"I want, I want, I want ... but that's crazy"

Monday, September 27, 2010

What's been going on?

Do you mind terribly if this post has no particular focus? "So what else is new?" you say. Yeah, I do tend to ramble and wander sometimes, so if you're here, you're probably used to it.

What's up?

Well, if you recall, my daughter Gin had a trip to the emergency room a few weeks back. She slipped on the stairs and turned her ankle. There was no real injury, but I guess she was feeling particularly fragile that day, so she insisted on going to the hospital. The bills are in: $1,026 all told. How's that for ya?

Pooh's getting a new car soon - new for him anyway. My mom's decided he needs one, since his 1998 Toyota Corolla has been through some few levels of hell. She's giving him her 2000 Honda CR-V. I've got a 1999 CR-V. And she's replacing hers with a 2004 CR-V. Have you noticed, we love the CR-V? Yep. We do. It's the perfect car - except for a frustrating audio system with a PITA volume control (PITA=pain in the ass). Seriously though, other than that, I think it's perfect.

The girls stayed with their dad last weekend for some fishing and ... well, that was about it. So Book and I had a weekend alone. I took him out to the local air fair so we could take the hot-air balloon rides that were advertised. Disappointed - no balloons. He did get to see airplanes up close for the first time and got to sit in an old Navy plane, which he liked. So not all bad.

The girls were home this weekend, so we all went up to Pumpkinfest in New Bremen. We got to see the world's largest pumpkin pie - a genuine Guinness record breaker at 20 feet in diameter and something like 3,600 pounds. (I forget the exact figure.) We didn't get a piece because there was a delay of about 3 1/2 hours before it was served, and by that time, we were ready to go home. I did get a pumpkin bratwurst and pumpkin ale for supper though. Pretty damn good, I must say.

Busy week this week as we transfer the title to mom's car, and I seek out assistance on that hospital bill.

That's what's going on for now....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stay connected with Boost Mobile

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



Boost Mobile. You know it's cool. You know it's fresh. You know it's what you want. And they make it easy.

Did you know how easy?

With Boost Mobile's Re-Boost you can add more minutes whenever you want, however you want. You can pay in person. You can pay online. Or you can even add minutes right over your phone wherever you are. If you don't even want to think about it, you can even set up automatic payments using your credit or debit card. Honestly - it just doesn't get any easier.

And of course, Boost Mobile is more than just a phone. Who's willing to settle for just a phone anymore? Boost Mobile will keep you connected with your social networks. Facebook and Twitter don't need to keep you tied to your computer anymore. You can take them with you wherever you go. Got a craving for an awesome sandwich and find yourself stuck in the world's slowest drive-through? Do what I do and grab your Blackberry and share your frustration on Facebook. Just saw the weirdest person ever walking past you down the street? Snap a pic and show your Twitter followers.

Get in touch and stay in touch by keeping the world with you while you're out and about in it.

Boost Mobile offers unlimited plans with no contracts. That's unlimited talk - unlimited text - unlimited web - unlimited e-mail - even unlimited 411 and instant messaging.... all in your pocket at one great price.

Visit my sponsor: Reboost

Monday, September 6, 2010

Long weekend spent atop Mt. Laundry

It's amazing what can get accomplished in a long weekend if you actually set your mind to it.

Some weeks ago, we had a pile of clothes suddenly appear at the bottom of the stairs. Miraculously, about the same time, the carpeting of my daughters' bedroom suddenly appeared as well. I started tackling the pile, then it suddenly disappeared. The carpeting in my son's room appeared about the same time. I later discovered the storage room below the stairs filled about halfway with Mt. Laundry. I informed the children, we would be scaling Mt. Laundry this weekend.

First thing when I got home Friday after work, we started into a continuous cycle, and as things came out clean and dry on the other end, they got sorted to remove anything stained, damaged beyond repair or too small to wear anymore.

Saturday, we got Book and went to my mom's for lunch. We decided it was time to break down her pool for the season, so in our quest to figure out how to drain it without flooding the neighbors, we decided to go borrow a submersible pump from my cousin.

So, off to visit the cousin for a bit, then back to mom's to get the draining started. After getting that set up, we came home to Mt. Laundry again.

By Sunday morning, we'd made some serious progress. We continued through morning until it was time to take Book home. That's our usual grocery shopping time, so we went on to that. Overdid it a bit, maybe. The cupboards are quite literally overflowing now.

Mom stopped by to help with the mountain, so we gathered up a couple of bags of big things, like blankets, and also cleared the pile of clothes the children had left on the bathroom floor. Guess what? There's linoleum under there. She took those over to the laundromat to use the big machines while we continued our efforts at home. We took a brief break when she arrived back to go over to the annual festival in town and get some treats. Not that we needed them. Gin found a dollar when she was there and used it for four tickets at 25 cents each on the cake wheel. She won on three out of four, so she brought home a cake, a pan of brownies and a plate of two dozen cookies. She said, "I've always been lucky." Guess so. There were fifty numbers on that wheel, and she picked the winner three out of four times. She went back in the evening to volunteer at the food tent for three hours Saturday night.

This morning and early afternoon continued on Mt. Laundry. I fixed a broken drawer on my daughter's bureau, so that was ready to be refilled. We filled three garbage bags full of good but too small clothes and dropped them off for donation. Another much larger bag was filled with clothes that were stained or irrevocably damaged for disposal.

About 4 this afternoon, we headed back to my mom's house, where we all pitched in to wash my car inside and out. I started to wax it too, but I gave up at that point.

There's still more laundry to be done. I'm keeping up the cycle tomorrow. After sorting, I've discovered that my kids have more clothes than will fit in their room. And those are the clothes that actually fit. I guess we're set for a while.

Now, much-needed shower. Hey, look at that! I've got towels!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Earn your teaching degree from USC - online!

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



As many of you well know, I'm in the newspaper business. I work for a community newspaper in a rural county, so naturally, the school systems are a big topic in our paper.

More than once - in fact, more than a dozen times, I'm sure - I've looked at the stories and said, "I should have gone into teaching."

From the standpoint of a journalist, it starts to look like a pretty good deal.

Now you can get your Master of Arts in Teaching from the prestigious USC Rossier School of Education online, with the privacy and convenience of working from home - around your schedule.

The program includes a highly interactive online course combined with real-life field experiences. There's also a tuition reimbursement program, and you can complete the accelerated program in as little as 12 months.

Scholarships are available, and you have the opportunity to become a part of the elite USC Trojan family.

Rossier and the MAT@USC have been awarded by the AACTE for their innovative use of technology in education.

Find out what it's all about, and click here for additional program information.

You can view a technology video that introduces the interactivity of the program, and read the MAT@USC student blog to hear insights about the program from actual students.

Visit my sponsor: Master of Arts in Teaching degree online from USC

Ding dong, the witch is dead!

Ding dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The one that liked to shove its broomstick up the backsides of its employees for fun and giggles. The one that continually made bad business decisions, bringing the misery upon its employees. The one that went off half-cocked and half-assed pushing through poorly thought out get-cash-quick schemes while refusing to consider ideas that would genuinely increase profits and serve customers better. The one that.....

Oh never mind. They're not worth the effort of trying to itemize their acts of utter idiocy.

In sum: my paper's under new ownership, and I don't think there's a broken heart to be found in the office anywhere about now. Nor would I expect to find one in any of our sister newspapers' offices either.

Suffice it to say, the old company saw its ruin in unrestrained greed and selfish tyranny. I, for one, am more than happy to have been around to see it get its comeuppance. It's overdue.

I welcome our new ownership with open arms. I have hope that their proven professional business experience will translate well, despite their lack of experience in the news business in particular. At least the new leaders have already shown the sense to consult with news professionals and put them in positions of authority. I advise them only to allow their predecessors' downfall to serve as a cautionary tale not to follow in their footsteps.

It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life. And I'm feelin' good.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Find the transportation assistance you need

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



No two people with disablities are exactly alike, and they don't have the same mobility needs. The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association understands this and can help you find an NMEDA qualified dealer to provide a safe, reliable vehicle with the modifications and enhancements you need.

NMEDA doesn't sell anything. They're a non-profit trade association that will help you find a dealer you can trust to get the handicapped-accessible van or vehicle modified as you need it.

NMEDA qualified dealers provide an in-person evaluation to be sure you are getting the right driving solution to meet your needs - as well as any training you might need to learn to use the modifications of your vehicle.

NMEDA not only can match you with a dealer, they also have the Quality Assurance Program. This is the only nationally recognized accredited program for the adaptive mobility equipment industry. Working with a QAP dealer ensures that you will get the vehicle you need, thanks to a systematic and documented approach to quality.

Visit the NMEDA and just type in your ZIP code to find a dealer near you.

I found two QAP qualified dealers near me that will be able to help me and my mother when an alternative form of transport needs to be found for my stepfather. You can find a dealer near you that can help with with your needs for caring for an aging or disabled relative, or even to help you with your own needs.

Visit my sponsor: NMEDA

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not-so-fretful mom - so sue me

Ok, maybe I don't really do the "fretful mom" thing. If the cat scratches Munch and she comes running to me, I don't give her, "Oh, you poor baby!" I tell her, "Go wash it with soap and water, and stop picking on the cat."

I got to spend this evening in the hospital emergency room with Gin. She fell down the stairs and twisted her ankle. Personally, I thought it was an overreaction. We spent two hours there. (Surprisingly brief, I know.) She got an x-ray and an air cast and has to get crutches. Why? - because they're not going to say, "You're fine. It's a little owie. It'll go away." However, by the time we got home, she was walking around on that air cast like it was nothing. Seriously, there wasn't even any swelling.

I took a much harder spill down those stairs a month or so ago, but I dealt with an achy hip for several days, watched the massive bruise change colors over the course of a week or so and moved on. Life comes with these little bumps - you have to learn to get over them. Besides, most of the time, the human body recovers just fine all by itself. It was made that way.

So she gets out of a week of gym - that's two gym classes - and some extra attention at school. I get the bill.

*Sigh*

(Don't get me wrong - if something is serious, I take it seriously. This wasn't.)