Mama has to pee"! The head is VERY small. Once I'm in, there is no more room for anything or anyone! But it does have all you would need in a head. On the right (and keep in mind, the boat hasn't been cleaned/sanitized yet) is the toilet.

If you were to stand directly in front of the toilet, you would be in the shower area. It's a hand held shower with a drain in the floor. Again, when you need to clean up, it will do the job!

It's a big enough boat, but it's really hard to get back enough to get pictures of anything! Y'all will just have to make a trip over to see the boat in person!

Standing in the galley, looking back up onto the deck. Here is another sleeping possibility. The captain's chair and passenger chair can be moved. Moving these forward a bit, the deck is big enough to put a queen sized air mattress out there for even more sleeping. Personally, I think this might be the place to sleep! There is a cover that goes over the boat, so even if it's raining, the deck should stay dry

So, there you have it. Ron's new toy! One of the things we can't agree on, is the name of the boat. Ron's happy leaving the name what it is, which is Bent Hook. I'm not thrilled with the name, besides, I think he needs to make it his own. I can't think of anything clever or catchy so if anyone has any ideas, bring them on!

In the meantime, I need to go do some shopping. I need some to get me a life vest (the boat has a bunch of them, but I want the industrial sized one, the one big enough to keep ME afloat!), water wings, pool noodles, and maybe a coast guard boat on stand by. Just in case!

Congratulations, Captain Ron!!