Thursday, July 31, 2008

Entering the Workforce

Olivia got the job! Her exact words when I asked her if she was excited were, "no I want money, but I don't want to have to work for it." I told her welcome to the "real world, honey"...LOL!! When I told my mom that, she said she's way too much like Josh. As if I didn't know that already...LOL!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another Birthday Wish

Happy 87th Birthday Grandma Minnie!!

This quote describes grandma perfectly: A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend. ~ Author Unknown

One Year Later

One year ago today my dad had a major heart attack and emergency bypass surgery that required more than a month long stay in the hospital. Those first weeks were a roller coaster of emotion. I am so glad those days of initial worry are behind us. There are, of course, new worries, but right now he is doing really well physically.

I love you dad!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


No, I don't mean 4-H. I mean the three H's of the Wisconsin summer. HOT, HAZY, and HUMID! Those days are here, and my body really dislikes them. I end up with a whoppin' headache every afternoon that nothing will touch. I'm not wishing days away because I LOVE each day and the opportunities each day brings, but I do look forward to Tuesday when it's supposed to be in the low 80s.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Back 2 Skool

Come August it won't be back to school for just Olivia. I am going back too. Just one fun class. :) This morning I signed up for a photography class at the technical college in our area. I will be taking the class with a friend -- we are both photography nuts and are really looking forward to this.

That means I have to get to work on finding an SLR. I need to email the instructor to find out if the camera is required to be film or if a digital would be OK. I really don't want to go back to film. However, if I have to get a film SLR for the class I will get an older used one, and then get a DSLR down the road. Ooh, just had a thought. Maybe my crazy brother has an older SLR that he isn't using! Off to call Joshie!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fabulous Blooms


Red (with one white petal) Dahlia

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thankful for...

The cooler weather that allows me to open the windows and shut of the air conditioning. I just love to see the lace curtains in the family room blowing in the breeze.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Head Banging Update

I love the tech who was at our house yesterday. In our are, our satellite company uses private contractors to do their installs. The tech who was here yesterday called first thing this morning to say his supervisor would like him to take care of the problem TODAY! I don't have a four hour window -- he will be here at 4:30!

The appointment tomorrow is with another company, who may or may not know anything about the new box that was installed yesterday.

Once we are getting all our channels as we should the supervisor will cancel our appointment for tomorrow.

Hooray -- I don't have to sit and WAIT for hours for someone to show up, and I don't have to sit and listen to commercials while on hold for 15 minutes waiting to cancel my appointment.

Good customer service may not be dead after all! Woohoo!! :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Head Banging

Do you ever feel like you are banging your head against the wall when you are talking to the customer service people who are supposed to be there to help you with your problem?

I won't name the company, but you will be able to tell it is one of the satellite providers.

We have used this company since 2000 when our local cable monopoly made Bob mad. In 2003 or 2004 we upgraded to HD in one room and added another (a non-HD with TiVo) receiver in another room. Back in November we upgraded the non-HD w/TiVo to an HD with DVR. From install until the storms we had in June everything was fine. Since then there have been some channels that we can only watch the "searching for signal" graphic. Most are HD, but not all. At the time it wasn't priority because most of the ones we weren't getting were channels we didn't watch or we could watch them in standard def.

Friday when I get an email about upgrading the older HD receiver, I jumped at the chance. This box is different technology from receiver we got in November and doesn't get as many channels. When I called to set up the appointment for that upgrade, I was told we would get a new HD receiver, a new satellite dish, and a couple other things. I thought getting a new dish was strange since they would just be putting up what we already had, but I didn't say anything since I was fairly certain our "searching for signal problem" was an alignment issue. I knew a new dish would have to be aligned which would take care of our problem.

The tech came out today. His work order was just to replace the box. He swapped the receiver and did a check of signal strength. It was low -- as we already knew. However, he said he could not do the work because it was not on the work order and if they found out he could be reprimanded. We went out to take a look at the dish location. He stared at the dish for a few moments. When suddenly he said, do you have the service plan? He was contemplating doing the alignment so we wouldn't be charged the $80 service call, but since we have the service plan included for a year there will be no charge for a service call. So we came back inside, he activated his receiver and was on his way.

(As I continue remember, the tech already told me the problem is the alignment. The tech who has seen the dish and the signal strength in person.)

Shortly, after he left I decided to call the satellite company. The woman has me tune into a few channels and says my problem is that we don't have some sort of converter hooked up to the back of our boxes. So, I ask if something in their technology has changed because the signal was fine up from November until these storms. She said no, but still wouldn't set up a service call for the alignment. The worst part: she says we have to wait for a tech to bring the converters, hook them up, and then if there is still a problem we will have to call AGAIN for the realignment.

I probably wasn't as nice as I could have been, but she just REFUSED to listen to me when I was telling her what the tech told me or when I told her it worked fine until the storms. I stood my ground, and got that appointment I wanted it the first place. It only took 35 minutes -- not including the 10 minutes of hold time before I got transferred to her.

Now who wants to place bets on if the tech will arrive in his NOON - 4:00 PM window? The one today was nearly two hours late for the 8:00 AM - NOON window.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Interview & Runway

Olivia said her interview went well. She was told she will hear something late this week or early next if she got the job.

Did you watch Project Runway last night? Do you have a favorite yet? I liked the challenge, but some of them played it WAY too safe. At this point I like Kelli & Kenley! (By the way, isn't the name Kenley adorable?) Stella makes me chuckle and think of Cher...LOL!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Enough Already

I love Brett Favre & I love the Packers, but if I have to hear one more story about them I am going to plug my ears and sing...

Grab Your Sketch Pad

Project Runway Season 5 premieres tonight! Oh man, I cannot wait! It is my most favorite show on television!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another Sign She's Growing Up

About a month ago I mentioned Olivia put in job applications at McDonald's and Cousins. Then a couple weeks later she also put one in at Subway. I could have pulled some strings & gotten her in at McDonald's, but we wanted her to do this on her own. Well, last evening she got a call for an interview at Cousins. It's tomorrow afternoon at 12:45 -- she's really nervous about the interview, but I know she will do fine.

If she gets the job that's great -- really great because her concert hobby is EXPENSIVE! ;) However, if she doesn't get it, having an interview under her belt will be good for her as well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Couple Gripes

If you were going on vacation asked a family member come mow your lawn while you are gone, wouldn't you show that family member where your lot ended and the next person's began? I know I would, but our neighbor didn't and this person cut quite a bit of our lawn which wouldn't normally bother me, but she cut it down to the soil in a couple areas. Here come the weeds -- GRRRR!

A little over week ago one of our neighbors across the street put in a new mailbox. A nice new mailbox -- this morning there are three yellow spray paint marks on one side. (Update: the neighbor's were able to get the paint off their new mailbox with a little WD-40 & a lot of elbow grease.) A truck was parked on the street a few blocks from our house, but on the next street -- the truck also has spray paint on it. A different color and "design". Last week it was on the garage of one of Olivia's friends, the gas station that is next to their garage, and a nearby bus stop.

I am fairly certain this is just kids being a bunch of jerks and not any dangerous gang activity. People work hard for their property and the police should be making their presences known in our neighborhoods -- not just out writing tickets for traffic offenses along the busier streets. I WANT them patrolling our neighborhoods, as well; and have sent emails to the appropriate places to let my city officials know that.

Bob's ready to put up a for sale sign. That silly guy tends to over react at times. Like the time he called the mayor to complain about a letter we got from the city telling us to trim a tree that hung too low over the road. Then it went on to state the exact city ordinance and call our property a blight on the community. It was a form letter sent to everyone who needed a tree trimmed, but it sent Bob over the edge and running to the phone to leave a message for the mayor. The mayor did call to apologize, sent a written apology, & they changed the way they inform homeowners in these situations now. Oh and in case you are wondering, we did NOT get reassessed because of that call...LOL!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Storm Was More of A Heavy Shower

Last night I Stormed the Bastille. However, my "storm" was more like a heavy shower. I have had limited run training time this summer due to crazy weather here and a HUGE dislike for the treadmill. Not to mention the knee pain I end up with when running on a treadmill. It do not get that when I run outside -- I think I must change my stride and that causes the knee pain.

We had a great time! This run has such a different atmosphere than the others. It is run at night through the streets of downtown Milwaukee. There was one water station and one BEER station! See I told you it was a different atmosphere...LOL!! The beer station isn't a official run station, as you probably guessed. It is a bunch of customers from one of the bars along the run route. They purchase pitchers & are given a bunch of plastic cups which they fill for the runners. Only in Milwuakee...LOL!!

I probably ran 2/3 of the 5K -- my time (42:30) was better than 5K segment of my triathlon by about a minute, but worse than my Around the World in 5K time by about 10 minutes. When I think of how much running I had to do last year to be able to get that 43:40 in the tri, I am amazed it didn't take me twice as long to run this 5k. I guess I haven't lost "it" as much as I thought.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Adored Blogs

I have added two new blogs to the Blogs I Adore list on my sidebar. Check out Good Yarns & That's My Answer!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It Never Fails

One project leads to another!

The basement decluttering has sent me into the kitchen. I am now working on thinning out what we have in one of our cabinets so I can put dishes that were Bob's grandma's into our daily rotation. That, of course, leads to moving some of her items to the corner cabinet in the family room, and that leads to rearranging the things on display on the tops of our cabinets. Oh well, I needed to get those cabinet tops washed off anyway.

I am guessing this project will lead to something else...LOL!!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Great Basement Declutter

I am a "declutterer" by nature and Bob is a pack rat. Our basement is packed with things we are NEVER going to use again, but Bob was hesitant to get rid of because we might need it. I think the amount of time we have had to spend in the basement recently because of tornado warnings has opened his eyes to how much stuff is really down there. He has FINALLY agreed that something needs to be done. Woohoo!

I began The Great Declutter yesterday afternoon and have already taken a full load of stuff to Goodwill. And by full load, I mean full load -- back seats of the Blazer down and filled to the top! Had to get it out of here before Bob changed his mind...LOL!!

There is more work to do, but I am well on my way to a decluttered, organized basement.

Monday, July 07, 2008

ACK -- The Poor Book

Just before Father's Day I purchased a book for myself. I began reading it over the weekend, and what did I find after I finished reading page 52? PAGE 117! Yes, my book is missing all those pages, but the funny part is page 98-117 are in there twice.

I don't think I have my receipt anymore because I figured it's a book, I know I will like it, and what could be wrong with it that I can't see. Well, I got my answer and will NEVER get rid of a receipt for a book until I finish reading it or at least count the pages! :)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Barkwood, Hickory, or Weathered Wood

Yesterday afternoon Bob & I signed a contract with a roofer. Now comes picking a color for the asphalt shingle. They will be the architectural style that is popular now -- at least here. I thought I had it narrowed down to one color, but some others have caught my eye now.

The shingle manufacturer's website allows you to upload a picture of your home, map the areas you would like to change, and then change those areas. I did that with an image of our house today and here are the results...

While this isn't an exact representation of what our house will look like when it is done, it gives us a good idea. The contractor is going to get us the address of some houses that they have done in those colors. I have it narrowed down to either Barkwood or Hickory with a slight preference for Hickory. Weathered Wood is too much like what we have now, and I want something with more contrast.

Which is your favorite?

Reminder for Each Day

Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. ~ Ruth Ann Schabacker

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm a Klutz!

Last night while Bob, Olivia, & I were watching Hell's Kitchen, I was on the couch and got a little chilly because the air conditioning was on at the cool temps Bob likes. I tried pulling the quilt out from under me, but I couldn't pull it out. I shifted my body a bit and suddenly I was rolling off the love seat. Chevy was sleeping on the floor right next to the love seat, and I knew if I just rolled off I would likely hurt him. I tried catching myself so I wouldn't land on him. Well, it kind of worked. I landed on my hands & knees over Chevy, but instead of the palm of my left hand being on the floor, the top of my hand was on the floor. (You know fingers pointing toward the toes) Initially, I thought I might have broken something because the pain was so sudden and intense. I nearly fainted too! (Some of you know my family's fainting tendencies. I don't know if I have shared any of those stories here before. If not, I will another time.)

How do those BRATS, Bob & Olivia react? They LAUGH! Nice family, hey? LOL!! During the commotion of me flying to the floor and the thud of my landing that stinkin' dog never moved. Does he know the hurt from which I saved him?

I swear every joint on the left side of my body hurts today. Wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, & knee. Glass half full: at least my finger joints & ankle are OK. :D I'll be fine in a few days I am sure, and I can laugh about it now too. I am sure I looked hilarious.

Could You Pass?

A Citizenship Test

I got a 95%. I missed question #7! :(

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Day of Music

Yesterday I took Olivia and some friends to see Paramore. They were in town to perform at the largest music festival in the world, Summerfest. It runs 11 days, and during that time over 700 bands play on 11 stages. The best part is there is only one concert a day that requires you to purchase a ticket. (Yesterday that show was Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts.) I was just as excited about that part as Olivia was about seeing Hayley & the gang...LOL!!

Olivia had a blast with her friends. They were in the fifth row -- that's about where they usually pick because they want to be close but not pressed up against a stage or barricade. (Smart girls, hey? LOL!) We got there around 4PM. The show wasn't until 10PM, and these girls did not move from their spots once.

I walked around to check out other bands. Remember Dot Dot Dot from The Next Great American Band last winter? I saw them and they were AWESOME! I hope to see them at the end of July again. Also saw the Gin Blossoms and a few "undiscovered" bands who were pretty good.

Around 8PM I headed over toward the Paramore stage and was amazed at how many people were there. I figured there would be a lot, but it was incredible how many there actually were. Hayley mentioned that several times during the show. They were INCREDIBLE!!

If you like Paramore, and ever get a chance to go to one of their shows, do not pass it up.

Olivia will be back at Summerfest Sunday for the Jonas Brothers!