Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Could Use Some Energy

I was talking to Cory on Facebook a few minutes ago, and he said he already got some caffeine for Monday morning.  He's been trying to avoid caffeine because he's been having trouble sleeping, but he's got to get up early and get on the road with the cast on Monday, so he figures he'll need something to help him get moving.

The cast is made up of young college students, so I'm sure they'll be able to handle the busy schedule.  If I had to do it, I'd be looking for some kind of Energy Supplement to help me get going and keep going.  I'm not as young as I used to be!  And all those lines they had to memorize?  How do they do it without serious Memory Support?  Oh yeah, they're young!  Sometimes I have problems remembering what I was going to do when I walk into a room.  I can't imagine learning all the lines for a play.

I've seen all kinds of Energy Drinks in the stores, but I'm a bit wary of trying any of those.  I'm afraid they're just lots of caffeine and sugar, and I really don't want that.  There's a new energy product for Women that sounds interesting.  It's caffeine and stimulant free.  The unique blend of vitamins, amino acids, spices, minerals and herbs naturally enables the body to create more energy and also nourishes the brain for optimum mental focus and memory support. That sounds a lot better than extra caffeine and sugar! I like the idea of natural, and I also like the idea of easy to swallow pills better than trying to down one of those huge drinks.

I'm sure I'll never keep up with those college kids, but PureStart Energy, used daily, might help me keep up with what I need to get done in my own life.

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The Calico Tiger

We went to see Cory perform in his first college play this afternoon, The Calico Tiger. Cory plays Jerome Tiger.  He was awesome, of course, and I'm not saying that just because I'm his mom. He really is in his element when he gets on stage. It's so much fun to watch him.

This was the only performance on campus. On Monday they begin a week of touring. They will be performing at elementary schools around the state.  Friday they'll be performing at the elementary school here in town, so of course, I'll have to go see it again.

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Camera Critters (#134)

Weasley just loves watching the guys who are working on the house.

Me, I’m just anxious for it to be finished, because I know it’s going to look so good.  And Tillie?  She’ll be so happy when they’re finally finished because she hates all that noise.  As soon as they show up and start making any kind of noise, she disappears, and we don’t see her again until they’re long gone for the day.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Do Kids Really Need to Eat All That Halloween Candy?

Holy Crap (Fifteen Pounds of Candy)Image by Amarand Agasi via Flickr
It's that time of year.  Kids are getting all dressed up in costumes and going door to door begging for candy.  Here we have both a Subdivision Trick or Treat night and a Village Trick or Treat night - meaning kids have two different nights to collect a whole lot of candy.  But is eating all that candy really good for them?

A Wisconsin dentist asked the same question and came up with the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program.  Four years ago, in an effort to fight tooth decay and obesity, he started offering to buy back his littlest patients' leftover loot for $1 a pound. Now thousands of dentists, in almost every state, participate every year.  The amount of candy they've been able to collect is simply astonishing: 122,000 pounds last year alone!

But that's just the beginning.  What do these dentists do with all the bought back candy?  It gets sent to our troops overseas!  The Halloween Candy Buy Back program partnered with Operation Gratitude, a program that focuses on sending care packages to American troops serving overseas.  The troops appreciate the candy as a reminder of home, and they also hand it out to local children as a way of fostering relationships.

It sounds like an all-around great program.  Kids eat less candy, get a little cash to spend on something else, and learn a little about giving in the process.  Visit Halloween Candy Buy Back to find a participating dentist in your area.
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Nursing Uniforms at Affordable Prices

With all the time we spent at the Surgery Center and the hospital this week, I had plenty of time to notice the nursing uniforms.  There was once a time when nurses were expected to wear all white - white shoes, white stockings, white dress, and that white nurse's cap.  One nurse we talked to said she knew of at least one administrator who would love it if nurses still dressed that way.  Our nurse was quite happy that particular administrator didn't get her way!

Nowadays nursing uniforms come in all kinds of colors and sometimes patterns too, and allow nurses to express their own personalities and individuality while still being practical, professional, and comfortable.  And if they are expected to wear the traditional white?  There are many fashionable and professional Scrub Sets available, from white twill dresses to 2-piece skirt suits.

Finding Cheap Nursing Scrubs that last and look great is not always easy, but might just make it a bit easier.  They offer 'The largest selection of Nursing Uniforms in one place' and are committed to providing the highest quality, durable, comfortable products at everyday affordable prices. They have knowledgeable, helpful customer service representatives, 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week shopping at their online store, and a 30-day money back satisfaction guarantee.  And Free Shipping on orders $100 or more.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 73

Looking at the 

Sky on Friday
I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

The view from my kitchen window on Tuesday.

That was the day we had strong winds and, even though the nurses did their jobs really well, Jeffrey couldn’t have his surgery because the power was out.  I was expecting a gray, stormy sky that day, but instead we had some clouds, some blue sky, and those strong winds.  The winds on Wednesday (Windsday?) were even stronger, but thankfully the hospital had power, and Jeffrey’s surgery went as planned.

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

1928 Cell Phone

Have you seen this? This was from the Charlie Chaplin film "Circus" from 1928, and the woman appears to be talking on a cell phone!

Didn't know they had cell phones in 1928, did you? I certainly didn't.
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Speaking of Surgery

Do you ever wonder why, if they're doing surgery, and they're in there anyway, they can't just suck out all the extra fat too?  I asked Jeffrey that when he had his appendix out several years ago.  He tried to laugh, but laughing after surgery is not a good thing.  He kept the excess and gained some scars on his belly.

Then today, surgery on the belly again - I told him he should ask the doctor to suck some fat out while he was at it!  Yeah, that would be too easy, wouldn't it?  Instead of having someone suck all the fat out or popping safe diet pills, losing weight really is about eating right and exercising.  It may not be a quick fix, but it's still the best and healthiest way to do it.

Survivor is so Several Seasons Ago

A recreation of the logo for the first America...Image via Wikipedia
I'm sort of watching Survivor tonight, and I realized that I have no clue who any of these people are. And I just don't care who gets voted off tonight. First of all, they moved the show from Thursday nights to Wednesday nights - so we always forget it's on. ( I think moving a show from its regular time slot is a really dumb move, but then the networks never ask me.)  We missed the first show this season, and we've missed several others since the season started.

All I know about this season is that they put the young acne crowd in one tribe and the old wrinkly crowd in another tribe.  Since we missed so much, I'm not really sure how that worked out.  I would think that the younger ones would be better at the challenges, at least the physical challenges, but maybe there was more brain required than brawn?

Whatever.  We really liked Survivor for the first several seasons (which season is this?), but it just isn't all that exciting any more.  Occasionally there's a mighty fine male specimen who looks oh so good with his shirt off (James), but overall it's something to watch when there's nothing better to do, but nothing I just have to see.

What about you?  Are you still watching Survivor? What would you rather be doing?  Is there a TV show you just can't miss?
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How Often Should You Call Your College Kids?

When I was in college, over 25 years ago and clear across the country, my mom would have really appreciated hearing from me more often.  That was before email, facebook, or cell phones.  Back then I had to actually write letters or call home collect, or mom (or dad) could call and try to catch me in the dorm.  Communication was very infrequent!

Nowadays, it's so much easier to keep in touch with our college kids.  No more expensive collect phone calls or even long distance charges.  We have cell phones and Skype.  No more checking the mailbox for a letter that might never come.  We have email, IM, and facebook.  So, the question is, now that it's so easy - how often should we call or contact our college kids?

I was reading an article from USA Weekend from a couple weeks ago, and  they mentioned a book by Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore called The iConnected Parent: Staying Connected to Your College Kids (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up, which I'm thinking of looking up at the library.  According to the article, surveys have shown that college students who have the most frequent contact with their parents are less autonomous, and parents need to find a balance between staying connected and giving their kids space to develop independence.  Since Cory has just started college, we haven't really thought about how it's all going to work.

Here are some ideas from the article to help figure it out:

Start early. Teach money management and laundry skills while kids are in high school; back off on helping with schoolwork.
Set a schedule. Before they leave for college, decide together how often to talk. Try to set a regular time (like Sunday nights).
Let them call. The control and decision-making strengthen a sense of independence. Let them decide what to share and whether to friend you on Facebook.
Listen well. Recognize when a call is just to vent. Resist trying to help solve problems unless it's absolutely necessary.
Focus on the goal. Your aim is a well-adjusted, independent young adult. “The bottom line is to keep in mind what kind of person is developing in the process,” the authors write.

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No power outages today, and Jeffrey's surgery went well.   Thank you to everyone who was thinking of him!

We stopped on the way home and picked up some pain medication, and I made him a smoothie when we got home because he was starving.  They did give him a few crackers after surgery, but that not eating since last night catches up with you.  The smoothie was just enough, and now he's napping on the couch with ice on his belly.

He's got the rest of the week off, so he'll be taking it easy and recovering.  And probably expecting me to wait on him...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Morning Comes Early

I'm used to getting up at 5:45 every morning (except the weekends) to walk.  So why does it seem like it's going to be so much earlier getting up at the same exact time just to get ready to leave the house tomorrow morning?  Maybe because we didn't have to leave the house today until 9:30, and it was windy and rainy so we snuggled up and slept in a bit?  Or maybe because I've been making myself get up to go walking for years, so I can do that, even when it's still dark like it is now.  But the idea of getting up for anything else?  Well, that's different.  That has me reaching for the eye cream for dark circles and hoping no one notices that I got up too early!

Regardless, we have to be ready to leave the house at 6:30 in the morning.  Getting up at regular time and being ready to leave at 6:30 may be pushing it for me, but I refuse to get up any earlier.  That's too much like getting up in the middle of the night!  It makes me crazy that Jeffrey can go walking with me in the mornings, get back in the house a little after 6:30, and still be able to shower, get dressed, and be able to leave for work before 7:00.  How does he do that?

I'm just going to have to take a quick shower, pull on my jeans and some kind of shirt - that I really should decide on tonight, pull my hair into a ponytail, and hope no one looks to closely.  It's all about Jeffrey, anyway - right?  I'll probably have to put my coffee in a travel mug and grab some muffins to take along for breakfast.  (and when Jeffrey leaves for work before 7:00?  He doesn't have coffee or breakfast until after he gets to work)

Then I could always sleep while I wait for him to get out of surgery...  But I'll probably just read a book.

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Jeffrey and I went to the Surgery Center this morning.  He got checked in, had his blood pressure and temperature taken, signed consent forms, changed into that super cute hospital gown and slipper socks, had an IV inserted, and then, the power went out - remember those high winds?  The back-up power came on so we weren't completely in the dark, but they only run limited things on back-up power.

So we waited.  And we waited.  Somewhere along the line a nurse poked her head into the room and said the doctor was on his way to talk to us, but we never saw him, and we waited some more.  Then the power came back on, and the nurse came back in to say that the doctor wanted to reschedule.  What?

So she tracked the doctor down, and he finally came in.  He was trying to figure out how to re-shuffle things, when the power went out again - meaning today was not going to happen.  If they're in the middle of a procedure when they go to back-up power, they'll go ahead and finish, but they won't start one.  So the doctor rescheduled him for tomorrow morning at the hospital.  Three hours of waiting, no surgery, and Jeffrey was starving because he hadn't had anything to eat since last night.  So we went and got something to eat and then went to Sam's Club to get some stuff, and tomorrow we'll try this again.

It's still supposed to be windy tomorrow, but hopefully the hospital will have better power or a better back-up system.

Surgery Today

Jeffrey is having surgery today to repair his Umbilical hernia.  It's outpatient surgery, and I'm not sure how long it's going to take.  Then he's going to take the rest of the week off to start his recovery.  The risks are usually low, but your thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated. 


Monday, October 25, 2010

Blowin' Up a Storm

They started on the siding today and got one side of the garage done and the end of the house.  It is looking so good!  Like I said before, picking out the colors is hard, especially when all you have to look at is a little sample - but I think we picked some colors that are going to look really nice together.  And, even if we didn't, it's too late now!  But we did.  And remember how we were going to stick really close to the colors we had before?  Well, we didn't.

Thankfully we got the windows installed last week, because it doesn't sound like this week will have the weather for it.  We might not get much more done on the house this week because they're calling for some very strong winds the next couple of days - wind gusts up to 60mph.  I guess we'll get to see how our new shingles hold up!  But it's definitely not going to be good weather for putting siding on the house - no matter how anxious I am to see it all finished.

It's batten down the hatches and hunker down type of weather.  Put away the deck furniture, secure all loose items, be glad the christmas decorations aren't up yet kind of weather.  They say people could lose power, mostly because of tree branches on power lines.  At least we won't have to worry about that, since there aren't too many trees left around here.

And, yes, even though we had our share of severe weather here this summer, I still think it's ridiculous that our local news station thinks they need to be on the air by 4:30 in the morning.  What are they going to do?  Tell people it's windy because they can't figure it out for themselves?

Mini-Blinds Again

Jeffrey was a bit confused when he told me that you could see out of the screens on our new windows but couldn't see in.  Not true.  I think whatever he read about the screens just means that you really don't see the screens when you look out the windows - unless you get up close.

So, we were thinking about getting rid of the mini-blinds, but it looks like we'll be putting them up again.  We did get some new curtains for our bedroom and for Cory's.  We got some insulated panels that are supposed to block out 99% of the light and also help save energy by keeping the cold out.  Those ought to be fine for winter, because we can keep them closed most of the time, but when summer comes we'll have to be able to have them open - because I want fresh air moving through the house.  So we'll need the blinds so we can raise them to let the air in and still cover most of the windows - both to block light and for privacy.

Before they can go back up, I need to see if I can clean them, and Jeffrey will have to re-install the brackets to hold them.  So they won't go up for a while.  In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for something better than mini-blinds or how to live without them, let me know!
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And for the Single Guy...

When I first read this following link, I thought it said "Christmas gift wine" which made perfect sense to me.  I may not do Christmas, so I don't know a lot about picking out gifts for everybody on your list, but I think wine sounds like a fine gift.

But what the link really says is "christmas gift wife", which wouldn't be a good gift for just anybody, but might be just what you're looking for for the single guy on your list.  It would be awfully hard to pick out the right one, and I'm not sure what the return policy would be, but if you've got a single guy on your Christmas list...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Camera Critters (#133)

The last evening we were in Utica, Jeffrey pointed out a couple deer in the field behind our villa.  Usually we see deer from the car, while we’re moving, and then they run off so, of course, I had to grab the camera and try to get some pictures. 


Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, October 22, 2010

And the Winner Is...

The winner of my $75 CSN Stores gift certificate is Melissa!  I hope she has fun shopping at CSN Stores.

Melissa, if you're reading this, be sure to let us all know if you buy that Soda Stream or if you decide on something else, OK?  With all those stores and so much variety, CSN Stores makes it very, very hard to choose.

Thanks again to CSN Stores for sponsoring the giveaway!
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

looking at the Sky on Friday - 72

Looking at the 

Sky on Friday
I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

These clouds caught my eye the other day:

They looked like they were just on the other side of those trees, piled up on the ground.

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Cory on the Radio

I didn't hear him live, but Cory was on the radio this morning!  Thankfully the radio show is available online as a podcast and he shared a link, so I got to hear it.   He's with the director and another cast member of the play he's in, The Calico Tiger.  It's really fun to listen to him, and I don't think that's just because I'm his mom.

I'm really looking forward to seeing him in his first college play.  He's got our tickets for the performance at Whitewater, and it sounds like they're pretty good seats.  Then, they will be touring and performing the play at various elementary schools.  One of those schools just happens to be the school right here in town, the elementary school Cory went to when he was a little guy.  A lot of the kids know him, from working with him in Peter Pan and Oliver and also because of a group he was in called Stand Tall.  They went to the elementary schools and performed skits for the students to help them deal with serious issues, like bullying and cancer.  He's thinking the kids will get a kick out of seeing him come to their school and perform in this play.  I'm thinking that I will just have to go over to the school and watch it, too!

If you're interested in hearing this morning's radio show, Click Here and play the podcast for Thursday, October 21st.  You'll have to listen to a few ads, for a bookstore, weight loss pills that work, and I don't know what else, in the middle, but I definitely thinks it's worth a listen.  And they're right in the first part of the program, so you don't have to listen to it all.
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Just a Few More Hours

Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a $75 CSN Stores gift certificate if you haven't already.  Or, if you've already entered, there's still time to tweet one more time!  The giveaway ends at 11:59pm tonight, and you don't want to miss this!

Then, once you've entered my giveaway, be sure to run over to Mom Knows Everything and enter her giveaway for a $75 CSN Stores certificate.  That contest closes midnight October 31th AST.

Good Luck!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Recycled List

While the guys are working on my windows and the rest of the house, I feel like I'm not getting much accomplished.  All the furniture is moved around so that they can get to the windows.  There's no point trying to clean the house - not until all the dust and mess-making is finished.  I couldn't get into the kitchen until after they installed the kitchen window.  And, there was some stuff I was wanting to do in the basement, but that's not possible now.

So, instead, I'm writing a few posts, and I started going through some old magazines trying to get them out of here.  While I have a hard time keeping up with email and blog posts in my reader, at least those don't take up space in my house!  Magazine subscriptions are a whole different story.  I keep those around hoping to find time to read them, but I just never get to it.  So, now I'm just flipping through as quickly as I can and ripping out the stuff that looks interesting - recipes, articles, lists of the top ten diet pills, exercises, etc.  I'm also finding coupons that I should have cut out ages ago, because they're all expired.

Here's a list I ripped out:
12 things in life never to take for granted
  1. Your right to vote!
  2. Any random morning you wake up happy and actually rested.
  3. Love, even if it's coming from your parents.
  4. Your body right now (whatever it weighs).
  5. Male upper-body strength.  We're feminists too, but that couch ain't gonna move itself.
  6. The bliss of vacation sex.  Never conk out early on a hotel bed!
  7. The invitation's RSVP line.  They're asking nicely - and in French! - so répondez-vous.
  8. Your digital photos!  Save 'em all!
  9. Every day you don't need to call tech support 10 time zones away.
  10. That they will always make your favorite bra.  Buy four.
  11. Your fertile year (sorry, it's un-P.C. to say so, but it's true!).
  12. The great guy who never takes you for granted.

And now that I've read and shared that, I can recycle it with the rest!  Yeah, some of that list made sense, others not so much.  It's not a bad thing to think about though.  What things in your life should you never take for granted?

Windows, Windows, Windows

We're finally getting our new windows installed today.  They started yesterday but ran into some problems they weren't expecting, so they just installed the one in our bathroom and left the rest for today.

See, Jeffrey picked out the windows he wanted, expecting them to look a certain way on the outside of the house.  Basically, all I cared about was what they looked like on the inside.  The windows we've had all these years have a Colonial style grid in them, which I was never really attached to - so I didn't want to go back to that.  Then I found these Prairie Perimeter ones, and loved them.  So, that's what we got.  Jeffrey wanted the windows to be more flush with the outside of the house instead of popping out a bit for the screen, like the old windows.  I had never paid any attention, so it really didn't matter to me one way or another.

He thought the windows we ordered would be the flatter ones, and they were supposed to be the same size as the old windows so the install would be fairly simple.  When the windows showed up, they were the wrong series (2000 instead of 3000) - so we had to figure that out.   It turned out that the supplier sent the different windows because they weren't as deep, so the ones we'd ordered would have required more work to install because the installers would have to cut into the drywall to make them fit.  There was some extra work involved on the outside of the house, because the ones we ordered had the J-Channel already attached - so it would just be a matter of putting them in place and then running the siding behind them.  (or something like that)  The ones we got - no J-Channel - so more work.  But our contractor figured out a way to make them work that we could live with, so we decided to keep the 'wrong' windows and go ahead.

Then yesterday when the installer started on the first window, he found out that he would have to cut into the drywall after all, because these were deeper than the old windows too!  And the window and the opening were different sizes. Needless to say, everyone was getting a bit frustrated.  The boss came out.  A couple guys from the supplier came out.  Windows were measured.  Openings were measured.  Etc.  And then we had to decide whether we want to keep the windows that were delivered or send them back and order all new ones - and putting the whole job off for another couple weeks.

Since they're installing today, you know we decided to keep the ones we had.  The guys are really working hard and almost have all the windows in already.  They just have the patio door left.  With all the hard work and hustle these guys put in, I don't think any of them will ever need weight loss pills. Ever.

It's all going to work out, and the house is going to look good when they're finished, but...  The whole thing was just frustrating because we didn't have all the information up front so that we could have made the best decision.  If someone had told us that no matter what windows we ordered, they would have to cut into the drywall to install them, we may have picked completely different windows.  Because it doesn't matter whether they have to cut an inch or three inches - it's all the same.  And if the supplier had sent the windows we ordered, they still would have needed to cut drywall to install them, but they wouldn't have to do any finish work on the outside. 

And now they're getting ready to do the patio door, and I'm wondering not just about the drywall, but what about my tile?  I guess I'll soon find out!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Glee - Imagine

I hate that Glee is already running a re-run, but I love this:

So I guess it's OK.

I Feel so Exposed

Because we're getting new windows installed, we've got all the curtains and mini blinds off the windows. It's amazing how exposed I feel with all the windows wide open - especially at night when the lights in the house reflect off the windows. On the other hand, without mini blinds or curtains, we have an amazing view of the sky from all our windows!

In the bathroom, we did tack a towel up across the bottom of the window, so we can take a shower, remove blackheads from nose, or anything else we might need to do in the bathroom in relative privacy.  The new windows supposedly have screens you can see out of but no-one outside can see in - but I'm not sure how much I trust that.  Somehow I think I'll still feel exposed until we get the mini blinds back up.

A Flood!

If you read my last post, you're probably wondering what happened.  If you figured out it had something to do with water, you were right.

First our day started out a bit late because Jeffrey stayed home to talk to our contractor before going to work.  We ordered one kind of windows and got another kind delivered, so we had to figure out what we wanted to do and get that fixed.  So, it was really late when I finally got out of the house to walk, and then I had coffee and breakfast and got busy on laundry - and I never got around to getting in the shower.

Then Jeffrey called and said one of the workers was going to pull one of the windows out of the garage and let me see it right next to the trim, so I could decide for sure what to do with the windows.  I was about to jump in the shower, but he was coming right after lunch, and I wasn't sure when exactly that would be - so I waited.  He showed up.  I decided that the windows will work just fine, and he got to work pulling siding off the end of the house.  And I decided he had it handled and got in the shower.

Toward the end of my shower, when I was rinsing off, I noticed a sudden drop in water pressure.  I finished my shower as quickly as possible, and by the time I got dried off, there was no water at all.

Somehow the pipe going to the outside spigot had snapped while he was pulling the siding - even though he followed the proper procedures and it should not have done that.  Water started running into the basement, and he could not get any answer when he came to the door, because I was in the shower.  Thankfully, he came on into the house, called his boss, who called Jeffrey and found out where to shut off the water to the house.  If I had been available would it have made any difference?  Probably not, because while I knew where the water shut off is, I'm not sure I would have remembered at the time.  It's not something you think about or use every day.  Also, the light bulb was burned out in that part of the basement, and would I have remembered to grab the flashlight or would I have had to go back for it?

Regardless, there was water everywhere.  And, unfortunately, it was in the worst possible spot - right over the TV and by the entertainment center with all the electronics - stereo, DVD player, CD player, etc.  So, I grabbed a bunch of towels, and we spent the rest of the afternoon drying things off, and they brought in a couple of Shop Vacs and sucked up as much of the water as possible.  Then we left our fan and dehumidifier running.  Jeffrey disconnected and moved all the electronics when he got home, and he's got them all sitting and drying out.  Unfortunately, even if they dry out and still work, there's no way of knowing how long they'll keep working if water got into them.  The CD player and the tape deck both had water running out of them when he picked them up to move them.  Some of the other components were a bit further away from the water and may not have gotten much more than splattered in the front, but it's hard to know.

I know this is not the way any of us wanted to spend the afternoon!

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Two Things

  1. When you've got guys working on your house, even though they're working outside and they've never needed anything from you in the three other days they were there, it's not a good idea to get in the shower - because that is exactly when they will need you.
  2. It's a good idea to know exactly where the main shut-off is for the water line coming into your house.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Camera Critters (#132)

Weasley hasn’t been sure what to think about all the work going on around the house.  He really wants to see what’s going on, which was rather hard when the guys were on the roof.

He had a front-row seat to watch them send the shingles up onto the roof.

See, there he is at the bottom of the picture.  The noise of the big truck and the conveyor didn’t bother him at all.  He thought it was just good entertainment.

When they started thumping around on the roof, he kept looking at me with that wide-eyed look and then trying to see what was happening up there.  I didn’t think to take a picture of his little face, until yesterday when they started hammering on the walls.  It was pretty much like this:

What is going on out there?” 

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Wasted Day

I'm really tempted just to throw up some filler here, because I don't have much energy.  I woke up with a head-ache and basically felt awful all day.  I tried going back to bed, but then there was all that banging going on.  Today they started ripping the siding off the house, so instead of thumping on the roof, there was ripping and banging and hammering on the sides of the house.

I was tired enough that I even managed to sleep through some of that.  I hate days like this, when I have so many things to accomplish but can't do any of it!  At least I wasn't planning to start a medical job search or something important. I was planning to do some baking and cleaning of the house for the weekend, but that didn't happen.

I do feel a bit better now, so I might still get some cornbread muffins into the oven.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Keeping the Bad Smells Out

I ended up closing all my windows yesterday, even though the weather was nice and I really wanted them open so I could get a nice breeze moving through the house.  But, I had guys working on my house, and few of them just happened to be smokers.  While they were putting down tarps and getting equipment ready, they were also smoking - with no notice of which direction the wind was blowing or which windows were open.  Smokers may be OK with the smell of smoke on everything around them and knowing they'll probably need somebody to make their funeral arrangements a bit earlier than the rest of us, but I'm not OK with the smell, and I'd prefer not to find out how soon 2nd hand smoke can kill me.

So, I closed all the windows, wishing they'd be a little more aware - and then I kept them closed so I didn't have to guard for random smoke breaks throughout the day.  And it turned out to be a good thing, because I heard a new motor running in the afternoon.  Yes, it's a miracle I could hear anything else with all the noise the roofers were already making, but I did.  And I looked out to see that the neighbor was getting his lawn treated with chemicals - nasty chemicals that would have come right in my kitchen window if I hadn't had it closed, because that is the way the wind was blowing.

Today, it was cool enough that I didn't really want the windows open.  They were back to finish the roof, and  there was probably smoke, but I didn't have to smell it or breathe it. 

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 71

Looking at the 

Sky on Friday
I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

I took this sunrise a few weeks ago.

I liked the way the sun was struggling to burn through the clouds.

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Learn More About High-Tech Careers

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you have a student thinking about college but not quite sure what to major in or what kind of job opportunities will be waiting after college?  I know we could have used some guidance last year when Cory was trying to figure out what he wanted to do with himself after high school.  He's a smart young man who got good grades throughout high school, and he could probably do anything he wanted to do.  Unfortunately, he didn't have much guidance through his school, and as his parents, we didn't really know what to do to help him.

It may not have made a difference, but I wish I'd known about ATETV. It's a free web-based video series that highlights the vast array of high-tech careers available in the fields of Math, Science, Engineering and Technology.  It's a great way for students and parents to find out about Advanced Technological Education (ATE) - the community and 4-year college programs available, and high-tech careers available.  There are many videos available that showcase all kinds of different aspects of technology and real job opportunities in a vast array of emerging, high-tech fields such as underwater robotics, laser technology, aviation mechanics, wind-farming and high-tech agriculture.

These free videos were produced with a grant from the National Science Foundation to attract young people into the Science, Engineering, Math and Technology fields.  The United States Labor Department says that the demand for technical based educated employees in the United States will be far greater in the future than the numbers of students being trained today.  Meaning, students who train for these high tech jobs today will be pretty much guaranteed jobs in the future.   If you've got a student struggling to decide what he wants to be when he grows up, I'd strongly suggest checking out this site.  Who knows - the perfect future career may just be highlighted in one of these videos, and ATETV can connect your student with the right training program. is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and is completely free.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Whole Lotta Thumpin' Goin' On

I've got a whole crew of guys working on the roof today.  Talk about noise! 

Tillie wanted nothing to do with it.  First she hid under one of the couches, and then she ran downstairs to the basement.  Weasley, on the other hand, keeps going to all the windows trying to see what's going on.  Every once in a while, he looks at me with this wide-eyed look like he's asking me, "What's going on out there?"

We're getting the roof done!  By tomorrow evening, we should have a new roof, and a new garage door too.  Then they can move on to the windows and the siding.  It took us a while to get going and decide everything, but it won't be long now, and our house will look brand-new!  On the outside, at least.

I Hate When I Mess Up

I ordered new checks today.  We don't really write many checks any more.  So much can be done online - paying bills, sending money to people.  The bank will even send checks to people or businesses that don't accept electronic payments.  But, once in a while, we need to write a check, and we only have a couple left for that account.

So, I found a site that offered buy one box of checks, get one free, and I ordered - only to realize that the free box didn't automatically get added to my order.  No, I had to actually order 2 boxes, and one of those 2 boxes would be free.  I called customer service immediately, only to find out that there was nothing they could do.  Online orders go directly to the printer.

There are 120 checks in a box, meaning that one box will last us forever.  And I did save about $3 since I didn't have to pay the service/handling fee for that second box, but it's still going to bother me that I messed up.  Nobody actually gives out trophies for doing everything perfectly, but that doesn't stop me from feeling bad when I don't do something right.

In all honesty, not spending an extra $3 on a box of checks that we don't need probably was the right thing to do.  (Am I just trying to convince myself?)
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sorry, Out of 0698

I got my new Flexi 8 hair clips today, the ones I won in Jenn's giveaway.  I was a little disappointed to see that one of the styles I wanted was out of stock, so they sent me a different one.  And then I noticed that it sort of matches my glasses.

How did they do that?

So, while I'm still kind of disappointed about not getting the dragonfly design I wanted, I think I'm going to like the one they did send.  With all those colors, it ought to go with just about everything.

Monday, October 11, 2010

No Time for Comments?

You might have noticed that I've got a giveaway going right now.  I've had the post up for about 4 days, and I already have over 100 comments.  Granted, I asked for separate comments for each entry, and many of those comments have been made by the same people, but still...

What I've noticed is that I don't get very many comments on my posts, unless I'm lucky enough to host a giveaway that people want to win.  Even the memes I participate in don't seem to get many comments.  It leaves me wondering if I'm doing something wrong or if people are just too busy to comment.  I know I definitely fit into that last category!  I do try to visit and comment when it comes to the memes, like Looking at the Sky on Friday and Camera Critters, but rarely comment on other posts.  Sometimes I read a post I really want to comment on, have every intention of commenting on, so I leave it open in a tab of my browser - and usually end up closing it at the end of the day, never having gone back to comment.  Of course, sometimes I do that when I'm planning to enter a giveaway, but usually it involves a regular (non giveaway) post.

I'm thinking that next time I host a giveaway, I'm going to give extra entries for adding relevant comments to other posts on my blog - just so my regular posts don't feel so neglected.  Other than that, I don't know if there's any way to encourage more comments.  What do I have to offer that is more important than the tons of other things that people already have to deal with?  Usually.  This week I have a $75 CSN Stores gift certificate!
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Win an iPad

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase
How would you like to win an iPad?  They really do look like neat gadgets to have, but I seriously doubt I'll ever have one unless I win it somewhere.  Yes, I know there were people running out to buy them the second they came out, but I just can't justify buying one.  Maybe someday when absolutely everything is paid off, and we just have some extra money lying around...

In the meantime, there's the iPad Sweepstakes.  It looks like entering is really simple - just 'like' PrintRunner on facebook, and fill out the entry form.  I can definitely do that for a chance to win an iPad.  How about you?

The only thing that might bother me is that whole touch screen thing.  Don't iPad users get fingerprints all over their screens?  Doesn't it drive them crazy?  I may be able to use any old scrap of paper when I can't find any actual bookmarks, but I'm really picky about anybody touching my screen!  And, of course, I'd never do it.  On purpose.  When I win this iPad, I'll have to get some stickers for it to remind me that it's OK to touch the screen.   I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try, right?
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Update (2014): I now have a touchscreen smartphone and a Kindle Fire HD.  I am actually touching my screens all the time.  Eek!  I also clean them a lot.

Friday, October 08, 2010

He's Not Coming Home

Since Cory went away to college, he's been home every weekend.  So, even though we have no kids at home, we haven't had a chance to see what that whole 'empty nest' thing feels like.

Until this weekend.

This weekend, he decided to stay on campus.  I'm sure he'll do that more and more as the school  year goes on.

Thankfully, we have facebook!

and email.

and cell phones.

And he's only like 15 miles away.
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I'm Such a Girl!

When I was unpacking my garment bag this week, I got to the very end, pulled out the last dress, and a bug came crawling out.  I jumped and screamed and would have called for a man, but no-one was home but me.

Of course, my next step was to call for Commercial Pest Control! No, not really.  I squished that bug with the edge of the garment bag and then ewwwwed and squirmed as I watched it continue to move, even with all its guts squished out.  Ewwwww.  Just thinking about it makes me squirm!  But I finished the job, got a tissue and wiped up all the nasty bug guts - and hoped there weren't any more where that one came from.

I'm not really up on my Bug Facts so I don't know what kind of bug it was.  Not that it matters because pretty much any bug is a bad bug in my world.  I'm sure they all have their reasons for existence, but I'd very much appreciate if they'd exist somewhere else.  Away from me.

If I have to call Pest Control Services to make that happen, then so be it - but usually I can just get my husband to take care of them. When he's home.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Win $75 from CSN Stores!

-- This giveaway is now closed --

I'm really excited to announce that one lucky reader of this blog will win a $75 gift certificate from CSN Stores!!  Did you read that?  $75 to spend any way you like on the CSN Stores site.

You can choose to spend it all on one item from one store or buy several different items from several different stores.  There are over 200 online stores, and you can shop at any or all of them with just one checkout.  Whether you're looking for a new platform bed, sheets for a bed you already have, new shoes, new luggage, a new toaster oven, or anything else, chances are you can find it at CSN Stores.  Really, there is so much to choose from!  What would  you like?  Coffee tables, coat racks, cookware, ceiling fans, chairs?  You're going to have so much fun choosing!

I love love love that stockpot!

Giveaway info:
1 winner will receive a one-time-use $75 gift certificate to use at CSN Stores.  You can get something $75 or less, or apply your $75 to something more expensive.  The choice is yours - and did I mention that there are so many choices?   This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.  Please note that, while many items ship for free, there may be shipping charges or in the case of Canadian readers, international fees, for certain products.

To enter:

  • Visit CSN Stores and have a look around.  Come back and leave a comment telling me what you'd use your $75 for if you win.  Don't worry, you can always change your mind later, and if you're anything like me, you will!  (This must be done first for any additional entries to count)

For additional entries: (leave a comment for each one)
  • Follow me on twitter (@bcmom) and tweet the giveaway link, you can tweet once per day and leave a separate comment for each.
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post and to CSN Stores.  Leave me a comment with your url.  I'll give you 5 extra entries for this one.  (You don't have to leave a separate comment for each of these entries.  I'll count them)
  • Subscribe to my blog in a reader or by email, or Follow this Blog with Google Friend Connect.  Let me know which way you subscribed - or let me know if you're already a subscriber.
  • Link to Beth & Cory's Mom on your sidebar or add me to your blog list or blogroll.
  • Follow CSN Stores on Twitter
  • Like CSN Stores on Facebook
  • If you can think of any other creative way to spread the word about this giveaway, go ahead.  Just leave me a comment letting me know how and where you shared.
Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.  All entries must be received by 11:59pm Thursday, 10/21/10.  Winners will be randomly chosen.  If you're the winner, you will receive all the gift certificate information via email, so be sure I have an email address for you.  Good Luck!

Thank you to CSN Stores for sponsoring this great giveaway!

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 70

Looking at the 

Sky on Friday
I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

I took these shots of the full moon last month.  I tried two different camera settings, and now I can’t decide which one I like best.  What do you think?

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.