Friday, April 30, 2010

6 Things I Learned This Week--#69

Dannons vs. Yoplait Greek Yogurt

After hearing how great the plain Yoplait Greek Yogurt is from trainer Bob on "The Biggest Loser," I decided to give it a try. Actually I got the Yoplait and also Dannon's. I tried Dannon's first and couldn't eat it. I took two bites and threw it away--it was HORRIBLE! YUCK! After a few days, I got up my nerve to try the Yoplait plain Greek yogurt which I could eat. It didn't taste good, but it wasn't totally horrible either. It has 0g of fat and 14g of protein, 9g sugar, 90mg sodium and 100 calories. To get the protein, it may be worth putting up with the taste.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Best Reads For April: Blacklands and Winter Garden

Gerard's Favorite:

Blacklands by Belinda Bauer

(5++ stars)
Blacklands is awesome! I finished it in just two days because it was almost impossible to put down. This book is about Steven, a 12-yr-old boy who wants to find where a killer buried his uncle. He decides to write to the killer in prison and the letters back and forth between the killer and Steven is very interesting! This is Belinda Bauer’s first book, but I’ll be looking for the next one--super job!

Karen read it too because I liked it so much so here is what she thought of it:
Good suspense
Blacklands by Belinda Bauer was a bit slow moving I thought for a suspense novel but it did keep my interest and got better as I got farther into the book. I liked way the letters were written and how suspense built up to when Steven and the killer confronted each other. It didn’t end like I expected.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Courage--Who's A Hero To You?

You're a 19 year old kid.

You're critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.

It's November 11, 1967.
LZ (landing zone) X-ray.

Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense, from 100 yards
away, that your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whoa! Where Am I (Part 2-Gerard)

In every thing give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. --I Thessalonians 4:14

I like my routine. Tuesday when my normal Interstate ramp was blocked off coming home from work, I was frazzled and scared. I am not good with directions and driving in new places. I just kept going but finally thought I better get off so I did and wound up in a neighborhood I was unfamiliar with. I didn’t know what to do so I called Karen on my cell phone at 4:30 p.m., the time I am usually home. Fortunately, she wasn’t busy at work at that time. Our conversation went something like this:


Monday, April 26, 2010

Whoa! Where Am I? (Part 1-Karen)

Last Monday morning, I started reading a new book on the bus, Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah which is one of the five Gerard got from the library over the weekend. I wore my Indians jacket with my Land's End thin jacket under it because the temperature was only in the 40s. I dozed off and didn’t wake up along the stretch right before my stop like I usually do. I slept right through the whole turn into downtown Cleveland, passed public square and when I woke up, looked out the window and thought, “Whoa, where am I? These buildings do not look familiar!"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Got Flowers But Not From My Husband!

For Secretary’s Day or what has been renamed as Administrative Professionals Day, some flowers were delivered to me! At first I thought they must be from Gerard but he’s been very good about not wasting our money on cut flowers. They were actually from one of the attorneys I just started working for in March. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything from them since I’ve only been working for them less than two months, but it made me feel appreciated. She also gave me a very nice card.

The firm always does some special things for the support staff too during the week of Secretary’s Day. Tuesday, they gave us a super breakfast which included cheese stuffed French Toast, Kish, cut up fruit, bacon, sticky buns (yes, I gave in and had some—they were delicious!), yogurt and juice. We could even go back for seconds, which I did! I wasn’t hungry at all though at lunch time so just saved my pizza that I brought for the next day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

7 Things I Learned This Week-#68

Garden Ponds

Duck and Wheel with String
I found out that in order to keep the water cool and clear of algae, you must have the water's surface covered about 60-70% by plants. I love little garden ponds but I am too lazy to put in the work it takes to maintain them. If you're thinking of putting one in or have one, be sure to check out Lin's post, Yes, the Frogs Really Do Sit On The Lily Pads over at Duck and Wheel with String.

Sisterhood Of The Shrinking Jeans

I just learned about The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans this week from The Daily Tribal--Lent & My First Vlog. She shares how the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans helped her lose weight in her first vlog which is very well done and entertaining. I think you should check it out and if you are trying to lose weight, The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans may be helpful--it's free!

Printing Blank Calendar

I learned how to print a blank monthly calendar this week from Outlook at work. You go to "File" on the tool bar, "new," "new folder," (give it a name--I named my "blank"). When I want to print an empty calendar, I can use that blank calendar.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Is The Joy In Your Present Moment? (Writer's Workshop)

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. --John 15:11

These are the joyful moments I usually have through the day (except for the eating one because I don't always have chocolate and Girl Scout Cookies).

Beginning of my day: Petting my cats and dog and visiting blogs.

Off to work: Looking at the beautiful sunrise on my way to work. The picture above is one I took last week as I walked to the bus stop.

At work: Eating a delicious piece of chocolate or one of those chocolate mint Girl Scout Cookies and walking outside on breaks and at lunch.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Newsletters: Why Bother?

Builds Up The Boys And Parents Like It Too: The reason I write a newsletter is to keep in contact with the boys in my Sunday School class as well as keep the parents informed. Sometimes I’ll add a personal handwritten note too, thanking them for something specific they did or encouraging them to try to come more regularly or work on their memory passage. I always try to build them up though. What parent doesn't like to hear good things about their son? Every year parents have commented to me that they like reading my newsletter.

Reviews What We've Learned And Done: If you work with children, you might want to consider writing a newsletter for your group and mail it to them once a month like I do for my Sunday School class. I just write about what we’ve been learning, upcoming events and try to mention all their names somehow. I recap the review games we played and congratulate those with perfect attendance for the month, welcome any new ones who came, secret seat winners, and give an update on the scripture challenge standings. Then I throw in some pictures and a “Who Am I?” using clues about one of the boys. I try to keep it to just one page, but this year it’s gone to two since I started adding pictures and cumulative game review statistics.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Duct Tape To The Rescue in Five Ways

Duct tape is a wonderful "tool" that fixes many things.

UPDATED 5/7/10: Another use is to get gum off a rug. I saw this at Modern Mom.

Torn Gym Bag

My bag that I carry my purse in to work every day along with the newspaper, a book, my pills and my camera if I remember has a pocket on the outside which I use for my company ID card, my bus ticket, a small pack of Kleenex and sometimes my keys. It was tearing though so I hesitated using it for my keys which are pretty heavy. I finally got around to fixing it with some duct tape. It works very well for a lot of things. It sticks to all types of material such as fabric, wood and plastic.

cars & buses

One of the cars I had a long time ago had a broken side door mirror so I used duct tape on that and it held for a long time. We also use it when putting PVC pipes together for our puppet stage to hold things in place. I bet it would even serve as a patch for a hole in a screen.
Last Friday I noticed it even works for holding buses together! See the right front of my bus?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Great Household Hint I Had To Share

When I lived alone I seldom dusted and could often write in the dust on my bedroom dresser. I don't ever remember my dad dusting. I sometimes dusted for him when I'd visit, but I waited for it to accumulate pretty good.

Now if you really want a good laugh, head on over to Kathy's post at The Junk Drawer: The Grocery Store Walk of Shame. I laughed out loud all through this post this morning. Her writing can make the dumbest things hilarious!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Make Use of That Pool Table--Have A Pool Tournament!

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.--
Romans 12:12-13
Since I found out that the boys in my Sunday School class like to shoot pool, I decided to go ahead and have a little 8-ball tournament. I planned to get a plaque for the winner that included a picture frame so I could slide in a picture of the winner making his winning shot with the other boys watching as a nice memento of this grand occasion.

Friday, April 16, 2010

7 Things I Learned This Week-#67

"Read More" Break

I discovered that the "read more" jump break that I see on a lot of blogs is available in Blogger thanks to a step-by-step post at Everyday Living. Here's the link if you are interested: How To Use Jump Breaks In Blogger. I had to add some more code to my layout HTML to get it to work because I had a custom design done. I'm using it on my older posts to help with loading time if they are long because as a reader, I don't like to have to click for more. Does it bother you?

Vermont Is The Least Religious State

I was surprised when Mountain Woman from Red Pine Mountain told me that Vermont is the least religious state. She sent me this link to USA Today which lists all the states in order. Mississippi is the most religious.

Good Use For Little Tins

Controlling My Chaos shared what I think is a great idea this week in her post Crafty Storage For Small Things. She suggested using small tins for those card games that are in boxes that are falling apart. I have a few of those and some small tins I didn't know what to do with. Now I do!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Worst Pancakes Ever! (Writer's Workshop)

Since I don't bake or cook, I had to go way back in time to my Jr. High school days to share about my mistake in the kitchen. During our foods class, I still remember making pancakes. I was so happy because usually we had to make some goofy thing I didn't even like and finally we got to make something actually good that I might even want to make some day. I do not accept the full blame for this disaster because there were four of us working together on this assignment.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What Field Of Science Are You?

I am Biology

You are a warm and connected person. You are interested in all living things - plants, animals, and humans.
I must say, I wasn't surprised at this result. I like plants, but can't really say I'm interested in them; however, I love animals and humans. It amazes me how different each person is and that there are so many people who have lived and are currently living; yet no two are exactly alike! Not even twins!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chirp, Chirp--I Sing Because I'm Happy

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.--Matthew 10:29, 31

With Spring comes chirping birds. I remember how my bird, Blue Boy, used to chirp when I played the piano and how I was so surprised how much I missed him when he died. He was just a little blue and white parakeet, but I got attached to the little thing.

When I first dated Gerard he had a bird named Dickie Bird, also a blue and white parakeet. I was impressed with how much he talked to that bird and cared for him. Dickie Bird was our first pet, before we got Moe, our cat. Dickie Bird used to swing on his swing and chirp every morning when the sun came up. He loved the sunshine! He would also walk along his perch bobbing his head to the music on the radio. Again, it was a sad day for us when Dickie Bird died. Gerard buried him in the back yard and we plant flowers there, referring to it as “Dickie Bird’s Garden.”

It never ceases to amaze me how loving God is that he sees the little tiny sparrows.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Biggest Loser Inspires Me To Exercise Too

I enjoy watching "The Biggest Loser" on TV because it is so inspiring. I admire those contestants who have the courage to go through all that on TV and work so hard to lose weight. I especially love watching them compete in the challenges. When I see them working out, it makes me want to do it too. Following are two of my favorites this season:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm So Glad He Won Our Office Pool!

The attorney who won our office March Madness pool used his winnings to buy breakfast for our whole floor from Brennans Catering in Cleveland. The breakfast was delicious!

We had bagels (I’m not big on these but others like them.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

9 Things I Learned This Week-#66

Games For Charity

I don't know how long it's been there, but I just discovered this week that at the animal rescue site there is a "games" tab on the side where you can play a variety of games and raise money for the cause. I think all the different causes have this including Breast Cancer, Rainforest, Literacy, Child Health, and hunger. There are 20 games to choose from so what are you waiting for? Click on either the Breast Cancer or Animal Rescue Site badges on my sidebars to go there.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fear—Legitimate or Ridiculous? (Writer’s Workshop)

Who refuses to wear perfume in the Summer and keeps away from those who do? Me

Who does not like eating outside? Me

Who does not generally drink pop outside? Me

Who just stops playing tennis in the middle of a rally? Me

Who weeded for only about two minutes before quitting? Me

Who doesn’t like wearing anything red in the Summer? Me

Why? Because of bees.

The cause of my fear. I hate bees! I am afraid of those things; they hurt when they sting. I know because I was stung by one while playing with a hula hoop, just minding my own business. Actually, I didn’t get stung while playing, it just landed on my thumb and wouldn’t get off. The neighbor mom brushed it off and that’s when it stung me. I still have the scar! So, that’s why I am afraid of bees, wasps, hornets and anything that stings.

Prevention at any cost. I don’t wear perfume because I’ve heard it attracts bees. I don’t like eating outside because bees usually come around, especially if there is pop open. That’s why I never drink pop outside (I usually don’t drink pop anymore at all anyway.) Sometimes during a game of tennis with Gerard, a bee will come by me and I’ll just stop even if it causes me to lose the point. If it doesn’t leave the court in 10 minutes, we leave. I decided to help my husband in the yard and started to pull out some big weeds that were growing in our rose bush but had to quit after just a few minutes because the bees were buzzing! So much for the weeding. I don’t usually wear red in the Summer because I heard bees are more attracted to bright colors.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Envelope Tip Experiment

Did you ever seal an envelope and put on the postage only to realize you needed to change something? Or add something? I read this little trick in an email about putting the sealed envelope in the freezer for a few hours. It said you can easily open it by sliding a knife under the flap and reseal it.

Well, I had an occasion to give this a try. Tuesday since I had the time, after stuffing the envelopes to my Sunday School class with the newsletter, I sealed them up, put on the stamps because I had two that were loose and didn’t want to lose them but waited to mail them until Wednesday.

If only I just didn’t seal them, I could have avoided this problem:

When I got home and finally read the church bulletin, I discovered the time was different than usual for one of the upcoming events that I had mentioned in my newsletter. I’m so glad I didn’t actually mail them! First thing I did when I got to work a half hour early was to put the sealed envelopes in the freezer for an hour (and take a picture for this blog post). When I got them out, I must say I was disappointed in this tip. They did not open easily and you can certainly tell they were once opened and resealed because I needed to put tape on them to close them up again. I had to use the letter opener to slide it under the flap and it only worked for a small part of the way. I found cutting it along the seam with scissors worked best. It was the easiest way and also looked the neatest. I had 14 to do so had plenty of chance to experiment.

Here’s my tips for mailings:

Do not seal them until you are ready to mail them! I’m still learning this step. I do it for work mail, now if I could only remember to do it for my personal mail too!

It’s always best to let them sit a day or two. Something else may come up to add or you may realize you want to change something. This is why it is best not to seal them right away.

Refrain from putting the stamps on until after they are sealed and ready to go. You may decide not to mail them after all or maybe need to change an address. Also, especially with cards, sometimes you find the card does not fit in the envelope.

By following these tips, you can avoid having to open and reseal envelopes because the freezer tip doesn’t work all that well. It just goes to show you that you can’t believe everything you read, but it was worth a try. Have you come across any tips that don’t really work? What about some that do? I’m all ears!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Time To Get Scalped--Summer Weather Has Arrived In Cleveland!

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.--Matthew 10:30
I love that we have such a great God who knows us so well and is so attentive to details such as the number of hairs each person has each day! Amazing!!

I never really let my hair get very long but when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and was facing the possibility of maybe having to go through Chemo, I appreciated my hair more so just kept getting it trimmed, but letting it grow. It was down to my shoulders which is really the longest I ever had it. However, with the last couple of days reaching over 80 degrees, I'm ready to get it cut short again. It was especially getting on my nerves at night when I'd wake up with night sweats, so although I like having hair, it was time to get it cut short again. It really grows fast anyway. My cousin cut it for me Saturday. She asked me how I wanted it--all one length or layered and I picked layered. I told her I wanted it off my neck, out of my face and my ears had to be free. Hair over my ears really annoys me in the summer. So, I have my hair short and am ready for summer weather--bring it on!

What do you do to get ready for summer? Do you like your hair short or long better?

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Lamb Of God

With Easter fast approaching (obviously I scheduled this post ahead because Easter is here!), I can't help but think about past Easters and how amazing God is! When I went shopping at Giant Eagle yesterday, I saw cakes shaped like a lamb which triggered memories of my mom baking cakes like that for Easter. Jesus is referred to as the lamb of God because in the Old Testament times the perfect male lamb was sacrificed for sin offerings to God.

When Jesus came and voluntarily laid down his life for the sins of the world, he died once for all and did away with the need for animal sacrifices by shedding his blood for the remission of sins. He was the only one who lived a perfect life and so was "without blemish" as was required of the sacrificial lamb.

I was tempted to buy that lamb cake, but resisted. I bought the chocolate eggs instead that I used in Sunday School when I played Easter Bingo with my boys. I let them use those to cover the card with and then the winners got to keep the four they won with. The lesson was on John 14:6 when Jesus said,
I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes unto the Father but by me.
Many people today shout Christians are intolerant of other religions because they think Christianity is the only true religion. Anyone who believes Jesus is the Son of God, must believe what he said and taught were true. This verse is why Christians believe that trusting in Jesus is the only way to heaven and God the Father. This is what comes through if you read this whole chapter.

I am so thankful that I was raised in a Bible believing church that taught me who Jesus is and for my Christian parents who set a good example for me. It was on an Easter Sunday long ago that I repented of my sin and asked Jesus to save me and help me to live for Him all the days of my life.

My favorite Easter hymns are: He Lives, Up From The Grave, Because He Lives, At Calvary. I was disappointed in our Good Friday service entitled "I Wonder." We didn't get to sing any of my favorite hymns. In fact, the congregation didn't get to sing at all! It was all the choir, special numbers and the orchestra with a little skit and video thrown in. I really felt like I was just there being entertained instead of really worshiping my Savior. At least the choir sang "Were You There" and "Nothing But The Blood" but all the other musical numbers were contemporary. Times have changed . . . I wonder why some things just can't stay the same. I much prefer the old-time hymns and if we don't use them, kids growing up now will miss out.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Easter. (Please stop by "My Funny Dad, Harry" blog to read my other Easter post: "Easter Was Great Except For Those Stupid Hats."

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Friday, April 2, 2010

7 Things I Learned This Week-#65

Uploading Flip Video--Without the Flip Software

Thanks to Tim at Everyday Living, he solved another one of my problems I posted about at "What Did They Have To Go And Do That For?" I followed his suggestion about going through "My Computer" and using the Flip camera like a flash drive to load it to the windows movie maker program from there and it worked. I added the video of my singing bear with Gerard's voice this week. Here's the link to the post: "My Most Romantic Valentine's Day Gift."


Thanks to a nice pharmacist at Giant Eagle last month who told me about going on and printing a coupon for my next refill of this over $400 prescription drug, I got it refilled yesterday for just $10! Now that's some coupon!

Vigilant Wives Club

From Mrs 44444 at Half Past Kissin' Time this week I learned about the Vigilant Wives Club. She wrote quite an interesting post about it. Brianna at Then Some Mre is just getting this started for wives who want to make a conscious effort to show their husbands how much they are loved and appreciated. It's so easy to take our loved ones for granted and marriages are fragile things. We need to constantly nurture our marriage and guard against things that will pull us apart. I will add the link to my sidebar so I remember to visit each Monday.

Jude at Mature But Not Senile Liked My Funny Dad, Harry

I learned that Jude, my top commenter of 2009 on "My Funny Dad, Harry" blog, finished my book and liked it! She wrote a great book review on her blog that I hope you take time to read at: Mature But Not Senile. It made my day!

Sealed Envelopes

Putting a sealed envelope in the freezer really doesn't make it that much easier to open. Look for a post about this here this coming week.


Don't know how many of you watch this show, but it's about a law firm trying to recover money for people who were scammed in a pyramid scheme. The finale is April 18th. Gerard loves this show--it is really good drama and lots of unexpected twists. It focuses on the investigation and discovery rather than on a trial.

Advice From Thieves

I got an email with lots of advice on how to protect your home from break-ins that I thought about posting but saw Sandee at Comedy Plus beat me to it. It's really a very good list that includes some things I would not have thought about--I'm a trusting soul. Here's the link to her post: Advice From Thieves.

Here's a link to more Friday Fragments.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

11 Things Blogging Taught Me (Writer's Workshop)

1. Blogging is a big waste of time! (April Fool!)

2. People seem to comment most on silly posts and on sad posts.

3. People struggle with all kinds of things, including raising children, finances, chronic illness, work issues, faith issues but still make time to blog.

4. Bloggers are very helpful and supportive of one another. I have actually made "friends" through blogging. In fact, I know my online friends better than most of my real life friends!

5. Blogging is a great way to learn many things. Every Friday I post things I've learned during the week and invariably there are some I've learned from other bloggers.

6. Blogging is fun! Before I started blogging, I didn't even know what a blog was. I learned as I went along, beginning with PNN, Blogger, from other bloggers and reading "Blogging For Dummies." I'm still learning things in my third year of blogging.

7. Blogging is contagious, once their owners start, pets and kids often have their own blogs too!

8. The blogosphere is huge and consists of many communities made of of people from around the world and all walks of life. There is never enough time in a day to read all the blogs I would like.

9. My vocabulary has grown through blogging. Now I know the meanings of more words which include post, CommentLuv, Google alerts, friend connect, link love, Feedly, Entrecard, sidebar, widget, meme, RSS feed, HTML code, SAHM, blogroll, Blogger, Wordpress, elevator pitch, blogversary, catosphere, bounce rate and MacLinky.

10. To get comments on your posts, it helps to ask people a question they can respond to and then acknowledge their comment.

11. Blogging has taught me how to be open and share more with others about my life.

This is part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop in response to the prompt: List 10 Things Blogging Has Taught You. I did 11 things because really the first one was a joke so doesn't really count.

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