Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Burning Sensations

Okay, let me preface this with a little head's up here -I never said I was a rocket scientist!

And judging by what happened to me last night -or rather about 3 a.m. this morning -it's more than evident that there are many times when I'm really not too bright.

The events of this little episode all started last Thursday when some guy from over the mountain - a farmer-type from Belleville -was peddling some of his farm produce up by the garage my son-in-law has in operation now. So, Bill came home with two homemade pies (one apple and one peach), some "whoopie pies" and five nice big green peppers, a great big, oddly shaped red pepper and five other peppers that are shaped like a jalepeno pepper except that they are larger -much -and a whole lot darker in color too.

Now I like spicy food -a lot -but the SIL and Miss Katie here -not so much on the fiery food stuffs! However, yesterday when I fixed us a really scintillating dinner (Hamburger helper -mainly cause the two little ones will scarf that up) I decided to take one of these "hot" peppers and chop a little of it up and added it to the hamburger helper mixture. Not a lot, mind you - just a teensy bit to see if it would add just a touch of pizzaz to the stuff. It did just that -not overpowering at all, but just a hint of extra flavor.

While the stuff was cooking though, I decided to take the other peppers and dice them all up, put them in a ziplock bag and toss that in the freezer to have on hand then to add to sauces and stuff from time to time.

However, apparently after doing that and between that time and when I went to bed -although I had washed my hands several times -I must not have used enough soap or something and must have left a trace of the pepper oils on my fingers -or perhaps a little under the nails -but anyway, I ended up in the bathroom a little after 3 a.m. in agony! And not from eating those peppers either!

Nope, not at all from ingesting them. But rather because when I went to bed, my left eye started to itch and when I reached up to scratch the eyelid a tad, I ended up with my eye burning -feeling like it was on fire, big time!

Into the bathroom I went, grabbed some eye wash there and tried to slosh that stuff away from the old eyeball as quickly as I could. I couldn't open that eye with out the pain just about knocking me to my knees and even if I tried to shut the eye, it still was burning like crazy.

I finally ended up sending another wash of the eye drops and fixing myself a hand made eye patch -with a piece of sterile gauze and several bandaids then to tape it in place over my eye to give it a chance to rest and recuperate!

Tonight, I'm cooking barbequed spare ribs in "ye olde crockpot" and when I put the sauce on the ribs, I added a tiny dabble of these diced peppers to the sauce and ribs.

And then, I did something else too! Not taking any chances tonight, I immediately scrubbed my hands with an extra, extra dose of dish detergent, rubbing it all around the fingers and nails, really, really hard!

If I suddenly go completely blind though, now you will know what caused it!

On Being Okay

Today, I received a request from a fellow blogger -asking me to add him to my blog roll and in exchange, he would add my blog to his list. At first, I was a bit confused by this as I didn't see anything on his profile that kind of "matched" with the blogs I normally have on my own list. Then, I started reading some of his recent posts and came across this - his post titled "I Feel Okay." By that time, in reading his blog, I saw some things that did "fit" a little with the genre (if you can call "drivel" being a genre" of my blog. And I liked the tone of his blog "Big Money List" a little better then.

Okay, so this is a way to increase one's technorati rating, sure -but then again, who among us doesn't want to try to increase that along with our readership too in the process? Be honest now, unless you are merely posting to give yourself an ego trip, we all write a little for that reason but mainly to try to inform and entertain too, whenever, wherever possible, those folks who stop by on a fairly regular basis. Why not then try to reap a little bit of the benefits of a better, bigger readership and rating at the same time? Right?

So, with that in mind, here's the "I Feel Okay" link and instructions, etc. The neat thing too -if you go to Michael's blog and look up his "I Feel Okay" post and if you have a favorite expression, you can include it in there too!

For the record, here's my creed ot tenet -whatever you care to call it:

Autism is not a tragedy. Ignorance is the tragedy."

Now, go forth and pick this meme up and let it multiply -just like we did back a few months ago with the "Big Bang Meme!" It's painless and can only do a little to help all of us in the long run.

*start copy here

Feel okay? Well you should be! You’ll definitely be okay if you’re going to be a part of this meme, be okay if you are about to have a chance to increase your Technorati and Google Pagerank!

1. Make others feel good: share your favorite, self made, or any quotes as you pass on this meme with the image above.
2. MAKE SURE TO COME BACK – HERE - (http://www.ifeelokay.com/i-feel-okay-tag-join-now/) to get the master list and leave a comment that you’ve made yourself a part of this meme.
3. Your favorites, self made, or any quotes that you shared are collected and will be linked back to your site as its source, this would give you much benefit. Put a category before your quote. (ex. Inspirational, happiness, love, sweet, time, motivational, friendship, and others), much better if you relate the quote on your blog. Ex. Fashion Blog - quotes about beauty; Personal Blog - quotes about success, life, inspirational and many more. It’s your choice.
4. Only one quote and category per blog please, make sure to tag as many bloggers possible. Please update your contributor’s list more often. May we achieve thousands of quotes from different bloggers around the world. Let the fun begin. Be a part of a great collection of quotes from different bloggers around the world!!!

Categories and Contributors

(1)BeautyTips,(2)EmjeiSays,(3)Techmobiz,(4)BlackNickel,(5)ifeelokay,(6)iAM-MAi,(7)NeuroPatch, (8)Express4Free, (9)Club101, (10)Earn4aLiving,(11)Solo-Flight,(12)My Touch of Heaven, (13)BigMoneyList (14)A Simple Life (15)Momhood Moments (16)Business Mars (17)Fun|Fierce|Fabulous (18)My Pink Shoelace (19)Rosa’s Meanderings (20)Chronicles & Tales Unlimited (RED) (21)Within Small Bites (22)My Life…. My Journey! (23)Life is good and Beautiful (24)HappyHeart (25)By Osc@r Luiz (26)Reality Notes (27)My so-called Life (28)Kwento ni Enday (29)The Fountain Of Happiness (30)Amazingly Me (31)Caring Is Not Only Sharing… (32)Onabentofrenzy (33)Denz Recreational (34)Pieces of Me (35)My Inner Thoughts (36)Emily’s Buzy World (37)Maritima Heavenly (38)Origena (39)BiiterSweet Life (40)Words of Love (41)Pinay Heart Wanderings and Musings (42)BlogScope (43)Unsealing My Mind (44)Program-IT-Jin (45)Mspuzzles (46)Anygen’s Journey (47) Best Travel & Tours (48) Ultimate Cooking Guide (49)Me, the Islands and the World (50)Straight from the Heart (51)Never Ending Resolve (52) fragments of thoughts..a piece of life -reyapot (53)LabRat (54)Everettski (55)Pajarolandia (56)SpiritOfTheValley (57)SteelTownEagles (58)ValAlexander (59)LeisureSpecial (60)gLamorousSylph (61)ELSWhere (62)Jeffrey’sLoop (63)LeopardO’Web (64)OpenBookProject (65)TuniTec (66)CranesForPeace (67)CIE-SL (68)Dare to Blog (69)Life Realities (70)WebGeek Journal… (71)Ness (72)WilStop (73)Life: Thoughts & Inspirations (74)On Touching and Saving Lives! (75)Blogger across the universe (76)My wonderful Life (77)Our Growing Family (78)denz Techtronics (79)krchan (80)StoriesInLife (81)Married and Happy About It (82)NetworkOfCombinedIdeas (83)AdventureSage (84)in-TechRevolution (85)Ivory Tasks (86)Down River Drivel (87) Your blog here!

- HERE - View the complete list of Quotes by bloggers around the world - HERE -

i feel okay!!! :)

*end copy here

now I am going to tag the following bloggers…

Copy the Image Code Here:


tag guide - ends here -

Monday, September 29, 2008

Flying Crapola

Today, Mandy decided she wanted to make a run over the mountain and go to Dubois. Dual agenda there as she figured maybe she could find someone in the Social Security office to give her some papers she needs to fill out so she can file an appeal on an edict she got from that office about 2 weeks ago with respect to Maya's account there for the SSI. Anyone here ever filed for SSI for a child with a disability? If so, how much headache and hassle did you have with Social Security? They -and their explanations of things -are quite the mind-boggling things to try and figure out, for sure!

So anyway, that's what we did and yes, she did luck out in that there was someone there in the office who gave her the forms she needed.

After that, we headed off to the mall to do a little shopping -a little bit of visiting too. The lady who is the manager at one of the jewelry stores there is an old friend of mine, of the family -formerly from here. Actually, I grew up next door to her and even though she is four years younger than me, we've always been very good, close friends. So, we stopped by the jewelry store and I spent about 10-15 minutes chatting with her then. Always good to see Carm again!

One of the good things about our conversation today was the things she told me about her youngest brother, "Uncle Mike" as my kids and I always refer to him -and the chemo treatments he's been getting for about two months or so now. She said that the tests they have done on him recently show that the chemo has reduced the tumors anywhere from 25 to 50 percent and that, as you can imagine, is very good news to hear! I forget now what type of cancer he has -I think liver and maybe lung too -not sure there but anyway, Mikie is like a baby brother to me -ten years younger than me so I've known him since they brought him home from the hospital and he's a heck of a good "kid" too! Yes, even though Mikie will be 54 next month, he's still a "kid" to me! So, although the chemo does really wear him out, she said he told her last night that it doesn't seem to be hitting him quit as hard as it was in the beginning. Just such a relief to hear that things are going fairly well for him though.

Mandy and the kids and I had lunch at the Mall at the Valley Dairy Restaurant there and when we finished, I took Maya with me and headed down to the J.C. Penny's store. Boy, what a chore that was to try to look at clothes and keep an eye on Maya too, especially since she was being a tad on the rambunctious side for me. Every two-three minutes, she was asking me "Where's Mommy? We have to find Mommy!" And, I was telling her over and over that Mommy and Kurtis would be down there very shortly.

However, when Mandy did come down to the Pennys store, we must have been around the corner in the back -away from the entrance - so I didn't see her nor did I hear Kurtis and she didn't hear Maya either. Although many of the customers in the store did hear Maya and my conversations with her as I was struggling to get her to stay beside me -no disappearing acts, ya know! And lord knows, a four-five year old can seem to make themselves invisible in a heartbeat in a store like that! She kept going into the clothing racks -the displays that were like a four-pronged effect and she'd get into the middle there -totally surrounded by the clothes and was very difficult then to reach in and get her to come out beside me then! Needless to say, most of our conversations were me asking her if she wanted Grammy to be "happy or sad" (sometimes I substituted "mad" in place of the "sad" too) and when we ask her that, she almost always will tell us she wants us to be "happy" so then I'd tell her then she'd best get out from wherever she was hiding or else! At one point, she tried to tell me she couldn't come out because she was "in the elevator" which is a really absurd answer on her part, considering she is terrified of elevators, as a general rule! Go figure, huh?

Because we made the mistake in the car as we pulled into the mall parking lot of mentioning we were going to the mall, she asked us "What's the mall?" Ok, you try explaining that in words a child her age can comprehend! That term, "mall" came back to haunt me over and over again down in the Pennys store as she kept telling me we not only had to go find h er Mommy but we had to go to the mall and I would tell her that we are already at the mall to which she would respond that "No! We not at the mall. We at the store!" Yes, that's true, but we were also at the mall and she couldn't grasp that they are both there -together, ya know!

But anyway, I managed to find four tops and a pair of the "king kong" size jeans for myself -all on sale too, no less! (And good sales prices too I must say, so I'm giving myself a pat on the back there too now!) From there, we went to a shoe store and I lucked out again and found two pair of shoes for myself plus a very nice handbag on sale at 50 percent off the sale prices -yay, yay! I love me some good sales prices like that! I bought the shoes and Mandy bought the purse for me as an early birthday present from the kids! Pretty good shopping day for me then, it was!

But tonight, life here was pretty hairy for about an hour with Maya. And it all harked back to the big problem we have been having, still are, with her concerning potty training. She's been ok for close to a year now with using the potty -very few reminders about this as long as it only involves -as she would put it - "Putting my water in there!" But poop? Well, things take a really bad turn as soon as we mention that subject to her.

See, the thing is here that she KNOWS, she understands when she has to poop but she flat out refuses to go near the commode to "put her poop" in there! She will go into the bathroom, undress, take her "unnywears" off and put a pull-up on -all by herself -and then she will relieve herself! Anytime we get an indicator that she needs to go sit on the potty, if we say one word to her about this, she goes into meltdown phase!

Tonight though, she had put a pull-up on and had gone in it and then, was coming to Mandy or to me -even to Katie -to ask us -anyone of us - to change her and we all were refusing to do that. Finally, after over an hour of this wrangling, Mandy took her back to the bathroom to change her and in the process of removing the pull-up from her, a little of the poop brushed off on to her leg and WOW, now there was a meltdown to end all!

It turns out, as we have now figured out, she is terrified of the poop! Fearful of getting any one her any place ya know! Well, when this happened tonight, she grabbed the pull-up -still fairly full, I might add -and flung it so some of the poop flew out and bounced on the bathroom wall! Yeah, the bathroom walls that Mandy had just painted not two weeks ago and tonight, she ended up having to scrub them down to remove the traces of the flying poop!

Since this all happened when Mandy was going to bathe her and get her ready for bed, as punishment for throwing the loaded package, Mandy told her that she could not go out and get in my bed and fall asleep to watching cartoons and she couldn't go up to her room and get in her princess bed there either -sans a tv and the cartoons too there -but instead, since babies only poop in their diapers or pull-ups, and since she (Maya) refuses to use the potty, then she must be a baby so therefore, she had to sleep in the crib in her room tonight then! WOW -what a war erupted on her hearing that too!

Needless to say, there was a lot of crying -screaming actually -emanating from her room for quite a while before she finally konked out for the night!

So here's my question for you -my faithful readers here -how does one try to get her over this fear of poop? Anyone else ever had a kid that was afraid of the stuff like that?

If you have any suggestions how we can, shall we say, "initiate" her into not being afriad if a little dab of it gets on her leg or finger or wherever -that will enable her then to not be afraid to "Put her poop in the potty" we will, I can assure you, be eternally grateful and forever in your debt if you can shed any light on this problem!

How's that for a crappy topic for the night?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The "Playgirl" in the House

Things got off to a bit of a rocky start this morning -a cold, RAINY, rocky start! I woke up about 7 a.m. and felt like every joint, every muscle, ligament, tendon -whatever -from my waist down to my ankles - were all at war with the rest of my system. Talk about aching! Phew! Stiff and sore before I even began trying to move around, rain pelting down, sorry but no way was I going to add to my misery by going out in that stuff and sitting -or rather trying to sit -half way comfortably through a church service! A rainy day on a Sunday morning is not a good thing for me!

Usually, once I start to move around a bit, the joint aches and pains tend to settle down to a dull roar but today, that wasn't happening until I took two Aleve tablets which would not have been any help at all had I tried to go to church simply because they tend to put me to sleep when they go to work on the sore spots.

By about noon though, as the sun started to peek through a little bit as the rain made an exit, I started to feel a little better.

Maya had decided this morning that she was going to be a busy little beaver, playing with about as many toys as she could access that had multiple parts and pieces so by 1 p.m., the living room floor was looking a bit like a disaster zone. Although that is often a fairly normal state for our living room floor, it's in varying degrees of messiness and today -well it was really like WW3 had hit!

So Mandy asked Maya if she would please pick up her toys only to be told, "NO! I can't do that." Mandy asked her why not and she responded that "I am not a clean-up girl. I am a Play Girl!" I told her I didn't think the short skirt, bunny tail and ears would fit her just yet but fortunately, sometimes (most times, really) Grammy's humor still goes well over her head.

My son came down this afternoon for a couple hours. Long enough to haul his camera in from his truck and download a bunch of photos from it to my computer. Then, he asked me how he could access those pictures to put them up on his "My Space." Hmmm. Don't think that's possible Sonny Boy! Not until I either save them to a disc that you can take home with you OR -the bright idea of the day here -I e-mail them to you!

And so, it was decided that Mom would e-mail them because you see, although this computer is supposed to have a DVD player/burner mechanism in it, for some reason or other, if I insert a DVD (blank one) into the slot and try to "burn" anything from my computer to the disc, I get an error message that this function can not be performed because the disc is either full or is a "read only" capacity.

In theory, the e-mailing these pics wasn't that bad of an idea except that I did get a little carried away as I was doing that. Just banging them out, one e-mail after the other and around 2:30, the darned e-mail program started giving me error messages that it couldn't connect with my ISP server. What the heck was that all about I was wondering. For about an hour, I couldn't get anything to come in -or to exit -on my e-mail program. So, I called the tech service person about this and in explaining to him what happened, I mentioned to him about sending a whole raft of e-mails to my son -with these photos -one per e-mail -and that's when I learned that I had just managed to get my own e-mail account blocked by my provider as, you guessed it, a "SPAMMER!" Damn!

I know, I know, you saying to yourself, that you remember I did say the other day I was really worryied that I'm getting very senile but this, the e-mail stunt -well, that's just plain stupid. Yep! And you are so right about that!

So, the upshot of the Spam thing is that my e-mail won't be fixed until tomorrow morning sometime. That's enough punishment right there for me -starve me from connecting with my e-mail, as addicted as I am to that and you can bet your bottom dollar I won't pull a stupid trick like that one again!

But, while I think of it here -maybe one of you can explain this to me. When I bought this computer, I requested that it have a disc read/burn element on it and the guy at the shop had said I would be better served if I got it as a DVD Read/Write combo because, he had said, it would handle then either CDs or DVDs. And, on the front of my computer, where the thing is installed, it says right on it there "DVD RW" -and I am assuming that means it is a DVD with Read and Write (or burn) capacity, doesn't it?

If that's the case, why then before I put a DVD or CD in the slot, on my desktop, it shows up saying "DVD RW" too. Doesn't that indicate that it has capacity to handle DVDs? But as soon as I put a Maxell DVD-R disc in there, that changes and says "CD RW" and it won't allow me to burn over to that disc then. I did find a CD that my neighbor's son had burned some photos on to for me (copied from old floppies, ya know) and I took it and tried to burn some photos on to it and it worked fine and dandy. So, something is fishy here, wouldn't you say?

Finally, tonight I located two blank cds I happened to have in my storage cabinet by my desk so I'm gonna take one of them and copy the pictures my son put on my computer over there and hand him a CD tomorrow when he comes down to have coffee with me in the morning. He doesn't know it yet that he's gonna do that but I'll call him bright and early and inform him of this "social time" he can spend with his old Mom! The payoff for this will be that I give him the cd then. That's fair enough, don't you agree?

We had an overnight visitor here last night too which had some really positive outcome -unexpected positive outcome at that. Mandy was babysitting here last night for her sister-in-law's little girl - Carlea Sophia or "Bug" as she's quickly getting as a nickname. Originally, the plan was that when the baby (she's nine months old) went to sleep, that she would sleep upstairs, in the crib in Maya's room. But you know too that old saying about the best laid plans, etc. -well, she wouldn't go to sleep! For about two hours, she got shifted from Mandy to me to Bill to Kate -each of us trying our hand at rocking her, giving her a bottle, singing to her, playing with her -you name it, we tried it and all to no avail. Here's a picture of Carlea aka "Bug." Isn't she just the cutest little thing? (Hard to believe a sweet little one like that could make as much noise though as she did last night! LOL)

Kurtis fell asleep in his playpen which is where he normally sleeps because, you see, when Mandy tried to move him into the crib oh, about a year or so ago, he was terrified of it because of the rails on the crib. No rails ya know on the pac'n'play -just mesh! So as a result, he's been sleeping in the playpen then downstairs all along!

Well, when he fell asleep, Mandy decided to try putting him in the crib upstairs to see how he would react and lo and behold, although he woke up momentarily when she first put him in there, he quickly rolled over and went back to sleep. Only had a brief period around 4 or 5 a.m. this morning when he woke up for a little while but went back to sleep then fairly quickly.

As a result then, little "Bug" had the honors of sleeping in the Pac'n'Play last night and only had two short spells where she woke up but then fairly quickly, went back to sleep.

And tonight, Kurtis is now back upstairs again -in the crib -doing fine with it! With these kids, you can't always do things the way you normally would -so much as to be according to their own feelings and acceptance of new things and the crib -well that was apparently one of those things that he was now ready -finally -to accept!

Now my little "Play Girl" is sacked out in my bedroom and I think very shortly I'm gonna join her there!

Gotta get re-energized for the week ahead!

No Debating These!

So, did you watch the debate the other night? Or better yet, did you see the interview Katie Couric had with Sarah Palin? Hmmm. Watching that interview, I was thinking that her comments might just be the replacement for the Bushisms. Call 'em Palinisms -or better yet, simply "Plain Pains" maybe cause, well frankly, if that interview was any preview of the fantastic experience she is supposed to have, uh thanks, but no thanks!

I confess I didn't watch the debate -did catch a few bits and pieces of it later on the cable news channels, since that was all they had on for upteen hours after the debate ended so no choice there then -watch or switch channels, ya know. And "bits and pieces" of the debate was about all I figured I could handle before it would make me sick from listening to the political propaganda.

But all that aside, time now for the coming week's Bushisms! Are you excited? Are you ready? Here goes!

Monday, September 29, 2008 - 113 days left

"You know, it's hard work to try to love her as best as I can, knowing full well that the decision I made caused her loved one to be in harm's way."
--First presidential debate, Coral Gables, Florida, September 30, 2004

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 112 days left

"The enemy understands a free Iraq will be a major defeat in their ideology of hatred. That's why they're fighting so vociferousl."
--First presidential debate, Coral Gables, Florida, September 30, 2004

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 - 111 days left

"I am here to make an announcement that this THursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport."
--Washington, D.C., October 2001

Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 110 days left

"We are fully committed to working with both sides to bring the level of terror down to an acceptable level for both."
--Washington, D.C., October 2, 2001

Friday, October 3, 2008 - 109 days left

Bush nominates personal friend and White House counsel Harriet Miers to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. She has no judicial experience and has only argued seven appellate cases.
--October 3, 2005

Saturday and Sunday, October 4/5, 2008 - 108 days and 107 days left

"We need to counter the shockwave of the evildoer by having individual rate cuts accelerated and by thnking about tax rebates."
--Washington, D.C., October 4, 2001

Ya know, just thinking here again, about the Palin/Couric interview and wondering if this is possible, but do you suppose maybe, somehow or other, Sarah Palin is perhaps a long-lost sister to the DUBYA? A lot of the responses seem to be very similar. Could it be? You tell me.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Kudos -or sort of giving a high five, thank you, recognizing something someone has done -seems like a good thing for me to post about today.

Lots of things happen to all of us -all the time -that we probably should give some kind of recognition to whomever is responsible but things happen and we forget, the "thank you" doesn't get given out, or at least not in a timely fashion. Because I tend to be one major procrastinator, I am one who is always behind on giving these where they are due.

So I decided today would be a good day to do that.

Starting with an ad Mandy and I saw in one of the flyers that came with Wednesday's newspaper -for a 13-inch color tv set with a DVD player built in that was on sale at one of the local discount type stores for $80.00! A steal, for sure. Yeah, I know it's not a tv that is going to be up-to-par once the new regulations for tv sets goes into effect next year, but since we don't get reception here in the mountain boondocks of central PA without subscribing to a cable service, that aspect won't affect us. But, having gone to this particular store in the past to try to purchase one of the really good "deals" shown in their ads, we are aware that they rarely carry more than 2 or 3 of these type items then when there is a sale like this. So, yesterday, I told Mandy to call the local store, see if they have it in stock and if not, see if she could locate one at one of the other stores either in State College or Dubois.

The local store in Clearfield was sold out -no big surprise there -but Mandy did find that the State College store had one left in stock and she asked if they would hold it for us until we could get over there -either last night or today. They said "No problem" so we relaxed, had supper and then decided to head over there last night to get this item.

The intent in getting this set is to replace the little tv in my room -that I bought 14 years ago when I was working/living in Baltimore - and which Maya has become addicted to going out to my room at bedtime to lay down, watch her favorite show (Jon & Kate +Eight) or cartoons and she falls asleep there with no hassles. This has now led to where she sleeps with me all night and Mandy's afraid the only way we will ever get her to return upstairs to her own bed, in her room, is if she has a tv set there to lull her off into dreamland. But when Mandy began looking around for a small set, the smallest screen sets she could find were flat screen and 19 inches and all of them were priced starting around $300 which is way, way too rich for our pocketbooks here. So, when we saw this set advertised, it is just ideal in size -plus, having the dvd player feature will work well too for Maya to be able to watch her dvds (which she has a goodly assortment of these things too -mostly Princess or Bratz with an occasional Disney one thrown in here and there).

Well, when we got to the State College store last evening and inquired at the front checkout counter about the set, the clerk and manager were engrossed at that time in calling other stores, tracking down one that still had one of these sets in stock because, as the clerk explained to us -apologizing all over himself in the process too -that due to a mix up by one of the other employees, the set they had put back for us had been sold! And, they had tried and tried to find a phone number for us but since Mandy had given only her first name and the surname, they hadn't been able to locate our number, since there are several people with the same surname in our local phone book and since they didn't have her husband's name, they had no way of determining which number might have been ours.

Well, although we were initially disappointed that the set had been sold, we were also told that they had located a set in a Harrisburg store and the District Manager, who apparently lives in that area was due to come up to the State College store in the near future and would bring the set up then for us -if that would be ok and would be within any time limitations we might have.

On hearing that, I asked if the other store might happen to have two of these sets -which, it turned out that they did -so I said well then have him bring two sets and we will take both units then! I did that because my set in my room is as I mentioned above, 14 years old now and the color is starting to get a bit hinky on it so this would be the ideal time -and price too -for me to get a replacement set now for my room along with the set for Maya's room too!

We had told Maya when we left here that we were going shopping for Grammy's birthday present when actually, this was to be Maya's birthday present but as things look like they are going to turn out, it will be a present for her as well as a present for me too -one for each of us -since our birthdays are a mere 10 days apart and in early October. Can't beat that with a stick now, can ya?

So I'd really like to thank the manager and the clerk at the State College Big Lots Store for going more than the extra mile to locate not just one but two of these tv sets for us and also, thank the District Manager in advance too since it will be up to that person to bring it here for us to pick it up at the State College store in the very near future. That's what I call really great customer service!

Now, in the past couple of weeks, I have received several awards and at the time of their receipt, I postponed putting them on my blog and giving them out to other bloggers as well. That's not a very wise move for me to put off doing anything cause between being queen of procrastination I am also -as noted in my post yesterday -getting really, really senile and as such then I forget not just about giving these awards on to others, but also, who gave them to me in the first place! Bad, bad -very bad -on my part there ya know!

But be that as it may, I'm going to post several awards here that came my way recently and I think only two of these are such that I remember from whence they came. My sincere apologies for being so lax about this and now, forgetful, not knowing who to credit for their origination.

The "Awesome Blogger Friend" award -if I remember correctly -came to me from my good friend and very awesome blogger, Mary of Mary's Writing Nook in Canada.

The "I Love Your Blog" is one that I'm not sure who passed it on to me but whoever it was, trust me when I tell you this (although it may not seem this way) I do really love you for sending it to me!

Now this one above here -I know it came to me from Mary, at Mary's Writing Nook! (Thankfully, it says so right at the bottom of it -I just had to find it in my little blog awards special file and get it posted here.)

I kind of think this award may also have come from Mary too -but I'm not 100% sure about that as its point of origin but I love the flowers and watering can -and I know that Mary loves flowers and has loads of them at her place as well.

Since I think those bloggers on my favorites list are all a pretty darned awesome bunch and every last one of you deserves at least one -if not all of these awards -be my guest and take your pick. Select one, select 'em all! You've all -each of you -earned 'em!

This one though -no doubt about it at all as to who sent this puppy is there? Nope, none whatsoever! And to Suldog, I gotta say I'm always happy to toss a comment or two -or ten or so out your way! Now I know I've mentioned his blog in the past, a time or two, but if you haven't yet stopped by and read his stuff, give yourself a real treat and do that. Yes, do that and don't procrastinate -DO IT NOW! Trust me, you won't regret the visit. A lot of good humor there along with a wide variety of other topics that he posts about too but always very entertaining. And I'll be willing to bet the family farm (if I had a "family farm") that if you go visit Suldog's place, drop a comment there before you leave, that he'll bestow this award on you too!

Now, just one little tidbit here tonight before I head to the kitchen and finish fixing the stuffed peppers we're dining on tonight from Maya.

Yesterday morning, after Mandy got her on the van and off to school, when she came back into the house she informed me that Maya had stated as she got in the van that she wasn't going to talk yesterday -not to Fred, the driver, nor at school. Hmmmn. Wonder what brought that on? I'm thinking maybe the teacher has probably had to remind her on numerous occasions to "zip your lip" -as my son was told on his very first day in kindergarten about 29 years ago this fall. Yep -the apple has not fallen far from the tree in the chatterbox department and the main branch there, as many who know me, know my kids too, would say, it leads directly back to me!

However, after Mandy informed me of what Maya had said, I told her we need to have a little chat then with Maya about this and explain something to her.

You go to Hell for lying, same as stealing! (Yeah, I know my granddaughter just like I know my son and know myself and I KNOW there is no way she would ever survive without her constant talking!)

Oh, and one more thing too -if you -like most everyone around are listening to the news about the big bailout, or reading about it in the newspapers, online, at various blogs, let me direct you here to one particular blogger who I think has posted a great -a really terrific solution actually -to the bailout issue!

Go here and see if you don't agree with her post! Pretty ingenious, I'd say! So thanks to The Anti-Wife for those words of wisdom!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Be Very Afraid!

Tuesday morning started off seemingly okay. Maya woke up around 9 a.m. and I got up about 9:30 -nothing startling about that.

I got up, made my normal bathroom trip, then out to the kitchen. Monkeyed around a bit there and then, poured myself my "wake-up" cup of coffee and headed into the living room to sit, drink, relax, wake-up a bit more and do it rather gradually.

As I went to set my coffee cup on the end table, I saw the coffee cup I'd been using last night sitting there and to my surprise, it was full. Gee, I thought, I could have sworn I had downed all the coffee in that cup last night, but maybe not. So I reached down to pick it up, take it to the kitchen but to my surprise, the full cup sitting there was hot -like it had just been poured.

Hmmmn. What the heck gives with this? There I was standing with a fresh cup of coffee in one hand and on the table before me, a second cup of hot coffee and I had -still don't for that matter - no recollection whatsoever of pouring coffee into both those cups this morning!

Needless to say, this event kind of shook both Mandy and me to the core. Is this one of those darned warning signs of impending doom and gloom with the memory losss -short term, that is -stuff that I tend to wise crack about actually taking place, now, right before our eyes?

Gosh, I hope not! I have to confess that the idea of not having all my mental faculties -as sketchy as they are more often than not some days -not all with me is something that truly does scare the living daylights out of me.

Almost as much as if someone brought a snake into the house to live here as a family pet and as I think I made it very clear when commenting yesterday on Linda's blog what my feelings about snakes are, then you can get a grasp on how much this does frighten me.

Moving right along with the rest of the day, we have now discovered a great tv program that Maya loves -absolutely loves -and which the rest of us actually enjoy watching too! It has -thankfully -replaced those dvds of the "Bratz girls" with the obnoxious quasi scary-type background music that seems to be going on constantly during those videos. (I hate those videos too -almost as much as I hate the damned snakes, Linda!)

What tv show might that be, you ask?

Jon and Kate plus Eight!

Maya absolutely LOVES, LOVES, LOVES this show and we found it works to give us a bit of leverage to get her to eat all her supper -even little things she isn't all that keen on eating -like broccoli and bites of those dreadful bits of meat that Grammy and Mommy keep insisting she has to have just "two more bites" of and then she's done. Now, supper is a litany of "if you don't eat this, or that, no watching Jon and Kate and the kids. Amazing how much influence one great little tv program can have on an almost five-year-old who can at times have some pretty picky ideas about food!

I love it! I want to nominate this program as the most useful tv show on the airwaves today.

I managed to get supper over and done with in time to hurry and run up to the local grocery store so I could pick up a few little things we needed and by getting them tonight, I could also get to use my once-a-week-5%-senior-citizen-discount! Yippy skippy! By doing that, I saved an additional $2.53 on my grocery bill. Hey, every little bit of savings helps, ya know!

Supper over, shopping done and I made a big pan of brownies to take out to church in the morning for the bloodmobile drive that will be taking place all day Thursday at our church in Lanse.

After that, time to sit down at the computer -finally -and try to get a little caught up in my blog reading for the day. I log into my reader and almost crapped on the spot when I saw it said I had 105 blog posts -new posts -waiting to be read! Holy rip! Did everyone in my blogland universe come out of the woodwork after 11 a.m. this morning and write a post? What the heck gives here, people?

I dug in, was making pretty darned good headway too, I might add, until I clicked into a particular favorite blogger's post and just about jumped out of my skin!

Now this blogger -her blog name is the name of a particular colorful, fruity-flavored candy substance -is usually interesting to read -no doubt about that. She wouldn't have the continued popularity she has if it weren't a worthwhile read, ya know.

This blogger also -like me -often indulges in doing paid posts too. And on her page tonight, one one post, at the very bottom of the page there she had a message that this post had been brought to us by "such and such" product. And I decided to click into the ad but what happened next was something I sure wasn't expecting.

Everyone here had gone to bed by then. The kids had been asleep since about 9:30 and Mandy and Bill had both gone to bed by 11:30 too so I was the only one awake and when I opened this website, I suddenly heard a voice, sounding like it was coming from right behind me asking "Do you hear that?" or something along those lines. Maybe it say "Do you see that?" I dunno right now as my short term memory isn't kicking into gear and I'm too lazy to go over to Barb's post and click it on again to get the exact words right now. You can do that and listen for yourselves, OK?

But anyway, not expecting sound from this ad site, and hearing this voice -loud and clear, almost bellowing and sounding like it was right behind me, let me tell you, I just about went into cardiac arrest!

Yes, really! It scared the living daylights out of me and I jumped -actually jumped -in my chair!

That was not fair to play a trick like that on the unsuspecting blog readers to have an ad that opens with this voice booming at you! It was enough of a fright to my system that I decided to cancel reading anymore blogs tonight and instead, spent the rest of the night working on yet another tablerunner I am embroidering!

What really sucks though is after having that happen to me, being frightened, then laughing at myself for being so damned stupid too, my pea-brain started wondering what the heck can I possibly do to get even with Barb for doing that to me?

I have no idea what I can do to get even there mainly because my mental mechanisms that used to go into high gear immediately at the mere thought of trying to pull a practical joke in retaliation on someone hasn't been put into use for several years now. So that aspect of my brain is really rusty -perhaps it is, like my mind when it comes to thinking of a menu plan for supper, gone totally braindead on me too. I hope not because for many years, being able to conjure up some good jokes to pull off on others was always something that I really enjoyed doing and I would go to all lengths then too in order to pull a good practical joke together and set it up to play out, just right.

Now bear in mind, if someone ticks me off, my system doesn't immediately go into a retaliatory mode. Not at all, as a matter of fact. I can't be bothered trying to get even then. But a practical joke? Now that has always been a horse of a different color.

Since my mind doesn't seem to want to function very well these days -out of practice from lack of use I guess -and I have no clue how I could "get even" as it were with Barb for something I know she didn't intend as a joke or something that would make me about jump out of my hide, if anyone has any suggestions for me, feel free to send 'em to me!

In the meantime, proceed with caution when reading these things by Skittles!

And I think I am relaxed -and tired enough too now -to go to bed and be able to go to sleep with now nightmares about loud voices, invisible entities, being behind me!

And this post has been provided to you compliments of Orovo.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dream On

How many of you - my readers -like to travel? I do, but don't get all that many opportunities to do much traveling these days. The price of gasoline right now is one hindrance, Maya's school hours presents yet another problem area and well, let's face facts here, money, in general, is always a big factor in that respect too.

But, I do dream from time to time about maybe being able to travel and in particular, in trying to find a way to take a trip overseas someday.

Yeah -that's a really big dream of mine -to be able to go to at least two countries -Sweden and Scotland.

Why those countries? Well, because those are the lands of my ancestors. My Mom's father came here from Sweden when he was a mere seven years old and both my Dad's parents came from Scotland when they were very, very young. My maternal grandmother's parents both immigrated here from Sweden, met and married here, in New York City. So you see, I have an big interest in trying to figure out a way to visit either of these countries.

I've been to one foreign country - Canada -and that was well over 50 years ago since I had the opportunity to cross over that border and see a few sights in Niagara Falls, Ontario. But now, with all the changes that have come about since 9-11 and new rules and regulations set up via Homeland Security, if I even want to venture up to Canada, tour a little bit of that country just north of us, I now would need something I've never had before but which I would also need if ever I were able to travel abroad - a passport!

Considering I've never applied for one of those things before -never needed it, ya know -maybe I better look into that, just for safekeeping, huh?

Normal State

Every now and then, I see something online and it trips a trigger in me that says -actually it practically screams out to me -I MUST HAVE THAT -absolutely must try that on my blog.

And I do try to comprehend the directions to add or change something on my blog before taking action, but somehow, things always seem to go amiss.

I still haven't figured out what is what with the Feedburner thing -that item that was supposed to recognize my new post, IMMEDIATELY, and then just as quickly, would mark my blog as having been updated. The post I did yesterday, for an example, was done five hours before Feedburner recognized it and showed it as updated. Before all these reader issues began -back on July 31st I believe was the date -when I put a new post up, within minutes, not hours or days even, my blog was showing as having been updated. Since adding Feedburner -that ultra swifty tool -nothing in the way of speed is coming my way.

Today, I saw this thing for Google Analytics and thought it sounded like a pretty neat deal. Well,ok -it's free and free generally rings true to me, ya know.

So I signed up for it. Got the code, installed it where I understood it should go -or at least I think I did that -and now? Well, now I am even more confused than ever.

I think I really do need something drastic here to help me get -and maintain -my bearings.

Hope this will help a bit. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Auspicious Anniversaries

As I was reading my favorite blogs today, I was reminded by Dave, who had been reminded by Dr. Sardonicus, that they both are currently celebrating the second anniversaries of their respective blogs. Thinking about that, I seem to recall someone else -on my favorites list, Barb, whose anniversary is also around about this time too -and it would also be her second anniversary celebration as well.

And gee whiz, I realized then that it is also MY second anniversary in the blogosphere as well! Now how the heck could I neglect that important event that actually was on September 14th -over a week ago now?

Like Dave, I'm a bit astonished over the number of people who have stumbled on my blog and then left -never to return -and also, by those who have come by here via one means or another and have come back to read more. Some of them come by and check my blog faithfully, on a daily basis, and never leave a comment -just keep reading and lurking and coming back -and that's fine with me. Much as I do love (like all other bloggers I am assuming do too) comments, some of these lurkers do tell me in person when I see them -or they may send me an e-mail message to -that they read this or that post and they agree with what I said or enjoyed the message or in some rare instances, tell me they loved reading about Maya and Kurtis and especially seeing the photos I often post about them too -watching them grow up, right before our eyes!

For the record, the number of visitors showing on my sitemeter sits right now at 21,059 and that is actually those who have visited since probably late November or early December of 2006 as I think that's about the time I installed the sitemeter to track my visitors. I can remember how excited I was to see the first couple of visitors to my blog recorded on my sitemeter too. I think it was maybe two or three folks who had dropped in here to read but as far as I was concerned, it seemed more like I'd written a best seller and had a kazillion visitors to my site!

Yeah, I'm pretty much a simple soul and little things, like visitors and especially those who comment too, to my blog really do make my socks go up and down -if I were, in fact, wearing socks, that is.

Since I started blogging - and learned how to add people to my simple blog roll - the number of other blogs I read has grown by leaps and bounds. The first two blogs that began my journey in Blogland with me were Barb aka Skittles and Paige at Paradise Valley 2. They're both still "with me" -on my blogroll and I read their latest posts everytime they put something new up there via my lovely Google Reader device. Yes, the same darned one that gave me such fits back at the end of July, through August and still annoys me in that it now takes forever for it to update my own blog and show when I have a new post! But at least it is doing that now, cause back in August, it wasn't even doing that much for me, so I'll just deal with the slowness of the RSS or Feedburner thingy -whichever one it is that is slowing down almost to a stop it seems at times. So much for the speed of the internet where my blog and the updating factors are concerned.

Another blogger who has been on my favorites list almost as long as Barb and Paige is Shelby Dupree but that wasn't the name of her blog when I first found her -or she found me. Not sure which came first there but she's been with me for almost two years now too and still one of my favorites, as much now as she was way back then.

Way back, in my fairly early days, I had another blog favorite -Bob Johnson -who wrote the fantastic and always funny as all get out blog "Letters I Wish I'd Sent." Now that's was a masterpiece of a blog and one I loved reading every single day! Over the course of almost a year, I came to feel that I knew Bob just as well as I knew my next-door-neighbor! Not only did we read each other's blogs, but we also became blogger friends, exchanging e-mails, discussing lots of things from soup to nuts with a lot of communiques about his efforts of trying to find ways to make a little money from his writings on his blog.

If you've been reading my blog for any great length of time -like a year or more, you may remember that my good friend Bob died, quite suddenly, of a massive heart attack a year ago this fall -November I believe it was -and losing him, his blog, his wit, his friendship, really hit me quite hard. I still very much miss not seeing his own particular brand of humor and unfortunately, shortly before he died, he had shut that blog, along with some of his other ventures in Blogland down. Wish you hadn't done that Bob, as there are many times when I feel the need to read some of your great takes on people, on life in general, for the uplift those posts always gave me.

In the past year, I've been playing around a bit with my own blog -doing the Paid Posts from time to time. No, I can't say that I will ever get filthy rich from those posts, not even close to solvent with them actually, but what the heck, earning $5.00 here and there, every now and again, at least gives me a little bit of a useful, purposeful feeling about the time I spend reading and occasionally writing a post or two too!

Right now, any paid posts I do, the earnings from them goes into my PayPal account and I'm hoping to at least earn enough there to put towards getting some fuel oil in our tank to keep the house semi-warm this coming winter. No lofty goals there really, just a little extra to put towards survival. Although, when I stop and think about the price of fuel oil now, maybe that is a pretty darned lofty goal after all, isn't it?

Recent readers know I've begun working on projects to use for gifts -most probably Christmas gifts -as I've been embroidering like a crazy woman! So far, I have completed two tablecloths and four tablerunners and have them safely stashed away for the upcoming holiday. I have long had a "stash" consisting of fabrics and patterns for sewing -mainly children's clothing, as well as storage totes filled to the brim with yarns and knitting and crochet pattern books for when I get the urge to sew or knit/crochet. Now, I've added a box that I am slowly filling with more embroidery projects to do over the coming months as well. Yeah, I have five tablecloths and five tablerunners in that box to be done, along with some other little projects along the "counted cross stitch" line too. The latter -counted cross stitch -probably will never get done as I find doing that stuff way too tedious and difficult for my eyes and fingers to maneuver the stitches to get them the right size and blending of colors too! Maybe someday -but doubtful -that I will dig in and tackle them!

My regular readers have followed along with my recording of some of the antics of my sweet little granddaughter -usually times when she wasn't being exactly sweet though -as well as learning of her progress and that of her little brother, Kurtis, as they both are learning how to comprehend the many things we all tend to take for granted in the "normal" progressions of childhood but that aren't exactly the norm for them since they are both autistic.

My intent in writing about their progress, their actions, comprehensions, etc., is to show those with no knowledge about autism that although it is an adventure into a totally different realm quite frequently, it is still every bit as wonderful as is having children who learn at what society deems to be the normal rate. My daughter has several magnet things on her car and one says "Autism is not a tragedy; Ignorance is the tragedy." And that's something I firmly believe. They are still the most beautiful, most precious gifts from God anyone could ever ask for!

There have been many times over the past two years when I wondered what is the point of blogging. When I get more than a little bit "brain dead" I still wonder about that.

But then, I will read others posts and always find something there of interest, sometimes something that will inspire me, remind me of events in my life, of things that are deep in my mind, my memories, or things that I might have in my dreams for things that could possibly be yet to come. And always, when that happens, I find myself thanking whoever or whatever powers that be that brought me to blogland in the first place.

Today, my blogroll consists of around 160 blogs -a far cry from the first three or four blogs I followed two years back. Thankfully, not everyone of those bloggers posts something new every single day or I would really be swamped in reading and wouild never get around to having time to write anything here! (Although, that might be something some bloggers may wish I would do less of, or at least write fewer words in my posts too, perhaps.)

So anyway, that's where I am today -celebrating that my blog has survived two years here, that it's made me a couple bucks over the past year but even more than that, it's gained me some great friendships of the virtual kind, but with people from very diverse walks of life, from several different countries as well. There's some from Canada - Vic, Mau and Terry in particular -and of course, another Terry in Portugal who helped me revamp the appearance of my blog, did the banner for it for me, and David, from Australia whose posts and photos -and his roasts and "post of the day" spots I totally enjoy. There Dianne, from New Jersey, two lawyers (here and here), a special RN from British Columbia, a Classy young mother from Cleveland, an equally classy slightly older Mom from Minnesota, cat lovers all over the place like Fermie and Magnentbabe, people who share my political thoughts, those who don't too, folks who write some really great intellectual stuff, others who write some really crazy stuff and ask their readers to judge if we think they are insane or not too! And grandparents galore, along with younger parents who grace my blogroll. And also, lots and lots of folks who have someone they love who has autism too. I don't know if I have a blogger from every state in the union on my blogroll or not and I'm thinking maybe I should try to figure that out, just for the heck of it someday.

Now that I mention that, why not ask everyone who reads my blog to submit a simple comment -just naming the state -or country -where you live -and make my work to do a post about the extensive nature of blogging easier for me to write up sometime soon? Aw, come on, you can do that much for me now, can't you?

Thanks to each of you listed below -along with some others on my reading list as well, you all contribute to keep me reading, keep me thinking and to keep me coming back, again and again -to keep on Blogging

Pat, Sunshine, Keith, Debo Blue, Claire, the Cheeky Little Brit, Ann,
Jeff, 911 Linda, Beth's Funny Farm, Bagwine, Sognatrice, James and his Burnetiquette, Sandee, Danielle, Dooce, Suzanne, Stephanie, Laura, Gretchen,
Mahala, Lorraine, Sandi McBride, Lime, Molly, the Millionaire Wannabe,
Logophile, Jo, Jailhouse Jon, Jenera, Katydidnot, Sylvia, Janey Wan,
The Swedish Cruiser, Amy, the Knitting Queen, Grandma Mary in Canada,
Miss Nelson, The One and Only Meloncutter, The MEME Queen, Misty Dawn,
MOMnos, Casdok, Stine in Norway, Jackie and her Lot, Empress Bee,
Mushy, Eve Nucci, Pos, Grannie Maggie May, Jocylyn, Paula, Rick Rockhill,
The Pundit Mom, Minnesota Blue, Lacy's Razor Farms, Kathryn, Shrinky,
John's Shack, Magazine Man, The Crazy Mr. Sullivan, Hot Mamma,
, Belle, Bunny On, Tee the Diva, Singing Owl, Terri Murphy,
Snoopmurph Linda, Shelley Tucker, Janet, Travis, Fireman Gene's Sweaty Socks, Raven, Patois, Hammer, Maddy McEwen, Leeandeluu, Melinda,
Kandee, Surly Writer, Ranting Trucker Lady, Snowman Poop,
Millieum Housewife, Carol's Rose Creek Cottage, Woman in A Window

Now, I'm heading off into YEAR THREE!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting Closer

Time again for this week's supply of the Bushisms. And yes, it is closing it, moving up to the end of this reign. So see, some good news to be had then. Right?

Monday, September 22, 2008 - 120 days left

"America better beware of a candidate who is willing to stretch reality in order to win points."
--Aboard the 2000 campaign plane, September 2000

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 - 119 days left

"We need an energy bill that encourages consumption."
--Trenton, New Jersey, September 23, 2002

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 - 118 days left

"I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is --my point is, there's a strong will for democracy."
-To Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Sept. 24, 2006

Thursday, September 25 2008 - 117 days left

"Border relations between Canada and Mexico have never been better."
--Press conference with the Prime Minister of Canada, 2001

Friday, September 26, 2008 - 116 days left

"The folks who conducted to act on our cuntry on September 11th made a big mistake. They underestimated America. They underestimated our resolve, our determination, our love for freedom. They misunderestimated the fact that we love a neighbor in need. They misunderestimated the compassion of our country. I think they misunderestimated the will and determination of the Commander-in-Chief, too."
--Washington, D.C., September 26, 2001

Saturday and SUnday, September 27/28, 2008 - 115 days left and 114 days left

"It is clear our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas."
--Beaverton, Oregon, September 2000

Now, my question today - Did you misunderestimate our fearless leader?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Antique "Finds"

Remember yesterday when I told you about going to the auction and that I purchased two old dressers -one that even has a matching mirror?

Ok, granted these items are going to require probably a whole lot of elbow grease and hard work to strip them, sand them, refinish them, but today I went out back to where my son-in-law currently has these items sitting -under the cover of our canopy tent -and took some pictures to post here of them.

These are far from the best pictures -no two ways about that -but the intent here is to just give you a little bit of an idea as to what these items look like.

This one is the one in better condition of the two items. The way Bill has them sitting out back, I didn't have room to back up to get a better view of the entire dresser -just this much of it. The top of it is not white as it appears in this picture though -it's actually the same color as is the front of the dresser and the legs. The legs on this are really neat too -curved and makes it look more like a small buffet as opposed to a bedroom dresser type item. When my son called home today and Mandy and I were telling him about my "antique" purchases, when I described this item to him and especially the legs and the glass, sort of a crystal-like, pulls on the drawers, he thought it sounded like a pretty neat item to him.

Here then is the other dresser and the mirror too. I had no way to prop the mirror up to show the scroll stuff along the top edge so had to take the picture with the mirror laying down, facing the sky. Hence, you see the tree branches overhead playing "heavy, heavy hangs" over this stuff. This dresser -and the mirror -are both in dire need of a whole lot more work than the other item is. The wood top of this one has dents or little gouge marks in it, plus the paint job is really yucky now too so I foresee this one taking a lot of work to get it to look half-way decent.
Here's a partial side view of the green chest. It has, I believe, three drawers, nice and deep ones too and it is probably about 36 inches from one side to the other too. So, a decent size overall.

Here's the mirror which, as you can see a little bit of the scroll across the top -not much, but a tiny bit anyway.
And here's a bit of a closeup view so you can see what I mean about how marred the top is on this chest too.

Both may mean a lot of work to get them stipped, sanded and refinished but still, for only $3.00 for both chests and the mirror, I don't see how one could go wrong with them then, do you?

Entreprenuerial Adventures!

Ever since I had some medical problems about five years ago now, I've been "retired" although it's actually through Social Security Disability as I was not quite old enough at the time to qualify for the straight retirement.

Social Security is a good thing, truly it is, but there are times when I wish I were back in the work force, earning a wage, doing things that might help keep my mind at least semi-working perhaps. To earn a little extra money each month would be a nice thing too -also a big help especially now with the ever increasing costs of fuel oil for the furnace.

I'm always looking around though -online -to see if I can find anything that might possibly be feasible for me -or even perhaps for Mandy to do that would give her -or me -that extra income that we all need.

Recently, I've been looking at sites that promoted "work from home" type things but so many of them often don't always appear to be exactly on the "up and up" but today I came across this idea for a possibility - franchise opportunities!

There are even some places listed here that require only a very small investment -which would match up with the resources Mandy and I have to work with -and I'll have to show this to her and see what she thinks about the whole idea too.

Who knows, maybe some time down the road we'll become entrepreneurs -self-employed business women!

Kind of has a nice ring to it there, don't 'cha think?

Buzz, Buzz, Buzzing Around

The more I play around on my computer -particularly surfing on the Internet -the more things I stumble across. And you know, it is truly amazing the variety of things one can find here too.

For example, I think I have mentioned in the past about my older grandson, Alex, who I have pretty much set up an agreement with him that Grammy doesn't buy him clothes, nor do I buy him toys. I do however, rely on him to give me a list of books he likes and then try to make selections from that list to get and give him books for his birthday or for Christmas.

The reason for this is that I can't keep track of what size he wears now, nor am I necessarily all that knowledgeable either about what type of clothing he likes. Oh, I do sew fleece sweatshirts for him because I know he likes them, and usually I can find fabric in a "camo" type print that I know he will appreciate too so in that respect, from time to time I do give him clothes, but not that much in that department.

One thing though I know he likes and that is GI Joe type things but usually on a more advanced level -not just the little GI Joe dolls and stuff. This morning I stumbled across something I'm thinking I'll have to show to Mandy and maybe we can pool our resources to get something along these lines for Alex this year for Christmas.

Even I would get a big kick out of rc helicopters and I'm betting it's something he would also really enjoy. All kinds, all sizes -looks like they'd be a bundle of fun to me!

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Fixer-Upper

It's now a little after 11 p.m. and I've finally gained access to the computer today! Phew! This sharing business can really be for the birds at times, ya know. Between the stepgranddaughter and her "My Space" that she can camp out in front of the computer for 4-5 hours and play around with bling and beads, glitz, glitter and music and my daughter and her "My Space," her CafePress Mom groups -I think she belongs to like maybe a dozen or two perhaps, my time to get on my own computer sometimes dwindles down to the late, late night hours and the wee hours of the morning, whether I had planned to stay up all that late or not!

Actually, part of the bad timing today was due to my own activities too -more embroidery work, plus tonight, Mandy and I had to go get some groceries and after that, had to go to the high school to wait for the football game to be over so we could pick up the "chick with sticks" that lives here. That would be the stepgranddaughter and that's what it says on the back of her Majorette Sweatshirt that coordinates with her cutsy little short-skirt outfit.

But here I am now and with my big old Penn State coffee mug, filled to the brim with steaming hot, fresh black coffee that I'm hoping will keep me energized to write this post and then, to dig in and begin reading the 142 blog posts waiting patiently for me to attend to on my reader!

My embroidery work netted me another finished project today though -another table runner done! And now I've also started working on yet another table runner! Gotta strike while the old iron is hot, don't 'cha know? Before the interest level dies down in me, before my vision leaves me completely, before I forget, due to senility factors that probably are lurking just around the bend, how to do this kind of stuff.

But aside from the embroidery stuff, there was something else I wanted to talk about here tonight.

It's about something I did yesterday -early last evening, as a matter of fact. I went to an auction here in the village.

Attendance wise, this wasn't one of the biggest auctions I've ever attended. I suppose by most standards for that measuring device, it was a fairly small event -maybe 50-60 folks there. I'm figuring a lot of locals didn't go to this one because the house (which was auctioned off, along with contents) has been kind of slowly falling apart at the proverbial seams for several years now.

This house was, back when I was a kid, one of the "hot spots" in town -everyone here knew this house, who lived there, and most everyone in town tended to venture into the place back then too, almost every day. The reason being that there was a little addition on the side of the house that served as our post office back then and the lady who was the postmistress (Miss Ethel Lakin) had held that high position for over 20 years when I was a kid! The main part of the house was also one of the finer homes in town at that time too. The lawn always perfectly manicured, and the way the house was situated on the lot -which is sort of triangular in shape - it was a pretty imposing structure back then and for probably 40 years prior to when I came along too!

Miss Lakin's family had originally lived down in Peale -the ghost town down the road from my home -but had migrated up to Grassflat probably close to the turn of the century. It's my understanding that her father, Tom Lakin, was quite well-known in and around the village as well as the township. I'm not sure what his initial type of work in this area was back in the 1880's and up but somewhere along the way he was appointed to be postmaster here and the job was then eventually "bequeathed" to his daughter, Ethel.

Ethel was a sweet little lady who, when I was in elementary school and was just beginning to be trusted to pick up the mail, knew me, knew my Mom, grandparents and the entire family for that matter. She was a kind-hearted, very friendly lady too and quite civic oriented as well. I doubt there was anyone in town who had a secret being held that Ethel hadn't already got wind of too.

A couple of years back, through my subscription to Ancestry.com's Historic Newspaper database, I began researching via old issues of the local daily newspaper -The Clearfield Progress, as it was then known or simply, "The Progress" as it has been known for probably the past 50 years or more now. The coverage of this newspaper on that database extends from 1913 through 1976 -although it is not exactly complete as there are some years that not all months/days are represented but it's still a really good sized bit of reading material to search through.

I was interested in this avenue of research to try to get information first about the village where I live -where I was born and raised -and I had figured once I got through all the issues by searching for information, I would return and do the same type of search on the other villages in the township. My goal then was to try to glean enough interesting information about each of these villages to do a history-type book about it but more than just doing it as a history of just the villages, I wanted it to be one that would also include all kinds of data bout the people who had once lived here. Yeah -big dreams, huh? Even for as small an area as this would encompass, it wouild still be quite a monumental task to research each of the five little villages in this township. I'm still not finished with researching my hometown -as I kind of got burned out on the project about 12-18 months or so ago and at that time, I was only up through 1967!

One thing that stands out though about this research project was that back in the 1930's the paper had weekly colums about each little village throughout the county. Accounts of things that had happened each week -sort of a gossipy type column in some ways, but also a recording of comings and goings -passings of residents during that time span that often was the closest some of those people came to having an obituary.

When I first came across these columns, there was no indicator on them as to who the author was. Because the person who wrote the column reported very fairly on ALL the residents, seemed to know just about everyone in town and what was going on here, I remarked to a very good friend of mine about the column saying I'd love to know who wrote it but that if I were a betting person, I'd put my money on the author probably being Ethel Lakin -the postmistress.

Eventually, I did come across the very first column written about my home town and on that column, lo and behold, there was the name of the author! And, I was right in my surmising it had been written by Ethel too!

A couple years ago, I was writing for a small, monthly local publication -mostly articles dealing with various history events in this region and one article I wrote had to do with something that Ethel Lakin and about 3-4 other people had a big hand in organizing and that was the "Peale Reunions" that took place in the ghost town of Peale from 1930 until 1939. I found the reports about these reunions written up in old issues of the Progress and was astounded by the number of people who returned to the village of their roots for an old fashioned reunion. Sometime in the near future, I'll have to dig out the article I wrote about those reunions and the impact the event had on so many folks, who came from near and far to visit for a day. Considering this was during an era of very little transportation -cars were definitely a luxury item -and also, this was during the Great Depression too so money was pretty scarce then too but still this reunion attracted from 1,200 to 2,000 and perhaps a little more than that in attendees.

While researching for that article, my good friend Charmaine Nadzom Myers, had pointed me in the direction of the Lakin homestead and to Ethel's great-nephew, Jack Henius, who was residing in the homestead then. She said Jack had found several old photos and other artifacts that he'd loaned her when she and her husband first opened their restaurant here and that perhaps, he might help me out a bit with my research since by that time I knew his Aunt Ethel had been one of the organizers of the reunion.

So it was, with a great deal of trepidation that I found myself one day knocking on the door of this house, waiting to introduce myself to Jack and hoping he would talk to me and perhaps, help me out a bit.

Jack, you see, was rather a colorful character here by that time. A quiet man, brilliant too -a mechanical engineer by education -he had also become a recluse over the last 20 years or so of his life. He existed in this old house with no electricity, no running water either. Rumor had it that he had no heat in the house either but later someone said that his father, prior to his death, had set up a fund that would cover delivery of coal for the furnace in the house as long as Jack chose to -or was able to -continue to reside there.

Jack paid no attention whatsoever to the upkeep of the property. The grass grew high, weeds permeating all over the grounds. Trees, shrubs, that once blossomed there grew thick, blocking out almost all sunlight into the home. Jack, himself, usually wore long-johns and flannel shirts -when he opted to wear clothes -and frequently, during the summer time, the kids in town loved the show he often put on for them (inadvertantly, that is) when he wouild pull up a battered old folding lawn chair, sit out in a tiny bare patch in front of the hose, completely naked! For the latter part of his life, many townspeople around here referred to him as "Tarzan" because of this activity of his. Since he never approached anyone, never did anyone any harm -was just a bit quirky, probably due to some type of mental illness (I'm thinking he may have been schizophrenic,) no one got all up in arms about his sunbathing actions.

When I finally met Jack -and yes, he was clothed (thankfully) - I explained what I was trying to find -information Ethel may have left behind about these old Reunions and he went upstairs, rooting around in the bedrooms and before long, came back down carrying a huge black book -a registrar's book -and presented it to me to glance through. As I leafed through the pages, around the middle of the book, I came across a gold mine of information as there, in that book, she had set it up as a registration for folks who attended the reunions to sign -each year, for the 10 years that the reunion existed!

How fascinating it was to read those names! Names of people still living, yes, but names of people long since passed from this place, this earth. Names I recognized quite often too from listening to my grandfather and my great-uncle talk about the "olden days" when they lived in Peale and after its demise, when they had moved out and up to the big village of Grassflat -or people who had ventured out, all across the country but came back for this one Sunday every year for ten years to remember their past, their history.

Because Jack's housekeeping habits were even worse than mine (I have to say that in case somewhere from up above my Mom is perhaps reading this as she always thought my housekeeping left very much to be desired) many of the items up for auction last night were in dire need of lots and lots of tender, loving care and plenty of soap and hot water, the amount some things sold for would at other auctions probably garnered a much higher price. Although there were a couple pieces of furniture that did go for more of an antique collector's type price.

But I made two purchases last night -although I bid on one item I really would have loved to have won out on the bidding for it and that was for an old coal cookstove that a neighbor of Jack's told me still worked! It sold for $22.50 and I backed off bidding at $20 as I feared the guy I was bidding against was going to up the price to a range of more than I really could feasibly afford to shell out.

But what I purchased -two old dressers, one even has a matching mirror (not attached to it though). That dresser will need a LOT of work -stripping, sanding, refinishing it -all things which I have never before done, which I have no knowledge as to how to go about doing it either so it should be interesting to see how well my son-in-law and I fare when we get around to working on these two dressers. But both of them are solid -very well built -and should -with any reasonable degree of luck -be able to work on and refinish them to a decent appearance. At least I hope so anyway!

And the price I paid for those two dressers and the mirror? A mere $3.00 for all three pieces!

I really should have taken some pictures of the house so you could see how dilapidated the place is today. The front porch is braced up -very precariously -windows are broken out in the house here and there and there are gaping holes in the roof over the portion that had once been probably the most important building in the whoe town - the post office. Inside, the wallpaper is grey to black with coal dust and general dirt from lack of any type of cleaning and most of it is warped, peeling, falling off. But the stairs leading to the second story as well as to the attic were in great condition as was the banisters along both staircases. The bedrooms -three on the second floor -were all nice sized -one very large bedroom and the two other good sized rooms. The attic covers much of the second story and is one that is a "stand-up" attic which could, after much work, be partitioned into two more rooms.

But, the person who purchased this house -if he intends to fix it and make it liveable, perhaps resellable, has definitely still got his work really cut out for him. He'd better have some really deep pockets too with lots and lots of moola there to be able to afford to restore this place to its once shining glory!

How much did this house and the lot sell for?

Are you ready for this -$4,600!

It will be interesting, I'm sure, to see what the gentleman who purchased the property ends up doing with it. Whether he will just tear it down, do a half-assed job at fixing the bare necessities and sell it maybe, or will he redo the entire place and maybe make it a place of grandeur once more!

I really hope the last option is the one he takes!