Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our Favorite Reads For June: "Magic Hour" and "Divergent"

Karen's is Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah 
This is a fascinating and heartwarming read about two sisters who help a little missing girl that doesn't talk who just showed up in the small town of Rain Valley up in a tree with a wolf pup.

Julia is a psychiatrist whose reputation is shot and has lost her clients and her confidence because of it but who returns to her home town when her sister, Ellie-the chief of police, calls her for help with the "wolf girl." 

I liked this book very much.  I was fascinated at how Julia fell in love with the little "wolf girl" and helped her begin to talk again.  It was heart-breaking when after she decided to adopt the girl that her biological father came for her.  Julia and Ellie both struggled with being professional and their strong attachment to the girl.  When they found out about the dad's prison record, giving her up was even harder.  This is one of the few books that I looked forward to reading to see what would happen next and stayed up late to finish it.  I highly recommend this one!

Gerard's is Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth is about a 16-yr.-old girl who must choose a faction to live in when she is in her 16th year. Her brother and her pick a faction, difficult ones, that their parents do not live in. The story is mostly about the girl, Beatrice, who you will love. I enjoyed this book for the following reasons:

1. It has a big "WOW" factor!

2. If you loved the Hunger Games, you will love this book too!

3. Lead character is awesome.

4. The story is good!

5. I really got into all the characters.

6. The ending is very, very good!

7. This left me wanting to read book two.

This is my favorite read for June and I read a lot of good books this month. This is a "must read." I highly recommend it!  Other ones I really liked were:  Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams, Scoreboard Baby by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry, and Still Missing by Chevy Stevens.

Could You Please Do Us A Favor:   Canine Lifeline, the dog rescue that saved our Abby, is in the running for $1,000 donation from Pedigree. Please go vote for Canine Lifeline over at every day through June 30. They are currently leading, but it's very close!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Time Is Running Out--Please Vote!

Canine Lifeline Saved My Life!

Have you voted for Canine Lifeline yet over at Please do and vote often. It is very close between three organizations, the lead goes back and forth every day! The winner will be announced July 1, that's Friday! Please go and vote often! It is easy, no registration or sign in required. Just click on "Canine Lifeline" and the vote button at the bottom of the list. Every vote counts, it's that close! The winner gets $1,000 donation from Pedigree--that can help save a lot of dogs.

Canine Lifeline is an organization that rescues dogs from shelters that are scheduled to be put down. They use foster homes to take in the dogs to give them longer to find them good homes. They have saved over 300 dogs throughout Ohio and Kentucky since it started in 2009. This is how we got Abby! She was scheduled to be put down because she was in an overcrowded shelter. She is a wonderful dog and it would have been so sad had Barb, one of the founders of Canine Lifeline, had not rescued her to give her extra time for us to find her.  Visit their website at to donate, see what other dogs are available or provide a foster home.

Have you voted yet?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Go To Different Gyms Now

Downtown Fitworks

Convenience! We used to both have gym memberships at Fitworks. There is one very close to our church and only about 10 minutes from our house by car. We went every weekend and Gerard went through the week a couple times. I used to go with him on weekends (before we had a dog) and sometimes for an evening class during the week but would go to the downtown location almost every day at lunch time during fall and winter because it is in walking distance from my office.

Fitness 19

When Fitness 19 opened even closer to our home, we switched there instead because it was also somewhat cheaper. I found myself not going nearly as often and had to really push myself to go. It just wasn’t convenient for me. When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I had to stop working out for about a year. I actually missed it then and when I got the green light from my surgeon that I could go ahead and do weight lifting again as much as I wanted, I rejoined at Fitworks.

Parma location
Now, Gerard is still at Fitness 19 and I go to Fitworks either before work or during my lunch hour. On Sundays I will go to Fitworks near home sometimes after church while Gerard goes to Fitness 19. The key to choosing a gym is location . . . if it is not convenient; you probably won’t go very often. At least that has been my experience.

Fitworks is on Facebook. There are discussions and tips from their trainers there. What is most important to you when choosing a gym?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thanks, Abby--Now We Are Lost!

Saturday morning the temperature was cool, my favorite for long walks. Karen stayed home to be at the computer while Gerard and I went for a walk before breakfast. I was feeling especially adventuresome and led the way across to the other side of W. 54 where we don't usually go. It was so much fun going down new streets we never went on before, but then it was time to go home and we didn't know hot to get back. These were curvy streets and not laid out in nice squares like on the other side of W. 54.

Gerard called Karen on his cell phone and asked her to come get us. He told her we were on Brookmere Dr. That was a new street to Karen too, but she used the GPS and came for us with the car.  The GPS didn't list that street in Parma--we were in Parma Heights! Then, she used the GPS to find our way back home because she wasn't sure exactly how to go either.

It was a very fun way to start off Abby Day!  (Every Saturday is Abby day at our house.)  Do you get lost on walks?  I hope you can always find your way back home! Do you let your dog lead or do you lead the way?  I love being the leader!  Woof!  Woof!

Here is a link to 5 Best Pet Reunion Videos Guaranteed To Melt Your Heart over at Dog and Cat Experts.  Karen was looking at these when Gerard called her to come rescue us!

Stop by Pet Pride for more posts about pets.

Friday, June 24, 2011

7 Things We Learned This Week 25 of 2011 (blogging, basketball, health, cat, hockey, repairs)

Pictures and Blogging

I discovered that I do not actually have to download pictures from my camera to my computer to get them on my blog. All I have to do is plug into the USB port on the computer and when I hit "browse" go to "My Computer" and click on the "removable disk" choice which brings up the file of pictures on my camera and select the one I want from there. It isn't sized for "best on the web" this way so it takes a little longer, but it does work and saves me some time and avoids clutter on my computer.  Oh wait, the camera has size settings.  For blog pics, I can use the VGA-email 2M setting--oh boy!  I just realized this, duh.


By volunteering to help with basketball in our church sports camp this week, I learned how to shoot with a higher success rate using the "BEEF" method. Balance--not always easy to do when actually playing a game though; Eyes--have the ball in front of your face and look over it to the hoop; Elbow--hold the ball over your elbow; Follow Through--toss it up using your fingers, not your palm and flick your wrist ending with your fingers pointing to the basket. I was surprised at how many more of my shots were good using this method instead of my old way. Gerard learned he wasn't as good at basketball as he thought and is very slow compared to the boys! To read more about this, stop by Sports Camp Rules at our other blog, Always Looking Up.

Blood Pressure

Found out at taking my blood pressure right after I eat a big breakfast at Hometown Buffet isn't the best time to do it. I've really been trying to exercise more and eat less salt to get it down into the 120s. When I had it taken Saturday afternoon, it was 110/72 which is great! I feel much better about it now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We Need A Vacation To Recover From Vacation!

This week we are on a staycation. We stay at home and get some things taken care of like our annual Dr. checkup, scheduling Handyman Connection to fix up some things around the house, and get some car repairs done.

We also are helping with our church FOCUS sports camp. (FOCUS stands for "Focus On Christ Using Sports). We are both assistant basketball coaches and are enjoying it. Here is a link to a video of day 1 at sports camep that gives you an idea of all the different sports and all the kids we have coming.

Monday, I had what I thought was a mole but was a actually a cyst on the back of my shoulder removed.  It made me nervous--it was big and ugly. Our doctor referred me to one of his colleagues who cut it out very easily and quickly.  We didn't get home though until 2:00 and we were both very hungry because we couldn't eat until after the doctor appointment.   

Tuesday, it rained most of the morning so all our sports camp had to go inside the building. We managed the best we could but it was near as fun as if we could have stayed outside. The rain finally stopped and we did get out for the last hour.

Tuesday night we had a huge thunderstorm that scared our dog, Abby, who joined us on the bed. She was very afraid because of all the thunder and lightening.  When our power went off, our carbon monixide detectors screeched loudly, stressing out the cats and me!  I heard voices outside and someone pounding on our door yelling if we were inside.  We said yes and he said there were wires down in the back so stay inside.  I noticed our car was gone!  Our Kia was parked behind our van and I thought perhaps they rolled it out of the drive to get to the wires or something.  Anyhow, I panicked and called the police.  Gerard was still sleeping and I didn't want to worry him.  They came right away, but as soon as I hung up, I remember that Gerard took our car to the repair shop.  I asked him then if they were keeping our car overnight and he said they were so I called the police back and apologized for the false alarm.  (I don't think too clearly when I'm tired and want to be sleeping.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Let The Birds Entertain You With Wildlife Wendy

At our library, we enjoyed seeing a bird show by Wildlife Wendy.  She brought at least seven beautiful tropical birds that were very entertaining.  Skipper, the blue one had the children cracking up when it would keep sliding down from its perch while Wendy was working with another bird. 
These birds climbed a ladder from the floor to the table, did some arithmetic, rode a scooter, raised a flag, picked up and returned a dollar bill to a stranger in the audience, flew to a designated area, played some basketball, sang, made animal noises, and were very fun to watch!  Some even let her hold them upside by their feet!  Not all of them did everything but they all did something special. 
For your entertainment, I have included a video clip of parts of the performance to share with you! 

The library offers way more than just books!  I was very impressed with Wildlife Wendy.  She has been on several different TV shows and her parrot who did the math won on Animal Planet’s Pet Stars.  She is taking her show to many different libraries.  Visit her website at to see all her beautiful birds and her schedule.  To see her whole show and her appearances on TV shows, you can view Wildlife Wendy's video on YouTube at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

$100 Giveaway From The Ad Master

Yesterday I came across a $100 giveaway that I will share about with you.  After all, who can't use $100?  It is in celebration of "I Can't Come Up With A Blog Post Day."  Very easy to enter--why not give it a try?  The drawing will take place on July 4.

Please let me know if you are going to look into this so I know if it's worth posting these type of things or not on my blog. Plus, it's a way to comment to help Joni and Friends!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Abby!

Today is Abby Dabby Doo's birthday! She is seven but we have only had her two years and what a wonderful dog she is! We both love her so much. She is very friendly and loves to meet people, chase squirrels but if we tell her to not to, she'll listen to us and just keep going along. She is so good about staying downstairs and leaving the upstairs area just for the cats. She does chase after them and they feel comfortable around her. She gets along well with most other dogs and rarely barks--only at certain ones. I think she wants to meet them close up actually. She does great at following a schedule and looks forward to her walks. She is a very good fitness trainer--some days she just takes off and would probably walk for hours if we had the time. We only give her bones for special occasions such as this!

I remember what a big decision it was for us when we decided to get a dog.  I had so many concerns but knew Gerard really wanted a dog and I liked dogs too so we took the plunge.  We found Abby on Petfinder and have no regrets at all.  We are so happy to have her in our little family!  Dogs adjust to schedules quite well.  If you are considering a dog, we suggest you visit your local shelter or take a look on Petfinder.

Abby says:  Karen read to me yesterday and Gerard taped it for their book blog. I hope you will go see it. I was very attentive but lost interest toward the end. It was called Please Take Me For A Walk by Susan Gal.

How do you celebrate birthdays of your pets?

Related Posts you might enjoy:
Disappointment Turned To Joy (the story of when we decided to get Abby)
Abby Demonstrates How To Use A Kong (I didn't know what a Kong was until we got a dog!)
Abby Loves The Park--Especially With Snow
Why Abby Is So Excited
Aha, Abby Gave In--I Win After All
I Was A Hit At The School

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hockey Is Tough—Congrats To The Boston Bruins!

Love The Bruins!
The Boston Bruins have won the NHL championship! Gerard watched the whole playoff series with its ups and downs but is excited that after 39 years, the Bruins have won! The playoffs were very fun to watch. Three out of four times the playoff series went to 7 games and the Bruins won! We have lots of very happy bears at our house now—17 in just the living room and dining room!
Although Gerard never played hockey, it is his favorite sport and claims it is the hardest sport for the following reasons:

1. Hockey players are constantly on the move—no time outs in hockey unless there is an injury.

2. They get banged around, pushed against the boards, fall on the hard ice (not like grass like soccer, baseball or football). Knowing how to box is also an advantage because often fights break out and are “part of the game.”

17 bears and two cats
3. That puck is little and comes FAST (not like basketball, football and soccer)! The little I watch of hockey on TV, I get frustrated that sometimes I don’t even know where the puck went!

3. The hockey players do not get to just stand around at all like baseball and football players do.

4. Hockey players must play while on ice skates! They cannot just run like in other sports but must really be good ice skaters.
5 Upstairs bears

14 Computer room bears

It is kind of sad that hockey players do not get the publicity that other athletes get, but I think it is because their fan base is smaller. I think their fan base is smaller because it requires so much skill and special equipment that fewer people play; consequently, fewer really identify with the players.
9 Basement Bears

What do you think is the hardest sport to play? Do you agree or disagree?

Friday, June 17, 2011

6+1 Things We Learned This Week 24 of 2011(EC, shoes, trees, hockey)

Beware of Entrecard

Mountain Woman's computer was attacked by a trojan horse while returning drops on Entrecard. You can read about it at Ah, Frustration. I do not return drops anymore and rarely use it to find new blogs because of this. I generally just use it to advertise on other blogs and drop when visiting. This is very sad and aggravating that attack sites are in there.
Now they feel much better!


Gerard's new tennis shoes didn't feel right for the first 4 times he wore them. Then he finally took a closer look inside and discovered why--there was cardboard stuck inside! This made me actually laugh out loud.


The lighter side of family lifeI never heard of a cat bird until I read "My Apologies to the Bird in our Azalea" over at For Love Or Funny. They lay pretty blue eggs and squawk like cats!

Trees and Roots

Maple trees are noted for having fast growing shallow roots. The slower growing roots are deeper in the ground.  Some even have red leaves.  I learned this from a co-worker.

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are the NHL Champions! They haven't won the championship in 39 years--definitely time to celebrate and buy some more Bruins stuff.  We will have a hockey post up tomorrow with pictures of all our happy bears!

OSU Hockey

I just found out this week that Ohio State University has a hockey team. In January, they will play a game against Michigan at Progressive Field (where the Cleveland Indians play).

UPDATED 6:48 a.m.: One more!

We Won!

Over at Up North, we won a copy of The Happiness Project! Thanks, Ann!

Visit Half-Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Last Time I Actually Laughed Out Loud (Writer's Workshop)

The last time I really laughed out loud was just last weekend when my husband said, “No wonder these tennis shoes didn’t feel right. There was cardboard in them!” This made me laugh. How could he not see the cardboard. Well, when he showed me, then I understood. It was shaped like the sole of the shoe so he didn’t notice it. So be sure to look for the cardboard when you buy new shoes.

Here are some really funny posts I found that made me laugh out loud too:

MaryTheKayTheBlog: I Have To Get My Girls To The City, And Fast!
The Old Geezer: A Cup Of Tea

This is in response to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop prompt: When was the last time you actually laughed out loud?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Time To Play

When getting dressed on a Sunday morning, here came my cat, Spunky Doodle. She likes to play early mornings and late nights best so I pulled out the shoestring and dangled it for her. She likes to follow it, grab at it and pounce on it. In the video you can see how she also likes hiding under the bed and grabbing for it as I pull it along. It's interesting how she knows where it is even though the bedspread reaches the floor. When playing with strings or shoelaces though, you have to be careful.

When Spunky was a kitten, I was playing with a string with her like this which she grabbed. I kept pulling on it thinking she had a very good hold of it when actually it somehow got wrapped around her little neck. I felt really bad once I realized that and of course apologized profusely. She forgave me and seemed to be okay but whew. That was scary!

Stop at Bozo's Pet Pride for more pet posts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So Glad Our Flag Is Flying—Happy Flag Day!

One of the things I find myself doing when walking down the street is noticing how many homes have flags out, especially on Flag Day! We like to fly our flag every day but for a long time didn’t have one. It somehow broke and we just got a new one for Memorial Day.

The only problem was that our old flag holder wasn’t big enough for the new wooden flag pole. Our previous flag had a metal pole that came apart and was much thinner. I tried to make do with the old holder and just stuck the flag through the open part of it and leaned it against the house. It worked for about two days until a big wind came and blew so hard that it pulled the screw out of the flag holder and down went the flag—boom. There was a plastic flag holder that came with the flag, but since we don’t have a drill and neither of us is skillful in the handyman area, I just put it in the closet.

Well, now we didn’t have much choice. It was either don’t use the flag, find someone to put up the holder for us or call Handyman Connection and include that in the “to do” list for them. I asked our next door neighbor who always flies a flag and has a son in the service. He said he’d be happy to do put up the holder for us and the next day when I got home from work, it was up.

Now on nice days, our flag will be out again! Hooray! We have about 10 houses on our street with flags. What about you? Do you fly a flag?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Meet Your Best Friend Day"

Today we went to "Meet Your Best Friend" day at the zoo and saw so many wonderful dogs and cats that were available for adoption. Many were adopted today! I was glad we weren't there looking for a pet because there were so many that I was attracted to! My heart broke though when I read the sign at the Parma Animal Shelter display that said four of their cats have been there over a year now waiting to be adopted. This is a shelter that keeps the cats in little cages! I just felt so bad and remembered back to when I saw our first cat, Moe, in a cage week after week when I visited. I imagine that shelter workers have lots of pets at home too. I know if I worked at a shelter, I would be very tempted to bring more and more home with me.

If you don't have a cat or a dog but are considering getting one, please check out a shelter near you or look on petfinder (that's how we found Abby, our dog). Pets really enrich your life and their companionship and antics far outweigh hassles and expense of owning a pet. At least, I think so.

Friday, June 10, 2011

5 Things We Learned This Week 23 of 2011

Google +1

Found a good explanation about what Google +1 is over at Planet Weidknecht: "That +1 Button." It's basically Google's version of the Facebook "like" button.

Blog Readers

I was surprised to find out Saturday when my cousin cut my hair that she reads our blog. She never comments but does read it. I wonder how many other lurkers we have. See "Time To Get Scalped--Summer Weather Has Arrived In Cleveland!"

blogroll issue

I finally discovered how to fix my blogroll. It wasn't showing the "show all" button at the bottom cut off everything past it. I noticed it quit at the same blog every day so deleted that blog from the roll and now it works right again. Sorry, Parchment Girl, don't know why, but it seems to be your blog URL that was causing the problem.

Please Vote For Canine Lifeline

Abby's First Car Ride With Me

Over at there is a $1,000 giveaway to a shelter/rescue that gets the most votes. No personal information requested and you can vote often. Canine Lifeline is the rescue that saved Abby Dabby Doo for us and where I found out about this.

Versatile Blogger Award

We got this award from Redhead Writer of Life--A Memoir Of Existence this week. We appreciate it and added it to our "Awards" page. We are supposed to list 7 things about us which you can find if you click the "About Us" tab at the top. Also, we are supposed to pass it along to 15 other Versatile bloggers but this is just too time-consuming. If you are versatile and on our blogroll, this award goes to you!  You may be surprised to see your blog listed. Feel free to grab it.

Visit Half-Past Kissin' Time for more Friday Fragments or link up yours.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

7 Things I Like About Blog Rolls

The Blogroll is one of the more useful widgets in my opinion.  I use it every day!  I like it for the following reasons:
          1.   It shows titles of new posts so I don’t waste time visiting blogs that are not updated.
2.   It groups my favorite blogs in a prominent place that is easy to use.
3.   It is an easy way to share my favorite blogs with my readers.
4.   I find more good blogs by looking at other blogrolls and if I comment on them, they usually will visit my blog so I increase my readers this way.
5.   It makes me feel good when I see my blogs listed on other blogrolls and hopefully our readers feel good seeing theirs listed on ours.
6.   They are easy to edit.
7.    I can make separate blogrolls such as for those blogs that make a donation to charity.  This is a much shorter list so if I’m short on time, at least I can make sure I visit these.  (If you are donating to charity for comments on your blog, please let us know and we will certainly add you to our “comments for charity” blogroll and visit you.

Now, if you wonder what’s not to like about them, visit: 10 reasons why I do not like blogrolls over at Tentblogger which was the inspiration for this post.  It’s kind of ironic that I found his blog from a blogroll!  He does like links to his blog within text like this though so make his day and be sure to visit.

Do you like blogrolls? Do you use them?  Have you added us yet?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hug Your Cat Day

A rare moment with Spunky Doodle!
Did you know that today is "Hug Your Cat Day"?  It says so on my Humane Society calendar.  My cats really do not like to be hugged though.  Most cats do not like being squeezed and Manny even hates me picking him up at all. 
This is as close to a hug as I can get with Manny!

Do your cats let you hug them?  Now, our dog loves it!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What Five (or Six ) Words Describe You?

Over at Matty's blog, Molly from The Brambles did a guest post about legacy that made me wonder what six words my husband would use to describe me.  (I would describe myself as practical, caring, giving, organized, conscientious.) When I asked him, these are the ones he said:
dedicated - organized - energetic - fun-loving - spiritual
I think he did a great job describing me!  I would certainly agree with all these but would add generous to make it six.

The six words I would use to describe Gerard are:
hard-working - loving - organized - dependable - bookworm - sensitive
What five or six words would describe you?  Ask your spouse and let us know in the comments.  Would you use those words to describe yourself?

Friday, June 3, 2011

7 Things We Learned This Week 22 of 2011 (Photography, animals, computer, Facebook)


Playing Freekibblekat, I learned that 91% polled said they have more photos of their pets than of their spouse, significant other or friends. I got this question right because I know I have way more pictures of our pets. How about you?


On our trip to the zoo Memorial Day, we actually heard a cheetah make a noise for the first time. I thought it would sound like a kind of roar like the leopard makes but it actually sounded like a cat! Yes, it made the same noise my cat Manny makes, kind of a little screech. It sort of purred too.
(Picture source is from  (I thought I had a picture of a cheetah already but couldn't find it.)

 Computer Training

At work I switched to Windows 7 and Office 2010. One full day of training and I’m off and running! One thing about computers, they are also updating and improving things.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Meerkats Arrived!

Do you know what a meerkat is? I wouldn't except I saw the show about them on Animal Planet called Meerkat Manor. They look kind of like a prairie dog. Now we have some at our Cleveland zoo and we saw them for the first time on Memorial Day.

See the nice exhibit I have?

If I want to hide from you, I can just dig a hole and go underground!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Comment For Our Charity In June: Joni And Friends

We are pleased to announce that during May we received a total of 267 legitimate comments on our blogs so will donate $134 to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Thanks to all our readers who took extra time to leave comments!

For June, we are excited about donating 50 cents per comment on all four of our blogs to Joni and Friends. Joni is a person Gerard most admires and whose ministry is close to his heart. Joni is a paraplegic, an artist and founder of Joni and Friends. After reading Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, I have more compassion for those with disabilities and got a better understanding of their needs and what they go through. I am so grateful that I do not have these struggles and want to help those who do. Donating to Joni and Friends is a good way to help.

Joni and Friends is a Christian organization that seeks to meet physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of the physically challenged. The exciting part is that up until July 15, there is a group of supporters who will match each donation received up to $250,000. That means our donation will be doubled so this is the right time to donate! Visit Joni and Friends website to learn more about this fantastic organization.

Please visit our blogs and comment away! The best way to visit our blogs regularly would be to include us in your blog roll so you can easily see when we update and remember to visit.

If you donate to a charity per comment on your blog, kindly let us know so we can include you in our special “comments for charity” blog roll and support you as well. Take a look at it to find other blogs that are doing this. Our other three are listed there or you can click the tabs at top to visit our other blogs.