Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Hunt for Spunky Doodle

Sometimes my cats and I play hide-n-seek.  Yup, I'll notice I haven't seen my cat in some time so go on the "hunt" to see where it is.  Today it was Spunky Doodle who I noticed missing.  I looked in all her usual spots:

by the computer room heater?

by the living room heater?

On the living room cat tree?

cat bed under our dresser?

cat pad in the cat room?

Her carrier?

the rocking chair in the den?

Oh, could she be under here?

Hi mom, I won this game!

Manny came then to congratulate her on a good game.
 Do you know where your cats are right now?  Do they like playing hide-n-seek too?

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Friday, April 22, 2016

5 Things I Learned Recently

(1)  Because my bus stop moved, I discovered that the next one coming home is actually closer to my
house than the one I've been using for years!  The morning one is farther though.  I'm just happy they didn't cut out my bus route altogether!  I even have a little puzzle for you.  Can you guess what that big red spot is to the left of the sign?  (I'll give you the answer at the end of this post.)

(2)  Admission to The Cleveland Rock Hall of Fame is $20, BUT during the week of the Republican Convention, admission will be free!  I heard this on the morning news yesterday.  Looks like we'll be going after all.

(3)  When we asked the 5th and 6th graders in our Sunday School class to write memorial poems about God using some specific instructions, we were surprised that some of them didn't know what a verb was.  Did they stop teaching grammar in schools now too?

(4)  If you have a game called THE SETTLERS about settling Canaan, here are some tips on how to shorten it:
                  1.  Give everyone some free resources to start and/or a development card.
                  2.  Wait 3 rounds before putting the plague into play.
                  3.  Take some rows off the Jerusalem wall.
                  4.  Give the tokens a head start so players don't need as many victory points to win.
                  5.  Take a resource card for each one you build a settlement on.
  If you strictly follow the rules, it lasts for hours!

(5)  Handle anxiety by saying "I'm excited!" (not "stay calm") and when praising people for things they do, connect the behavior to their character such as instead of saying "That was nice of you to give that homeless person some money" say "You are such a kind, generous, caring person."  These are just some of the things I learned from reading "Originals--How Non-Conformist Change the World."  (A Best Seller by Adam Grant)

Answer to puzzle in #1:  It's the bill of my husband's baseball cap.  He's so sweet, he walks me to the bus stop every morning and waits with me until it comes, then meets me when I get off in the evening.  It's nice to be loved.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

4 Things I Learned Recently

This used to be a popular feature on this blog and I've missed doing it so decided to try starting it up again.  Feel free to comment on what I've learned or share something you learned recently.

(1)  Lobsters grow by becoming uncomfortable and growing a bigger shell. Watch this:
I saw this on Facebook and thought it was both true and interesting about how we need to handle stress.

(2)  When reading Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, I learned about the sinking of a German ship called the Wilhelm Gustloff that  had way more people than the Titanic.

(3)  I always thought that once I deleted an email from my deleted items, there was no way to retrieve it, but I was wrong.  One of my co-workers showed my a folder tab in Outlook that says "retrieve deleted items."

For some reason I do not know, it works at work but at home, that option is grayed out.  Any explanations?

(4)  Don't trust the protective netting at ballparks to protect fans--a Rays fan was struck in the face by foul ball that managed to get through the protective netting.  See video.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Can't Get This One Out of My Head

Ever read a book that really grips you and makes you think?  I just finished a historical fiction book, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys that did that for me.  It takes place in the 1940s during Stalin's reign in Russia.  I knew about the atrocities done against the Jews in Germany with Hitler, but didn't realize how cruel Stalin was until I read this book and Ruta Sepetys' other book, Salt to the Sea

When it is cold outside, I always bundle up because I'm a freeze baby, but imagine what it would be like to have to camp outside in below zero weather without boots, without gloves, without a warm blanket or comfortable mattress, and with just a light spring coat!  That is what the poor people in this book did.  Not only that, but they were so hungry that they would eat from the garbage the soldiers threw away and only got water when the soldiers brought it to them in a bucket that they had to drink from like a dog.  They were crowded into cattle train cars that were filthy and expected to relieve themselves through a hole in the floor with no privacy. 

I loved how the mother, daughter and son kept their spirits up in such horrible conditions.  The mothers were willing to do just about anything to protect their children, but Lena's mom refused to be a spy when the Russians wanted her to.  She had a way of showing kindness to others in the midst of terrible circumstances. 

Here is my video review of it:

I hope you will check out my written review of it along with a video of the author talking about the background of the book on my Grab a Book From Our Stack blog.  The author's video is very interesting, showing snippets of interviews with actual survivors!

Reading this and Salt to the Sea just makes me feel all the more sympathy for the refugees today who are fleeing from their homelands which are at war.  We have so much to be thankful for here that we take for granted:  freedom, shelter, food, clean water, indoor plumbing, family and friends that we can visit whenever we want.  If you are going through a hard time, I recommend reading either of these books and you will find that you have much to be thankful for!

Have you read either of these books?  What did you think of them?

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Time For a Stove and Time to Retire!

I told my husband this morning that I think we should maybe get a stove.  From time to time I feel like it would be nice to actually bake a cake or be able to get one of those big frozen pizzas and just bake it to save some money.  We got rid of our stove a long time ago.  (See related post:  Living With No Stove--A Good Decision)  Only problem is how would we keep our cats off of it?

My husband retired at 62 and I am planning on following in his footsteps.  I've been thinking that I don't want to work for full benefits (age 66) and then find out there is no money left to pay me or get sick and not be able to enjoy my free time off.  It really shook me up to hear of one of my former bosses who just retired the end of last year now has pancreatic cancer, stage 4, and has been told they expect she has only a few months left to live.  I find this extremely sad.  Life is short and I think I could live nicely without the added stress of a full-time job.  I could do volunteer work and enjoy time with my husband and our pets.  So, I plan to retire the end of May, yea!

April fool!  Although it is true sometimes I get the urge to bake something, we are not getting a stove, not yet anyway.  The urges are short and far between!  It is also true I have been thinking about retirement.  I am actually struggling with the decision of what would be best and the thoughts mentioned above have certainly been on my mind lately.  However, for now, I am still planning to continue working full-time because most days I like my job and the pay is good, but it was a good April fool joke I used on my bosses and a few of my co-workers today.

Did you fool anyone today or were you fooled by someone?  Hope you had an April fool laugh today!

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