Monthly Archives: September 2008

Priceless

 
Has anyone seen the new MasterCard commercial with Mr. Bill?!  I’m watching Sunday Night Football with Hubby and it came on.  Back in the day, I loved Mr. Bill.  Yes, I have a sick and twisted sense of humor and I thought the Mr. Bill skits were hilarious. 
 
Back in the day, SNL was the show to watch.  We planned our Saturday evening events around who was hosting and who the musical guest was going to be.  Hey, I grew up in Small Town Ohio and there wasn’t much to do on a Saturday night.  
 
While I love Mr. Bill and I’m so excited to see him back on TV (and in his original context to boot!) I have to wonder what brought him back?  What target audience is MasterCard appealing to with him?  Does anybody outside of my generation understand this commercial?  Is it a big inside joke that only a select few will get?  Either way, I’m tickled that I’m part of a target demographic for something. 
 
But I’m also surprised that it’s been over 25 years since Mr. Bill first appeared in my life.  Yikes I am one old lady. 
 

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Survivor

 
I survived the yard sales.  MIL sold a bunch of stuff and, almost true to her word, most everything went to the Goodwill store.  There were a few things she couldn’t bear to part with so they went back in the house.  Hubby and I just rolled our eyes at each other. 
 
While we were getting ready for the yard sale, we found FIL’s purple heart.  He was shot when he was in Korea.  Hubby is 54 years old and had never seen his dad’s purple heart.  We knew he had it, we just never saw it.  Father rarely talked about his service in Korea.  Except to say that he was cold most of the time and that the Army came in to save the Marines.  
 
We’re having some wonderful weather here in Ohio the last couple of weeks.  Wonderful for catching a cold or having your allergies flare up on you.  Hubby and I are eating Sudafed like they are candies.  If we aren’t careful, we will have the Sudafed police knocking on our door over our excessive purchases of Sudafed.  
 
I love the new fall TV season.  Especially Dancing With The Stars.  I just love that show.  And Monday Night Football.  Yes, I’m a football dork.  Other than that I haven’t watched much TV this week.  
 
It was relatively uneventful at work last week because of the power outages.  The patients are making up for this week.  I’m worn out and it’s only Tuesday.  It’s going to be a long week. 

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I Hate Yard Sales

 
Yard sales are a bunch of work and extremely boring at the same time.  It takes forever to get the stuff out and priced before the customers start arriving.  Then you sit around the rest of the weekend waiting for people to show up and haggle over quarters and dimes. 
 
I hate yard sales and every time I participate in one I’m reminded exactly why I hate them and I swear I’ll never do it again. 
 
Yea, right.  Like Hubby says . . . It’s nice to have a dream.
 
We spent today having the yard sale at MIL’s house.  It’s supposed to be MIL’s yard sale, but we both knew we would be doing the bulk of the work.  SIL showed up in time for the boring "wait for customers" part of the day.  After Hubby and I got all the stuff out and priced.  I’m sure she’ll be back tomorrow again in time for the "wait for customers" part.  Oh, and the free lunch.  She showed up today in time for the lunch run to Mickey D’s. 
 
I totally understand doing the bulk of the work for MIL.  Her health just isn’t good enough for her to do all the work by herself.  She’s got COPD and it’s getting worse lately.  I’m surprised she was able to gather up all the stuff she did.  I totally understand MIL’s need to downsize and get rid of some of the clutter that’s been in that house over the last 30 years.  What I don’t understand isSIL’s cavalier attitude about MIL and the fact that she needs more help these days.  Can she not see how MIL’s health has slipped in the last couple of years?  Why isn’t she more involved in helping with MIL?  Hubby is the baby of the family of four kids, but for some reason the responsibility for taking care of the parents has fallen solely on his (and mine) shoulders.  The family dynamic is completely unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life.  Compared to his family, my family is the WaltonsBut I digress and that’s a blog for another day.
 
Good news is that the weather is perfect for a yard sale.  We had good traffic and MIL sold quite a bit of stuff.  We were joking with her that she’s probably made enough to cover the cost of replacing all the food she lost in the power outage last week. 
 
BTW – Hubby and I did tell her that she didn’t have to tough out the power outage all alone.  She was more than welcome to come to the house for breathing treatments, hot meal, clean laundry, watching Y&R (she’s a bigger fan than me!).  But she "tsk, tsk"d the whole speech and said she was just fine there at home. 
 
I keep repeating to myself . . . Just one more day.  Just one more day. 
 
 

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Never Say Never Again

 
First an update on MIL’s power situation.  Saints be praised, she has power.  It finally kicked in about 9:30 tonight.  Should make the weekend a little more tolerable.
 
Why, you ask.  Well, see, Hubby and I will be spending the weekend at MIL’s helping her with a (groan!) yard sale.  I know I said I was never having another yard sale again as long as I lived.  Or at least for a very long time.  But MIL had some stuff in the basement that she wants to get rid of and Hubby and I agreed to help her.  It’s going to be a two day sale and anything that doesn’t sell is going to the Goodwill store. 
 
At least we’re going to have lovely weather.  And hopefully she’ll sell alot of things and make some money.  I’ll be able to spend some time working on my cross stitch and reading when we don’t have customers. 
 
But I swear this is my last yard sale . . . . for this year! 

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ohnoshedidn’t #2!!

 
We can always count on Princess to add a little drama in our life.  (As if there isn’t enough drama going on this week.)  We haven’t talked to her since the Labor Day Trip Home Fiasco.  She called while we were out over the weekend and left a short message that everybody was okay and that she’d call back on Monday.  As of tonight, she hasn’t called back.  
 
We did, however, get a phone call from one of those payday loan places in the town where she lives.  They’re looking for her and she gave our phone number as a reference.  I didn’t ask for any details but promised I’d pass the message along the next time we hear from her.  They seemed a little surprised that I didn’t have a phone number for her.   
 
I explained that we live about 350 miles away from her and we last heard from her over Labor Day weekend.  I did promise that I’d pass the message along the next time we heard from her.   
 
Anybody want to make a bet on how long it’ll be until I get to pass that message along . . .

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Slowly But Surely

 
Things are slowly coming back to normal here in Small City USA.  Schools were closed on Monday and on a two-hour delay on Tuesday.  There are a couple of elementary schools that are still closed because they don’t have power.  Ice, generators, candles, and batteries are in short supply.  A few of the grocery stores had to get rid of a lot of stuff in their freezers because of the power outage.  You hear chainsaws and wood chippers all the time.  It still looks a little strange driving through town with all the damaged trees.  
 
The power outage is also making it very interesting at work.  A couple of our facilities are without phone and computers – and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  Something about the strain being placed on the phone lines because of the power outage.  I don’t really understand how it works, I just know we have to have a contingency plan to be able to service our clients in the meantime.  A lot of our clients don’t have electricity or phone service so there’s been an increase in the numbers of walk in clients we see during the day.  
 
MIL still doesn’t have power.  And she still doesn’t want to come stay with us.  Hubby and I check on her several times during the day.  We even offered to have her come over for supper last night and take a shower if she wanted.  She said she’s fine and she’ll wait it out at home.  In the dark.  With no TV.  Yes, she would rather complain about the power outage than take us up on our offer to help.  Grrr.
 
Jr. and his family have power again.  Their power came back on late yesterday afternoon.  We offered to have them come over for supper, too, but they were happy to have a hot supper in their own house.  They came over to get the stuff out of our freezer last night after they made sure the power was going to stay on.  So life is back to normal for them. 
 
It’s still going to take a while for everything to be back to normal here in Small City USA.  But at least we’re making some progress. 
 
 

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Gone With The Wind

 
I’ve lived in Ohio my entire life.  I’m used to blazing hot summers where the temps can reach over 100 degrees with 100% humidity.  I’ve been through two blizzards.  It’s nothing for it to be -20 degrees in January.  We learn about tornado drills in elementary school.  Typical Midwestern weather.  But the weather warnings that we got yesterday were anything but typical. 
 
I really didn’t think anything about the high wind advisory.  We get them from time to time when there’s a serious weather front coming through.  But these winds were different.  It was sunny and clear.  No clouds.  No rain.  Usually it’s raining and cloudy when we get these kinds of winds.  It started about 2 p.m. and lasted until after 8 p.m.  We got wind gusts of 70 mph.  After it was all over, the weather guys said it was comparable to a Level 1 Hurricane.  Oh dear. 
 
Hubby and I were lucky.  We didn’t have any significant damage to the house.  The corner of the roof on the garage peeled back a little bit.  Hubby was able to fix it this afternoon.  We had the big trees taken out of the front yard earlier this summer and it’s probably a good thing.  I don’t think those old trees would have survived the windstorm.  The lights went out a couple of times but were only out for a max of 45 minutes.  Life is back to normal for us. 
 
Unfortunately, it’s not back to normal for MIL and Jr. 
 
MIL hasn’t had power since Sunday afternoon and it looks like she might not get it back until the end of the week.  There were some large limbs down in her front yard.  The corner of the roof on her house peeled back.  She’s waiting for a claims adjuster to come out and take a look at the damage.  We told her she could come and stay with us but she’s not having any of it.  She wants to stay in the house with her little dog. 
 
Jr. and his family hasn’t had power since Sunday afternoon either.  They had gone to the grocery on Saturday and was afraid that everything in the freezer would spoil if the power didn’t come on quick.  Hubby and I made room in the freezer for their stuff.  We made the same offer to them to come and stay with us.  Or at least take showers, come for supper, do laundry.  They said they were fine.
 
Schools were closed yesterday and they might be closed again today.  There are parts of town that have no power and the reports are that the power won’t be back on until the end of the week.  I went out last night to check on MIL and Jr and it was just spooky driving through town.  There are trees down all over the place.  Houses have had siding and shingles blown off.  Some of the local grocery stores and fast food places are closed because of no power.  It looks like a tornado went through town.  It’s pretty spooky.  
 
When you say your prayers for those affected by Hurricane Ike . . . don’t forget to include those affected by the tail end of the storm.  

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September 11

 
Seven years ago.  It was seven years ago.  Is that even possible?  I’m sitting here watching TV with the doggies and Hubby and I’m remembering that awful day.
 
When I heard about the first plane crashing into the tower, I thought how can you crash into the World Trade Center.  Then the second tower was hit and the world changed forever.  We spent the day watching TV in the boardroom.  I drove home thinking that it was unbelievable that something so horrible could happen on such a beautiful fall day.  There was something surreal about that day – nothing but news on the radio, no planes in the air, not much traffic on the road home.  I was working in The Big City and had a 45 minute commute home that day. 
 
Once I got home, Hubby and I had supper and then I had a quick errand to run across my little hometown.  What surprised me the most was the long lines at the gas stations.  There weren’t many people out and about – but all of the gas stations were packed. 
 
After my errand, I came home and watched the news.  That’s all that was on and all that was on for several days. 
 
I read the blogs and the news websites today.  The thing that struck me the most today were the little kids at the services that must have been babies at the time of the attack or were born just after. They will never know a world without worry about terrorist attacks, September 11 will always be a somber day, they’ll never understand what we lost that day. 
 

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Favorite Time of the Year

 
It’s already September.  School started here this week.  Yea, I know it’s kind of late this year but they built a new high school and they delayed the start of the school year to make sure it was done on time.  Luci loves walking through the school yard during out walk each night.  She loves to sniff and smell all the stuff in the playground.  There are kids playing football in the field next to the school.  
 
This is my favorite time of year.  It’s still warm in the afternoon but it’s cool enough in the morning and evening that we can turn off the AC and open up the windows.  Football season has started – high school, college, pro . . . love them all!!  I’m in a football pool at work and Hubby and I are in 5th place.  The leaves are starting to change.  It’ll be strange this year to not have a zillion elm tree leaves in the yard.  I’m not sure Hubby is going to know how to act if he isn’t raking leaves all the time.
 
The new fall TV shows are starting.  I’m looking forward to Grey’s Anatomy and the final season of ER.  I like Kitchen Nightmares, Chuck, Two and a Half Men.  But the highlight of every fall is the start of another season of This Old House!  Yes, I know it sounds strange.  A girl with no handyman abilities whatsoever LOVES This Old House.  I know the names of all the hosts, I know the name of the plumbing guy, the landscape guy, I even got teary eyed when I heard that the guy that does the beautiful tile work passed away last year.  I’ve been watching this show since the mid 1980’s.  One of my big dreams is to go to New England and visit all the houses that they’ve done.  I’m trying to talk Hubby into this as a 25th anniversary trip but not having a lot of luck so far. 
 
But the best part of fall is that wonderful smell in the air at night when the neighbor behind us has a fire in her fire pit.  There’s just nothing like the smell of burning wood on a cool fall night.  There’s nothing like a September evening in Ohio. 
 

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ohnoshedidn’t!

A little background . . . I met Hubby when I was 19 and he was 28. He was recently divorced with two children – Princess (she was 8 then) and Jr. (then 10). Because I was the rebound girl after Hubby’s divorce, The Ex didn’t like me. Which meant the kids didn’t like me. It was ugly for a really long time. But I hoped that, over the years, I would be able to prove to the kids that I wasn’t the evil stepmoster that I had been painted to be. It’s a really long story and I’ll get into it sometime in the future. Let’s just say that I have been able to have a fairly decent relationship with Jr. but I don’t have much hope for ever having a decent relationship with Princess. BTW, Jr. is now 35 and Princess is 34.

More background . . . Princess is and always has been Daddy’s Little Girl (hence the name Princess). Whatever she wanted or needed, Hubby gave. No questions asked. It was fine when she was a little girl, because she was a little girl. But then she turned 18 and she was out on her own. Supposedly being an adult. She would ask Hubby for money and Hubby would give it to her. He didn’t want the grandkids (she has three) to do without. He thought he was helping. Turns out that she’s come to depend on Hubby whenever things get a little tight. Hubby puts his foot down from time to time and that annoys Princess. She calls him horrible names and drops out of our lives for long periods of time – sometimes up to two years. We’re in a on-again part of the relationship and I just know that it’s going to blow up in our faces again soon.

Now for today’s story . . . Princess called last weekend and said that she needed to “get away” for a while and wanted to come home for the Labor Day Holiday. She lives about 7 hours away from us. The last time she suddenly came home for a visit, she was running from problems in her marriage and needed money. Hubby told her that if she didn’t have the money to get back home after the visit, then she should just stay home. As much as he would love to see her and the grandkids, he wasn’t financing the trip. She said she didn’t have the money so she was going to stay home. We thought that was the end of the story.

Fast forward to yesterday. We got a phone call from Big Man (grandson #2 and Princess’ oldest child). The grandkids rarely call us on their own. Usually we talk to them for a little while when we’re talking to Princess. It’s never a good sign when the grandkids call to talk to us. This was no exception. Princess had Big Man call us to ask for money. She had her 15 year old son call and ask for money because she thought that Hubby wouldn’t say no to his grandson.

Hubby did say no to Big Man. He had told Princess a couple of months ago that we weren’t going to send any more money to her. She said she understood. But that didn’t stop her from asking – or rather didn’t stop her from having Big Man ask for her.

I knew in my heart that it was going to be drama 24/7 when she came back into our lives last summer. Because it’s always drama with Princess. And I knew that it would just be a matter of time before she would hit us up for money. Because she’s always hitting us up for money.

But this time she had her 15 year old son ask Hubby for money.

Oh. No. She. Didn’t!

Oh. Yes. She. Did.

By the way, we haven’t heard anything from Princess since last Saturday night when she called to say that she had changed her mind about coming home. After yesterday’s phone call with Big Man, I’m betting it’s going to be a really long time before we hear from her again.

I’d give anything to be wrong about this . . . just once I’d love to be wrong . . .

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