Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Riddance 2008

So here we are on New Years eve, just a few hours before midnight and all I can think is Good Riddance to 2008! Worst year ever! I am actually happier than I have been all year because this year will be over soon. I am looking forward to 2009 and all that it has to offer.

I will admit that some good things happened this year. I started this blog, I became very active in social media and my community. I found a lot of new friends on line that want to create the same kind of world that I want to live in. I have learned a great deal from all of those new wonderful contacts that has helped me to grow and become smarter and add to my personal skill set. Those are all good things.

Barack Obama was elected president. A man who wants and expects our help and input in order to put our country back on track. I am looking forward to his inauguration.

The things I will be happy to leave behind are the mess our economy is in and all of the criminal money grabbers that put our country in this mess. Many of you know I am looking for work. A long drawn out process further complicated by the sheer numbers of others who are looking for work out there.

My grandfathers passing this year was especially painful at Christmas. I have always spent time with my aunts, uncles and cousins in my grandfathers house on Christmas day. This year Christmas was just one particularly hard day that just needed to be muscled through. I have to give some credit for my Dad who did surprise my siblings and I by bringing out a box of ornaments my grandmother had made years ago and allowed each of us to pick two of them for own trees. Those ornaments are a big part of Christmas at grandpa's that all of us in the family hold dear.

The week before my grandfather passed, I had to say good bye to a much beloved very old calico kitty named Mama. A very special kitty indeed.

Next year will be the year when consumers take power. You mark my words! We are on line and we can organize so fast it will make your head spin. Consider this fair warning to all those huge companies out there, if you want our money you will need to listen to us. We want real customer service in exchange for our dollars. We want you to treat your employees the way you expect your employers to treat your customers. You need our money, these are our terms. No more monkey business.

Yep, I'm feeling much more hopeful about the new year. Good bye 2008, bring it on 2009!

Hope your New Year is good too!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ice Storms

Just a quick note to say I'm thinking of all the people who have been hit by serious ice storms and are now with out power. I feel for you. We had the same problem in 2004 and I was with out power for days, including through Christmas. Not fun!

It's really cold outside here today and I have errands to run. I've been postponing the inevitable by staying inside and learning a few new tricks on the computer like using MyBlogLog to track site statistics. Enough playing around, out we go!
Undergoing MyBlogLog Verification

Monday, December 8, 2008

If You Have Small Children, Please Read This Post

This post is particularly aimed at my cousins who read my blog and have small children, but it is also for anyone who has small children in the house. That goes for all you grandparents out there! I want you to gather up every electronic gadget that uses batteries in the house right now. Every remote, calculator, or what ever. Go ahead and do that, I'll wait until you get back.

Ready? Now turn over those gadgets to show you the battery access door. Is there a screw to hold the door shut? If not, get some duct tape and seal it up tight. I know it's ugly, but you'll thank me for this one day.

I came across a blog last week called Hazel Is In The Eye Of The Beholder. It's a blog about a beautiful baby named Hazel. For the past several weeks though, it has been a blog about a parents worst nightmare. In short, before Thanksgiving, little Hazel had gotten ahold of one of those little "button" batteries from a DVD remote and swallowed it. The battery lodged in her esophagus and remained there undetected for some time. Hazel's symptoms were similar to a rather nasty virus in the beginning so doctors had no reason to do a chest x-ray until Hazel was nearly at deaths door.

Miraculously, Hazel is recovering and her parents are just now learning how close they came to loosing their precious baby. The surprise is how many children accidentally ingest these small batteries and the the damage they can do is pretty scary. Even the AAA batteries are a hazard. With all the electronic gadgets out there, the danger is increasing exponentially. Many manufacturers of these gadgets are now working to make their products a little safer and that is why you are seeing more screws holding battery doors shut, but I would bet that you have one or two items in your home that don't have any safety on the battery doors. Especially older ones you really don't use any more. Hence the duct tape.

Those talking greeting cards are also a hazard! They have batteries in them as well. I know they are cute, but they can be dangerous to a small curious child so please put those out of reach while you're at it. If you need more information about what to do if your child swallows one of these, the National Capital Poison Center has information for you.

Drop me a line in the comments section and tell me that you have checked your gadgets and put up those talking greeting cards. I'd appreciate knowing your little ones are safe. Thanks!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Cable TV and Me

I don't have cable. In fact I haven't had cable since sometime around 1979 when the boys were small and I was a stay at home mom. Cable didn't offer much then except all day reruns of Gilligan's Island, Andy Griffith and My Three Sons. There were cartoon channels and I could at least rely on them to keep the boys occupied for a few minutes so I could have a break. Sesame Street had top billing in our house though.

Since that time, I've pretty much dismissed cable as a drain on the finances and a means to turn the general public's minds to jello. Cable companies have spent a craptacular amount of money to try and entice me into subscribing over the years and I must admit that there have been times when I've been tempted to join the thousands of others and become a cable TV subscriber. In the end, finances have always won out over cable TV.

Lately though, I've been wishing I had it. Being unemployed has lead to moments of shear boredom and a desire to find some sort of diversion. Local TV programing leaves a lot to be desired in the way of intelligent, thoughtful or informative programs. Have you seen that new daytime show called The Doctors yet? It's supposed to be informative and sometimes it is but for crying out loud, all most everyday they have a segment on plastic surgery, liposuction or some other such thing. The last thing I need is to be spoon fed more crap about all the things I should be doing to keep my self looking like I'm 30. Honestly, do we really need to have some crap injected under the skin on our hands to make them younger too? What are we turning into? I don't understand why we continue with glamorizing or even normalizing these procedures right on the heels of talking about research studies that show young girls are struggling with negative body image and low self esteem because of this crap on TV.

Even the local news leaves me wanting. I want national and world news at my finger tips, right here, right now. So I've relied on my internet connection, which leaves a lot to desire in some ways. I can get the news and information I want but live streaming video really sucks between my cheap Gateway laptop and my DSL connection.

I've been thinking a lot about how people want what they can't have and being unemployed has created a lot of wants lately. I think this desire for cable is directly related to not having a job and the weather turning cold. Forcing me to stay inside more. If I were employed, I wouldn't have so much time on my hands needing to be filled with something else. If it were still warm, I could find plenty of things to do for free outside. I could go back to choosing not to have cable because I'm just to busy to enjoy it.

Last night, I actually looked at pricing for local cable offerings. Not really a smart thing to do when you know you aren't in any position to take advantage of a good deal even if you found one. I don't recommend it. So today, I'm going to focus on something else, what I do have. I have my health, my loving family, a whole host of new friends on line between Twitter and blogging. I have a roof over my head and pets that think I am a goddess. My brain still functions, I think.
I have a computer, an internet connection and the ability to continue to connect with others on line and the luxury of looking for a job on line, from my home any time of the day or night.

Please somebody, find my resume buried in that stack of 200 plus that you have and hire me! You would be performing a public service. If I don't find a job soon, I might just stoop to prank calling my mother for grins and giggles because I don't have cable to occupy me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I recently downloaded all the pictures from my digital camera. I had kept them on the camera thinking I would get to them eventually and yesterday was that day.

I'd like to share a few with you here, just because I feel like it.

These first 2 pictures are from Thanksgiving at the home of my son Vincent and his wife Teresa. My son sets a beautiful table and I just had to capture a picture of it. I like the simplicity of black, white and clear. It created a beautiful picture to behold.

You may be interested to know that the plates were stocked over time from flea markets and thrift stores. Originally sold as "open stock" here in the US, the pattern was discontinued years ago. A friend of mine and I scoured various places here in Columbus to help create this collection for the kids.

The silver, I found at an antique mall in South Charleston, Ohio as a wedding gift for them. Nice to see they are putting it to good use.

I had a great time with Vincent that day. One of the things we enjoy doing together is cooking and creating a lovely dinner like this will always be a special memory for me. I find that not having any great expectations for these types of gatherings enhances my enjoyment of the day, the food and the company. During dinner I remember thinking that this one one of the better Thanksgivings.

This next picture is from the Grounds of the Franklin Park Conservatory. I liked the mix of colors in this planting.

This is a picture of a flower on a fast growing vine that showed up on the bushes in front of my house this past summer.

I am told that it is called a passion flower and depending on which web site you find is considered an expensive flowering vine used in landscaping or a fast growing wildly invasive noxious weed. I can attest to the speed with which it grows and spreads.

It is a mystery to me as to where it came from or how it got here. There aren't any of these vines in my neighborhood. I can only assume a bird, squirrel or rabbit dropped the seeds after having ingested them. I have decided to keep the seed pods from the vines and cultivate the vines along my back fence next summer.

Here is a picture I took at the Cleveland Air Show over Labor Day weekend. I like planes.

I like the lines of planes, the shear ingenuity that goes into creating this huge piece of machinery that flies.

Finally, this picture is of the biggest spider I have ever seen outside of a zoo display. I tried to get photos of the web structure this big galoot created over night on my front lawn but my camera just isn't that great for those sort of pictures.

This guy was roughly the size of a half dollar when you include the leg span. The web was anchored to the front of my house, the gutter above and the rail fence that runs along the walkway to my front door. I think he/she was planning on catching a few small birds or even a human or two. :)

So that's all I have for you today. Hope you all are doing well. Stay happy and don't stop looking for the interesting things on ordinary days.