Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let's Rewind That and Do Over (Writer's Workshop)

When we were off Tuesday, I really could have used the super power of being able to go back in time and do things differently. I took my van up to the repair shop, Parma Tire, at the corner of our street to get it "winterized" and then went with Gerard to Dick's so he could use the gift card he got for Christmas. It was very cold outside but not as snowy as Monday was. He had put my club in his car because he knows his works hard and I don't like it.

After walking around about an hour, he finally bought a Browns hoodie that I suggested because he was looking at the hoodies and doesn't have any Browns shirts at all. When we got back to the car I realized the key to my club was at Parma Tire with my car keys so couldn't get the club off. For some reason, Gerard doesn't have the extra key I gave him on his key chain but keeps it in the house. Well, at that point I sure would have liked to have been able to hit my rewind button and go back in time to when I parked the car and not put on my club.

I tried backing up thinking I'd just drive with it on but soon realized I couldn't turn the steering wheel far enough to actually turn the car! The club really does work! I am thankful I had Parma Tire's phone number in my cell phone and called them. They were very nice and about 20 minutes later one of the mechanic's arrived in my van and gave me my club key. Back home we went, laughing at how we were a pair of goofs.

Ever wish you could rewind and go back to do something differently? I bet you have. Please share about your experience in the comments and make us feel better.

The Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt I chose to do this week is You wake up one day with an unusual super power that seems pretty worthless—until you are caught in a situation that requires that specific “talent.”

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spunky and Manny Had A Merry Christmas Too

Spunky and Manny wanted me to post about their Christmas here too. I must say I found the best interactive cat toy this year and some dogs like it too. It's the laser beam. It's fun for the owner as well and I can use it while sitting at the computer to amuse the cats at the same time.

They also got cat grass and the Furminator but the laser beam is their favorite!
Check out what they had to say at their blog: "We Had A Merry Christmas"

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Abby's First Christmas With Us

Abby's first Christmas was a bit disappointing. We open one present each on Christmas Eve, and we gave Abby her booties. She wanted nothing to do with them. Gerard finally got one on but it was upside down and came off about 5 seconds after she walked on it. We felt bad so we gave her another one too.

Remember that real nice pet bed I bought on Black Friday that I went back special for after looking around? If not, here's the link to the post about it: Our Annual Black Friday Shopping Trip. Gerard thought it would be warmer for her to lay on than the floor and we were anxious to give it to her. Well, that was her big Christmas gift and she didn't like it. Even with treats trying to bribe her, she wouldn't go on it. She'd just put her paws up on it long enough to get the treat. We tried putting it on the chair she likes to lay on but it didn't work. We put it in our bedroom where she usually sleeps and she laid next to it instead so I finally threw it on the floor at the end of the bed so she could sleep in her usual spot. So much for her Christmas Eve.

Finally, on Christmas she loved the pork bone we got for her and also likes the Furminator so it wasn't all bad. She was happy with that as you can see in the above video. We were glad she finally got something she liked!

Related post: My First Christmas With Gerard and Karen by Abby

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Monday, December 28, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

Last Tuesday I got to work and had a sweet message from Gerard to start my work day: 
Mrs. Wonderful, who you are, Mrs. Wonderful, that's you!  Probably the warmest I'll be for awhile in the car.  I had the heat on and now I turned it off.  Wanted to let you know how lucky I am to be married to the all-time sweets--that's you.  Have a good day!
What a nice way to start off my work day!

Then for Christmas, my computer challenged husband actually ordered a slide scanner converter from Brookstone that I told him I'd like because I have so many slides that I could use for some blog posts. He actually ordered it before we even when shopping on Black Friday!

He also gets up at 4:20 a.m. and walks the dog twice before going to work! When he gets home, he walks her twice more! He is the our official dog walker. Abby got him a dog walker t-shirt for Christmas that says: "Official Dog Walker--Makes Frequent Stops!"

I found this at The Great Adventure if you'd like to participate too or just share about your husband in the comments here.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Didn't Steal It--Really!

When Gerard opened his jogging suit and tried on the jacket, he noticed that clip thing was still on that the stores put on clothes to help prevent shoplifting (stealing). I got this on Black Friday at Sears an the line was long, the place was crazy busy, and obviously, my cashier was somewhat frazzled. He missed taking off the clip thing from the cuff. I missed seeing it too when I went to wrap the gift. Gerard was all ready to just pull the thing off but then I read the warning tag which was on it about not removing it or ink will squirt out all over the clothes and to take it to a cashier for removal.

I dug up the receipt and went back to Sears today do get that thing off. They have to believe I didn't take it since I have not only a gift receipt but also the one that lists the bar code, right?

Always, always always save ALL your Christmas receipts in one special place (an envelope works well). I'm so glad I was able to find that receipt!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

7 Things I Learned This Week-Part 51

No Hanukkah, No Christmas

I found an interesting post about the connection between Hanukkah and Christmas over at Chosen People Ministries. Check it out for yourself and Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends!

Big Cat Rescue Center

I found out on Twitter that The Big Cat Rescue Center is Animal Planet's Hero of 2009.

Christmas Tradition

She wraps up all their Christmas books each year (or you could do videos too) and then in the days before Christmas lets the kids open one each night and they read by the light of the Christmas tree, followed with some hot chocolate and sing a carol and read some scriptures. What a great way for some family time, I love this idea!


I wondered when the best time to post is for Twitter and this week over at SITS How Often Should You Post I learned it's best to post between 10 and 2 p.m. ET Monday-Friday. Studies show that lunch time in the U.S. is the most active time for Twitter. For this post though, it goes up early because I usually link it to Friday Fragments at Half Past Kissin' time and can't do that when I'm at work.

Free Gym Memberships

In the PLAIN DEALER last Saturday I saw an article about three-month free gym memberships for Cuyahoga County residents at the YMCA and Curves beginning 2010. This is awesome! All you have to do is show up and exercise at least three times a week and check-in to track your progress. Go to to sign up now!

Dogs & Christmas

When playing my Freekibble trivia this week, I was surprised to learn that according to poll, only 60% of dog owners will buy Christmas gifts for their dogs this year. We always buy Christmas gifts for our pets and look forward to Abby's first Christmas with us this year! Abby even picked out something for our cats when I took her with me to PetSmart.


I watched the season finale and was surprised to learn that Natalie won and not Russell. I thought he played a great game right from the start--it seemed as though he was in complete control. I liked Natalie and give her credit for not only making it to the end but actually winning it all! You go, girl! Russel was impressive though finding the immunity idols without any clues. He looked so sad when he lost. The next season of Survivor starts in February and will have previous survivors on separated into the Nice guys (Heroes) vs. the manipulative, nasty players (Villains). It should be interesting I think since all of them will have had previous experience.

Check out some of my Christmas posts you may have missed last year on my left sidebar.

Find more fragments at Half Past Kissn' Time.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

What Christmas Character Are You?

I came out to be Santa Claus! I'm really not surprised because I love giving gifts to people, especially if they are unexpected. Here's what my quiz results said:

You Are Santa Claus

You are an optimistic and generous soul. It wouldn't be wrong to call you happy-go-lucky. (I am generous and try to always stay optimistic.)

It lifts your spirit to brighten someone else's day, especially if this person is a child. (I always enjoy making people laugh and brightening someone's day. I think it's fun!)

When it comes to helping others, you have boundless energy. And you admit that you sometimes put yourself last. (Well, I do like to help others when I can.)

You'll put in the time to make sure that everyone is happy and content. You don't mind working long hours to bring others a little joy. (True again! Guess I am like Santa Claus!)

Share your results in the comments.

You may want to read some of my Christmas posts from last year that I have linked to on my left sidebar.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Christmas Blessing For You

I just finished reading a book of Christmas poems called "Christmas Blessings" by Helen Steiner Rice that I really liked. They were all about the true meaning of Christmas, God's gift to us, His Son, Jesus Christ. Instead of Christmas cards she would write poems for her friends at Christmas time. Here's one I chose that was short to share with you:

A Christmas Blessing for You

May Jesus, our Savior,
Who was born on Christmas Day,
Bless you at this season
In a very special way.
May the Beauty and the promise
Of that silent, holy night
Fill your heart with peace and happiness
And make your new year bright!

Her poems are also used on greeting cards today. In fact, I just got two from a this week with the verse by her.

Check out some of my Christmas posts you may have missed last year on my left sidebar. My usual Friday "Things I Learned This Week" post will be posted Saturday this week since Friday is Christmas Day. Happy Birthday, Jesus!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Am A Bit Of A Procrastinator--What About You?

Are you ready for Christmas? Have you decorated? Is your shopping done? Are your gifts all wrapped? Have you mailed your Christmas cards?

Well, I got my shopping done early as usual--I really like that part. My Christmas letter and cards got out last week so I'm in good shape there. I decorated a little for several days when I had that bad cold so decorating is done. The gifts are wrapped and under the tree.

I am a Bit of a Procrastinator

You tend to get things done in a timely manner, but you can't help but put off tasks you hate.
(I hate dusting, vacuuming, washing windows and that's why it's a good thing Gerard takes care of all this because if it were up to me, it wouldn't get done nearly as often as it should.)

You have no problem getting the fun or easy stuff done. You generally enjoy taking care of responsibilities. However, if a task arises that you dislike, it might get shelved for a long time.

And even though it's human nature to procrastinate, your procrastination is hindering your productivity. (Oh well, I am productive enough--just look at how many posts I've done on this blog!)

Take a look at the things you are putting off doing. Do they really need to be done? (Currently, I'm not putting off anything--I'm all caught up.)

Complete any task that's important. The other stuff you're procrastinating is probably not worth doing.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Love Laundry Day!

Laundry day is one of my favorite days! I like laying on the nice warm clothes when they just come out of the dryer. Gerard says I get my furs all over his things but if I lay on his jeans, those don't seem to show my furs as much as some other things, like his white sweatshirts.

Another really cool thing I like about laundry is the basket. It's a big plastic basket that I love jumping into and laying in. Sometimes Karen will be funny and tip it over upside down on top of me and it looks like I'm in jail. I like it either way. Manny is not interested in joining me in here at all so that is good. Do you like laundry day?

Actually, doing the laundry is Karen's favorite household chore, if she had to pick one. It's pretty easy to throw everything in the washer, set the time and change it over to the dryer and set the timer again. The best part is that she can still do other things WHILE she's actually doing the laundry. She loves to multi-task!

If you are looking for Christmas posts, there are plenty listed on the left side bar from last year that you may have missed.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Wow, What A Nice Surprise--A Secret Blog Giveaway!

Have you ever heard of a Secret Blog Giveaway before? Well, I hadn't until I received this email from Mountain Woman over a Red Pine Mountain:

Hi Karen,

I'm having a secret blog giveaway and you are one of the winners. The prize is a set of two Snoopy hand towels made by Vickie of Vixen's Den and through her store Apron Frenzy. If you'd like them, please let me know. Also, if you could send your address again, that would be great.

Thanks so much for being a loyal supporter of my blog.

What a nice idea! Of course I immediately responded that we'd love the towels because we both like Charlie Brown and it is definitely something we can use. Here's her response:

I sent your address on to Vickie to send you the towels. I've just started this secret giveaway. I like it because then the prizes go to my faithful readers instead of people just swooping in to enter a contest. I tried that and I didn't gain new readers who stayed with me.

ApronFrenzyFallLogo125by125We got the towels in just a few days. Thanks Mountain Woman and Vickie! They are very cute! I think this is such a neat idea that I'm actually thinking of doing one too. Click on the Apron Frenzy button to check out her shop!

Check out some of my Christmas posts you may have missed last year on my left sidebar.

(Today is a sad day for me, I return to work full-time. I got so spoiled being off and enjoyed reading blogs all afternoon which now won't be able to do. Boo hoo! I'm really going to miss that!)

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jesus Knows You're Here!

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said,

'Jesus knows you're here.'

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze.

When he heard nothing more, after a bit, he shook his head and continued.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard

'Jesus is watching you.'

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

'Did you say that?' he hissed at the parrot.

'Yep', the parrot confessed, then squawked, 'I'm just trying to warn you that he is watching you.'

The burglar relaxed. 'Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?'

'Moses,' replied the bird.

'Moses?' the burglar laughed. 'What kind of people would name a bird Moses?'

'The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus.'

This post was reproduced from an email I received and thought it was so funny that I wanted to share it with my blog readers.

Check out some of my Christmas posts you may have missed last year on my left sidebar.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

6 Things I Learned This Week--Part 50

Paddle Tennis

Ever hear of paddle tennis. One of the attorneys where I work was limping along with a cane so I asked him what happened. He said he tore a muscle playing paddle tennis. It's like tennis but with these variations: the court is about 2/3 the size of a tennis court, the ball is harder and a paddle with holes is used instead of a racquet. The court is gritty to give players traction. I never heard of this game before, have you?

Protect the Paws

Over at Modern Mom, I learned that medicated lip balm applied to the dog's paws acts as a barrier between its paws and the ice and snow and helps heals any minor cuts or scrapes.

Blogger vs. Wordpress

Over at Mama Kat's this week she made the switch to Wordpress and posted a detailed post about the benefits with some helpful links to other posts. The seed has been planted. If you're thinking about possibly switching, check out Tutorial Time: Wordpress vs. Blogger.

Turtle Pretzels

Thanks to Sweet Simplicity I found a recipe that looks really, really yummy over at Our Best Bites--Easy Pretzel Turtles made with rolos, nuts and small pretzels.

Joshua Cribbs

Joshua Cribbs (my favorite Browns player) has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts in the Browns' win over the Steelers last Thursday.

Harley Won!

Harley (Daisy the Curly Cat's brother) WON Catster's World's Coolest Cat competition in the Stretch & Yawn category! Stop by to see his winning photo and congratulate him at his "How Does THAT Work."

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

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Age Doesn't Matter and Mr. Jolly (Writer's Workshop)

I have to say this is my life motto: Age is mostly mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

All my life I tried to make the most out of each year and not wish away the time. Many kids try to look older, look forward to becoming teenagers but not me. Peter Pan was my role model--I didn't want to grow up. I enjoyed being a kid. But, time goes on and some things we just don't have control over.

As I got older, I realized that age didn't really matter all that much. I still felt good, still enjoyed life's simple pleasures and didn't have any major problems for the most part. I always did think age is just a number and never really understood what the big deal was about women not wanting to tell their real age. It never bothered me and still doesn't. Now I'm actually looking forward to getting older so I can retire in six years as I still try to enjoy each year I have.

For my 50th birthday, Gerard gave me the funniest gift and not only that, but had it delivered to my office! It was a huge clown-like man made with all different colored balloons that was 8 feet tall who I named Mr. Jolly! It was the talk of the office and people actually came by just to see it. (Picture will be posted later this afternoon--I have it at work and have to scan it in.) Naturally, I was very surprised and have to say this is the funniest gift I ever received! It was so big, I couldn't even take it home on the bus so it hung out in my cubicle for about three weeks. When I was finally told to take it home, I had to let some air out so it would fit on the bus.

I just saw a t-shirt in a catalog that I almost bought for myself that said, "Growing old is mandatory . . . Growing up is optional." I like that!

This post is in response to prompts "What is one of your life mottos?" and "What funny gift did you get?" Go participate or read more at Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Should You De-Stress?

I Should Exercise

Part of what's stressing you out is the anger you feel toward others or the situation you're in. (Usually it's situations that cause me stress more than people. Computer wars is my biggest stressor.)

You don't want to be stressed out, but factors out of your control are really messing with your mind. (Sometimes things out of my control do stress me out.)

You can work out some of those demons in a productive way through exercise. And it can be any exercise you choose. Go for a walk or a run. Chill out with yoga. Really get out some aggression with boxing. In the end, you'll be glad you did it. (

Exercise does help us to de-stress. Working out at the gym, walking or playing tennis all help and that's one reason I'm glad I got a Bosu training ball for my birthday, but the best way for me is to just lay with my pets and pet them up

and share in the comments.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Dog Named Christmas (Movie Review)

Both Gerard and I really liked the movie, "A Dog Named Christmas" that we watched on the Hallmark channel recently. We taped it and I didn't even delete it because I think we may even want to watch it again next year, it was that good!

It's about a family that goes ahead and takes a dog from a shelter home for just the holidays. Animal shelters actually have programs like this for people to just take home a dog for the holidays so they can be with a family for Christmas. Then they can bring the dog back after Christmas or keep the dog if they choose to do so.

In the movie the father was against participating, but the son and mother talked him into it. He had relationships with two dogs in his past and felt so bad when he lost them that he was afraid to let another dog into his life again and also wanted to protect his son from that pain of getting too attached and then having to give up the dog.

This is a delightful, heartwarming movie. Of course, it makes you pull for the dog and want to see the dad give in and keep it. Although there is a very sad part in the movie, I knew it would have a happy ending since it was a Hallmark movie.

Maybe a shelter near you has a program like this. Why not find out? If you haven't seen this movie, we highly recommend it. We both loved it!

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Today Is My 56th Birthday!

We celebrated my birthday all weekend. I started opening my presents on Saturday. Gerard had wrapped up four presents for me and they were sitting in our living room for several days before my birthday. When I got up Saturday morning, I was thrilled and surprised to see one more added to the group--a Bosu Training Ball which I really wanted. It also came with four DVD's demonstrating all the different exercises one can do with it. I'm looking forward to working this into my weekly routine--it's fun and makes the exercises a bit more challenging. I figured instead of going to the gym, I'd just workout with FIT TV and some exercise equipment at home because it seems I never really want to go to the gym. I like it once I'm there, but I think I'll save the $12 a month. I pumped it up right away and then went out to breakfast at Hometown Buffet.

In the afternoon I opened a Cribbs Browns jersey which was a surprise. Gerard was very smart, getting my the extra large youth size which was less money than the adult and fits perfectly! He knew Cribbs is my favorite Browns player now too. In the evening I got some warm soft slippers that I wanted because my old ones had holes in the bottom.

Today I opened my last two presents: a wireless 5-day Forecaaster alarm clock and Malley's carmallow, my favorite! Looks like I can wear my Browns Jersey to exercise on my Balsu ball to work of the calories I'll be packing on from the Carmallow. Then put on my comfy new slippers to relax in the evening and checkout the forecast; The temperature is updated every 15 minutes and even gives the temperature it feels like taking the wind and humidity into consideration!

My Sunday School class sang "Happy Birthday" to me and one of the boys even brought me a little gift--Christmas scented dish washing soap that I gave to Gerard since he's the one who does the dishes.

I am enjoying my birthday and finishing up my chocolate cake with white frosting today. Our church choir is giving a Christmas concert at the Parmatown Mall today at 4:00 so I look forward to going to support them. They'll also be singing at Southpark Mall at 5:30. This is the first year they are doing this. Normally they give a concert at the church.

I'm so glad I'm finally over my cold.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gerard is 57 Now—Happy Birthday!

Gerard’s birthday was on the third but he took off work Monday to celebrate and just have a long weekend and relaxing day. I took off too and surprised him but I still had my stupid cold. We had lunch at Hometown Buffet, did a little shopping, he went to the gym, I blogged and visited one of my Cancer doctors to get a prescription for the five-year pill I have to start taking January 1. I never had to wait long at all there so Gerard came with me. Wouldn’t you know, that was the day I had to wait--we were there 45 minutes!

I gave Gerard five gifts which he spread out by opening one a day from his birthday to Monday when he took off work. I got him the Snuggie he’s been wanting. It’s just a blanket with sleeves. Every time the commercial came on he’d tell me how he wanted one. He was happy to get that and has used it every night since.

He was also both surprised and pleased with the box of “Oh Yeah” protein bars—this was his big surprise. I got him a pair of jeans because all but the one pair he has is too big on him now. I still couldn’t find any 29 length ones though. I was lucky to find the 29W30L size!

He had picked out some new L.L. Bean shoes that he liked so I gave him those too. They are waterproof so better for walking in the snow than tennis shoes.

He discovered what the one was from Abby because she blogged about it ahead and he read it so saved it until last! (I Feel Like Such A Bad Doggie) He wanted to make sure we did got the holiday photo of her this year. We would have liked to get the cats in it too, but getting Manny into the carrier is almost impossible and even if we could get the cats to go, neither of them like being picked up. Spunky will tolerate it but Manny just screeches and twists and turns and breaks away in about 2-5 seconds.

He is looking forward to turning 60 in just three years so he can qualify for Hometown Buffet's Sr. discount. Also retirement is just five years away now--the countdown has begun!

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Friday, December 11, 2009

5 Things I Learned This Week--Part 49 (Games, Elves, Tiger Woods, TV)


Over at Brown Paper Packages Tied up With String I found a post about cooperative games at The game she reviewed was "Granny's House." She's having a giveaway so if interested in cooperative games, you may want to go check this out. I never knew there were this many cooperative games out there!

Elf Christmas Cards

I discovered where you can make a cute elf e-card (up to 5 elves) over at I Love My Five Kids.

The Latest News On Tiger Woods

Over at the Scholastic Scribe I found an absolutely hilarious video from Saturday Night Live about Tiger Woods and his press conferences. Click here to go read "SNL Has Tiger by The Tale" and watch the video for a laugh!


According to the USA TODAY, "The Bachelor" will start up again on Monday, Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. ET with Jake, the airline pilot who was on last season's "The Bachelorette."

Cleveland Browns

Yippee! HURRAY! FINALLY! REJOICE! REJOICE! The Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers last night at Cleveland 13-6! WOW! I think Mangini just saved his job! For my in-depth coverage read "Browns Finally Beat The Steelers" over on my PNN blog.

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

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