Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick

I had the strangest day at work yesterday.  One of those days that make you really question your sanity!

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting at my desk working away when suddenly I heard it.  Tick . . . tick . . . tick.  You heard me.  It went tick . . . tick . . . tick.  Seriously, what in the heck.

After the raccoon coming through the ceiling recently, all I could think of was that something was walking up over the drop ceiling and was going to fall on my head any minute!  Tick . . . tick . . . tick.  GRRR

I stopped what I was doing and looked behind me up at my one ceiling tile that has been broken for a long time.  If something is coming through my ceiling, that's where it's going to happen.  Good news / bad news is that it wasn't anything walking over the crop ceiling.  It was a BUG!  A BIG BUG!  And the ticking I kept hearing was this bug hitting the plastic cover of my ceiling lights!

My next thought was holy crap there is a huge bee in my office!  I grabbed my phone (I don't know why!) and I ran to the doorway of my office.  I don't know what I thought I was going to do there but I felt safer.

I watched this dang bug keep slamming himself into the ceiling light.  Finally, he came to a stop on a ceiling tile.  Against my better judgement, I had to walk closer to see what kind of bee it was.  MUCH to my surprise, it wasn't a bee at all, but a STINK BUG!  It's been all over the news about the stink bugs this year.  We have had more than our fair share of them around.  Well, now one of them found his way into my office.

This is not the picture of the actual stink bug that was in my office.  At least I don't think it is the same one.  This one just hitched a ride on my car recently.  But in case anyone doesn't know what a stink bug looks like, this is it!

I'm afraid of a lot of things but I really didn't think I was afraid of a stink bug.  I put my phone down, put my big girl panties on and came up with a plan.  I grabbed a small plastic cup and some paperwork off of my desk.  I got up on a chair, put the cup over the stink bug sitting on my ceiling and then used the paperwork to slide between the cup and the ceiling, trapping the bug in the cup.

Without breaking my leg, I got off of the chair, took the cup and paper to the front door and released the stink bug!  I was SOOO proud of myself!  I came back into the building, shut the door and not one minute later, Mike came out of the shop and went out to his car for something.  He came back into the building and went back to the shop as I went back to my office to finish what I was doing.

Then, there it was again.  Tick . . . tick . . . tick.  CRAP.

I look up and sure enough, a stink bug, hitting himself again and again against my light covering on the ceiling.  I really have no idea if this was the same stink bug that followed Mike back into the building or if it was second stink bug.  

I grabbed the plastic cup out of my recycling bin, grabbed my paperwork again and got the chair ready.  Once again, I put the cup over the stink bug, used the paper to trap him inside of the cup and walked his little butt outside.  This time however, I didn't just release him outside of the door, I walked him to the opposite end of the parking lot!  My good deed for the day!

That was supposed to be the end of my story.  Unfortunately, I keep seeing the title of this post and it reminds me of an old ditty.  I've had this little thing stuck in my head for more hours than I can count!  Go ahead and watch it if you dare!  Then, I challenge YOU to get that song out of your head.

You're welcome!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Aunt Mary

Today, my Aunt Mary is 91 years young!

Is she beautiful or what!!!

I got to thinking about Aunt Mary today.  Aunt Mary is not only my Aunt, she is my Godmother, she was my partner in crime, my role model, my friend.

I grew up in a flat.  My Aunt Mary, a young widow with two babies lived downstairs in the flat and my family lived upstairs.  We did everything together, our two families.  I think me being the baby of this group, plus with Aunt Mary being my Godmother, we were especially close.

Aunt Mary is the one that taught me that you are allowed to celebrate your entire birthday MONTH, not just your day!  Is that genius or what!!  Aunt Mary has taught me a lot of good stuff like that over the years.

I got to see her a couple of weeks ago.  As always, she was thrilled to see me.  C'mon now, who wouldn't be!  I got to play some pinochle with her and chat about everything.  I don't know if she remembers that I was there, but I remember.   She is still beautiful, she is still happy and her smile still lights up a room.  Thanks to my brother Jim for sending me a picture of her today sitting with her birthday flowers.

Happy birthday, Aunt Mary!  91 years young and still going strong!  I hope you ate too much cake and I hope you celebrate all 31 days of YOUR month, because it's the right thing to do!  Aunt Mary - the queen of birthdays who taught me all I know about celebrating them to your fullest.  That kind of teaching is priceless.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Lauged, I Cried, I Wanted More!

What a weekend!

My friends Ruth and Jeff came to town for the weekend.  We had a great time!

There was a lot of laughs, a few tears, lots of hugs and good food.  I don't know what more you could ask for.  You see, we have known each other for more years than I'd like to admit.  We've been through it all together: births, weddings, break ups and deaths.  We have always laughed together and cried together.  That's the thing about really good friends - you don't need to see each other every day or talk every day.  But when you DO get together, it's like you were never apart.

We really didn't do touristy stuff this trip.  This trip was all about relaxing, catching up and of course laughing.  We did take a small road trip on Saturday up to Findley State Park up in Wellington to check out their camping facilities for future trips.

The state park was done up right.  They are totally into the Halloween spirit!  There was a little marshy area that was haunted by a few ghosts!

And to make sure you got a better look at the two boaters:

It was way too funny!

Another cool feature of Wellington believe it or not was the ATM machine at the LorMet Credit Union!  As we were driving to the state park, I thought I saw something and I definitely wanted to check it out on the way home.  Now THIS is a drive up ATM machine!

That doggone horse looked real!

Wellington really is a nice little town.  So full of character and that's a good thing!

After all is said and done, I just noticed that I took absolutely no pictures of the four of us!  Nor did I take any pictures of any of the great food I cooked over the weekend.  I just wasn't thinking.

We had a great visit and I stocked up on hugs from my friends.  It was great to see you guys and I miss you already.  I love you both and thank you from the bottom of my heart for making the trip to come out and see us.  Hopefully the next visit will be soon!

Friday, October 25, 2013

When There is a Raccoon in the Building . . .

Lock yourself in your office!

I am the first one to work in the morning.  I unlock the doors, turn off the alarm, go to my office to change into my work shoes, then I turn the lights on throughout the building and back to my office to start work. This takes a little while since it's a BIG building!

A few weeks ago, I walked into the building, turned off the alarm and then turned the corner.  There is a garbage can next to the water cooler and the can was knocked over and some of the garbage was on the floor.  I knew something was wrong in my world.

I went into my dark office and changed my shoes, all the while telling myself that there is nothing to be worried about.  All was good in my world.

I walked out of my office, turned to the left towards the lab (where all of the office light switches are) and THERE it was!  A freakin' raccoon, turning the corner towards the lab!  AARGH!

I went back to my office, grabbed my purse, closed my office door and went back to the front door.  There, I kept my eye on the hallway to make sure that the raccoon stayed where he was.  I wanted to make sure he did not come back to my part of the building.  I called just about everyone I had on speed dial.

First I called our property manager, no answer.  Then I called one of the owners, no answer.  Then I called one of the guys that works in the shop, no answer.  I called 911!  They answered but were kind of unimpressed.  She gave me a few numbers for local wildlife trappers, but wouldn't send someone over with a gun or a net or a fire truck with a hook and ladder.  Hey, I was in panic mode.  I would have been ok with the National Guard coming over at that moment.  What the hell.  I was so frustrated that I called my brother, in CHINA.  Lucky for him because I went to his voicemail and swore at him like a marine would.  Yeah, not my proudest moment.

This is on one side of me:

The raccoon was obviously inside of the building above the drop ceiling.  As he walked across this tile, the tile gave away and he crashed to the floor.  Sheesh, not good.

On the other side of me was the last place I saw the critter.  There is a door right around the corner that goes into the lab, and I felt if I could just get that door shut I could stop my panic because the raccoon was on the other side of that door. Unfortunately, I wasn't going to be the one to walk down that hallway and around a blind corner and shut that door!  Who knows if that raccoon was just around the corner on MY side of the door ready to bite me!?!?

Yes, I was in the middle of a hissy fit and a panic attack.  I guess that would be a hissy attack!  Whatever it was, it wasn't pretty.

I started on my list again.  I called the property manager and this time he answered the phone.  I gave him an earful and he promised he be there in 30 minutes.  I think he was hoping that by then I'd pull my claws back in.

I called one of the owners.  I woke him up and gave HIM an earful on why he needed to be in the building immediately.  I don't think he agreed with my hissy attack but whatever.  He wasn't in the building with a killer raccoon!  He did show up pretty quickly at the building with this:

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if he walked in the building with this because of the killer raccoon or because of me!  Makes ya think, huh?

Lo and behold, one of the guys from the shop came in first.  In the middle of my hissy attack, I explained what happened so far that morning, and he was nice enough to walk down the hall, around that blind corner and close the door to the lab.  That meant that I know for sure he was not on my side of the building, but closed in between the lab and another office.  I was sort of jiggy with that, but I closed myself in my office for the rest of the day just in case.

Eventually, I had the guy from the shop, the property manager and an owner, all trying to find and catch this raccoon.  Granted, I was in a self imposed lock down in my office, but I was imagining a little bit of a three stooges routine happening out there.  After all was said and done . . . they could find NO raccoon in the building.

I know there are a kajillion hiding places in the lab alone so there was no way I was trusting their opinion that the raccoon found his way out.  I stayed locked in my office.

The next day, kinda the same thing.  I ran through the building screaming like a banshee making a lot of noise and turning on all the lights when I first got there in the morning.  If he was still in the building, I wanted to make sure that he was more afraid of me than I was of him, as if that was possible. 

Finally, the guys showed me why they thought the raccoon found his own way out.  I'm not sure if I buy it but whatever.

First, the footprints where he tried to climb up the wall:

I guess he couldn't reach up high enough.  There was a shelving unit just to the right of this, so they assumed he climbed up the shelving unit, then up and out:

It may not be obvious in these pictures, but you can definitely see raccoon hand prints up this wall.  I can almost get behind the fact that the raccoon made it up to the ceiling but I find it hard to believe that he was smart enough to lift the ceiling tile and then put it right back down where it belonged!

Up above this drop ceiling is the hole to the outside where they figured the raccoon was getting in and out.  They set a live trap outside of that hole and they did end up catching a raccoon that first night.  I caught such a fast glimpse of him in the building, I couldn't guarantee that was the same raccoon, but . . .

The property manager took the live cage away and released the raccoon far away from our building.  Here's hoping he finds a new and safe life, away from this crazy lady.

So, I no longer lock myself in my office.  But I definitely keep an extra eye open when I walk into the building in the morning!  And for now the drama of wildlife in the building is thankfully over.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Turn on the A/C Because Christmas is Here!

Seriously, I went to Sam's Club on Monday after work. I am not ready to be seeing this on October 14th.

What ever happened to waiting to start Christmas after Thanksgiving?? Heaven forbid that we don't all bow down to that almighty dollar.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mayor's Personal Car is Stolen

This kind of pissed me off today.

According to an article on the Chronical Online written by Steve Fogarty, the Mayor of the city of Lorain, Chase Ritenauer, had his personal vehicle stolen Friday night/Saturday morning.   You can read the entire article here.

I'm sorry the mayor had his vehicle stolen.  That sucks.  What pissed me off was the fact that, according to the article:

Lorain police Lt. Roger Watkins said fingerprints were taken from Ritenauer's vehicle.
 "We'll wait and see if they turn up anything," Watkins said.

Ya know . . . about three or four years ago, my garage was broken into and numerous items were stolen.  Whoever broke into my garage also tried to get into my car which was parked in the garage but locked.  This unknown person(s) left numerous finger prints as well as full hand prints all over my car.  I asked for someone to come to take fingerprints as I thought this was going to be an easy case to solve, even for the Lorain PD.  The way they broke into my garage, I have a feeling they have done this before.  I'll even go out on a limb here and say they already have a record of incarceration for this type of activity.

But, I was told that the Lorain CSI team was too busy to come take fingerprints.


Too busy.

I guess just being an ordinary tax paying citizen didn't rank me high enough to warrant the CSI team coming over for 10 minutes to get those very obvious prints off of my car.

No one was ever arrested for my break in.

My property was never recovered.

The mayor got his car back undamaged but with a handful of change stolen.  By the way, the mayor's car was stolen because he left a key to the ignition hidden, albiet not well, inside of his unlocked car.

My estimated $1,000 worth of equipment was gone from my locked garage after the motion detector flood light was disabled.  With a $1,000 deductible on my insurance, it was useless to file a claim with them and I still haven't been able to afford to replace most of them.

Lesson learned?  If you're the mayor, who was irresponsible in leaving his vehicle unlocked with a key in it, resources are available to get your pocket change back.  If you're a regular tax paying citizen who tried to have security measures in place including locking the door, then the generator, power washer and snow blower weren't worth the CSI team's time.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

You Don't Know You're Spoiled, Until it Stops!

My brother Phil lives here with us.  Some days that's good, some days not so much!  But when he's good, he's very good!

Phil actually spoils me.  I don't always realize it until he goes away for a long weekend.  Let me give you a couple of examples.

With my shoulder problem, I have very little strength in my right arm/hand.  We buy milk by the gallon.  To open a gallon for the first time, takes a little strength to twist the cap hard enough to break the seal.  I can't do it.  Whenever new gallons of milk are brought in the house, Phil will break the seals on all of them so I can get into them.  I never realized how important that was until the last time he went to Erie for the weekend!

I had bought milk the night before.  In the morning, I went to have my cereal.  Granted, I only use 1/4 cup of milk for my morning cereal, but the gallon wasn't opened yet, Ron was still sleeping, so I couldn't have cereal for breakfast just because I couldn't twist hard enough to break that seal!  Not good.  Seriously, not good!

Another of our "routines" is that Phil walks me out the door in the morning.  Phil goes over a check list with me.  He makes sure I have my:

* Purse
* Cup of coffee
* Book (I read at lunch!)
* Lunch
* Fruit
* Keys
* Garage Door Opener

Once he makes sure I have all I need, Phil walks me to the door and then locks it behind me since my hands are full with the list above.  That's really a handy feature when I'm on my way out the door to work in the morning.

Again, Phil was gone for the weekend.  So, I didn't have my apple one day for lunch.  And really, who needs to have a cup of coffee in the morning??  Yeah, I missed you brother.

So, as much as I complain some days, I really need to remember that I AM spoiled!  I just didn't realize it until it stopped!