Sunday, February 27, 2011

PhotoPhun: It's Not Easy Being Green

We have a new player! Karren, Lisa's friend, has submitted this week's challenge! C'mon people! Feel free to throw ideas out there for us! All help would be appreciated!

This is a challenge that made me think. This could, after all, be interpreted in a few different ways.

The first thing that came to mind when I heard the name of the challenge is the environment. I don't know how much I'm erasing my carbon foot print, but I do believe in doing my part where ever I can. One of the things I am rabid about is recycling. I have gotten the guys at work on board (albeit kicking and screaming!) to recycle what we can. We have a bin for cans, a bag for plastic and I am in charge of white paper recycling. I have a box for stuff that can just be thrown out, a box for magazines and a bin for everything that's shredded.

Home is no different where I am the recycling nazi! A bin for cans, a bin for everything else. Don't let me catch a recyclable item in the garbage can!

Then, my brother Jim had a great idea for It's Not Easy Being Green. That IS the catch phrase for Kermit the Frog! I was on a quest to find a Kermit the Frog just to get a picture for this challenge. Would you believe that he is hard to find? I found some stuff at WalMart (that will be a blog post this week!) but no Kermit.

The closest I could find is Rex from Toy Story. Ron tells me he's popular too, but I have no idea who he is! But, from the look on his face, it doesn't look like it's easy for him to be green, either.

Last is a submission from my brother, Jim. He was out and about after the storm and saw the pine trees peaking through the snow. We need more green in our world right now. I'm DONE with the snow!

Thanks for playing, Jim! Maybe YOU can come up with a challenge for us this week! If not, I believe Lisa is going to have to put her thinking cap on!

Remember to check out Lisa and Mark's blogs to see their take on being green!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The 411

So much little crap has been going on around here. Nothing was worth an entire blog but maybe I can put them all together into one big blog giving y'all the 411 on what's going on here.

I blogged recently about me and my car getting owies on the same day. Hitting the damn snow/ice bank was a $918 brain fart on my part. I know it's a seven year old car but geez, I thought it was still in good enough shape to spend the money to fix it. After just forking over my deductible, I'm not so sure. I hate spending money but I hate spending money on stupid things even more. This was a stupid thing. Oh well. I just got my car back today so no more Mike picking me up for work every day and then having Ron come pick me up. Thanks to both of you guys for giving a girl a ride though. It was much appreciated! I could sure get used to the chauffeured life!

As for my owie, maybe I did more damage than I thought. I thought I was ok after falling. My knee was a little sore to the touch but it didn't hurt to move it at all. However, a few days after the fall, my left foot went numb. Then most of my left leg. Now, my right foot is also numb. Yeah, that can't be good.

I did finally give in and go see my doctor. Right now all I have is a lot of "I don't know" from him. Judging from where my numbness travels, it sounds like sciatica. That's in the lower back (which I had fixed years ago) and not the mid back (where I now hurt). It could have happened in the fall, it might not have. Yeah, we're not sure what happened.

The first course of action was a round of steroids. I started with two pills a day for three days, then one pill a day for three days then a half a pill a day for two days. I only have one half of a pill left out of that and I have had absolutely no relief.

Plan B is to go in and have an EMG, or a nerve test. From what I hear, these tests are painful. Yeah, not something I'm looking forward to doing. But, it's a serious pain to have both of my feet numb. Well, actually it's not a pain since my feet are numb, but it does make day to day life a bit difficult. It's pretty damn hard to work the clutch when you can't feel your foot. In some ways, it was a blessing that I didn't have my car this week. Oh well. Back to reality. I need to be careful walking, going up and down the stairs and of course, driving. I have a follow up appointment with my doctor on Monday so I'll know more then about the damn EMG.

Now for Benny! This is the best part of the update!

I had Benny to the vet last night for his check up after surgery and to check on his litany of little issues. First off, he's up to a whopping SEVEN pounds, THREE ounces! He's huge!! As far as the surgery goes, he came through with flying colors. We have no problems from the neutering or the declawing. Cathie told me that by that weekend, you'd never know Benny had anything done. I didn't believe her that week but she was right. By Friday, he was close to 100%! Now, you'd never know anything had happened.

As for his other problems, he is finally done with the ring worm. The worms show up well on the black light and we put the black light on him and nothing. The pills finally worked better than the shampoo or the cream. I have one more day of pills to give him then he's done with that. Too bad since I'm getting really good at giving him his pills! There's a talent I hope I never need again.

The only issue we are still working on is the ulcer in his eye. His right eye is almost 100%. His left eye, you can still see the ulcer in there. We've had him on oral meds plus the eye gel almost since we found him! We just can't get this into remission. For now, I'll keep him on his eye gel and the vet has ordered him a new med of eye drops. Ugh, one day we'll get this beat too.

So there you go. The 411 on what's going on around here. Now, just to make me feel better, a gratuitous picture of Benny! This was the other night when he curled up on my lap. He loves to put his head in my hand and he believes that my hand is just there to support his head! Of course, I am trained so well, I will sit there and do just that for him! He wasn't thrilled with the flash going off in his face so I did get a little glare from him for my trouble. This little face always brings a smile to my face.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

PhotoPhun: Doors

Well, peaking at Mark's blog this morning, I see we had some of the same ideas! It was actually Reid Street that gave me the inspiration for the blog theme this week! GMTA, Mark! Make sure to check out Lisa today too!

Lorain may not be the vibrant city that it used to be, but if you look, there is such beauty in this city. If you can brave the potholes you can find some treasures here!

I was so excited to get out yesterday taking these pictures, I also didn't write down the names of the Churches that these beautiful doors belong to. If you're in the area though, drive just through just west of downtown. Architecturally, these old buildings are gorgeous.

Starting with one of my favorite doors, the public library! Sorry, I have to toot the library's horn whenever I can. Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of local libraries and this one is one of the best! MY library!

Then, our drive up and down Reid Street and the surrounding area.

My favorite part of this door is the details above the door.

Unfortunately, this is also the reality of Lorain, the reality of my neighborhood.

Speaking of my neighborhood, this is MY front door!

Now for my guest submitter this week, my brother Jim in Erie!! Jim was able to get out and get a couple of great photos for us.

The first one is the life guard headquarters I believe in Erie. If I'm wrong, Jim, please correct me!

And, my favorite! This is a picture of his bathroom door and the sign that has hung on the door for as long as I can remember. Nice, brother! And, thanks for playing!

That was fun! If anyone out there has an idea for our PhotoPhun challenges, please throw them out there. Even if you don't want to submit a picture, we are taking ideas as well.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

PhotoPhun: Movies

This week's PhotoPhun challenge has a little twist to it. Movies! I took it as a given that no one wanted any off color movies so I had to really dig deep for this one.

First off is my outside cat, Penelope. Just the fact that she is willing to share the same space with me thrills me some mornings! She used to high tail it off of the porch while I was putting food out until the food was out and I was locked back inside of the house. Now she can't hardly wait until I get the food down on the floor. One evening she was out there, so I put more food out and went and sat on our glider, hoping she'd come up to me for some love. I sat with her, in the cold, for about 10 minutes. She take a couple of bites of food, come and walk over by me and be millimeters away from rubbing against my legs and then back to her food. Like I said, that went on for about 10 minutes, but I was too cold to keep up that experiment. At least we have our morning time together! Here is Penelope!

I really couldn't come up with much this week in the way of topics for movies. All I have is what's around the house. With it being a tough week for me and Benny, I didn't even think of grabbing my camera when he was so loopy on pain meds. But, I do have my Plecostamus, Fred, in all of his bitten glory.

Then there is my Benny! No blog is complete without a little bit of my Benny. This was taken Saturday night. He's done with the pain meds, and as Cathie predicted, he's pretty much back to normal, playing like a kitten.

I didn't get out much this week, so I hope you enjoyed my pets! Make sure you check out Lisa and Mark and see what kind of cool things they know how to do with videos!

Friday, February 11, 2011

New Owies For Me And My Car

Yeah, it's been one of those days.

It started out ok this morning. The garbage men didn't pick up yet when I left for work this morning so I was able to take out that "one more bag" that always seems to pop up the minute the garbage men pull away. And, it had cat poop in it so bonus for me making the pick up today! After that, my day went to hell.

Anyone from snow country knows what days of bitter cold does to the snow. It turns it to ice. All of the snow mounds on the tree lines and especially at the end of driveways might as well be brick walls because right now they are pretty much solid ice. Someone should have reminded me of that this morning.

I was backing out of the driveway and I obviously cut the wheel too soon because my front driver's side bumper hit the snow bank. Yes, there was a horrendous sound but for real, I thought how bad could it be? It's a plastic bumper for crying out loud.

On I drove to work. As I was getting out of my car, I saw that my front bumper was pulled away from my car. Still in denial, I thought no problem, we can just click that back into place. As I was walking to the front of my car, my feet went out from under me on the ice and SPLAT I went. I thought I mainly landed on my left knee before the rest of me hit the ice but right now I hurt from my knee to my neck. I'm guessing I just jarred the rest of me when I went down.

As for my bumper, well I ripped it good. So much for that plastic bumper.

There ya go, me and my car got another owie. I know it could have been worse like the last time we both got an owie on the same day but geez, this did not make me happy today. I'm sure I'll be sore for a few days, but at least nothing is broken. Now it's just the headaches of dealing with getting the car into the body shop and the thoughts of having to pay for it as well. Ugh.

This is one of those times I really wish I had a staff. You know, someone I could delegate to do all of those nasty things I don't want to do. Like get my car fixed.

And clean the house.

And do the dishes.

And rub my back.

And peel me a grape.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

With Or Without Nuts

It's been a tough week around here.

I came down with a bug on Sunday. I kept thinking it was because the Superbowl game did NOT come out like I wanted it to. Then I thought maybe I just ate too much. Then I thought maybe it was just because I was so worried about Benny. Regardless of the reason, I have been SICK this week.

I left work early on Monday. Ron and I both thought if I just laid down for awhile and took a nap, I'd feel better by the time my digital camera class started that night. Ron gave his best effort at getting me up in time for class, but my body said no. There was no way I was climbing up and out from under the two comforters I was wrapped in and going anywhere. It was not a pretty sight. So, I was sick. Still am, but I am better.

So let's back up to Monday morning. I had an appointment for my Benny to be neutered and his front claws taken out. In theory, this was a great idea. In reality, knowing that I was going to cause him such pain was almost unbearable for ME. I cried more in two days this week than I can remember in a long time. Taking up his food when he had to start his fast started me crying. Taking up the water a few hours later, another flood. In the morning, watching Benny stand where his bowls go and meow at me that he's hungry had me sobbing. I am a wreck!

Finally, Monday morning, I got him in his carrier and was going to take him to the vet's on my way to work. I don't know who cried harder on that drive, me or him. I gotta give a shout out again to the staff at Pet Med. They did everything but make fun of me standing there and crying over handing over my baby. I signed all of the paperwork and handed Benny over. If you own stock in Kleenex, I'm sure their stock went up this week.

We got Benny home the next day and aside from the guilt I feel about making him go through this, he has been a little entertaining. The pain meds must be kick ass! He's not so sure footed right now and he's fallen off of the foot stool a few times. This morning, we gave him his pain meds and you could absolutely see it kicking in. Suddenly, his eyes roll back in his head and he drops where he is. Poor baby! I was talking to him and you could see him trying to open his eyes, but it wasn't happening. One eye would partially open but then you'd see his eye cross. Yeah, no focus! But, aside from being a little slow right now, he's doing much better. We have one more day of pain meds and hopefully he'll be back to his old playful self.

I know that spaying or neutering is a responsible pet owner thing to do but geez, that was more difficult than I thought it was going to be. I was wracked with guilt over the declawing. Was that really necessary or just for MY comfort? Being sick on top of all this was not fun. Tuesday, Benny and I spent our day cuddled up together snoozing in my chair. Not a bad way to spend a day.

Now it's over. I think I still call Benny a him but with or without nuts, I love him. I can't believe the difference in my life that a six and a half pound little guy made in my life. Hopefully the rough days are behind us now.

Another shout out to my sister, Cathie. This poor woman has been on call for me 24/7 this week. Anytime Benny moved, I was on the phone with her. She talked me through a rough couple of days. Sometimes she just listened to me cry. Thanks, sister! With or without nuts, I love you too!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

PhotoPhun: Triangles

Kudos to Lisa for this week's challenge! This took some looking, some staging and some help from other people! I had a lot of fun this week with this one!

Make sure you check out Lisa and Mark's blogs to see how they fared with the challenge.

Yesterday, Ron and I ran to Amish country to meet up with his brother Wes, and most of Wes' family. This trip has been planned for weeks but kept getting pushed out due to weather or other obligations. We should have pushed it out another week since the ride home yesterday was absolutely horrendous in the storm. But, that's a story for another day.

Most of the day was a blast and I was able to find some triangles!

Being in Amish country, it's a shame to not go to Lehman's Hardware and look around. This was a sign outside of Lehman's.

And, if you know anything about Lehman's you know they cater a lot to the Amish. They have parking spots right next to the hitching posts for the horse drawn buggies. What did I see on the back of some buggies? Triangles! Trust me, we saw these caution signs a lot yesterday. You really need to drive carefully while you share the road with all of the buggies.

This was the door going into Lehman's. Loved the triangles!

One of the displays in the store. This one made me wish I still went camping. Those were the days!

Friday night we went out to dinner with Larry and Linda. We were talking about my triangle challenge, and I was afraid that I only had one day left and I hadn't found any triangles yet. Larry, being a good friend, helped me out!

And, the winning picture this week came from my sister Cathie in California! Not being in the freakin' snowy state of Ohio, she and her husband Dan spent yesterday out enjoying the California weather. This picture came from Point San Luis which looks like the place to be today. Thank you, Sissy!

It was a fun challenge. I can't wait to see what Mark comes up with for next week. Or, if anyone has an idea for a challenge week, we're up for suggestions!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I didn't do that on purpose! At least I don't think I did.

Phil is in Erie for a few days so it was just Ron and I for dinner on Sunday. When it's just the two of us, we've been known to just eat dinner in the living room on TV trays. There is Ron on the recliner, and me on the couch.

I sat down to eat first. I start with my salad and then move on to the entree. Since it's just me cooking, I will NOT serve in courses. Dinner is ready when it's ready. Ron likes to start with the entree while it's hot and fresh and then eat his salad last.

I used the salad dressing then put it on his tray, not thinking any more about it. When Ron finished his meal and went to start on his salad, he grabbed the dressing and went to shake the crap out of it. Uh, well, it seems I didn't put the cap on tight.

There was dressing EVERYWHERE. Seriously, everywhere! One of our favorite dressings I get from Sam's Club, it comes in a two pack and it's vidalia onion vinaigrette. (At only 7 grams of carbs in a 2 tablespoon serving is a winner for me!) Ron was literally covered in dressing. There was an oil slick in his hair that I would have given anything to capture on camera! Ron never cleaned up so fast! It was nothing a hot shower for Ron, a load of laundry for his clothes and a few hot soapy rags couldn't fix.

At least that's what I thought. Tonight I was in the living room and I looked around thinking about this blog. Then I saw it.

See that spot on the curtain? Behind the couch? Yeah, I missed that Sunday! However, on the bright spot, I was able to clean off the lampshade completely. Trust me, that was a chore!

As I was rechecking the lampshade today, I saw this on the side of the couch.

Oops. I didn't mean to leave the top off of the dressing. At least I don't think I meant it!

Did I mention that crap went everywhere? If I wasn't the one that had to clean it up, this would REALLY have been funny!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

It's Snowed! Who Knew?

Yeah, not one of my better days here today.

Did anyone really expect all of that snow last night? I mean for real! Yes, I heard all over TV that we were going to get dumped on, but honestly, how many times have they said that and not meant it? At least in Lorain we seem to never get hit like they tell us we're going to get hit.

My day started this morning with my weigh in. I don't weigh in every day because it's too stressful, but I do get up there at least twice a week. I weigh myself on the Wii Fit since that seems to be a more accurate scale and it goes in smaller increments. Hey, sometimes a loss of 2/10 of a pound can make you feel pretty good!

I got it all set up, stepped on the scale when I was told and watched the little marker go up, up, up, UP. It said I GAINED over SIX pounds! No f-ing way! I mean I realize that your weight fluctuates day to day. Water weight, if you didn't have a bowel movement, it all adds up. But SIX freakin' pounds in a couple of days? Impossible! Then I looked down and saw that Benny was nice enough to climb on the scale with me. NOT funny! I better have a HUGE weight loss the next time I step on that scale or Benny is in big trouble.

Up until today, whenever I put the balance board on the floor, he walks all around it and then gets far away from it. It seemed as though the balance board scared him. I guess he got over it. When you stand on the balance board, you stand with your feet apart. There was enough room in between my feet for him to climb up and me not even feel him. This might cause me to chuckle right now but at 7:00 this morning, it was so not funny.

Then, time to get ready, after playing a little Pogo. Yeah, I know, I should have looked out the window. But, I was in denial.

Finally, I finished getting dressed, brushed my teeth and away I went. Downstairs, I got the fish fed and then got the food ready to take outside to Penelope. I was shocked when I opened the blind on the front door and saw how much snow was ON the porch. I don't usually get much snow ON the porch. I saw no cat prints so that was another surprise. In the morning, Penelope is usually waiting for me on the porch to bring her food to her.

It looked like a little bit of snow out there, so I ran to the basement and got our spare shovel. I thought I'd be nice and shovel out some of the front porch and maybe the front stairs so Penelope wouldn't have to sit in a pile of snow to eat. I usually just run out there with slippers on and no coat. I at least had the smarts to put my boots on and my coat.

I started to shovel the porch. Yeah, more snow than I thought. There had to be a good four inches ON the porch. Ok, I didn't shovel all of it, just from the door to the steps and over a bit to where I put her food. Then I figured I'd do the steps so she could get up to the porch. I really didn't think there was that much snow out there. I kept looked at the apron of the driveway and was talking myself out of the fact that it was really bad and you could tell because you could see all of the snow that the snow plow threw up into the apron. But I gotta tell you, the city of Lorain did a fabulous job at clearing at least the main roads this morning. My street was almost down to bare pavement, so again, that added to my illusion that nothing was wrong in my world. Well, by the time I got off of the steps, I realized that there was more than six inches of snow on the ground! WTF! How could they have been right about this?

I went back up on the porch, locked the front door and I went out the side door to start the driveway. First off, a text to my brother/boss telling him I was a dumb ass and that I now needed to start shoveling my way out of the driveway.

Usually when I shovel, I do the driveway and the parking pad where the guys park. Today I figured they were on their own as I'd be lucky to get all of that snow off of the driveway. It took me over an hour and a half to go from the garage to the street! My back is killing me! On the plus side, there is NO need to walk on the treadmill tonight! What a work out!

When I was still up by the garage, I looked across my neighbor's back yard. I can see through his back yard and into the yard of the neighbor on the other side of him. Guess who was in the second neighbor's yard? Penelope! She took one look at me and started meowing loudly! My poor girl was hungry! I looked at her and then I looked at the snow and my first thought was that I need to trudge through knee deep snow through two back yards to go get her and bring her to her food, or I can just go get the food, trudge through two back yards and take the food to her. Then I thought AM I NUTS?!?!? Sorry, Penelope, you're on your own. I love you, but even I gotta draw the line.

She sat there meowing at me for a bit but when she saw I wasn't doing anything about it, she turned around and walked away. Fickle! By the time I left, she still had not trudged through the snow to come for breakfast.

I've shoveled this driveway by hand numerous times before but not this much snow. What a work out. And the worse news is, there is more snow and ice coming. Get a good look now. This is what my 80 feet or so of driveway looked like after I was done. That was a lot of damn snow. There is more coming down.

I think I might give up on my dream of moving to Montana. I am getting too old for this crap. I have two dollars on tonight's Mega Million. C'mon numbers! If I win, I can guarantee you that will be my LAST time shoveling that driveway.