Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cake Auction Time Again

Sunday I attended the spaghetti dinner/cake auction at Parma Heights Baptist Church to support our youth by helping them raise money for camp and a missions trip this summer.  This year I actually did very well on my purchases, but not without a little disappointment.

First, of course, I looked over all the bakery.  I was very interested in bidding on a large pie called a sampler which had four different fruits in it with just strips of crust on the top.  My hubby likes pie very much so thought I would go out on that one.  Unfortunately, they did not auction it off.  Boo!  But I guess that was best because I got three other things instead and didn't have to bid very high.

Our Pineapple Poke Bundt Cake-not for you, Spunky!
For just $80, I go two trays of pumpkin pie squares--one tray without any crust called "Impossible Pumpkin Pie" and the other with a cookie crumb crust.   I also got the last cake, a delicious pineapple poke bundt cake and my husband and I are both enjoying very much.

I bid $100 for the Black Forest Cake which had cherries in it but was outbid.  I quit when it went over $100, but the kind gentleman (Jim N., one of our deacons) who outbid me for it brought me over a large piece afterward to share with me.  I thought that was very nice of him and the cake was delicious!  I never had anything like it before and shared some of it with my hubby, but he didn't care for it so I got to eat practically the whole piece myself. 

Pumpkin Squares--I even took some in my lunch to work!
The one tray of pumpkin squares was finished in two days.  I like pumpkin but am not big on the crust part of a pie so these were perfect for me. 

This is a fun event I look forward to every year now.  Even if I'm not actually the high bidder, I figure I'm helping the youth group raise more money just by bidding, right? 

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Monday, April 28, 2014

AWW Monday and Monday Mischief

Abby visited the Pleasant Lake Villa nursing home Saturday and made this lady's day.  She loves dogs and was so happy we stopped by to let her pet Abby.  Abby was very friendly with her and even looked at the camera for the picture.  She was thrilled when we asked if she'd like us to take a picture of her with Abby and will give her a copy next time we go.

Abby actually got to stop in at Pleasantview Care Center too so we could pick up Confessions--Private School Murders that I got for Olga.  She loves James Patterson books so I got her two of his books and an audio book by him.  She was so happy for them and loved the extra visit time with Abby.  I was glad she liked them.

See more Aww Mondays.  Now for some Monday Mischief from Spunky Doodle:

Any ideas as to how I can keep Spunky Doodle from walking around behind my computer monitor?

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Friday, April 25, 2014

7 Friday Fragments (Computer, Money, Books, Sports)

Friday Fragments is hosted by Half Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. It's been quite a week so I have more than usual this week:

Money Well Spent

As they say, "easy come, easy go." This week we got our tax refund and I got some money for Administrative Professionals Day which more than covered the expense of our new ACER computer (can't believe how fast this one works compared to our old one) and the 3 yr. service for 24/7 tech support from iYogi. Wednesday night, I spent five hours on the phone and chat with them to get my computer all loaded with stuff and cleaned up from some downloads I did that I changed my mind about. They do monthly tune-ups to keep it running like new and I love that. They can remotely come in with me permission and take care of everything for me! As I sit and watch, I also learn more too. If interested in looking into this service, please give me your email address so I can refer you.

Microsoft Office

I am so happy I now have Outlook 2013 and it works after the iYogi tech set up my email on it for my last night. I got it for just $10 through a work shopping program. I couldn't get it for my old XP because it wouldn't work on that. Now that I have the Windows 7 operating system, I could finally get it. It took a very long time to download (which is why I was up so late on Wednesday), but it is so worth it to me!


I think it's early to talk NFL football, but the schedules came out this week. I'd be surprised if the Browns win 3 games this year. Another year of starting all over again. I can't even get excited about it. Think I'll be more into the Patriots this year along with my husband.


The only thing that would make this book better is if it had cats.
This month for me, reading has been a bit slow. I finally read a very good historical fiction novel that I could give 5 stars-my favorite of the month so far. It is The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr. It is so touching and gut-wrenching that I cried three times when reading it. Click the link to read our review. This is one we both enjoyed very much about a nice old man who was the caretaker of a animal sanctuary in the Ukraine during WW II, an orphan girl who had a very special connection with the wild horses and the fantastic horses themselves and a brave, loyal smart wolfhound.

Wonderful Easter

We had a wonderful Easter this year, it was a "Perfect Day" for all of us!  Tennis anyone?  How about puppets or a walk in the woods?

Go Bruins

My husband is very excited about the Bruins again this year. So far in the first round of the playoffs, they are 3-1. I really meant to watch with him, but the computer issues took over my time and focus. It's been a wild two weeks but now I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Surprise Gifts

Last Saturday when visiting the nursing home with our dog, Abby, we were showered with gifts to show their appreciation for us volunteering by bringing Abby to visit the residents twice a month. We did a post about this, in case you missed it: It's Nice to be Appreciated. Share this:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Perfect Easter (Writer's Workshop)

Our Easter was perfect!  It started of with a uplifting and enjoyable church service followed by participating in a puppet presentation for children in grades 1-6.  We did it twice and the first time, one of the boys in my Sunday School class prayed to receive Jesus as his Savior and I was able to pray with him and got him a Bible since he said he didn't have one.  I brought home some palm branches that I let our cats enjoyed jumping for and chewing on for awhile before I set them up outside on the porch.

It was a beautiful day--sunny and in the 70s!  My hubby and I played two sets of tennis, then took our dog, Abby, to West Creek Park for a great walk through the woods.  It was cool because we were in the woods, but still in the sunshine because the leaves were not yet on the trees.  (Wish I had my camera along, but I didn't.)

Hope you had a wonderful Easter too!

This post brought to you in response to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt:  Easter Recap.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Nice to be Appreciated

We are in our second year of visiting two nursing homes once a week with Abby.  Saturday, when we visited Pleasantview Care Center, the activities department surprised us with gift bags for all of us filled with assorted useful items, including puzzle books, Dollar Store gift cards, hand sanitizer, sticky notes, pens, and some snacks!  Even, our dog, Abby got a special bag of her own with a jar of cheese and bacon filled treats which she loves and we all got certificates for volunteering and a pin that says:
 "Volunteers--Our Greatest Natural Resource."
You make a difference every day with your dedication and caring way.
We're grateful for all you do.  We succeed because of people like you!
Even our cats enjoyed our gift bags--they are so easily amused:

Spunky was first at biting the ribbon, but guess she didn't want to be used for Monday Mischief and jumped off when she saw I had the camera ready.

Manny and Spunky Doodle (our cats) both enjoyed putting bities on the orange ribbon. 

Spunky liked sitting on the bags once we got everything put away.

Do you volunteer anywhere?  It's very rewarding and we really enjoy doing it.  We highly recommend it!

Related reading--Click the links to see our reviews and the books:
I Will Never Forget by  Elaine C. Pereira
Angel on a Leash by David Frei

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Easter is so much more than colorful Easter eggs, bunnies and new clothes!  It is the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, proving He truly is the Son of God and providing forgiveness to all who believe!  He paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross and wants everyone to believe in Him to become a part of the family of God.  It is such an honor and privilege to serve a risen Savior! 

I think it's a shame though that some businesses do not consider Easter a holiday and make their employees come to work.  Our vet is such a business that really surprised me.  I was also a little disappointed when I went shopping at Giant Eagle for a lamb cake.  (They had them other years.)  There was not to be found, at least not at our Giant Eagle.  All the had was bunny cakes!  You'd think we were celebrating bunnies at Easter instead of Christ's resurrection.  (Jesus is called the "Lamb of God" because he is the all-time, once for all sacrifice for sin that replaces the need for sacrificing perfect, male lambs.  In the bakery I did see cupcakes arranged into a cross cake but I wasn't looking for that big a cake for just the two of us.

Anyhow, Christ Arose, praise God!  Happy Easter to everyone!  Hope all our readers enjoy a nice Easter service at some church today!  I look forward to putting on two puppet presentations about Easter for children in grades 1-6 at Parma Heights Baptist Church.  

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Computer Saga-Part 2: It Works! We Did It! (Writer's Workshop)

We got a new all-in-one ACER computer that arrived Tuesday and we love it!  After a lot of delays and disappointments with the Dell I ordered (see previous post for details), I found one online at Best Buy.  It was between the ACER windows 7 all-in-one built in or an HP  windows 7 tower and monitor.  The salesman at Best Buy recommended the ACER because the tower and monitors are on the way out.

Best Buy had a on-line order area where they even ordered it for me.  (The guy (Andres) was amazing at multi-tasker who really impressed me.  While he handled my ordering, he was also talking on the phone with other customers and assisting another customer with a pick-up of a big TV.)  This time we had it shipped to my husband's place of employment so we would avoid the delivery problems we had with the Dell and wouldn't have to have it sitting on our porch until we got home from work if UPS just dropped it off.    

Although I was excited to get it set up, I was also a bit doubtful in my abilities so tried making an appointment for a Geek Squad agent to come and set it up for us.  Fortunately, I kept getting the run around with instructions to call different numbers.  When I tried the 800 number, there was a 20 minute hold time so I gave up and tried again later.  This time, there was a 40 minute hold time.  I couldn't resist taking a peek so I opened the box and looked it over.  Then I went to bed.

The next morning (Wednesday), Gerard assisted with getting the stand for the monitor pulled out and I started plugging in the cords.  I had to leave for work before trying to turn it on so yesterday evening, I tried it when I got home and it worked!  I went through the registration stuff and we came up with a password for it that we could both remember easily.  The first thing I did was get the Firefox browser downloaded to use.

It is so much faster than our old one and the screen is almost twice as wide!  This one has the USB port on the side of the monitor where it's easy to use (not in back like the Dell had).  I am so happy that we don't have to fuss with the brightness every time we turn it on like we had to do with our old AOC monitor and am glad we were able to get it to work without spending the $100 for the Geek Squad's assistance.  This morning I was able to get our printer connected but still have some more software to load for my pictures and word processing and must decide if I should keep using the McAffee anti-virus that came with it or switch to the AVG that I just renewed for another year.

Even though it was a stressful week without a computer, I was thankful I could use the library computers.  It was worth the wait!  Romans 8:28 comes to mind that applies to our computer saga which says:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.     

Linking up with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop using the prompt:  Something you bought this month that you love.

What anti-virus do you suggest I use?  Do you love your computer?  Has any scripture come to your mind lately?

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Computer Saga Continues

I was excited to finally get our new computer I ordered from Dell, after having to wait a day for me to authorize the purchase with my credit card company and then wait for Federal Express another day to deliver it to the local pickup place since I wasn’t home sign for it.  However, when I looked at the box, it saw windows 8.1—I ordered windows 7.  Thinking, maybe I could adjust to it or perhaps it really was windows 7 and just marked wrong on the box, I pulled it out and noticed the USB ports are on the back—none on the front!  I use these ports all the time when loading my pictures from my memory card.  What are they thinking?  My Dell at work has these USB ports on the front.
So I had already disconnected my old one and decided to hook it up again and use it for as long as I can since one of our Facebook friends informed me that my windows XP will still be fine as long as I use the Firefox browser instead of IE, which we’ve been doing anyway.  So, I reconnect everything and boom—the monitor says “no signal” and nothing else comes up.  I kept rechecking all my connections and it’s still not working.  I stayed up until 10 p.m. last night disconnecting it and reconnecting it several times (it worked just fine earlier before I left to bring home the new monitor).  I even tried going back to using our old surge protector battery instead of my new one.  I just don’t know what else to try.  Then I couldn’t get to sleep until 11:00 because I was so wound up about this.
I called to return the new computer and was told they would refund $100 for my inconvenience of the USB ports and getting Windows 8 instead of 7 if I would try it.  If I still want to return it (which I do), I have until May 3 to do so.  I am not satisfied with this.  I want my old one to work so that is the course of action I will pursue first.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Maybe I can get the new monitor work with it since I never liked my AOL monitor anyway, but I’m not getting my hopes up..  Somehow, I doubt if it will be compatible.
Spunky Doodle and Manny were the only ones happy with our new computer so far.  They got to play with a very long twisty that was wrapped around the computer cord.  I enjoyed watching them.  Cats are great stress relievers.  I even left one out for them after repacking the box.
I am so bummed, stressed out, frustrated and sad with this whole fiasco!  If it weren’t for my Lumosity subscription, I’d just go computer free for now.  Next step will be to contact the Geek Squad at Best Buy.  Times like this, I sure wish we had a computer geek in the family!
I am trying very hard not to let this fiasco steel my joy and this morning, I was encouraged when I watched a video I got from AWANA about a boy in Ecuador:  http://vzaar.com/videos/1568392.
(Posted at the library during my lunch hour.)

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Loved the "Divergent" Movie!

This video is a review of Divergent by a girl who doesn't hold back her feelings. I think she really loved it!  I agree with everything she says about it.

We do not go to a lot of movies, but "Divergent" is one we were both looking forward to seeing and were not disappointed.  We both enjoyed the Divergent trilogy by Monica Roth so we sort of knew what was coming in the movie, which I believe helps.  We thought the movie did the book justice and the acting was incredible.

Reading about Dauntless jumping from the train, the way they entered their "home" and the ziplining was good but watching the movie really brought those scenes to life!  Tris, the main character, was played extremely well by Shailene Woodley.  When we left, all we could say was "Wow!"  That movie was so good!  

This is a YA movie but us seniors loved it and most of the comments I've read about it and the video reviews I've watched on You Tube agree.  A few criticized it because it didn't stick 100% to the book and left out some characters.  Having read the book so long ago, I really didn't even notice.  I didn't remember Tris being cut and then escaping and running for the train to join in the capture the flag challenge; was that in the book?  I really liked that challenge with the Ferris wheel scene and Tris coming through for her team.

If you haven't seen this movie and like adventure, we recommend it!  If you already saw this, what did you think of it.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Here's some things that brightened up my week:

I am thankful for Facebook and the many friends who I can easily go to when I need advice through that medium.  Thanks to Kathy over at The Junk Drawer, I ordered a Dell computer with windows 7 and thanks to Lin's advice (Hobbes' mom and Duck and Wheel with String) I bought a portable hard drive so I can easily back up my pictures and files.  (Sort of didn't have a choice when I decided to finally go ahead and get a new computer. 

We actually had a sunny warm day this week on Tuesday!  The temperature was close to 70 degrees finally!  Then back to 40s the next day.

I saw some plants popping out of the ground for the first time yesterday and the birds are chirping again.

Still enjoying playing the Lumosity games to keep my brain sharp.  It's fun to beat my old record highs because it proves I am making progress.

I love it when what I think is going to be a not-so-good class turns out to be very good after all when God comes through and gives me a new idea that gets the boys interested and involved.  This happened again last week when our lesson was on John 15 about abiding in Christ.  We worked together making a vine with branches and grapes out of construction paper.  They really liked doing it!

What little things brightened you week?

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