Thursday, July 31, 2008

Organizing Tip of Week 7: Pills

I keep my pills with my glasses in the cupboard. That way they are out of sight but where I see them every time I go for a glass. The one I take every other day at supper time so I just mark it right on my calendar ahead.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Our Best Reads In July

Karen's Best :

HISS AND TELL by Pam Johnson-Bennett

This book was extremely interesting to me because I love cats and it explained some of the puzzling behaviors that can arise. I found it fascinating that this woman was able to actually think like a cat to figure out what was causing the strange behaviors. It is both humorous and educational. It gives great insight into explaining various cat behaviors. I highly recommend it to any cat owner.

Gerard's Best:

Please Stop Laughing At Us by Jodee Blanco
"A Remarkable Woman" 10 stars!

I hated to see this book end. It was like talking to my new best friend. Finally, somebody got it right telling the story of being bullied. I admire Jodee. The work she is doing is so important! I just LOVED this book and hope you write another.
Be sure to read the emails and letters at the end of this book. They are sad, but good to know people now have someone to turn to--Jodee!


I read this one too because Gerard said it was so good and would help me understand better what all he went through--so here's my review:

This is her second book about how she recovered from all the bullying she endured all through school and as an adult, went to talk at schools around the country to help other kids who were being bullied and help the bullies to stop. She also addressed parents and teachers.

Her advice included telling the bullied kids to stand up for themselves in a nonviolent way, find friends outside of school even if it means going outside of their school district. Parents should not just send kid for counseling but go with them. Parents need to support their kids and let the kids talk about their problems. Try to come up with an action together that will help the situation. She emphasized over and over that the advice to just ignore the bullies and they'll stop doesn't work for kids. That is adult logic, but in reality, kids just tease all the more.

This book has a great message and offers practical help to both the bullied kids and their parents and teachers. It tells how the kids who used to pick on her in school are now her friends and she even married the most popular guy in school that all the girls liked which gives much hope to those going through the same thing. Great book! I'd recommend every teacher read it and anyone who has been the recipient of being bullied.

To read reviews of other books we've read go to
http://karen.pnn.com


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Living With No Stove--A Good Decision


Between Gerard and I, Gerard is the better cook because he sometimes makes sloppy Joes. I tried making macaroni with corn once and a jello mold--does that count? Neither turned out well.

We have a microwave, a toaster oven and electric fry pan (that's for the sloppy Joes). Shortly after moving into our first home together, it didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that our stove was just taking up space in our kitchen. Being newly weds at the time, I thought it would be nice to bake some cookies for Gerard. He called himself a cookie monster because he never met a cookie he didn't like. I bought the Pillsbury Doughboy frozen cookie dough that just needed to be cut up, put on a cookie sheet and into the oven. I could do that. I even took a video of my making these cookies--I knew it was a rare occasion!

That is the only time we ever used the stove. The cookies turned out okay but Gerard didn't like them any more than bought ones so since it is much quicker and simpler to just buy ready made cookies, that is what we do.

I mentioned to Gerard that I think we should toss it out. He agreed and dragged it out to the curb on garbage day--we haven't missed it at all and in its place is now a table with our microwave on top so we have more counter space.

Am I practical, or what?


Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Design Thanks to Ana, Chica & Pumuckl!

I just got this new page design working yesterday thanks to Ana, the mom of my cat friends, Chica and Pumuckl, designing it for me and walking me through how to load it. I had zero knowledge about how to get a customized layout. Thanks, Ana, for all your time on this for me. It was so nice of you.

I visit her site practically every day to see what Chica and Pumuckl are up to. Often times, I will get a tour of places in Egypt with these cats which is really cool! If you haven't seen this site yet, you don't know what you're missing! It's really unusual and very informative. It's not just about cats, but the cats are actually the "tour guides."

In just four days, they will be moving to Germany so I look forward to learning more about that country through their eyes in the future. We wish you and your cats, Ana, a safe and fun adventure!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Strange Disappearing Act at Work Upon Return from Two Week Vacation

A very goofy thing happend at work yesterday. It's only my second day back from being off two weeks so I'm still trying to get into work mode. Perhaps staying up until 11:30 on the computer last night may have something to do with it as well.

Anyhow, here's what happened: I was in my boss's office yesterday when his phone rang so I wrote a message for him. (I should have just let it go into voice mail.) Unfortunately, the message paper just disappeared into thin air! I got a licorice stick from his goodie supply which I was unwrapping as I was walking back to my desk to send him an email or put it into his voice mail, but started going the wrong direction. (I'm still not used to my new location yet.) I turned around and discovered I didn't have the message but I still had my licorice stick! I retraced my steps thinking perhaps I dropped it while opening the licorice but couldn't find it anywhere. I rechecked his office several times.

My memory not being as sharp as it once was since I am 54 now, all I remembered of it was this:

Nel from Dr. Jerome F_____'s office (associated with Dr. Cohen) called to set up a November appointment for him. I know the number had some 4's in it but that's all I remember.

I even tried the scribble technique with a pencil on the page under to see the indentations left but I guess that only works in the movies or on TV. It wasn't legible. We have a phone system at work where it stores recent calls placed and received so I check that for the number, but wouldn't you know, it wasn't there.

Hopefully, Nel will call back if she doesn't get a call from him (hey, maybe she'll see this post!). I just told my boss this morning that I'm not adjusted to being back here yet after being off two weeks on vacation! I really don't know what happened to it--it just disappeared--POOF! All I can figure is I must have dropped it and someone else must have picked it up. I checked my pockets and then rechecked his office several times thinking I may have laid it back down in there but no message there either. Poof, it's gone!

Good thing my boss is a kind, considerate, patient and very understanding gentleman and that this call wasn't work related. It could have been worse. I will definitely be going to bed earlier tonight since I overslept 40 minutes this morning. I NEVER do that!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dumbest Thing I Ever Did--How Dumb Are You?

Just thought to make this post more interesting, I'd share with my readers the dumbest thing I ever did. I'd even venture to say I win the prize with this one. I got free club seat tickets for an Indians game from work and invited a family from my church bowling league to go too because my husband wasn't interested since they weren't playing the Red Sox that day. Anyhow, I gave the mother the three tickets at the bowling alley and I kept one for myself and said I'd just meet them there. I was really looking forward to this because club seats are absolutely the best! You get great seats for watching the game along the first base line AND all the free food you can eat!! YUM, YUM!

So, I take the 40 minute bus ride to the game and when I present my ticket, it's rejected because it has the wrong date on it for a game that was already played. I flip out! I think, wow, why would they give me the wrong tickets. I should have checked them first. I'm so embarrassed and angry so go back to the bus stop and get a bus home. I'm so angry. First thing I do when I get home is call the family to apologize and their son who didn't go answers and tells me they're in there and were wondering where I was. (This is before cell phones and by now it's about an hour and a half into the game.) Then I discover I do have the right ticket for that day's game after all in my other pocket. By then I figure it's too late to go.

It turns out I never threw away my ticket from the previous game that I went to and it was still in my pocket. I pulled that one out by mistake. I never thought to check for the right ticket in my other pockets. What an idiot! Then I'm really mad at myself and just scream, scaring my poor cats. I cried because I felt so stupid and my cats comforted me.

Now, am I right? Is that just the dumbest thing you ever heard of? Do I win the dummy prize? What's the dumbest thing you ever did? From now on, I ALWAYS throw away my tickets after I use them. Live and learn and don't make the same mistake twice.

This is a quiz of 20 questions which I did just for the fun of it. The questions are easy--not much thinking necessary. Just took longer than I expected. They email your results.
Dumb Test
Dumb Test by QuizRocket.com!
Quiz of the Week | More Quizzes! | Facebook Quizzes


Organizing Tip for Week 6: Special Spot

Have a "To Take With You" spot. Set aside one place near your way out as your "To Take With You" spot where you put things that you want to take with you that day or the next day. Otherwise, this spot should be kept clear.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Movie: Kit Kettridge--An American Girl Very Enjoyable

Since Gerard and I couldn't agree on a movie to see that we both were interested in, I went to see "The Dark Knight" with him and he came to see "Kit Kettredge--An American Girl" with me. As it turned out, both were good movies, but very different.

I liked Kit Kettredge because it was cute, humorous and heartwarming. It was a nice, wholesome family movie but pretty predictable. It is about a family living during the depression and how the little girl wanted to be a reporter and made her dream come true through being persistent and not giving up. Because of her determination, she proved her hobo friends were innocent of the robberies and got her family's savings back. I found the part where her hobo friends taught her how to read hobo was interesting.

Gerard said it is a predictable happy ending, movie with bumbling criminals, kids being heroic with a dog and monkey thrown in for added entertainment. He thinks he was the only man there--maybe he was. I couldn't tell because it was dark. Gerard made the analogy of our taste in movies as his being like a roller coaster--preferring fast-paced, ups and downs with surprising twists and turns and I like the old folks rides that are calm, predictable and peaceful. That's not entirely true; however, in this case it was a pretty good analogy.

For our review of The Dark Knight,click here and here


Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Gerard and I Found Each Other Through Great Expectations

I never dated much at all since I was perfectly happy with my single life and didn't really know anyone I had any romantic interest in. Besides, it wasn't like anyone was asking me out. I was very involved in church activities--AWANA club, teaching Jr./Sr. High Sunday School, bowling in two leagues, and work. Gerard never dated much at all either. His life consisted of work, reading, watching sports on TV and gardening. We both got to the point where we realized we didn't want to grow old alone so decided to look for a love interest.

We both decided to take action and signed up at Great Expectations. It cost plenty, around $1,000, but they assured me that the cost helped keep out those who aren't really serious about finding a suitable mate. Another thing they said was that you'd spend more than that on a car which lasts only a few years. Isn't finding a husband worth as much?

So, my man hunt began and his quest for a good woman. I wrote up my profile and did the taped interview which I thought turned out very bad. I wasn't very pleased with it to say the least, but I was determined to be myself so guys would not be misled. I was very nervous doing it and my eyes kept looking away from the camera. Since I was looking for a real relationship with someone compatible, it was very important that I give honest, candid answers. I wanted someone who I would be comfortable with and who I could be myself with.

Gerard found me first in the profile books in November. He was in his second year there. When I got the call that someone wanted to meet me, I went up to check them out. When I first saw Gerard's video, I thought, nah, I don't think so but then I caught myself and realized I was judging on looks. I thought how shallow of me, and after all, I'm no great looker either. I stuck to my basic strategy of accepting to meet anyone expressing an interest in me first (after all, the guys I was choosing certainly weren't working out). Boy, am I glad I gave Gerard a chance! As it turned out, he's the one for me and I for him!

It took a lot of courage but I believe God was bringing us both together through this. My advice for anyone going through any matchmaking route or dating service is to be honest and open. What you see is what you get should be your attitude and hopefully, the other person will be honest with you as well. That's really the kicker, isn't it?


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Celebrating Spunky Doodle's Gotcha Day--4 Years Old


Today we finally celebrated Spunky Doodle's Gotcha Day which was July 10. She is four years old. Spunky was born to a stray cat at my dad's house in May of 2004 to a litter of four kittens. In this short slide show are some of her baby pictures and a picture of her mom. I got her some tuna flakes that I sprinkle on top of her food. It is a special treat and she had it all eaten up before I could even take the picture! I also got her a new catnip bag to play with. Manny enjoyed it too and even went inside the carrier to get it.


video


Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight--Two Different Views!

We went to the movies today to see the Dark Night. We couldn't find one we both wanted to see, so I went along with Gerard's choice. I figure he usually does what I want so I'll let him choose the movie he wants. After all, he has to go back to work Monday and I am still off until Wednesday.

Gerard loved it! He kept saying over and over what a great movie it was. I didn’t care for it at all. It was filled with violence and evil but the evil was presented with humor. I was surprised it is a PG-13 rating with so much killing in it. Story line was very far fetched with a comic book flavor with Batman being able to fly and see through walls, etc. I guess that's the whole idea of this movie, but I'm not big on comic books so that's why I couldn't get all excited over it. There was a lot of action in it but just didn’t appeal to me with evil seemingly winning out in the end and jumping from scene to scene without really tying things up. I prefer more reality I guess but there were some funny lines thrown in here and there which I liked. I was glad when it finally ended. I did enjoy watching him enjoy it though. He normally doesn't like to sit for any length of time but didn't seem to mind sitting for 2 1/2 hours to see this movie.

Anyway, it certainly is a good illustration of the verse in I Corinthians 10:12 which says, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."


Gerard’s Review: This movie rocks!! WOW!! From the beginning until the very end this movie takes you on an unforgettable ride!! Heath Ledger as the Joker is just fantastic!! If he does not win an award for this performance, then something is very wrong!! He is just so good!

Also, Batman is good as are the Butler Alfred and the commissioner and Harvey Dent. The girl who plays the love interest has a very good part and plays it well too. Just a great job by all.

You must see this on the big screen to see it on your own TV would be doing it an injustice. Once you see this, you’ll remember it and I’m sure many people will go see it more than once. Just a fantastic film!! Go see it soon! Well worth the money!

We went to the 5:00 showing and the place was packed! There was a long line waiting to get in when we were leaving too.

I found this review which helped me get a better understanding of it: Vivid Lamp's post, Dark Knight-Conflict Between Good and Evil


Cats are so Adventurous

I was reading Daisy the Curly Cat blog (like I do everyday) for a laugh and today's post reminded me of something Spunky Doodle did. Daisy was trying to climb up on top of the kitchen cupboard. Daisy's mom does an outstanding job of catching Daisy in action and makes a whole comic sequence that is really funny to read.

While I was getting dressed one morning, Spunky Doodle decided she wanted to jump up on top of my wardrobe which is higher than anything she was ever on before. She went on the bed and then up on the headboard and took a big leap up to the top of the wardrobe.

Moe found it entertaining just to watch her up there and hopped up on the chair, looking up at her. She didn't know how to get down once she got up there. I tried to get a hold of her to help her down, but she just backed up so I couldn't. After not too long at time, she worked up the courage to take the leap back down to the bed. She only went up a couple times after that. I think it just isn't worth the trip down for her.

It's funny how brave cats are going up but it's another thing coming back down.


Dog? No Dog?

Every year Gerard and I enjoy going to "Meet Your Best Friend" at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Many different shelters bring their adoptable dogs and cats all at one time in one place. We enjoy seeing them all and it's always tempting to bring a dog home with us, but no one is home all day so we plan to wait until one of us retires. We still enjoy visiting them all and rejoice when we see some get adopted.

This year when we went, we saw 5-6 medium sized dogs that we both liked and once again, were so tempted to bring one home with us, but ahh, we didn't bring any money along which is a good thing. It kept us from making a impulsive purchase. However, one of the volunteers did suggest that perhaps getting an older dog would work for us since it wouldn't be as active and need as much attention as a younger one. Plus, not many people adopt the older dogs, they usually wind up dying in the shelters. She suggested we get a big crate that it could go in during the day while we aren't at home. Hmm. something to consder. It would be nice to let an older dog live out the end of its life in a loving home . . . like ours.

The questions we must think about are:

1) will it get along okay with the cats?

2) do we really want to put ourselves through the hurt when it dies?

3) do we want the additional expense and responsibility of owning a dog at this time?

We'll have to think about it some more.

What do you think? Should we get a dog now? Please vote on the survey to the right.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

How Should You Get Fit?

After being married for awhile, I noticed my weight going up and up. At first I thought there was something wrong with the scale but then I finally faced the fact that I was putting on weight and felt pretty lazy all the time. I went up to 150 and that was when I decided I better join Fitworks, lose some weight and get into shape. I also met with a personal trainer once a week because I knew nothing about working out or how to use all those scary looking machines and didn't want to hurt myself. I am the type person who likes to do things right or not at all.

I had success in this, losing 30 pounds which brought me back down to a good weight for my height, but then I was STILL losing and dropped another 10 pounds which was really too much. I wasn't even doing much cardio at all, just the strength training. This was my third year of strength training meeting with a trainer once a week. I got bored with working out and I was tired of getting new trainers all the time. The Fitworks where I went had a big turnover rate so I was constantly changing trainers. When I lost all my excess weight and the trainer I was working with was let go, I decided to quit. Weather was getting nice and I found I'd rather stay outside than work out at lunch time. The other problem I encountered was that the trainers at the Fitworks near my home didn't work on Saturday mornings which is the time I would like to go. (This was my favorite trainer and he told me I was his best client.) The personal trainer is not cheap either, so I decided to stop and just let my husband go by himself. Once I quit with the trainer, I just had no motivation to go at all since I reached my goal.

I have some workout videos an exercise book with many different exercises and routines laid out. FITNESS magazine which we subscribed to for awhile had short workouts in it that I certainly could do at home, but I seldom do. I am just not motivated anymore. I feel good, I walk, I love to play tennis, but to go on a treadmill or just exercise doesn't appeal to me anymore.

Following are my results from taking this quiz. I fully agree. Maybe I should get a Wi! I hear they have a fitness game that's pretty fun.




Your Fitness Type: Playful



You enjoy exercise as long as it doesn't feel like work.

Working out is your playtime, and you're up for any exercise that's fun.



Try exercise that involves a little friendly competition, like basketball, softball, or volleyball.

Or you may even like exercising with a fitness video game. Anything that makes you feel like a kid again.



Organizing Tip for Week 5: Reading Books

Since I read so much, I keep a list on the computer of the books I read by author with a short description. This comes in handy when I want to check if I read a certain book or not (usually I remember what I've read though) and more importantly, it's great for when I'm looking a book up to recommend to someone else. It was very valuable to have this list when I started on Shelfari! Books I own are on shelves by category.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is Your Will Power Strong?

Do you give in easily to temptation? Or do you have will of steel?

I love personality quizzes so I'll be posting this type of thing on a fairly regular basis. Hope you enjoy. Here's the results I got on this one which I believe describes me perfectly!




You Have Willpower of Steel



Your personal motto could be "Where there's a will, there's a way."

If you will something, you make it happen - no matter how difficult it is.



You don't back down from commitments, even when you regret making them.

That being said, you are pretty careful about what you commit to!



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Our Semi-Annual Golf Outing at Washington Park in Newburgh Heights, Ohio


Yesterday Gerard and I went golfing. There is a nice easy par 3 course in his old neighborhood of Newburgh Heights that is good for slow golfers like us. Even little kids play and learn to golf there. Die-hard golfers who are very good would not choose that course. That's one reason why we like it because we don't feel pressured that we're holding others up. It was a beautiful day for golf, not too hot with a gentle breeze and blue skies.


I never knew what a "Mulligan" was until I played golf. It's actually a do-over. Gerard had 3 or 4 mulligans yesterday. He'd top the ball and it would only go a little ways, usually off to one side or the other. That's when he throws down his club in frustration and takes it over. He doesn't keep score. It's too upsetting. We just enjoy being outdoors and hitting the ball around. I think the term if "hacker."

Gerard was off to the left with most of his tee shots. This one, he hit out of the bushes and across the whole green to the other side. His approach shots are the worst of his game. No wonder though, the only club he ever uses is his driver or his putter. He won't use anything else.



It's always a great feeling when I finally hit a good shot! Here, I am on the 9th hole and finally, get my tee shot on the green! I was close sometimes earlier but not quite. Sometimes I was way to the right, even on the cart path once! My next shot off the path though was good. See, when I hit a bad shot, then I look at it as a challenge to recoup and usually my next shot is very good.


Here on the 9th hole, I finally made par! What a great feeling since it's so rare. I usually get a 5 on a par 3 hole. Today though, I even had two 7s which was very frustrating! I was so excited when I sunk my putt for par that I jumped up and down! We only lost one ball today so that was better than Gerard expected.

I like the challenge of golf and think I could actually be good at it if I went regularly. It's just so expensive though and it does take a whole afternoon up or morning or evening. That's part of the beauty of it though--it's relaxing in that it gets you away from the other stuff you normally do and actually gives me a break. We spent $21 yesterday on our golf outing. The only league we ever played in was a church couples scramble where you play the best ball out of the four people in the foursome. That was fun because there's no pressure. Sometimes, my shot was actually the best!

Gerard's tee shot on hole 3--"Strike One"
video
Here's my par shot when I jump up and down:
video

I felt better about our golf outing after I saw Barkley's Golf Swing on NE Patriots Draft blog


Monday, July 14, 2008

Let the Teens Play Whiffle Ball in Greenwich Field!

I read an article by Connie Schultz in the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER yesterday about a community in an uproar over some teens who just want to have fun. In the wealthy community of Greenwich, Connecticut, about 10-15 teens spent about a month cleaning up an overgrown lot which no one cared about. They fixed it up into a whiffle ball field and many teens play there now. I was glad to see some upbeat news for a change and it brought back some great memories. It's really rare nowadays to see kids creating their own fun and having a good time without adults organizing their activities.

When I was a little girl, I thought it would be cool to have nine kids so we'd have enough for a family baseball team. (This idea died around age 12.) I dreamed about making a ball field in my backyard one day. I used to love baseball! These teens actually did it! BRAVO!!

It's hard to believe everyone isn't thrilled and applauding these teens that are not in gang warfare, or selling drugs to little kids, or being promiscuous. They are not vandalizing or bullying people. All they are doing is having some fun playing whiffle ball. A whiffle ball is plastic and a plastic bat is used to hit it. We used to play home run derby in our driveway on occasion with a whiffle ball. It is unlikely that even if it hit a window, it would break.

I can't believe how grouchy some people are. One neighbor actually hired a lawyer to shut down the field. A town meeting about this whiffle ball controversy is set for tomorrow. I'm pulling for the teens! Thankfully, the community response is mostly for the kids. I really think sometimes older people are just plain jealous of the fun kids and teens have so they complain "they make too much noise." These teens cleaned up an eyesore and should be appreciated and congratulated for their initiative! Go Teens!

Great news story, Connie! Thank you.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ice Cream Personality Test is Almost Right On


I found this Ice Cream Personality test at Lady Java's Lounge so being the sucker I am for "tests," I took it. Here's what it said about us (we had the exact same answers all the way):

Your Ice Cream Personality:
You are not a particularly modest person. You're proud of who you are, and you don't care who knows it. (This is the only part I would disagree with.)

You are incredibly cautious. You rather miss out on something than make a mistake. No one would ever call you wild... but they would call you responsible.

You are a somewhat open minded person, but deep down you're fairly conservative. You don't like trying new things very much. And if you do find something new you like, you stick with it.

You are a natural multitasker. You feel alive when you're doing more than one thing at a time.

You are a serious and contemplative person. You definitely do your own thing in life.

Go ahead, take the test yourself. Here's the link: Ice Cream Personality Test Before you go, what's your favorite flavor?


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Spunky Doodle, The Inspector General

Anytime I bring anything into the house, my cat, Spunky Doodle always comes to sniff it so that's why I sometimes refer to her as the Inspector General. When Gerard and I came back from the zoo with a sloth poster, not only did Spunky inspect it, but to my surprise, Manny came too. Here's what happened:


Spunky: Hmmm, what's this? A poster!


Manny: Hey, Spunky, what's up?
Spunky: Our humans just brought home this poster. Now you best get off it. It's mine!


Manny: Hey, Spunky, Come here!
Spunky: What do you want?


Manny: Aha! Now I am on it and am in control!


Spunky: Not so fast, Manny! I am the Inspector General around her and don't you forget it!


Spunky: You're back?
Manny: Yup, What are you going to do about it?
Spunky: Hmm, I guess we can each have a corner.

See Spunky and Manny's blogs at Zemek's Updates--Cat Corner, MEOW


Four Things

The Zoo Crew tagged "My Funny Dad, Harry" blog on which I gave my dad's responses so I am doing it on this one as well since I thought it sounded like fun. So here goes:

Four jobs I've had:
1) Delivering free samples door-to-door
2) Olsten temps
3) policy typist, rater and underwriter for an insurance company
4) Secretary at law firm

Four movies I can watch over and over
1) Bells of St. Mary's
2) Sound of Music
3) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
4) Wish Upon a Star (How'd that one get in here?)

Four places I've lived
1) Parma, Ohio
2) Cleveland, Ohio
3) back to Parma, Ohio

Four TV shows I love
1) Kid Nation (Unfortunately, it only lasted one season)
2) Hogan's Heroes
3) McHale's Navy
4) Wife Swap

Four places I've vacationed
1) Niagra Falls for one day
2) Beulah Beach just west of Vermilion, Ohio
3) Cedar Point (we stayed overnight once)
4) King's Island in Cincinnati, Ohio

Four of my favorite dishes
1) Spaghetti
2) Macaroni & Cheese
3) Mashed potatoes with corn on top
4) PIZZA

Four sites I visit daily
1) Entrecard
2) Shelfari
3) My Space
4) The Animal Rescue Site

Four places I would rather be right now
1) No where--I love blogging at my computer with my cats!

People I tag

- Arduous Nincompoop

- Life With Kim

- Cheaper By The Half Dozen

- The Creative Nerd

- A Second Cup

Please link to me in your post as well!


Friday, July 11, 2008

New Reality Show: "The Greatest American Dog"

This is a show Gerard and I both laughed at and enjoyed immensely! We both like dogs and there were 12 on here to start. The sad part is that each week one dog and owner gets voted off (similar to Survivor). I felt bad for the owner that got voted off first, but his dog didn't seem to care at all! There is a panel of three judges who are knowledgeable about dogs and are qualified to judge the relationships between the dogs and their owners.

The premise is to end up with the Great American dog through the process of elimination. Each week the owners teach their dogs new things. The first night the dogs played musical chairs which was cute. The winner of the little competition had to choose one dog and owner to spend the night in the dog house. The New Yorker in a suit was the first to be chosen. It was nice to see the other dog owners bring amenities out to him so he could be more comfortable. Finally, a show that showed people being nice to each other for a change!

The winner of the competition also got a golden bone and the privilege of staying in a special room that was decorated to look sort of like a park. It was very cool! His dog got a real bone.

You can take a look at all the dogs at www.dogster.com and then on the right side of the screen is a big box to click on that says "Greatest American Dog Fan Club." Go see them! They are all sizes and breeds. I like Leroy because he was funny. As soon as he arrived, he took off for the swimming pool and he barks a lot too! They stay a a very fancy place! If you like dogs, you gotta watch this show! Thursday night, 8 p.m. channel 19 (Eastern time).


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Personal News Network--Easy to Use & Fun to Read

The Personal News Network is a place for personal blogs and personal news. It is so easy to create a blog there and there are many good posts too if you like personal things.

One of my My Space friends, J Kathleen ( author of "Out of the Ashes") recommended PNN to me and I am very grateful. My first blog was done there called "Zemeks Updates." It has two especially nice features that I like that aren't available on blogspot--at least not to my knowledge.

(1) It is very simple to create a navigation bar and have a whole lot of different sections to your blog. The sections I have on mine are:

What We've Just Read (books Gerard and I review as we read them)

Sports With Gerard and Leo (Gerard's comments and Leo the Wahoo Lion's comments on sports, mostly their favorite teams)

Life is Tough But God is Good (My thoughts on some things.)

Cat Corner--MEOW (Things related to cats, incuding posts by my cats: Spunky Doodle & Manny)

Parma Heights Baptist Church (Our church news, activities, comments)

Political Stuff (I'm not big on politics, but sometimes will include comments or things political here)

My Funny Dad, Harry (my first blog entry about the book I wrote in memory of my dad)

Reviews on My Book (Some book reviews I received on "My Funny Dad, Harry")

Karen, the Author? (Why I wrote the book.)

Our Miracle Cat, Moe (Pictures and text to memorialize our first, wonderful cat and share his story with the world. I never saw another cat that looked just like him. He had a special mark down his nose and sort of looked like a spotted cow. It's his picture on my Entrecard)

Favorite Web Sites (Just a short list similar to the one on the side bar here.)


(2) Not only can you have a lot of sections, but you can rearrange them very easily anytime you want as well as rearranging your posts on the page any way and any time you wish.

The only downside to PNN it that it doesn't use Entrecard.

Here is a link to my PNN blog http://karen.pnn.com and to a PNN directory of interesting posts
http://pnn.com/directory/explore

I hope you will give PNN a look!


Tuna Pop Treats for Your Cats



On hot days, my cats both enjoyed their tuna pops. They are so easy to make, that even I could do it. All you do is take a tray of ice cubes and pour some tuna juice from the can on top of each cube in the tray and refreeze them. My cats, especially Mr. Moe (the spotted white cat) loved these. It would keep him occupied for about 10 minutes!


Organizing Tip of Week 4: Clothes

Organize clothes by season first, and sub organize by type and rotate them. Providing you have the closet space, put fall/winter clothes in storage closet and spring/summer clothes in bedroom closet. Then switch them when the season changes. Have a sweater drawer, t-shirt drawer, sweatshirt drawer, and jean/shorts drawer, underwear-socks drawer. I find that rolling the clothes instead of folding them works best because you can see them all and take them in and out easily. It also prevents them from getting as wrinkled. In the closets I put dresses together, then pantsuits, then polo shirts, then other blouses and tops.

I have so many clothes (thanks mostly to my wonderful husband who buys me nice clothes all the time) that I take from the left end of the drawer and put them back on the right end. If I find that I want to skip something, it's time to give that one away or try to sell it on eBay.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cold Box Meme (My First)

I was tagged for this fun and simple MEME for the hot summer by Samantha and Mr. Tigger at Life From a Cat's Perspective. Show us a photo of the front of your Cold Box and tell us about at least one thing on it and one thing you keep inside of it! Tag your friends and remember to stay COOL! Here is our Cold Box!



The front is boring, nothing is on it. There are a few things on the side. The most interesting is our wish list which is a list of things we want to purchase at some point. There are only three things left on it: new comfortable heels, carpeting and a dog. The one thing we always seem to have inside is yogurt and milk. It's a nice low calorie snack that tastes good. We get Yoplait and Dannon Light & Fit. Obviously, Spunky Doodle is most interested in the milk.



I am tagging Grr, Midnight and Cocoa, Purrrchance to Dream and Jazmin.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Same Pair of Cats!

Manny and Spunky Doodle:

In viewing blogs through the use of entry card, I found another blogger at From A Cat's Perspective--Samantha and Mr. Tigger whose cats look the same as my Spunky Doodle and Manny. This is a very nice blog that recently reached 30,000 visitors! Life From A Cat's Perspective.: 30,000 Visitor Contest with Samantha and Mr. Tigger

Mr. Tigger and Samantha:


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday--Yea For Dollar Bank!

When I first signed up for on-line banking and got debit cards, I wondered why the numbers on them were different from our account number, but boy am I glad they are! Today I called our bank about the threatening phone call Gerard got about us owing for some supposed magazine package. I was transferred to the Banking Machine Service and Security Department and told them may story of what I think was a fraudulent call. They agreed and said since it hasn't been put through to our account as yet, they will just cancel my husband's debit card and issue a new one. If they do try to put it through now, it will simply be denied.

I initially thought we'd have to close our checking account and open a new one which would have been a bit of a hassle since we have our paychecks directly deposited. By the amount not being put through yet, it just seems to confirm that this really isn't a legitimate call.

Just to let everyone know, the bank told me never to give our credit card number or bank card number to anyone unless we initiate the call ourselves. She also mentioned that there are communication laws in place that prohibit callers to coerce payment without documentation or by threatening legal action. Oh, she also said that if we get any more calls like this, we should just tell them we'll be calling the police to report it.

Another live and learn experience!


Wonderful Wednesday--An Unusually Good Day!

Several good things happened today. I made a deposit in my checking, relocated my cubicle at work to a better spot, was able to make a flexible doctor appointment, didn't get stressed even though I got home late AND someone bought my book.

It's always nice to get a surprise check in the mail. We recently received the government check to spur on the economy and yesterday I took another one to the bank that we got from my husband's Hartford Annuity. Apparently there was a class action and this was a settlement check.

Also, at work, I just relocated to finally be right outside the office of one attorney I work for. I've worked for him for probably around 15 years now and this is the first time I'll actually be close to his office! It was a beautiful day so I enjoyed my lunch time at the library garden.

Another good thing that happened was that I had a good book to read while waiting about a half hour for my bus. This time my husband had his cell phone with him so i was able to give him the heads up. The traffic was going nowhere when I got out of work due to being re-routed for a special concert on Public Square to celebrate the holiday early. Time goes fast when I'm reading a good book so even though it took me over an hour to get home, I wasn't stressed out about it.

I called our doctor's office to make an appointment for Gerard and me for our annual checkups on our vacation week coming up the week of July 14. Isn't that how everyone spends their vacation? Anyhow, I kiddingly asked if we could come the day it rains that week and the secretary said "yes"! She was serious too! I was so shocked, I asked What happened, did all his patients die?" but she said it was a wide open week since they'll just be getting back from vacation and that I could listen to the forecast and let her know a day ahead.

To top off the day on a positive note, when I checked my email, I discovered that one of my blogging friends just purchased my book ("My Funny Dad, Harry") from Amazon yesterday. Thanks Rene'!


Organizing Tip of Week 3: Paying Bills On Time

Put bills to pay right in checkbook in order of when they are due. As soon as I get a bill, I mark on the envelope the due date and the amount and put it into my checkbook in order of due date. This helps me remember to pay them when I mark our check deposits.

It is also incentive to pay them quickly because the big envelopes take up so much room in my purse! The phone bill is in the biggest, most cumbersome envelope so that one I usually pay right away, just so I don't have to keep trying to fit it in my purse.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Over 300 Pounds and down to 140!

When I met Gerard he weighed around 140 BUT when he was in high school, he weighed over 300 pounds! I couldn't picture him that big but he showed me a picture. It was hard to believe he lost so much weight. I was very impressed because I know how hard it is too lose weight. When I asked him how he did it, he said "will power."

THEN(high school)

When he was in high school he went to school, came home, watched TV and ate out of boredom. High School was a very tough time for him so he was pretty depressed. If you've read "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult or "Please Stop Laughing at Me" by Jodee Blanco, Gerard says he was just like the kids in those books that got picked on constantly.

Gerard was not active at all until he graduated and started working. Then the weight came off since he was on his feet all day loading and unloading trucks for a warehouse and then also shot hoops in his backyard. After his parents died, he also did all the house cleaning and enjoyed doing yardwork and taking care of roses. Since he was busier, he didn't eat as much.

So, how do you lose weight? Get active and don't just sit and eat in the evenings.

He looks so different! He doesn't even look like the same person NOW.

UPDATED 8/28/10:  His current weight is 130!


Goofy Phone Calls

From time to time we get some annoying goofy phone calls. I noticed it more when our answering machine broke. We went without one for about 2 weeks and then I bought a new one.

One call is for David Roman. We've lived here for ten years now and we still get a recorded message asking for David Roman. I called back and told them he doesn't live here and they say they'll mark their records and I won't get anymore calls. Then about a month or so later, we get another call looking for David Roman.

Another goofy one we get is for Karen Weekly. I think she lived here before us, but I don't have her number and again I tell them she doesn't live here. I don't get these calls very often, but still, after living here ten years, you'd think they'd get the message.

The third goofiest call of all came from some place saying my husband owes $499 and if he doesn't pay, they'll take him to court. This is very upsetting to us because we always pay our bills promptly. They wouldn't talk to me because they close before I get home. Supposedly, they say we owe for some magazine subscription package he purchased in 2005! We did subscribe to magazines then, but there's no way would we ever spend that much on a magazine package! They wouldn't take a credit card and refused to send us an invoice. They said they've already sent them. Well, we didn't get any. This whole call is very upsetting. I told my husband to just forget it, but then they called again about a month later. After they threatened my husband with legal action and said it would be in our best interest to pay it or we'd end up having to pay even more, my husband gave in and paid with our bank debit card after I told him not to. At first I was very angry coming home on the bus after he told my on my cell phone that he paid it. He didn't get a name of the company or the phone number. They gave him some verification number that will show on our bank statement they said. So far, it hasn't shown up--another puzzle to me. I can't really be mad at my husband because if I had gotten the call, I might have done the same thing, but I am very disturbed by the call. When we bought a car just last July and they checked our credit, it was great.

Just wondering if anyone has any advice. I really am at a loss as what to do about this. (See my Thankful Thursday Posted 7/3/08)