March 2017

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New York Fun

Elliott got a first-hand look at grandma's
favorite NYC building, Grand Central Terminal.

Last weekend, my daughter and I took my 6-year-old grandson to New York City.  It was his first trip to the Big Apple.  Elliott is a great traveler, flexible and inquisitive.  He enjoyed the city, but mostly liked seeing his aunt and uncle who live on Long Island.  

It was a good trip.  Hurricane Sandy didn't mess with any of our plans.  And, Sunday night, our flight was one of the last to leave La Guardia, arriving in St. Louis 45 minutes early.

Good trip, good memories.

Elliott was very happy to see Aunt Zuae. . .
and Uncle Dan.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Owl Rescue

Last night, while watching television, we heard a familiar thud.  This time, however, the thud was louder, so I was immediately afraid it was the owl Jim saw in the backyard a few days ago.  We flipped on all the back lights and there he was, a stunned barred owl laying on the steps that lead to the three-season room.

Sadly, every year, several song birds fly into the walls of the three-season room, which are a series of sliding glass doors.  Each death is upsetting, of course, but not as disturbing as seeing that huge beautiful owl laying flat on his back.

After an hour, the owl did manage to slide off the stairs, but he was still flat on his back with his eyes wide open.  Jim scooped him up, put him in a box, and left him in the garage overnight.  He was still alive this morning, so I took him to the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, MO.

I honestly was shocked when they lifted the owl out of the box and he was able to stand upright.  Their initial exam confirmed no broken bones and no evidence of internal hemorrhaging.  The vet comes tomorrow, so he'll get a more thorough examination then.  In the meantime, he's safe and in good hands.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lovin' Groupon

I'm starting to love Groupon.com.  A few weeks ago, I got $20 to spend at a local pizzeria for $10. I ended up paying nothing, however, because Groupon had just sent me a $10 credit.  And last week I bought an $89 massage at my favorite spa for $39.  But, again, I ended up paying $10 less, just $29, because Groupon had sent me another $10 credit.

Today I got a $50 iTunes gift card for $40.  It was good timing, because I'll be purchasing one or two movies to download to my iPad for the upcoming trip to New York City.  No Groupon credit this time, but still a nice offer.

I used to just delete the Groupon.com daily email offers, because, in the beginning, the offers didn't interest me.  Not anymore!  Now I look forward to my daily Groupon email.  Who doesn't like saving money!

(FYI, yesterday I added some of my Halloween cards to DGPaperDesigns.)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall's Splendor



This is the view from my spot in the family room the past several days.  I love fall!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Updates

I haven't slept well for three nights.  The whole repaving our street in the middle of the night is killing me!  And after last night's rain, it's going to take at least 1-2 days longer to complete, which extends the torture into next week.  Oy vey!

Tomorrow we meet with our lawyer to discuss the sales agreement, and how to end ownership of a business.  Things are moving along nicely, and we're set to close on November 1.  What a big change this is in our lives!

Jim is still adjusting to his new job, which I think will be easier when he no longer needs to worry about our small business.  It's just a lot to juggle right now.  But, after today, we only have 13 days of ownership to get through.

So, that's the update.  Now it's time for me to gather up enough energy to get through the rest of the afternoon with Jonah.  Might have to take him on a coffee run!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seriously!

So as if the whole sidewalk installation in front of our house wasn't annoying enough, now the city is repaving our street.  I'm not opposed to having the street repaved.  In fact, it's long overdue.  I just don't like the time of day they've chosen to do it -- 8:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M.!

Last night the noise was unbearable.  I finally gave in and took an Ambien.  Before last night, I had only used Ambien when we traveled overseas.  It gives me a solid five hours of sleep, which is great.  However, I'm a person who needs 8-9 hours.  So I'm dragging today anyway.

It's 7:00 P.M. now and I just took a couple of Benadryl.  I'm hoping I can fall sound asleep before the noise begins, again, tonight.  I hate the idea of possibly having to take Ambien every night this week. That sounds to me like the start of an addiction.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shopping Offers

I feel like I'm being bombarded with gift cards and serious discounts.  Some of it's related to my upcoming birthday, but nearly half of the offers are for other reasons.

Last Friday, I was invited to participate in an online meeting regarding a home-shopping channel's new website design.  I got a $50 gift certificate for an hour of my time.  To sweeten the deal, yesterday, that same home-shopping channel emailed me a twenty-percent-off-one-item code.  I'm pretty sure the email offer was just "luck of the draw," but now I have to really do some serious research to make the most of my windfall.

Another example are recent Kohl's offers.  Two weeks ago, I got a $10 birthday gift card from Kohl's.  Then, today, the peel-off offer in the Kohl's flyer that arrived in the mail was for thirty percent off my entire purchase.  Too bad Kohl's doesn't sell craft items!  Nevertheless, I'm sure I'll still have fun using my offers.

Besides, today Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft gave me a certificate for thirty percent off my entire purchase next weekend.  To qualify, I just had to spend $35 today, which you know I had no problem doing even with using two coupons.

Those are just a few of the offers I've been getting recently.  I'll be buying one or two things for myself, of course.  But I also think this would be a great time to wrap up my Christmas shopping. Guess it's time to make my list and check it twice!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Yard Cleanup

I took the fall cleaning outside this morning.  Spent nearly four hours cleaning up flower and vegetable gardens in the backyard.  The sad part is the leaves haven't even begun to fall, just a few here and there.

In a few weeks, the yard will be covered in a thick layer that will require many more hours of yard work.  I suppose all the upkeep is worth it to have a shaded yard and a wooded barrier between us and the back neighbors.  But it's days like today that make me envy people with small yards and little trees!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Cleaning Commences

Earlier this week, I started my fall cleaning.  On Monday, I cleaned the master bedroom, top to bottom, including all three windows and their blinds and curtains.  On Wednesday, I tackled the three-season room.  And, this morning, I finished the boys's room.

Over the weekend, I replaced the pack 'n play with a collapsible toddler cot for Jonah's naps.  It made today's cleaning so much easier.  I absolutely hate clutter, which includes a space with too much furniture.  With the smaller and much more manageable cot, I can now easily vacuum in the boys's room as well as get to the window without sidestepping a large pack 'n play.  I'm so excited about how much better the room looks now, I decided to share pictures.  Have a great weekend!

When not in use, the toddler cot takes up little space
in the corner.  For naps, it easily sets up at the foot of the bed.
A view of the boys's room from the door.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Still Counting

Last week's blood tests revealed I cannot take Simvastatin.  With our current health plan, it was going to save me $55 a month if it worked.  But now I'm back on Crestor at $65 a month, hoping St. Louis County's health plan is better than what we have now.  We'll be eligible for their family plan on November 1.

At yesterday's doctor's appointment I also learned there's no problem with my thyroid.  That's good news and I'm not surprised.  However, I'm now even more frustrated with my weight plateau.  Over two months of counting calories, and depriving myself, and I've still only lost five pounds!

This situation is a first for me.  Counting calories has always worked in the past.  And it doesn't help that the doctor is not at all concerned.  She feels, overall, I have a healthy diet and am active, so I shouldn't be fretting.  Well, I'll try not to fret, but I will keep counting.  What else can I do?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Best of Missouri Market

Holy cannoli!
Jonah's first cannoli was a big hit.
Today the family went to the Best of Missouri Market at the Missouri Botanical Garden.  It was a gorgeous day, sunny and cool.  I got several food items and am especially looking forward to preparing the two soup packages that include all the necessary spices, noodles, and beans. All I need to do is add chicken and stock.

I also got several food items for my dad's Christmas gift.  My plan is to give him a large gift bag full of nonperishables I know he'll like and won't find at Aldi's.  I love when a plan starts coming together!

Jonah grinding corn.  He loves a project,
especially when it involves special equipment.

Elliott building a wooden
fire truck at The Home Depot booth. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lovin' Fridays

Fridays have become my favorite day of the week.  Emily picks up Elliott from the bus stop on Friday afternoon, so after I get him on the bus in the morning my weekend begins.

Since the school year began, I've worked to make Fridays stay-at-home days by getting errands run and setting appointments earlier in the week. That leaves Friday open for crafting and light chores during breaks.  Heaven!

I did leave the house today to attend the Chinese Festival at Elliott's school for an hour.  But I'll always make time for my grandsons's activities.  Besides, I had fun crafting before I left and plan to do more tonight.  There's no better way to spend a cold rainy day than to let the creative juices flow in my personal art studio!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Old Dogs Learning New Tricks

The last couple of days, Jim and I have been dealing with several modern technology challenges. I'm well aware there's a lot I don't know, but also feel I'm way ahead of most of my friends and relatives the same age.  On the other hand, Jim has been online and has owned a smartphone for several years, yet still is absolutely clueless in many respects.  For example, he doesn't understand what a browser is no matter how many times I've explained it.  He also didn't know, until earlier this week, that a computer that sits on a desk is called a desktop.  Nevertheless, this week has been full of frustration for both of us.

Poor Jim started his new job on Monday with a new PC, landline phone system, and Android phone. By yesterday, he was at his wit's end.  We've been 100% Mac for many years now, so using Outlook for email was completely foreign to him.  And he absolutely hates the Android, admitting he's been spoiled by his iPhone.  We're certain he'll figure it all out eventually.  But, before he does, I suspect his secretary will want to scream!

My challenges have been with faxes and web domains.  The company buying our business is paperless, so prefer everything emailed.  We, however, do not have a scanner and still use a fax machine.  I have no idea what the problem is, but we haven't been able to fax to their corporate office in Texas.  There's no problem faxing to their local office.  Stands to reason, therefore, that the problem's on their end, right?

Next I had to change the whois information for our company's primary domain name.  I purchased that name years ago and not through the company that hosts our website.  Unfortunately, I forgot who I used to secure the domain name, and it took hours of research and emails to finally get it resolved.

I think, once Jim and I get though all these recent challenges, we'll feel a little smarter and a bit more accomplished.  But, right now, we're both just feeling like "old dogs."


Monday, October 1, 2012

New Beginning

Jim started his new job as Operations Manager for St. Louis County Parks and Recreation this morning.  We won't close on the sale of our business until November 1, so this month will be busy and interesting.  Funny, though, neither of us are as stressed as we were before Jim accepted his new position.  We know we're facing a big adjustment.  But getting used to a 40-50 hour a week job versus working 8-10 hours a day 6-7 days a week will be worth it.

I'm slowly beginning to realize I'll be retiring soon.  By that I mean, after this month, I no longer will be contributing to my social security fund.  I'll still be managing mom's finances and health, and watching the grandsons during the week, but neither of those "jobs" involve a W2.  Nevertheless, we decided I can't really fit a pay job around my obligations, and don't want to juggle two jobs for vacation time.

Financially, it should work out fine.  I hope so, because I'm already finding that less stress is opening my mind to greater creativity.  For example, my paper crafting is at a whole new level and I'm having a blast.

I never expected a new beginning at age 60, but I like it!