Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble til ya Wobble!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

Oh my, I love this time of year. Thanksgiving has got to be my most favorite holiday. I love cooking for all, getting the table decorated and using the good dishes. You know those dishes that you only use once or twice in a lifetime. I try to use ours more than that a year.

We got up and had breakfast. And then get the turkey started. I don't do turkey. I let Chuck have some hand in Thanksgiving, so he is in charge of that and the dressing. I don't do dressing only because I just can't make the stuff. I have once or twice, but other than that, nope. I had the cornbread already made.

We got the turkey out, washed up and seasoned up. Ok, so this year we wanted a Cajun turkey. Fine with me, the spicier the better, but since we were feeding the rest of the family, it was better that we don't make it too spicy. I have another turkey in the freezer, that one will be spicy for all of us.

He sprayed it with cooking spray so it wouldn't stick to the bag. Put it in the bag and let it go. He made some dressing, fresh sage and homemade cornbread, very good. Got that in the pan, and his turn for cooking was done.

Everything was ready to go at 1. We had the potatoes nice and warm. Sweet potatoes in crockpot #1 and green beans in crockpot #2. Relish out, butter softened. Rolls cooked and ready to go. Everything was out and now let's eat!
The kids in one room Photobucket. Ah the good ole days.... Photobucket Photobucket
The others in the kitchen
My father-in-law asked for more mac and cheese. It was the pototoes, but I guess there was enough cheese in them for anyone to think they were mac and cheese. Now all that was left was the mess that needed to be cleaned up, a little game of football

, a little time with cousinsPhotobucket, a cup of coffee and dessertPhotobucket, conversation with parents , and a time to smile and rest Photobucket

Nap time! Clean up, go home and go back for more.

My turn to cook

Wednesday before Thanksgiving has been a day that I have been off for the past 4 years. Things change, jobs change, so I had to work that night. But that didn't stop me from cooking all day Wednesday.

I laid in bed planning out my attack, start with the things that would not take so long in the oven and go from there. I knew what needed to be made, I knew what I had to do, it was just getting it all started. I also wanted everything done, so that way the only 2 things left to be done on Thursday would be the turkey and dressing, no stuffing though :(.

I got up and made breakfast, biscuits and gravy for all. Why not? We are all home, let's have a nice breakfast before I take control of the kitchen.

Chuck sat in his chair most of the day, barking orders to the boys as to what needed to be cleaned. I cooked while they cleaned. It was a very busy day. Very busy, and I had to work that night.

So, I started out with the green beans, we all know they are just green beans, but in the South, you cook them all day long. Add some bacon, salt and pepper and let them cook until there is no water, add more water and cook some more. It really is an all day process. Not like what I was used to growing up, open the can, heat them up, put butter on them. Totally different. I started them because of the fact that we were eating at 1 on Thursday and there wasn't enough time to have them done the right way. My game plan was to cook them and then the next day put them in the crockpot Photobucket.

Next I thought the cake would be a good idea. It had to cool completely before cutting into it to divide it. So, bake that first and then let that cool. While that was cooking, I had the cream cheese out for the filling and all that went into it. It was a Pumpkin Spice cake with this cream filling. Photobucket
Now when it was time to serve it, I put caramel and pecans over top of it. This was really good!

While the cake was cooking, I washed and scrubbed and pierced the potatoes for the Twice Baked Potato Casserole. I made this last Christmas and it was a hit. My dad came over the other day and mentioned that he watched Emeril and was talking about this casserole he made. He went on and on about how he ruined it with all the cheese. I told him that I made it last Christmas. Of course this went on and on.... No, not that one, yes, that one, you know the one you went back for thirds on. Oh no, I wouldn't eat that. Well, yes you did, you liked it, and even said how good it was. Photobucket

Now on to the next project. A few years ago I found this recipe for sweet potatoes in the crockpot. I thought that would be a good idea. When I thought about it, several years ago, I had my dad's wife make them. She asked and asked about what she could make, and I told her that would be the easiest to bring over. They weren't that good, she burned them, in the crockpot. This year when I mentioned it again, Chuck was a little hesitant about it. But I went ahead and made them anyways, Eric loves them. PhotobucketAlong with the pecan-orange butter that went on top of them Photobucket
Turns out these potatoes were outstanding. Cooked perfectly, nice and creamy potatoes. I generally don't care for sweet potatoes, but when cooked like this, they are amazing!

My one last thing that needed to be done was the Cranberry Relish. Ever since I started making my own cranberry relish, it seems as if they now demand it for Thanksgiving. Funny, growing up we would forget that the cranberry sauce was in the fridge, now it is the first thing out when we set up the countertop. Photobucket
Now, I change mine around a bit. I put walnuts in mine. They all like it and most of the time it all goes.

One last thing for the day, Eric's pumpkin pie. And I forgot to take a pic of it. He makes the best, I mean the BEST pumpkin pie. He is like me, he wants everything to be perfect when he cooks. A very good trait to have. So, he made everything, measured it all and baked it up. Before I left for work, it was done and out of the oven. BUT while it was cooling on the rack, I open the cabinet door over head, and out falls a box of baggie. A little damage, not much, but still. The pie was wonderful.

My day in the kitchen was over and now it was off to work. Busy night, fun night, glad that I got all I needed done that morning. I didn't get home until 11. So, I spent all day, literally, all day in the kitchen. Started at 8 and got done about 5. All worth it, everything looked so good. Now, let's see how it tastes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New furniture

I have been so stinkin' busy, that I haven't had time to breath here lately. But before I go into work today I thought I would share with you our new furniture.

Last Saturday Chuck decided that he was going to look at stuff for the bedroom and the great room. We bought a new plasma in February and it has been on the wall. You get tired of looking at the wires from everything laying around everywhere. And with Thanksgiving coming, we wanted the house to look really nice. So, he finds 2 things that are needed in the house. I will show them in a minute.

This was in Eric's room, which is now in PJ's room
This was orginally my dresser and growing up this is what I used. When we got married, we used it for years.

Ok, so since Eric lost his dresser, which he was really attached to. He got our old dresser
Now, we bought this when we bought the house. The one that we were using was old and falling apart and it was time for an upgrade. I made those curtains in his room. They were the first ones I ever made.

Ok, so Chuck goes shopping and finds this:Photobucket
It is gorgeous. I love it. It opens up to a place where a rod hangs. He picked this out so that way the clothes that were in the dresser could be put on hangers and put up. Not in the closet that was so tightly packed as it was. I got rid of some clothes and cleaned a lot of stuff that I packed around for years. Things that really aren't needed. The chair in the corner was Chuck's great grandparents or great-great grandparents. Not sure, all I know it is old. And I haven't gotten the other curtains done, but one window is complete. I have been cleaning and haven't had time to get the other window done yet, but I am very pleased with the one window.Photobucket

Now since we moved all the furniture in the great room, it is a bit more cozier and smaller. But it is the warmest room in the house in the winter, and coolest one in the summer. So, it was a smart move. Anyway, like I said, we bought the plasma and it has been on the wall. Kinda of a pain to look at it, to hang it too was rough. But the wires had been hanging down, they were all bunched up in the back, a real eyesore. So, Chuck went looking and he found something that he liked, but it was more like an armoire and not an entertainment center. He wanted something that we could put the sewing machine in and the blankets too. Something to get rid of the clutter. So, we went back and I spotted an entertainment center that would work perfectly. He was concerned about the color, but I like the darker wood. Everything in the room is light colored and it really needed something that had color.

I am very pleased with the way that the rooms came out. Eric is not happy with the dresser, but he is getting older and he will need more room. PJ needed the other one. He has been living out of a dresser that was his grandmothers. It is old and very cute, also very small and he really needed something. I went in his room last night and he said, "Thank you, I needed a space for my underwear and my socks. Now, they are in 2 different drawers."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

PJ's addiction

Funny, ever since my dad moved down here I see the boys eat more things that are different to the area. PJ is the one that will try something and then end up liking it. He loves Boar's Head mustard and potato chips. He and my dad will go through a 1/2 bag in no time. But they have to be kettle chips, they can't be the ruffles.

When my dad moved down here 7 years ago, he brought some foods with him that were different. He would go to NYC and get a kielbasa, the real thing. Oh my, PJ went nuts over that. He loves pierogies, that is my kid, and he realized that he loves Photobucket

My dad brought it over once, a few years ago. Now, no one else liked it, but PJ and I ate it up. Then I started finding this at The Fresh Market. I bought it a few times and then forgot about it.

A few weeks ago at Publix, while I was getting the lunch meat, there it was Photobucket

Oh my goodness, I had to buy it. I just had to get it. Ok, so I buy it, tell him about it when he gets home, Eric snarls his nose at it, Chuck says "I don't see the big deal." PJ is on the floor begging for a piece. "Please make some for breakfast for me, please. I will pay anything." Not a problem, I know he likes the stuff. But little did I know how much.

The following week, I am at the deli again, and decided again that it was not a big deal for me to buy more Taylor Ham or Pork Roll. Depending on where you are from in NJ, is what you call it. I am from the middle of the state, so I call it either one. Anyway, I get home, PJ gets home and starts looking for it. He knew I went shopping and he knew what I was buying.

Well, last week I decided that I was not gonna buy any Taylor Ham this week. But I spotted the box in with the breakfast meats. I went ahead and bought that. PJ, once again, came home and started rummaging through the drawer looking for "his" Taylor Ham. I showed him the box and he commented, "all mine!" How funny is that!

Ok, so it is a Jersey thing. Along with Freeman's Bakery with their powdered sugar crumb cakes, butterscotch krimpets and Tastykakes, don't forget real salt water taffy from Atlantic City. I know that I miss all that stuff, but it is fun to find that stuff around here and introduce them to the family.

I really think that PJ would be very happy with the foods in NJ. And he is ready to try some new things.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Something new, not borrowed, and not blue

As I mentioned before, we have been in our house for 8 years. And of course I made all kinds of curtains for the house. Eric was first and his are of the moon and stars. It took him forever to pick out the material. He searched and searched for the right stuff, because he knew that he would have to live with it for a long time. I paid full price for them. I didn't know any better, so I got the fabric from Wal-Mart, and was very happy with the outcome. PJ finally got rid of the rid vine curtains this past year. I found some really outdoorsy fabric at Wilson when they had their Spring sale. It was only $1 a yard, for some very heavy duty fabric. He loves it and he is very happy with his curtains. It keeps the lightening out during storms, but still lets the morning sun in on nice days. Our bathroom got some curtains last year, right after Christmas. Photobucket
We lived with these awful curtains in there, and I found this stuff when a local place was going out of business. I was afraid that I didn't get enough, but it worked out nicely.

As for the other bathroom, you have seen what I have done in there. I am really happy with what I have been able to do.

But now, we have done nothing to our bedroom. Living with curtains that don't match. A set that I bought when we lived in Knoxville and then something that I picked up a few years ago. Couldn't find what I wanted to put in there, didn't want to spend the money that they were charging for them, or just didn't feel like buying anything at all. So, for 8 years, we have had mismatched curtains.

Now, we won't have to worry about that. I bought that material from Wilson's and was very happy with the choice. I knew what I wanted to do. But I only had 15 yards, I really wanted some that went to the floor, but I didn't have that much to make them with. And once again, I am not good with measurements, so, I had to hem and haw over the length of them. I measured once, measured again, and measured once more. Added the hem and the top inches and thought it through one more time. Finally, I got a number that worked. It gave me a length that worked well for me, it gave the gathering at the top too. So, I went with it. I cut the fabric the other day, and I will end up attaching about 19" to the bottom of one. That one will be behind the dresser. Everything else was measured twice, cut once. A good rule to live by.

And then today I decided to get it together. Between the heating unit and Chuck going into work for a little while, it took me a while to get it rolling. But, I got 2 done tonight, and I don't have to be at work until 5:30 tomorrow. Chuck has a meeting and I will be home alone, so, I will work on curtains for a little while.

This is what I have so far:Photobucket
I am really happy with them. And they are even too! Sometimes they don't come out right, but this time, they are perfect.

Look what I got!

Ok, before posting any pics about what I got. I need to tell you a story first. Not a long one, but still in all, a story.

When my dad moved down here in 2001, I spotted this fabulous dough board that I just loved. I told him that when he dies I was getting that board. He did everything on that dough board. All of his pie doughs, bread doughs, cookies, pierogi dough, babka dough and whatever else he made. He used that board all the time. I loved it, and I wanted it.

He bought himself a very nice bread machine, so, he didn't use that board as much. I asked and asked for it, but he didn't want to give it up. He still made pierogis and babkas, so he "kneaded" it. Ha ha, a little baker's humor.

Yesterday we went on our shopping trip. This time it was my turn to drive. He got over to the house, grabbed a cup of coffee, moved his car, got his bags and waited on me. I got out there and got everything in the car, ready to go. He told me, "there is something in the back seat for you." Ok, I thought he was talking about my car. I have the Pizza Hut topper in the back of my car. But he was talking about his car, he unlocked the door and I went to the car to find this:

I was so excited! I couldn't wait to get it in the house, but we had to go shopping. All the way down he told me how he made it. Not to use any water on it, don't cut any meats on it, only use it for dough and that is all. He told me how he bought a small sander, sanded it, and then the thing blew up on him. He took that back to the store. He told me how he got the wood for this too. He said that he was talking to the man at Home Depot, the one that sells the heating units, he had some wood from New Zealand that was left over and asked if my dad wanted it. He won't turn down anything like that. He would find something to do with it and he did.

He told me what happened to his. Turns out, his fell apart. He had it for years, but the craftsmanship wasn't his up to his standard. It lasted a long time and he used it many times.

Now I have some dough boards, but they aren't like this one. They are a lot thinner and they are good for somethings, but this one is flush with the countertop and I don't have to lean over and hurt my back making things.

On our way home from Publix we stopped at the restaurant supply store. Oh my goodness, I was like a kid in a candy store! It was AWESOME! But I found a really nice dough scraper. So that way I don't have to use anything else on this board.

He told me "It is made out of love." I know that. He will be 70 next week, and I know that he worked really hard on this. This is something that will be around long after I am gone too.

Time for some changes

We have lived here 8 years. I love my house. It isn't snotty or snooty. It isn't a dump or a hole in the wall either. It is perfect for all of us. It suits our needs and we have the most property then most of the people that live on the same street. People would love to have the land that we have.

Over the years we have done some things to the house. Painted the all white living room, all oil paint living room, to green and brown. I love the pecan color, it is a nice accent wall. We have painted Eric's room, painted the kitchen, put new flooring down in the kitchen, tore up the carpeting in the living room and moved our main stuff into the great room. I have also made curtains for most of the house.

My first project was the shower curtain for the bathroom. My neighbor showed me how to sew and she helped me create the shower curtain, all 7 yards of it. I liked it, took me a long time to pick out the fabric, and I was proud to show it off.

A few months ago, I decided that I was really tired of all that fabric hanging there, catching all the dust, toothpaste and hairspray. And that I was gonna do something different with it. I couldn't find the fabric for the curtains, I got tired of the little topper that was hanging there, so I decided to take the shower curtain down and do something with it. I knew what I wanted, it was just creating it that was gonna be a slight problem. All the measuring and numbers are not my strong point, so I had to think about all of this for a while and then go from there.

I knew that I wanted a topper for the shower and of course curtains for the window. It was just figuring out all that I needed for it. So, I came up with this.

Now the first time I made it, it didn't measure evenly across. It was a little off, so I had to take it down and work on it. I got it right. Ok, now the window was next. I made 2 curtains and hung them up, but I didn't like the way they looked with the mini blinds, I am really trying to get rid of all of them. I hate them. But the one in the bathroom was dusty, and even though Eric washed it once a month, it just didn't come out right.

I wanted the mini blind gone and something behind it. But I am so picky about what I make, that it takes me forever to find exactly what I am looking for. It has to be just right, or I won't like it at all. And then I will be disappointed in the long run.

I was shopping at Wal-Mart yesterday looking at some of the fabrics. Just looking for something to put in place of the blind. I looked at a shear cotton, didn't like it. Looked at some darker, like a cream color cotton, didn't care for that either. Walked around the corner and there it was, this material that I thought would work perfectly, but it was bridal fabric.
But it was something that I really liked. So, of course I bought that and I picked up the spring rod and went on my way.

I got home and waited until Chuck went to work, and then I went to work on what I was going to make. This stuff is a bear to work with and I don't think I will work with this much again. But I measured out the the top, sewed it, and then off to the bottom. I think it was cut crooked so, I pinned it crooked. I knew how many inches I wanted, so I had to go from there. Measure and re-pin, measure and re-pin. Finally I got it right, well almost right. It turned out nice. I was very happy with it and Chuck liked it too. He agreed with me that the blinds had to go, and it was time for a change too. I know that the sheer is really sheer, but the top curtains pull easily to close them up.

I am pleased with it. It was time for a change. Time for something different.

Clank, Clank, Clank

.... not the Trolley, my central heat and air unit. Yep, that is the noise that we heard out of it yesterday while Chuck and I were sitting around. We went outside, heard this awful noise, turned it down and went on our way. Thought that it was something that was not coming back. BUT....

We heard it again today and decided to call to have them come out and look at it. They told us it would be between 2 and 5 when they got here. As with the refrigerator, it was closer to 5, isn't that the way it always happens?

Before they came out I called the utilities to talk to them about financing a new unit. They charge $7K for them to finance it through a bank, pay on that for 10 years at 6% interest. Ok, that is a lot of money.

The guy comes out and looks at the unit, it is the outdoor motor fan that has gone out on it. It will cost a bit over $400 to fix it, but, and I mean BUT.... the unit is 16 years old and at this point it could nickel and dime us to death. Time to make a decision.

Now Chuck is at work and I hate making any decision without him being here. I forget to ask questions and then I have to go back and ask them. I look like a retard, but he isn't here to ask, so I have to ask. They do finance, but at a 17.9% rate, no matter what your credit rating is, but this is for 5 years, not 10 like the utilities. Also it is $2000 less than what the utilities charge. Big difference, but the interest rate is outrageous!

What to do, what to do? We decided to get it fixed and then when the next problem occurs, go from there. It could be tomorrow or 3 years down the road. The unit is supposed to last for 20 years, so I would rather take the chance and wait,then to put out that kind of money right now. At least in the winter time, you can buy heaters. If it happens in the summer, it has to be fixed, no matter what.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The many school projects so far

We have been busy with all kinds of school projects. Eric has had some fun with his, they are more detailed oriented and gives him a challenge too.

When school started I knew that we would have some projects, I just didn't expect to have so many this far into the school year. So, let's start with Eric.

Eric's Geography class had to draw a map from home to school. He had to have the route that we take everyday to school. Ok, not too bad, but he wanted to add more to it. The first draft came out ok, but Eric started to color the streets black, and made a complete mess of it. So, I sketched out another one, showed him how to do the streets and gave him places that the landmarks are at. He had to have a compass rose on it and a key of what everything was. He got 103 on it. The teacher was very pleased with the amount of work he did put into this.

Eric also had a car to make in Engineering Tech (shop) class. He had so much fun with this. He got the wood and drew out what he wanted. This was the class that Chuck went to help out at. He helped them cut the cars out and then the kids would bring them home to sand and paint. In the long run, Eric's came out pretty cool.

Add wheels to it, and he was on his way. They put an airgun in the back of it and shot it on to a strip. His did pretty good, got another 100 on that too.

Ok, so now the fun one for all of us to see how it works. Eric came home a few weeks ago and told us that he had a project for Science class. Ok, what can this be???? A rubberized egg. He was so excited that he had to start it right away. He had a paper that he had to follow the instructions on and to list all that he saw happening to the egg. Use vinegar, what kind, what kind of egg.... you know, they want all details.

So he started it, observed it, kept notes on it. Didn't follow directions all the way through and tried to bounce it. SPLAT! That one didn't work. I missed it, I was at work, but I did think it was rather funny. Now, let's start all over again and follow all of the directions. This time he did, observed it, bagged it up, took it to school and was the first one in his class to turn it in. It wasn't due until the 10th, but he was so excited that he had to turn it in. They bounced it 5 cm at a time, his bounced all the way from a 25 cm drop and SPLAT, but this time it was in a baggie, sealed up, no mess to clean up. Once again, another 100 for another project.

PJ has had 2 projects so far this year, and I do think that is all he will have. The first was the cell. I know that when Eric did it, we used pizza dough and all the stuff from pizza that made up the cell. All the other kids had done the styrofoam ball, cut it out and did what they wanted to. And every year, I would see the same thing. So, when it came to PJ's turn, I really didn't want him to do what every other kid did. So, that is why the jello came into play. He did a good job on it, got a good grade and it was rather different. Unlike the little boy that printed a copy off the internet.

And lastly, PJ had to make an instrument for music class. Things don't change much in school. I am prepared for the upcoming projects, because I already know what to expect. PJ came home all excited about this one, "Oh I have to make a rain stick" Well, great, now what??? I found a cylinder at work and the one manager told me how to make it, easy enough. Just getting the nails through this thick cardboard was a kicker! PJ had the easy part, pour rice in there, seal it up, and wrap paper around it. Nothing special, but it was kinda cool. He came home and said there were so many cool things. But his was the only rain stick that worked right!

So far, that is all they have done. They have kept me busy with all of this, but I have fun with them. I am sure there will be more to come.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

PJ and Chorus

Oh I am so proud of PJ and his love for chorus. He makes sure that every Friday he is there on time for practice. He walks around the house singing the songs that he has learned and loves what he is doing. What he doesn't realize is that this opens the door for him to join choir and drama in Middle School. This is a good opportuntity for him.

Well, I worked last night and got home after they went to bed. I know that PJ is not a sleeper right away, so I knew that he was up. I walked down the hallway, asked him if he was still awake and I get this bright eyed response --- "Oh yes mommy! But I have to ask you a question."

Ok, I am game, "What is it buddy?" "Well, I don't know if I want to try out for Santa or sing a solo. What do you think?" I told him that either one would be great to get and that maybe he should try out for both, just in case he didn't get the other. He said, "I asked Mrs. James if she could wait until Monday for my decision, that I had to talk it over with you before I decided on anything." HA HA! I love it. We did talk, and when I finally got out of his room, "Mommy, thanks for the advice, I knew you would have the right answer." Now, he knows that if he doesn't get a part this year, that next year he stands a better chance at it, because he will be in 5th grade.

But, deep down inside, I hope he gets something. I will let y'all know what happens with this part of his very busy life!

My date with my dad

For the past several months, my dad and I head to Publix in Chattanooga for our shopping. It started out once a month and now we go every other Monday. I like it, it is time together and time for us to just talk about anything. We have a good time.

This past week we hit Sam's and then went shopping. He goes his way, I go mine and in the end, we always meet up.

But as we were talking on Monday, I realized that when Sam's and Publix come to Cleveland, there goes our dates. There goes our shopping trips. Although I love the fact that both stores will be coming to town, I know that our time together like that will come to an end. So, I have to make the most of it while I can.

When we were driving down the road this time, my dad asked if I had ever been to Robbinsville NC. I told him that I hadn't, but may take the boys for a ride one day out there. He mentioned that he and his wife were gonna go Monday, just for a cup of coffee and a nice ride. I thought that was nice, it isn't all that far and just to get out of the house for a little while together is fun. But when we got back to the house, he asked, "Are you off Monday?" And I usually am and of course next week I am off Monday. But I didn't want to break it to him that I didn't want to go anywhere with his wife, so I didn't push the issue. But he told me that if he could get everything together, he and I will go for coffee to Robbinsville NC, leave about 8:30and be back by about 1. Well, that was nice of him to offer. He said, "don't call the house asking about it, I don't want any trouble for going anywhere with you." That is fine, I won't call and ask, I will just plan on going with him and my handy, dandy camera.

Hopefully, we will be able to keep our monthly trips to where ever when the stores open in town.

Update on Chuck's shoulder

I haven't been online much. I am either too tired when I get home or just don't want to be bothered with anything. I do read my blogs on my phone, along with emails and other things. But posting a blog from my phone is just a pain in the neck.

Anyways, Chuck went to the Dr's last week after he had a very expensive MRI done. No wonder people don't go to the dr's, it is a fortune. Everytime Chuck steps foot in the Dr's office it is $88, that is the 20% that we have to pay to meet the deductible. WOW! Can you imagine how much a bill would be if you didn't have insurance!

Anyway, he has an inpingement on his right shoulder. Basically it is where there tendon came loose and knotted up, I can feel the lump right under the skin. So, he can wait a few month and do the surgery or he can do it shortly. He had decided on waiting until after Christmas, but the PT would move into next year, and that is a new deductible. But then the pain started to get really bad, so he bumped it up to Dec 9th. That will be good for all of us. The boys get out of school for break around the 19th or so, and Chuck isn't planning on going back to work until New Year's Day. I don't mind him being at home. He needs the rest anyways.

The surgery is non-evasive. If he waited, he stood the chance of everything coming unraveled and then tearing the rotator cuff. This way is it taken care of sooner, no major surgery. And the Dr. is planning on having him in PT the following week. If he was to go back to work any sooner, it would be on very limited duty. Well, I think that some time off will do him good. We all need a break sometimes, so he gets his at the holidays. That is nice though.

So, when I find more out, you will know too. Please keep him in your prayers. I will keep you updated.

A ride with the boys

The boys and I took off for a ride on Election Day. They were off, so was I. So, I decided to head to Wilson's Fabrics. Twice a year they have a sale on their fabric. It is not the stuff at Wal-Mart, this is drapery material, upholstery material, interior design stuff. Heavy duty stuff. In the Spring we went and found material for PJ's curtains, $1 a yard, bought 12 yards and still have some left over. This time I wanted to find something for our bedroom. We have been here 8 years and still don't have matching curtains in our room. So, I thought I was gonna find something.

I searched and searched, asked Eric what he thought of things, while PJ decided to talk politics. HA! I was there forever, or what seemed like forever looking at all the fabrics. I knew I didn't want any flowers, that wouldn't be really fair to Chuck, so that was off the list. I didn't want anything really bright, yellows, or things in that color range, so that was off the list too. It came down to 2 different kind of striped fabric. One had blue and red in it, I liked it, and at $5 a yard, you can't go bad. But the other had more color in it, green, red, muted colors, and at $3 a yard, you really can't go wrong.

This is what came home with me. Less than $50 for 4 windows. Now, I just have to get started on them. And with Thanksgiving coming up, the windows may have to be put on hold.

It waas a gorgeous day for the pretty ride that we had got to take. I got to the gas station on the corner, down the road from the fabric store and was shocked to see that gas was $2.06 a gallon. Oh my, I had to fill up. That lasted me the entire week! It is just now down to that level here in town. Took almost 2 weeks for us to get it at that price.

But on our way home, we got coffee and cocoa and enjoyed our ride out and about. I know the area well, I always take my camera with me, but never seem to take the time to stop and look around. White Oak mountain is the backway around the interstate and it can get very busy, so I really don't take much of a chance to take pictures. But I decided that I was gonna stop for a few shots, not much, but still.

Most of the ride out there was just for us to talk. That is one of the reasons why I do take rides with the boys. It gives us a chance to talk, not about one certain thing, but really what they want to talk about. If Eric wants to talk about football, we do. If PJ wants to talk about whatever, we do. It is a time for them to relax, enjoy and unwind too.

On our way home I searched and searched for places to take some pics. And right before getting back into civilization, I spotted this piece of antique farm equipment. I don't know what it is about me and finding this stuff, but it is fun. I love exploring the area. It holds so many corners that we all seem to forget is out there.

The barn was right there too when I stopped for the one picture. I parked the car and the man in the field started coming my way. I took out the camera and took my picture and left. He walked away when he saw that I was only there taking a few pics. Sometimes people are so picky about what they want pictures taken of, but he didn't bother me.

So, now I have some more curtains to make, some crocheting to be done, some Christmas to be taken care of, some more rides to take and some more time with the family.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Through Eyes that don't look at skin color

I am warning y'all up front, this isn't gonna be pretty. If you don't want to read it, just go on your way, no hard feelings. But I have something to say, and after what I saw this morning, I am gonna say it.

#1 I voted for Barack Hussain Obama. You know the middle name is just a name, no one knew anything of Saddam Hussain when his parents picked that name for him. It is just a name, just coincedence that his middle name is the same as a very evil man. One has nothing to do with another. His name is not Osama Bin Laden, not Saddam Hussain. He is an American, he is a smart man, and even though he is liberal, he will bring about change in this country.

#2 For the stupid ass, inconsiderate, idiot that took a knife to my sign, I know you aren't reading this because your intelligence level not even on the radar. How dare you come into my yard and tear up a sign stating whom I support.
You didn't go anywhere else on this street and do it, but you thought it was ok to show your displeasure of my choice for President and tear it up. What era do you live in? What decade are you from? What is next? Burning a cross in my front yard?????? This is the year 2008, we don't live in the 60's or even the 70's, we don't have separate water fountains or eating places anymore. We are one nation. Everyone has a right to their opinion, mine is that I support Obama/Biden.
Grow up! Accept the fact that a black man may be our next President, accept the fact that all races have the right to set a goal and reach for it, accept the fact that you are not the only race out there. All you see is that he is a black man. All you see is that he will enslave the white race, all you know is the garbage that you hear, that you read on the internet, all you know is that having a black man as the President is not right.

#3 If Barack Obama wins, can you imagine the doors that will be open for other races to run for President. What I am wondering is this... If Bobby Jindal, Republican governor of Louisana, an American with Indian parents, and I mean, Hindu parents, decides to run for President, will the same jackasses come in my yard and tear that sign up too. Even though he is a very conservative Republican, does the color of his skin mean that he can't become President.

#4 I don't care who I upset because I voted for Obama. He is not a Muslim. Don't you think that would have leaked out somewhere down the line that he prayed everyday on his prayer mat, don't you think that someone would have said something about his religious veiwpoints. No, I don't agree with Jerimiah Wright, but who are we to judge? Doesn't the Bible say "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

Now, why did I vote for Obama, ok, so what he is a black man, with a funny name. I voted for him because I don't care for McCain. Sarah Palin scares me to death. For those of you that have sent me the emails about a friend of "Sara" Palin, if they were any kind of friend, she would have known to spell her name the right way. I am tired of Bush style Economics. I am scared that we will go so far to the right. You know, if Obama wins, and we go so far to the left, at least in 4 years the Republicans can win back that seat.

I know that Obama is liberal, but there are things in this world that we need to make our own choices. He isn't teaching 5 year olds about sex, that was taken all out of context. I think overturning Roe v. Wade is a mistake. I don't support abortion at all. But if my state of TN decides that they will not allow abortions, then they go to GA. Or worse yet, the back alleys again. What if a woman's life depended on it and she had to choose to either die or give her child life? She chooses her own life, but knows there is no way for her to live, she dies because the state didn't allow it. Or if she could get one, she is heartbroken everyday that she decided to live, but not let her child live. She has to live with that.
I had the option to abort PJ because of the problems that he could potentially have. I didn't, I let the Lord handle him. And we all know the outcome there.

I voted for Obama because of the fact that he is down to earth, a real human being. "My friends" ----- How do you call me friend Sen. McCain? Do you know anything about me, do you know anything about what I have gone through this year, do you know anything about the family on the other side of town that lost their house because they lost a job and couldn't pay the payment, they live on one paycheck, off of foodstamps, live on handouts. Are they your friend sir? Do you know their name? Do you know the problems that they have been through? You call us your friend, how can we be your friend when you haven't paid a lick of attention to us, to the need in the nation, to the "fundamentally strong economy".

As for the taxes that Barack Obama will raise for people that make over $250K. Ya know what Joe the Plumber.... YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY YOUR TAXES if you make that much money. If you bring in that much money, quit living above your means, and pay your damn taxes like the rest of us. The middle class gets hit so hard. We are the largest class, and we are the ones that, basically, receive nothing. The lower class citizens are offered food stamps, welfare, housing. The upper class can buy all that they need, the middle class, like my family, isn't offered housing, food stamps, welfare, electrical assistance. We have to make our own way, and when you lose a job, look for another, get shot down a 100 times, you start to worry about the family, the food, the house. You start to get discouraged that the one paycheck isn't gonna cut it at all. And then you wonder how is the mortgage gonna be paid. Do we give up the car for this months house payment, ok, then next month, what gets cut to make ends meet again.
I know, I have been there. Done the interviews, turned down, rejected. Wondered how on earth are we gonna make it on one paycheck. Wondered if the internet, cable and cells get cut off because of the fact that we had to tighten our belts, then wondered next month, what is next that would go. Sell the Jetta? Sell plasma like I have had to do before to put milk in a glass for Eric. Go without the medicines that are much needed right now? Trust me, all of this went through my head. Will we be able to make the house payment.

I voted for Obama because I am tired of seeing people on the street. No, he is not a miracle worker, but he is trying to change the US. He is tired of the way that we are going, he is tired of seeing people hurting, he is tired of paying for a war that should have never been started. He isn't gonna save the US, but I feel as if he will make a difference.

I voted for Obama because I wanted to be 1 vote, just ONE vote, that can say that I voted for our first black President. I don't live in the past. I look towards the future. I grew up in the 70's where it still was looked down on to have black friends. I remember going to school in a very conservative town, I never saw a black person in that school until I was in the 8th grade. The majority of the town was white. And this is a time AFTER segregation! This is a time when we should have started to accept ALL people. I was put down for having black friends. Even in the 80's my dad was very wary of me having black friends. The greatest family I ever met in my life. But we are 3/4 of the way through a new decade, 8% of the way through a new century. We all should look at life through eyes that see no color.

Now I live in a very conservative town. Cleveland is the home for the Almighty Church of God and Church of God of Prophecy. Althought the latter of the two doesn't have all that much pull in this town, the other does. People only see the things that are "RIGHT". They protested over a billboard that had a SheDevil on it for a store. You can't have billboards advertising alcoholic beverages. Anything that is morally wrong is not welcomed in this town. And that goes for anyone who goes against the grain. That is Sen Obama. He goes against the grain. He goes against all that the COG stands for.

I am a Christian. I have friends that are Christian professors that support Barack Obama. I don't believe in all that he stands for, at least he isn't out there, like Gov Palin. At least he shows that he is more compassionate, warmer, friendly, and more of a person you can sit down and have a conversation with.

So for all of you out there that has chastised me, put me down, torn me up and whatever else, you know who you are..... I am proud of my vote. I am proud to say that I voted for a black man. Not because he was black, that has nothing to do with it at all. I want to see some kind of change. I want to see us get back to a nation that has something to be proud of. I want to get back to a nation that I can be proud to be an American.

At least Barack Obama has surrounded himself with a support staff to be reckoned with. He has a running mate that showed he is a real person. Rides the train everyday, knows the people at the gas station. Sen McCain knows the servants at all of his 9 homes. Joe Biden lived life, he knows what a death can do to someone, he remembers what it is like to have to sit around the kitchen table to discuss bills. He surrounded himself with brilliant minds. Not people like Joe the Plumber, the same Joe that has bills in collection, the same Joe that is not a licensed plumber, the same Joe that was walking down the street when Sen Obama spoke with him. Barack Obama did not go to the man's house, knocked on his door, and asked him for his vote.

I am tired of people putting me down for my vote. I did what I thought was right. Trust me, if Obama wins and goes too far to the right, the Right will take over in 4 years.

Ok, for the sign in my yard.
Chuck bought Eric another one. I wanted Eric to have his piece of history. Someone in school stole his Obama/Biden sticker off his binder. One kid in school looked at Eric and said "I hope Obama gets elected, so that way someone can kill him." Isn't it great the way to raise your children? One child in PJ's class looked at him the other day, "I hope Obama gets elected so I can go to Washington and shoot him." How do you raise your children? Is that the way Christians should be raised to view a way to shoot the President? I know the one boy in Eric's school. He has gone to school with Eric for years, I know the family. I am disappointed to see this, I was shocked and appauled by the way the kids treated Eric in school over a sticker on his folder.

If I want to be in a liberal world, I live in the wrong city, county and state. I try to show my support and what happens, most likely one of my neighbors, or someone I know took a knife to my sign. Showed my children that who I supported was wrong. Showed my children that they don't have a right to their opinion. We are raising them to have their own minds, their own opinions, their own viewpoints. I don't want them voting for the person I want in the White House when they are old enough to vote. I want them to vote for the person that they think can do the job.

As for me, if Sen Obama wins, I will be out tomorrow moring, buying the newspapers. I want the boys to remember a part of history. This is huge. This is the real deal. Never in my life did I ever expect to see either A) a black man with the Presidency in reaching distance, or B) although my displeasure, an extremely conservative woman with a chance to be the Vice President. Either way, history is being made, and no matter what, I will always look at life through the eyes that see black or white, but through eyes that see a person.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's Halloween!

Ok, I am a day late with this, but by the time I got to the computer last night, I was too tired to even blog about anything. I was too stinkin' tired.

I had to be at work yesterday at 11 and I was hoping that I would get out of there on time to have some time with the boys. I was scheduled out at 6, I worked the night before until 8, I was only to be there until 6. But because of scheduling, I stayed until 8. Being Halloween and being a Friday, we all thought that we were gonna be busy. I had my moments, I worked alone until 3 and then they started piling in. By 5 we had 6 drivers on and only 2 deliveries, not good. I never saw the screen get filled up, I never saw more than 5 on the screen at once. So, at 6:30, I left.

Now, I called my dad earlier to have him take the boys to Trunk or Treat. If you don't know what this is, it is where people get together, decorate their trunks and give out candy, puzzles, or whatever. We have gone the last 3 years, it is a safe environment for the kids, they have food, and inflatables there. So, they have fun. I wanted them to go there too. My dad said that he would take them, little did I know the hell that I would catch for letting them go there. This is from a Church of God in town. They sponser this and they always do a good job.

But #1, Eric was dressed as the Emperor of Evil. A costume that had purple and a silly little necklace, nothing evil about it. PJ was Dracula, again, and he did his own makeup, I should have gotten a pic, but I didn't. Too cute. But my dad's wife wasn't all too happy with the "scary" costumes or the music, Christian rock, that was being played at the Trunk or Treat, or the layout of the entire thing. Christians celebrating Halloween, how could they? We don't celebrate anything, we go and have fun, collect candy and then go through all that we got.

They got home right before I left work. That didn't take long! So, after meeting up with Chuck (read the blog before this one) I got home, and then took them to the mall. Now, the mall is a great place. South Cleveland COG and Westwood Baptist get together and have all kinds of things for the kids to do. The stores at the mall give out candy too. So, by the time you walk the mall, you have a bag full of goodies. You name it, we got it. M & M's, Mr Goodbars, twix, and other things. It is a fun, safe place for the kids to go, a little busy. But at least they are safe, having fun and enjoying their time.

I go through this every year. I catch all kinds of grief for taking the kids trick or treating. But like my friend said, all the other holidays that are "religious" started out as pagan holidays. This isn't a holiday, this is a day when kids have fun.

Just Aggravated

I have been with Pizza Hut for 4 months now. I enjoy the job and getting out from behind a desk. I work my butt off too, but in the end, the tips are nice and the people are fun to see. I meet all kinds of people, and well, see all things too! HA HA

Anyway, yesterday I found out that my boss is willing to train a 17 year old girl for the next shift manager's position. What a minute, that was supposed to be for me! This girl can't make change in her head, she can't operate a computer well, she can prep stuff, but she has a hard time doing things in the store and is not very good with the customers. So, what in the world is going on? I don't know.

I went to Chuck yesterday, crying and fussing about all of this. I was so mad, and so hurt over this that I just wanted to cry and that was it. But I had to get the boys to the mall, and I didn't have time to feel sorry for myself, I had to go.

Well, he knows how hard I work, he knows that I can handle this stuff, he knows that I will pull this into shape. But that is not what my boss wants. She doesn't want any feathers ruffled, any waves made or any employees unhappy. So, she gets these ideas that she can have this people in there that do the job as lazy and sloppy as can be and then complains about it. I will make waves, I will ruffle the feathers, I will tell the employees what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. I am not a drill seargent, but I have worked in the 'real world' I know what it is like to work a job and to impress people. Get to work on time, leave on time, don't take breaks that are too long. I don't stand around chomping the bit while others work, I work. I work my butt off too. But that didn't impress my boss. Ok, so now what. I was told a month ago that she could train me and then ship me to another store or she can get me through my books and have me when she is ready. I will stay a driver if that is the case. I am not leaving town because she doesn't need me right now, can't afford me, or just doesn't want me. That hurts and it is very hard on me. I am 41, and looks like I will be delivering for the rest of my life.

Chuck knew all night that this was bothering me, and it still does. So what do I do? I wait, I work, I learn all that I can learn. I can watch and observe all that is going on. And if by February or March, I am still there, I want to do this shift manager thing, and maybe work up to an asst manager, then I will go to their boss and talk to him about it. Chuck is more comfortable with me driving, I do well at it, customers love me, they request that I deliver. But the fact of the matter is, you look at a slow girl for a manager's position, when you have someone that will do the job, will do it the right way, and will make a difference.

I believe she has given up on the store and let the prisoners run the show. That is fine. I will take the experience, but don't ask me for help, don't ask me to do any extra work, don't ask me for anything. I am a driver, and that is all there is to it. Find someone else that is willing to cover for someone else, I am not gonna be available when you call anymore. She has other plans and, well, I have a life.

Amazingly Quiet

Sometime last year, the city banned trucks with 5 axles or more off one certain road in town. The logging trucks would drive way too fast down there, not use the road that is for more commercial traffic. There aren't any lights on this one sretch and they thought that they could get to where they were going faster. But after one house was nearly ripped in half by an accident involving my friend and a logging truck, and one spot where the logging truck turned over, the city decided that there needed to be no more trucks. Very good idea, this one street isn't mainly residential, but there are houses on it, churches and businesses.

I thought at the time that it would be a great idea that they do that on our street. All residential, maybe one or 2 very small, local businesses. No reason for an 18 wheeler to drive through this area. The truck fly down this very busy street because there aren't any lights at all, and they really can get to their destination quicker.

About 3 weeks ago, Chuck and I were on our way back from somewhere, driving down our road, and I noticed that the Public Works Dept was putting up the poles. Turns out they were also putting up signs. "No trucks, 5 axles or more." Yippee! They finally realized that this area didn't need to have all that major traffic in this area.

A few nights ago the boys were watching tv, PJ came running to us, "Um, there is a truck on the street, and there is a little one with yellow lights on." Ok, from the start of our road to the very end, there are signs everywhere stating no trucks. This one guy decided he didn't have to obey the signs and kept on going. You know,he got caught, right in front of the house. They had to re-route traffic, have him back up, go onto one street, back up and then take the next street over to get off this road and get to the 4 lane that he should have been using in the first place.

Chuck commented that it would be a good thing if they enforce this, and apparently they are enforcing it.

I have noticed that it is very quiet now in the mornings. They didn't use their Jake Brake through this area, but when the windows rattled and the house shook, you felt it, you heard every little bump in the road, all hours of the night. For 8 years we have listened to this, complained about it, and now they finally have done something. Yes, there are the dump trucks and the school buses, but that is needed. The other wasn't needed and now they aren't allowed to travel down this road any longer.