Sunday, November 29, 2009

Our Annual Black Friday Shopping Trip

YES, my husband looks forward to this even more than I do. We left at 7 a.m. (not too crazy) and got home around 1 p.m. and then went back out at 3:00 for another hour. We had fun and it was very productive. We go to a two level mall, Southpark, and first kind of window shop together. Then one takes the lower lever and the other the upper level first, then we switch and wind up at the food court for lunch.

Even though I caught a cold, I did not let that stop me from going. It was only 31 degrees and snowing, but we leave our coats in the car and run to and from the mall because if I wear it in the mall, I get too overheated and tire a lot quicker. I don't like carrying my coat either so this works best. I just find a parking spot close to the door. So far, we've been able to do that.

When stopping in the restroom I found this new hand dryer I never saw before. There are no buttons to press, just stick your hands inside and they get blasted with nice warm air from all sides. It worked very well, better than those that you press the button to get the air and rub your hands together trying to get them dry before it turns off. I like this one much better!

I goofed though. Found a bargain on a real nice pet bed at Macy's for our dog and didn't get it because it was so big I didn't want to lug it around the mall and wanted to check out the ones at PetSmart. Dummy me, I should have just bought it and if I found something else I liked better, I could have just returned it. I just didn't think of that soon enough. So then after checking PetSmart and Pet Supplies Plus, I still wanted the one I saw at Macy's so went back for it at the Macy's closer to us. Unfortunately, it was only on sale until noon and by then it was 3:00--AAARGH! I bought it anyway and hope Abby likes it.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

6 Things I Learned This Week--Part 47

Catster-Dogster Cat show & Dog Show

Lots of cat and dog pictures to look at over at the Catster & Dogster show. Judges choose winners of the categories but anyone can vote once for the best in show for one cat and one dog. I had a tough time choosing! Go check it out: The World's Coolest Dog and Cat Show. Our friend Harley is up for two categories! He has some very stiff competition there though! We didn't know about this contest soon enough to enter our pets.

Toxic Flowers to Cats

I knew Pointsettas were poisonous to cats but in playing my trivia game at the top of my blog this week (like I hope all of you do) I learned that daffodils, tulips and especially lilies are also toxic for cats.


At Greed Girls Guide I learned that it actually is good to get weighed every day. It helps you make good eating choices through the day and makes you aware early of any unwanted weight gain before it gets out of hand. I also liked the interview with a personal trainer. It is a Q&A format on video with the trainer. Very interesting and well done.

Sandy Alomar

Thanks to the PLAIN DEALER, I learned that the Cleveland Indians former catcher, Sandy Alomar, will be back with the tribe as a first base and catcher coach. Welcome back! Now, if only we could get Omar Vizquel to be the manager!

It's A He

Surprise!The Cleveland Zoo tortoise named "Mary" was discovered after many years to actually be a male and was renamed "Terry" this week.

Traditions from Shell In Your Pocket

I found a blog this week through SITS that shares great holiday traditions at Shell In Your Pocket. Here are just a few that I was especially impressed with: Mini-Van Express--neighborhood tour of Christmas lights with special fun and excitement built in, Thanksgiving table cloth with things the family has written that they were thankful for over the years, advent boxes with something small for the kids each day, surprise Christmas Eve box decorated to look like it actually came from afar delivered to the door by a neighbor with a special ornament and DVD for each child and many more great ideas. Be sure to go check out this great blog by Sandy Toes.

Click to find more Friday Fragments at Half past Kissin' Time.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving Day Poem (Writer's Workshop)

This is the year we got our dog,
So thankful it is not a hog.
Abby, Dabby Doo,
We love you!

We also love our cats,
Even though they don’t wear hats.
We are thankful they both love to play,
And do so without any pay!

God is so good,
He knows what we need,
Which is a good night’s sleep,
So we don’t fall in a heap!

Although Cancer struck,
We did not get drunk.
As we looked up in faith,
God restored my health!

So this Thanksgiving,
We’ll be eating
At Hometown Buffet
In the middle of the day!

Thanking God for all his blessings,
Including our blogging buddies
Who visit our blog and comment away
Leaving us compliments that make our day!


To see a complete list of things Gerard and I are thankful for, go to "So Much to be Thankful For"

This was a prompt from Mama Kat's Workshop where you can go see more posts or participate yourself.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Does Your Walk Say About You?

I think these results accurately describe me. I know I am approachable because people always ask me for directions or what time it is.

Your Walk Says You're Approachable

You are intelligent, thoughtful, and even philosophical. You like to go unnoticed for the most part.
Other people see you as humble and down to earth. You don't put on airs.
You are assertive, energetic, and curious about the world. You never hold back, and you're often the first to try something.
You are a kid at heart. You love to have fun and believe that life is for living.
Why not take the quiz and share your results in the comments:

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why We Don't Have Flowers On Our Table

This is a fall flower arrangement of fake flowers that Gerard brought down from the top of the curio cabinet and put on our dining room table. I didn't say anything, but every day the cats would be chewing on it and pulling out the leaves and flowers. Of course when I got the camera out, Spunky got out of the flowers but she did have her whole head in a nice hole in the arrangement that she made by pulling some of the fake flowers out.

Manny liked them too and helped spunky Doodle slowly dismantle the arrangement a little at a time from the other side. Finally, when Gerard got a piece from under the table stuck in the vacuum cleaner (which is probably why the belt broke), I just put them back up on the curio cabinet where I had them before and explained why to Gerard. The cats enjoyed them for a couple weeks at least but I thought I better rescue the arrangement before it was all torn apart.

Can you have flowers out in your house? The cats would still like it on the table. What do you say I should do?

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Vote For An Animal Shelter

The Animal Rescue Site is giving money to shelters each week through December 20. When you click on the Animal Rescue Site, another screen pops up that says your click was counted. At the top in red letters is a button that says vote for a shelter. Here is your chance to vote and help a shelter win some money. The two I vote for are the Parma Animal Shelter which is where we got our first cat from and which helped us save him when he was very sick and the second is Kitten Krazy which is run by a friend of mine in Medina, Ohio. You can vote once a day. Please vote for one you are familiar with or one of these that I mentioned.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

4 Things I Learned This Week--Part 46

Canine LifeLine

The foster mom of our dog, Abby, has formed a volunteer organization called Canine LifeLine. Canine LifeLine is an all volunteer organization with a mission to save adoptable dogs from being euthanized at shelters due to overcrowding or treatable medical conditions such as heartworm. All of our dogs are in foster homes throughout northeast Ohio. Abby will be featured on her "Happy Tails" page at

Canine Lifeline does not have a shelter. All of our dogs are in foster homes. Please email if you're interested in meeting any of our dogs.

Tail Waggin' Tutors

I just learned about this program this week where kids read to therapy dogs. I think Abby would make a wonderful therapy dog and we are going to look into this. Check out this video at Therapy Dogs International. This is just of of many programs they have. Some dogs also visit assisted living facilities, hospitals and hospice facilities.

If you don't like to shop, you may want to try out that I learned about at Freaky Frugalite: "Meet My Maid:". Shipping is free!

Taylor Swift

In the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER Wednesday of this week, I read that Taylor Swift, the 19-year-old hit country music singer is going to have a signature line of greeting cards, gift wrap and stationery with American Greetings Corp. She is an amazing, very talented girl!

Click here for more Friday Fragments.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Did I Really Want To Change My Life Forever (Writer's Workshop)

(Photograph taken by Mike Solomon)
Deciding to marry Gerard was a bit scary because I liked my single life. I was already in my 40s when I met Gerard and I only knew him for six months before we got engaged. I said "yes" to his proposal of marriage even though I knew my life would be changed forever. (You can read "13 Changes In Our Life Since Marriage" to see how both our lives changed.)

For both Gerard and me, marriage is a sacred union that is for a lifetime with no guarantees. I knew Gerard thought I was "the one for him" right off but I wasn't so sure. After much analyzing, I did know I loved him and that I could be a good helpmate for him. I thought of how I would feel if he wasn't in my life and I didn't want to go there. I also knew I didn't want to spend my whole life alone like four of my aunts did.

Although many things did change, I'm glad I took the plunge! I love our house, our pets, and our life together. There are little bumps now and then, but we are both committed to each other and that will carry us through. We both compromise on things and each gives in to the other to keep things good between us. Marriage is a work in progress but I think we are doing very well.

Gerard says marrying me was the smartest thing he ever did. I think it is too!

This was a prompt for Mama Kat's Writers Workshop. Find more posts there or pick a prompt and participate yourself. Here are links to the other Writer's Workshop posts I did this week: A Thanksgiving To Remember and Our Dog's Most Destructive Behavior

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday & Give Me Your Best Shot

(This guy is in Napoleon's Pizza on State Rd. in Parma, Ohio)

Go to Daisy the Curly Cat for more Wordless Wednesdays.
This is also my best shot of the week for Better in Bulk's "Give Me Your Best Shot"

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So Long, Shay--Sorry You're Not The Biggest Loser

I like watching "The Biggest Loser." It's my favorite show right now because I like seeing these people succeed in their weight loss journey to get healthy and enjoy living again. Last Tuesday though I was sorry to see Shay voted off. I do not understand why the others think she can do this on her own.

Shay was the heaviest one there, well over 400 lbs.! In just nine weeks, she lost 100 lbs. and now holds the record for the woman to lose that much weight in the shortest time. Tuesday she lost 17 lbs. in one week! Clearly she worked hard and even losing the 100 lbs. only brought her down to well over 300 lbs. which was the starting weight for many on the show. Obviously, she still has a long way to go and definitely should be there.

I felt bad that she had to leave when she was finally making great progress and has so much more work to do yet. Jillian, one of the trainers, felt bad for her too and really wanted her to stay. I wish Shay the best and hope she can stick with it.

Do you watch this show? What do you think about this?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

What Type Do You Fall For?

This quiz is right on the money for me. Gerard and I met on November 16, 2006 for the first time at a Pizza Hut. Here is the link to the post about how we found each other: Our Anniversary Of The Day We Met. (Find other posts about us under the "About Us" tab at top).

You Fall for the Guy or Girl Next Door Type

You think that people make love too complicated, and what you want in a partner happens to be pretty simple.
You're content with someone who's nice, attractive, honest, and normal. So how come that's so hard to find?
You are fairly traditional, and you value security in relationships more than most people. It's important for you to find someone loyal.
When you find the right person, you don't expect much from him or her. You're just happy to be together.

Share your results in the comments and let me know if that's the type you married.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Summer In November In Ohio!

We started the day with our usual breakfast at Hometown Buffet. I went to the ladies "Sweet Saturday" gathering at church and had a great time. Then we took Abby for a ride to Sears and Gerard bought a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner.

Today our weather was great--unbelievable for mid-November! We took Abby to the park where she got to meet some new dogs, bark at some squirrels and see a couple deer who she did NOT bark at! I was very surprised at that. By the time we were on our way home, the temperature was 70!

Gerard and I changed into shorts and went to play tennis. Other years the nets are taken down on Oct. 31, but this year they are still up so we took advantage of it. It was the first time I've played since my lumpectomy and I still won 6-2, 6-1 and didn't have any pain. I am SO thankful for that because I tried using my left hand at first and it was not good!

To top off our day, the Ohio State Buckeyes won in overtime against Iowa and are headed for the Rose Bowl now on New Year's Day! Gerard is very happy about that!

Hope you had a super Saturday too! Was your weather as good as ours? What did you do?

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Friday, November 13, 2009

6 Things I Learned This Week--Part 45


Agassi was interviewed on 60 Minutes last Sunday and I happened to watch. He said he hated tennis! He dropped out of school but now funds a prep school to promote the importance of education. The funniest thing was about his hair--during one match he was so worried it would fly off that he didn't run and didn't care he lost, he was just happy his hair stayed on!


When playing my trivia game to feed cats and dogs, I learned that November is National Adopt A Senior Pet month. Senior pets are less work than kittens or puppies and make for great companions!

Upward Sports

At Word Journey I read a post about the kids Christian sports program called Upwards offering scholarships to military families. This is a fun program for kids that teaches the fundamentals. Here's the link to the post about it: Upward Sports Offers Scholarships to Military Families.

At The Cleveland Zoo

We also learned a lot at the Cleveland Zoo last Saturday. I did this as a separate post: What We Learned At The Zoo Saturday.

A Baby Blog

Even babies blog, well a 22-month yr. old:

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Here's a chance to participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange at Turmoil and Tranquility Tranquility… and Turmoil.

Go to Half Past Kissin Time for More Friday Fragments.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Made A Fence Around The Litter Boxes (Writer's Workshop)

When I discovered our dog starting to eat the cat poop, I asked Gerard to bring me a couple big boxes so I could put them around the litter boxes. I was just going to cut a hole for the cats to walk through and have some space inside before getting to the litter box. The boxes were not big enough, so I just cut along the one side so it would open up flat. I proceeded to cut a hole big enough for the cats to walk through and just stood it up like a fence around the litter boxes. To anchor the one above, I just folded one flap under the box and the other flap I put the chair on to hold it. Of course, the cats were watching me the whole time.

I also did it for the box in our upstairs bathroom. For this one, I put one of the short sides between the box and the wall to hold it and then wrapped it around to meet the tub. I used our cat doorstop to hold that end in place. I was happy to see the cats were okay with this and still used the boxes.

Related Posts:
Litter Box Fences Solve Poop Problem by Manny & Spunky Doodle
So I Ate A Little Cat Poop--What's The Big Deal? by Abby
But Dad, I Don't Want To Ruin My Doors

This post is the Writer's Workshop assignment to "Show something you did yourself." See more or join in at Mama Kat's Workshop.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Things We Learned At The Cleveland Zoo Saturday

Last Saturday we did something spontaneous again because it was such a nice day. We went to the Cleveland Zoo to see the baby Red Pandas but learned a lot of things while we were there.

Red Pandas

The baby red pandas were inside the Primate/Aquatics building and were resting when we got there after playing an hour. They had stuffed toys in their exhibit that they played with. We were sad to learn though that they will be transferred to some other zoos as part of the conservation project because there are so few left.


Even in the gift shop we learned that paper can be made from elephant poop! We bought a calendar with paper made from elephant poop! It doesn't smell at all which surprised me so we bought one! The elephant exhibit is being remodeled and won't be done until 2011. We miss our elephants but once it's done, we'll have even more than the three we had before!

This is a note at the bottom of one of the calendar pages about recycling the poop in the spring:


Did you know octopus have beaks--the only hard spot on them? The docent had one in a jar that we could see close up.


How much does one of the bit giraffes weigh? We were shocked when we heard a big giraffe could weigh up to 4200 pounds!

Animal Inventory Website

The zoo docent also told us about the International Species Information System,, which is a site that shows what animals are in what zoos around the world.


Shark teeth are pointy and in layers. If a tooth breaks, another pops up to replace it in 20 minutes. Wish we had teeth like that! We saw the skull of another fish that eats plants and its teeth were flat like ours (can't remember what kind).

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Humiliating Experience (Writer's Workshop)

In fourth grade a little girl was totally humiliated. She was a very quiet, shy, sensitive little girl who ALWAYS did as she was told. Unfortunately, when this girl had to move from the suburbs to Cleveland during the school year, she got the meanest, crabbiest teacher she ever had who I'll refer to as Ms. Grump. Although the little girl tried very hard to please this old lady, nothing she could do was good enough, especially handwriting. The girl's grades plummeted and she hated school that year.

One day after giving permission for several children to use the restroom, Ms. Grump got very angry at the class and announced "NO ONE IS ALLOWED OUT OF THIS ROOM FOR ANY REASON UNTIL THE END OF THE DAY!" Well, shortly after this proclamation, the little girl had to use the bathroom which she never had to do at school before until was Ms. Grump said that. Not wanting to make Ms. Grump any angrier and knowing she wouldn't be allowed to use the restroom, the girl just sat at her desk quietly and tried to hold it but peed her pants rather than ask permission to leave from Ms. Grump. A puddle formed around her desk. A classmate close by pointed out the water on the floor and pretty soon giggles busted out around the room. Ms. Grump saw what happened and the principal called the girl's mother to tell her that her daughter had a little accident and she should bring a change of clothes.

I was that little girl. I must say the other kids were great! They still treated me the same without making fun of me or teasing me about it. I think they all understood and felt sorry for me. I questioned if I should post this or not since it is something I'd rather forget, knowing that now the whole world could know. Since it was so long ago, I decided to hoping any teacher reading this will learn that being mean and intimidating is not the best way to teach.

What experience would you like to forget?

This post is in response to the assignment to "Describe an experience that you wish you could shake from your memory" as part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop where you can find links to others or participate as well.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

3 Things I Learned This Week--Part 44

Little House On The Prairie

I learned from reading Prairie Tale that Melissa Gilbert's brother played Willie on Little House On The Prairie and that she had quite a difficult time in real life.


(photo from Wikipedia) When Gerard was walking Abby one morning, she found a skunk and went right up to it but fortunately, it ran off without spraying them! I thought, what if they did get sprayed, I wouldn't know what to do to get out the smell. Then yesterday in the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER there was a big article on critters which included how to get out skunk smell according to Shampoo with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid dish soap. Flush eyes out with water if sprayed in that area.

Cab Fare

Just a 20 min. drive from downtown to my home cost $35 by cab now! For more detail, see My Terrible Tuesday post.

To to the original Friday Fragment post for more at Half-Past Kissin' Time.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

We Were Not Alone On Our Honeymoon (Writers Workshop)

It is customary for newlyweds to take a trip somewhere to have some quality time together, just the two of them. One of the things I liked about Gerard is his knack for putting me at ease and his sense of humor. I loved that he had stuffed animals too when we got married and looked forward to “introducing” them to mine.

We even took some along on our honeymoon with us! The lucky pets who got to come along with us were Patch Dog, Brownie, Snoozer, Leo the Lion and Spotty (my purse). When we unloaded our things at the hotel, Snoozer rolled of the cart and we did not realize it until we got to our room. Gerard ran back down the hall to retrieve him. We even took pictures of our entourage. It was fun! We had a great time!

This post was inspired by the prompt: Share a humorous wedding experience. To read more posts or to participate, check out Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Related Posts:
A Fun Honeymoon
What Does Your Handbag Say About Your Personality

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