Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Fragments: books, money, shopping, church

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:

Favorite Reads

Gerard's favorite read in May is Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline.

Karen's favorite read in May is Now You See Her by James Patterson.
Click the links for our reviews.



This must be the year of spending for us. So far:
$ 500 dental cleaning for our cat (Manny) close to $500
$ 1,000 New computer, 3 yr. virus protection & 3 yr. technical support (used tax refund and money gifts for this though)
$ 600 Car Repairs
$20,000 2012 Ford Escape (paid from savings so that's what we were saving for)
When is it going to be a year for savings again?

New Class

I've been teaching just the 5th grade boys in Sunday School but for the summer, I will have the 5th grade girls too! Should be interesting. Sort of looking forward to it but a bit anxious because I will be using material I haven't used before so will have to start from scratch every week.

Sports Camp

Last year I volunteered to be a head basketball coach and blue shirt worker for the Parma Heights Baptist Church FOCUS Sports Camp (Focus on Christ Using Sports) and this year I volunteered again to be a basketball coach for both morning and afternoon sessions. I requested being an assistant coach but will be a head coach if needed. We'll see what happens--trusting God to give me the stamina and strength I'll need. We are still short of volunteers for all the sports: flag football, cheerleading, volleyball, soccer and basketball. Registration ends June 5.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Pay Attention To The Noise

While driving our Kia

Me:  What is that noise? 

Hubby:  What noise?

Me:  That spinning sound when you brake.

Hubby:  I don't hear anything.

Another day when I'm driving:

Me:  You don't hear that?  (noise again when I brake)

Hubby:  No, I don't hear anything.

Me:  We better get the brakes checked--I know this noise isn't normal and something must be wrong.  It will only get worse the longer we wait.

Hubby:  OK, I'll take it up on Wednesday when I'm off, but I don't hear anything.


Hubby:  (calls me at work)  The guy said our brakes are very bad and it will cost over $500 to fix! 

Me:  OK, we have to get them fixed.  (I refrained from saying "told you so.")

I am so thankful for that stupid noise that I heard so we could get them fixed before we got in an accident.  I just wonder why that BRAKE light didn't come on. 

Maybe the next thing we'll have to get is a hearing aid for my hubby.  What do you think?

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Monday, May 26, 2014

How Long Does It Take To Buy A Car?

Goodbye my '98 Olds
We finally parted with our 1998 Olds Silhouette after putting in $300 dollars more to fix the gas leak.  Apparently, the fuel line was rusted out.  We got a whole $250 trade-in for it which is exactly what I expected.  There was a lot of things wrong with it.

2012 Ford Escape EXT
We first scouted three different dealerships beginning at 8:30 a.m.  The cars we had in mind were a 2014 Jeep Patriot, 2012 Ford Explorer or a purple 2011 Hyundai I happened to see yesterday.  The Jeep Patriot cost a little more than I wanted to spend and that dealership was about 25 min. drive from our house.  I liked the red one and Gerard liked the blue one.  It wasn't open and we weren't sure if it would open later or not so we went back to the Spitzer KIA dealer close to our house and test drove the purple Hyundai.  Neither of us liked it though once we drove it--we just weren't comfortable with it. 

Then the salesman suggested perhaps a Ford Explorer.  I perked up and we took the black Ford Escape for a drive.  We both liked it much better although it wasn't new, it only had 12,000 miles on it and was priced under the maximum I had planned to spend:  $20,012.18.  We were there almost 4 and a half hours--the paperwork took forever!  

I'm going to miss my big Olds van but am happy with our Ford Escape.  Do you find it hard to part with your cars?

Related Posts:  A Birthday Present For Himself (Background story of our '98 Olds van)

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Weekend is off to a Good Start!

I finally got my hair cut short for summer!  (Pay no attention to the date on the pic, I look the same.)
We bought flowers for our flower pots on our porch.  Were able to use a coupon and gave a $5 one we didn't use to a lady to use.  I stopped in the hardware store there and bought a staple gun and fixed the loose rubber grips on our basement stairs with plans to use it when I recover our dining room chairs too.

We stocked up on Breyers ice cream, 4 for $10.  We are expecting some warmer weather to stick around next week!  Which flavor would you like?

We did some rearranging in our living room and dining room to make it less crowded and easier to get to the big window.  Watching "Sell This House" is inspiring me to make some changes.  I even am considering painting some rooms--just don't know what colors to choose.

 At first we thought it was a little dog walking on a leash at Snow Road Park but then I saw . . .

 it was a ferret!  Abby did noses with it and didn't scare it at all.

Had some porch time and brushed Abby--shedding season has arrived!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and thanks to all our servicemen and women!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Indians Swept Detroit and We Were There!

My husband and I were both off work yesterday and went to the Indians game, seeing them sweep the Tigers in 13 innings, winning 11-10 with a walk-off balk ending the game.  Never saw one end like that before!

Although the forecast was horrible:  Predicted Thunder storms for the morning and scattered thunder storms all afternoon, God answered my prayer for not having it rain on us or during the ballgame.  It was in the 70s and sunny!  Gorgeous day!

We had very good seats, free food as much as we wanted and a wonderful day in the middle of the week!  I did not over stuff, having 4 slices of the vege pizza, one of the cherry dessert pizza and five cups of ice cream.  What a treat it was.

Our pets were wondering where we were because their supper was later than usual, but fortunately they did not starve.  We went on a nice walk with Abby after she ate, enjoying the beautiful day, stretching our legs after sitting all afternoon.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Fragments

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:

Enjoyed a hot day on Wednesday this week--got up to 86 degrees with sun.  Read book at nearby park on my lunch hour soaking up that sun.  Still waiting for the downtown library garden to open.

Switched our Bruins wastebasket down to the basement and brought up the Red Sox one.  The Indians is now in our computer room and the Browns one is in my den upstairs.  Bruins had a great season--too bad they lost in the playoffs.

I won a $25 PetSmart gift card from Mrs 4444, the host of Friday Fragments which is something we can always use.  I found out out when I really needed a lift after a rough day at work with computer wars.  I was very surprised because I only entered once.  Thanks!

Looking forward to going to an Indians game with free food next week.  GO TRIBE!

Can't wait to get my hair cut--it's really driving me batty!  I think this is the longest it's ever been and I think I look like a sheepdog.  It comes off next Saturday.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Happy 9th Gotcha Day, Manny Boy!

Manny is 9 years old today and we got him from a friend when he was just 3 so we have had him six years now. He has made great progress and we are now good buddies. He is my affectionate mancat and has definitely become "Mr. Nice Nice." Check out the video of when we first brought him home if you want to see a very angry cat: Bringing In a New Cat.  The difference is like night and day!  It took a couple weeks for him to adjust, but he and Spunky hit it off great once we let them actually meet.

 Ah, that feels so good, mom!

This is so soft and cozy!

I love our cat tree and don't mind sharing it with Spunky Doodle at all.

I like laying on mom's lap all the time now!

I always like a good book--must be because Karen used to read out loud to me so I'd get used to her voice.

We'll watch some TV together tonight and Manny will get some food--he doesn't much like playing anymore.  I don't think I have any pics of Gerard with Manny.  Manny is a mama's boy!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I Got To Sunday School by Abby Dabby Doo

The boys (and girls too) enjoyed my visit to their Sunday School class last week.  The lesson was about trusting God in hopeless situations and my mom shared about how when I was attacked a couple years ago and was near death, mom prayed for God to make me better.  The vet did not think I was going to survive, but God came through for us and I did get better.   The kids got to see pictures of how bad my injuries were and watch this video that my vet made.

The kids were interested and very impressed with my story.  They were especially happy to meet me and see that I made a full recovery.   Of course I performed for them and I got some treats.  Several of them were excited to give them to me.  The one boy made me feel good when he said he wished he could give me an award for being the most beautiful dog!  It was fun going to Sunday School!  Woof!  Woof!

For the whole story, see:  Our Sweet Dog, Abby, Is Fighting For Her Life and On The Road To Recovery by Abby

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Have You Swept Your Grass Lately?

I looked out the window and saw my husband actually sweeping our front lawn!  I never saw anyone do this before so had to get a video of him doing it.  When I asked him why he was sweeping the grass, he said he was spreading out the clumps made from when he cut it.  I may laugh, but it did look better where he had swept.  Do you ever sweep your lawn?  Have you ever seen anyone do this before?

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope you all had a nice mother's day.  I sure did!  My pets and husband gave me cute cards and Photoshop!  It seems there is always something more for me to learn!  I've been thinking about getting this for several years.  I was surprised when my husband told me he went to three stores looking for it and none of them had it--Best Buy, Office Max and Staples.  He finally ordered it from Amazon and it arrived in just two days!  Amazon has so much more than just books.

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ebay - Here I Come

Right after donating a bunch of items to Parma Heights Christian Academy's huge garage sale, our big picture in the basement fell down because the things holding it up finally gave way and bent.  I'm actually surprised it stayed up this long.  It has a heavy wooden frame and the whole thing weighs about 8 pounds I would guess.  We really don't have anywhere else to hang it and I don't want to mess up the fabric on the basement walls so I remembered eBay is an option where I might actually be able to sell it.

I do like it and it has a bit of sentimental value for me, so I would want at least $80 for it.  I figure if I can't get that, then I'll keep it for now.  This was one of the first items I purchased when I moved out on my own so I've had it a long time.

I was excited to actually find the cassette tape that I've been looking for a long time.  Mine wore out and I couldn't find it any store that I normally go in, but found it listed on eBay for $6.99 Buy Now which I did.  I figured, if I wanted it this long, it was worth paying the $7 for it. 

Then today, I decided to get my photo scanner ready to use on my new computer and guess what--it's not compatible!  It says it's compatible with XP and Vista so back to eBay I went to list this item.  Figuring out the shipping is a pain though because I don't want to get stuck paying for shipping, but yet it seems unfair to the buyer to charge based on the maximum distance it may go.  I'd be happy to get anything for it and listed the Buy Now price at just $40. 

Here are my auction items if interested.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wardrobe Malfunction (Writer's Workshop)

Here is a picture of my wardrobe malfunction which happened last summer.  I have my Eyeore "Chocolate Makes Me Smile" nightshirt on with my light blue shorts and my furry slippers.  I do not like going barefoot.  When my husband saw me in this outfit, he busted out laughing and said he had to take a picture.   I wouldn't wear this outside, but for bumming around the house, it was quite comfortable.

So, let me know what you think of my outfit.

Joining in with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt:  "Write about a wardrobe malfunction."

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Blind Guest Speaker is a Hit

Yesterday our Sunday School lesson was about Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus because he believed.  I invited Sue, a blind lady who attends our church regularly with her husband, daughter and her guide dog, Ty.  She is an attorney, has taught classes on the college level and is looking forward to being a professor at Ursuline College.  This woman is amazing!  She has no bitterness toward God for her blindness and shared with the boys openly and easily.

She even let them take turns using her cane to go through an obstacle course of
chairs with their eyes closed.  She emphasized that is is very important to be able to trust the person (or dog) leading her.  Although she didn't have her dog with her, she said she'd stop by again next week with him and bring along some Braille cards the boys can try to read.  She has a Braille writer and a computer that talks to her which is a help.

She said when she was a kid, she got childhood arthritis which led to her becoming blind at an early age.  She said the kids were nice to her and her friends were helpful and stuck up for her if anyone did pick on her.  She says she has a good life, but of course would prefer to be able to see. 

She also shared a little about how scary it was to adjust to having a guide dog lead her along when she first got one.  She shared how the dogs go through extensive training and only about half the dogs pass the test.  Many of the shepherds don't pass, but then are trained to be drug sniffers instead.  One of the boys seemed especially interested in hearing about her dog because they were learning about guide dogs in school.  He was excited to be able to actually speak with a blind person and looks forward to meeting her dog next week.

I am ashamed to admit that until I wanted to ask Sue to come and speak to my class, I didn't even know her name, yet I knew her dog's name. 

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

How Do You Like Our New Blog Header?

I just realized it was long overdue to change our blog header from the winter pics.  Ooops.  I finally played around with PicMonkey to create a new header.  I only spent about 10 minutes doing it.  I see PicMonkey has added a text option which is great!  

I suppose the title of the blog could have been bigger and maybe I should have put Abby between Gerard and me with the cats on either end, but I thought of these things too late after it was already up and didn't want to spend any more time on this.  I still have to play some brain games, complete my Giant Eagle surveys, and organize some more of my digital pictures into folders.  Oh, and it's supper time already!  Time goes so fast on Saturdays!

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Fragments: Computer, Life, Books, Dog's Life

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:

It's the Merry month of May and finally the snow has stopped. Now we are into rain almost every day this week.

Abby's Updates

Glad I do not need my jacket outside anymore.
I am really liking Wednesdays now that Gerard is off that day every week. Woo hoo! I like the extra petting and the extra walks. One night it stormed and woke me up--that loud thunder scares me but my mom was nice and pet me up until it stopped. I hid under the covers for part of the time--that makes me feel better. This week I was called beautiful, smart and a social butterfly. I am just friendly to people like when we walk by the ballgames at the park, I visited with all the spectators. When I walked by the high school, the door to the gym was open where the girls were having softball practice after school so naturally I started heading on in, but Gerard didn't let me enter. The girl near the door smiled and talked to me though.

Biggest Problem of the Week

Why when I plugged in my Kindle to my computer to charge it up, I did not see the Kindle listed in the "computer" section as the removable E drive like I do when I plug in other things to the USB port? It seemed to have charged up, but the Kindle screen was blank instead of showing it was charging.

Best Thing This Week

Got rid of some junk items by donating them to the Parma Heights Christian Academy's annual huge garage sale. Some of the things I donated were very good though, like my old computer speakers, computer monitor (although I never liked that AOL one) and my Indians clock. The second best thing was getting free ice cream at work with lots of toppings that was left over from the ice cream social we had last Friday for the support staff.

Current Projects

After switching over to a new computer, I'm still getting my photos organized back into my folders. For some reason unknown to me, they didn't get all transferred to my external hard drive so had to download a lot from from Picasa. I'm also still getting familiar with Windows 7 and trying to get my old movie maker program back that I had on the XP system. (Windows live movie stinks!) Gerard is faithfully cheering for the Bruins in the hockey playoffs, but the Canadians are giving them a hard time. Hope they start winning again!

Favorite Reads in April

We both loved THE WINTER HORSES by Philip Kerr and both read and liked DEAR KILLER by Katherine Ewell (a 17-yr.-old new author). Gerard liked it a lot more than I did though, see our reviews by clicking the links. We even did a video discussing THE WINTER HORSES. What was the best book you read lately?

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