Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

I thought this was a hedgehog but the email that I got the pictures from says it's actually a baby porcupine.  Whatever it is, it's cute!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Baby Boys!

Today is Chico's 4th birthday.  I don't know Shiver's actual birthdate but I do know he was born in the same month and year so I've chosen to celebrate their big day together.  Coincidentally, I also got them both on Thanksgiving weekend, two years apart!
Source:  bing
I celebrated their birthday's last year too and everyone in my real life told me that I had more money than sense.  I love my babies though and they bring me a lot of joy so why shouldn't I do something special for them?

Ordinarily I wouldn't shop at the Dollar Store for my boys but this year I didn't have much choice; it was either that or nothing.  Besides, they didn't know the difference. 
Neither of them were much interested in the frisby rope thing.  The bone stuffy isn't going to last long at all, I'm not sure what I was thinking by buying it.
Chico enjoying one of his two treats.  The other one is behind him by the table leg off to the left.
Shiver decided he needed a rest after all the excitement of the day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday All Over Again

Thanks to everyone for your advice about the landscaper.  I forgot to mention in my last post that when I came home and saw his truck parked in my driveway, he wasn't around.  I don't know where he was but he wasn't in his truck and I didn't see him in my yard. 

I was upset about him cutting my bushes down but had pretty much decided there wasn't anything I could do about it other than to just accept it.  And then when I went to volunteer last week and his mom kept going on and on about paying him or making him cookies or at least stopping by the house to say thank you, that really bothered me a lot.  Why should I be obligated to thank him?  He trespassed onto my property and cut my roses down when I wasn't home after I had specifically told him I wasn't going to worry about them until next year. 

I don't have his phone number and I don't know his last name to look it up so I decided to send him a card to say thanks and that if I need his services again, I'll give him a call. Hopefully that'll pacify his mother and he won't bother me again.

This is what my rosebushes look like now:
As always, please forgive the crappy quality.  My bushes used to be full and covered the height of the fence.

In better news, I'm excited that this afternoon I'll get to tour the campus at the university I'll be attending.  I've been told it should last anywhere from an hour to and hour and a half.  It's a pretty big school (113 acres) so there'll be lots to see.  I'm most interested in the math lab and the financial aid office.  Keeping my fingers crossed that my hip doesn't decide to give out in the middle. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Half Full Friday!

It's already time for Half Full Friday.  How did that happen?  If you want to participate, don't forget to head over to Eyegirl's and say hello to Mr. Linky.  And while you're there, please wish Eyegirl a very happy birthday!  She turned 36 earlier this week.
~I'm happy because...
I signed up for orientation for school in November!

My friend and I kind half-@$$ed of toured the school yesterday and I signed up for an official tour for next week!

My boys and I went for a walk and they didn't bark at every single person we saw along the way!

I got some new followers this week - welcome!

My old boss got fired!  I would've preferred the asst. manager got fired though.  And yes, I'm fully aware this makes me a bad person because I'm happy about someone else's failure. 

I enjoyed a large chocolate cupcake this morning that I got for free!

I got a new book to read!

So...I'm still kind of undecided about how I feel about this.  Last Sunday, I went to my parent's house for dinner, as I usually do.  When I came home, it was already dark.  There's a stop sign just before my block.  While stopped there, I happened to notice a truck in my driveway.  Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that I have dinner at my parent's house on Sunday's.  Because I was still far enough back and it was fairly dark, I didn't recognize the truck and since I share a driveway with my neighbor, I figured it must be one of his friends, although I found it odd that they'd park on my side. 

Once I pulled into the driveway, I immediately recognized the truck as belonging to the cute landscaping guy.  I couldn't imagine what he was doing there until I saw the trailer attached to the back of his truck heaping with branches.  And then I noticed my rosebushes. 

When I was over at his house for the yardsale, he'd given me a lecture on how I needed to water my grass and take better care of my rosebushes.  He seemed geniunely shocked when I told him I do water my yard!  It's green so I don't know why that would surprise him?!  He was telling me he could take care of my rosebushes for me and I could pay him or not.  I told him I wasn't going to worry about it for right now because I don't even know if I'm going to be able to keep my house.  Maybe I'd have him come help me next year if I'm still living there.

Well - this guy, that I'd only ever met once before, decided to take it upon himself to trim my rosebushes for me.  Without my permission or approval when I wasn't even home!  I was truly shocked!  I talked about it to one person and she said she would've called the cops if it her was her and have him charged with destruction of property.  Someone else said she thought he was just trying to help and that I was making too big of a deal out of the whole thing.  She didn't understand why it would bother me because he was just being nice.  I told her it bothered me because I don't even know this guy and he took it upon himself to trim them down to nothing when I wasn't home and he didn't even bother to ask.

This is what really bothered me though.  Yesterday, I volunteered with his mom.  I decided not to say anything because I really do enjoy volunteering there and want to keep the peace since I know she really enjoys it too and doesn't plan to quit anytime soon. 

The first half hour or so was fine and there was no mention of it.  Then she pulled me aside and asked if I noticed my rosebushes.  Um, how could I not?  There's pretty much nothing left of them.  Then she tells me it would be nice if I could pay her son for helping me.  My jaw dropped and finally I said that I don't even get enough from unemployment to cover my bills so no, I would not be paying him.  She then suggested I make him some cookies.  I just continued to stare at her.  Finally, she said I could at least stop by and say thank you and tell him what a good job he did.  I didn't really say anything to that.  We got back to doing our work but she kept bringing it up throughout the time we were there.  We were standing next to each other while we were handing out food so it's not like I could avoid her.  During clean up, I opted to vaccuum because I knew she'd have to leave me alone then.

Am I overreacting or would this whole situation bother you too?

In honor of my rosebushes (or rather, lack of...), here are some beautiful roses.
Source:  bing
Don't remember where this one came from

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blog of the Week

I originally posted about this particular blog back in January.  Today marks the one year anniversary of Cari's death and I wanted to acknowledge it in some small way.  I still think about her and her family from time to time and wonder how the kids are coping.  I'm hoping for an update from her husband today but honestly, he doesn't owe us anything and I'm sure the family will honor Cari in their own way. 
You know how you look on other blogs sidebars and check out their favorite blogs?  You click on one that maybe has an interesting name and then you check out their favorites and link to another one and so on and so on?  That's how I stumbled across this one:

I originally read what at that time was the very last post.  The originator of the blog, Cari Ashford, passed on on September 22, 2009.  This was the first time I've come across a blog where the originator had died.  I immediately wanted to read her story so I started at the beginning.

Cari's very first post was in July 2005.  It started out as any normal blog.  She was a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) with two sons, Cameron and Max, and was pregnant with daughter Ella who was born in December of that same year.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her life and her family.  As she detailed the many hilarious antics of her children, I couldn't help but fall in love with them too!  She has a wonderful sense of humor and I'm sure that if we'd met in real life that she and I would be friends.

August 22, 2007 marked a whole new world for Cari; she discovered a large lump in her left breast.  She was diagnosed with Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma and had a mastectomy the following month.  She received chemotherapy and radiation and in late summer 2008, she was given a clean bill of health.  Sadly, the cancer returned.

She had a brain tumor and eventually the cancer went to her spine.  She recounted her various treatments along with her attempts to keep everything normal for her children.  At the end, her mom kept the blog up to date as Cari became weaker and weaker.  The final post was written by her husband, letting everyone know that Cari had died.

I cried for Cari many, many times while reading her blog.  I had grown to love her like a close friend.  So when I got to the last post, I literally could.not.stop.crying!  Her loss touched me deeply and I miss her.

I didn't want to forget about Cari so I followed her blog.  I wanted to still be able to come back and read her story over and over again.  I'm not sure why I didn't just bookmark her blog to my favorites, I just felt it was important to follow her and come back to visit from time to time.  In January of this year, her husband posted an open letter to Cari.  As I read it, the pain of losing her all came rushing back.  I still feel the grief even today.  I can't even begin to imagine how her husband and three beautiful children must be coping.
May You Forever Rest In Peace
Cari Ashford
March 19, 1973 - September 22, 2009

Monday, September 20, 2010

Guess What I Got?

If you guessed an award, then you would be correct!  Actually, I got TWO awards from my good bloggy buddy, Hero!  Hero is a sharpei living in Malaysia and he gets to go on all kinds of fun adventures with his humans.  I'm a little envious because he gets to go to more places than I do!  I'm always amazed at how dog-friendly Malaysia appears to be.  He gets to go everywhere with his humans!
The first one is a Thank You award, the second is a Friendship award which, when put together, becomes Thank You For Your Friendship!  I'd like to take this time to say Thank You for being my friend to Hero and also to all of my followers. 

I'm not nearly as creative as Hero is and he already gave the award to lots of friends on my bloggy follow list.  If you don't have it but would like it for your collection, please feel free to grab either one or both. 

I love how they're both in a picture frame.  It somehow makes them both seem a little more special that way.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Half Full Friday and Blog of the Week

Guess what?  It's Half Full Friday again!!!  Yes, I know you're just as excited about it as I am!  So join in by heading over to Eyegirl's blog and getting some quality time in with Mr. Linky!  Come ON, you know you want to....
~I'm happy because...
My brother sent me some pictures of my beautiful new nephew!

I got to go to Arts In The Park this year!

I finally heard back about my financial aid!

I found out there's a small possibility of my unemployment being extended again!

Hero gave me an award!  Thanks Hero, I'll be posting it on Monday!

I'm happy the lady @ Job Service gave me some help with my resume and interview tips!
Just a quick shout out to the incredibly wonderful ~KS for this beautiful post!  Her blog is one of my favorites so to be included in this list was a huge honor.  I told her this was my favorite post and not because she included me but because it shows who she truly is as a person.  It brought tears to my eyes and when I read it again just now, it brought them again. 
Nothing too terribly exciting happened this week.  Yesterday I went to Job Service and talked to someone about my resume and to get some interview tips.  I'm sending out soooooo many resumes and it's frustrating to only get about one interview a month.  Then I go on the interview but I never get the job.  I figured it couldn't hurt to talk to someone. 

The lady I spoke to was so positive about everything.  She glanced at my resume and said it looks good but could use a few slight tweaks.  The content was good but she suggested a few different ways of changing it so the fact that I haven't worked in a year isn't so blazingly obvious. 

She said she thinks I may not be coming across as confident in my interviews as I could be.  I told her I agree but after so many interviews and no call backs, it's hard to have any confidence anymore.  She told me to dress up today for no reason at all so I wore a pretty dress to hand out food this morning.  And you know what?  I did feel better about myself! 
I think I've pretty much decided on a major for college now.  I'm kind of leaning towards Business and Economics.  I'm soooooo annoyed though, other people keep trying to decide for me what I should do.  First, a friend told me I should take classes to be an RN.  That is of no interest to me, so no.  Then my mom asked me if I considered looking into radiology.  I told her no, I'm not interested.  She said, "Well, you were thinking at one time about becoming a physical therapist."  Um, a physical therapist and a radiologist do two totally different things.  So she tells me, "Yes, but I'm sure you'd have to take a lot of the same classes."  Probably true but again, I have no interest in becoming a radiologist, so no.  I have no desire to work in a hospital setting.  So I was telling someone about this conversation and how annoyed I was that it feels like everyone else is trying to tell me what I should do with my life.   Initially she told me I should do what I wanted but then she asked if I would be going for an Associates Degree or a Bachelor's.  I told her I wanted to go for the Bachelor's and she said, "Oh, I don't think you really need to go for four years.  An Associates Degree should be sufficient!"  I just wanted to scream, "Were you even listening to the first part of our conversation?!?" 
Next week I'll be skipping Wordless Wednesday and doing my Blog of the Week that day instead.  It'll be a repeat and you'll understand why when you read it. 

This week's Blog of the Week is one I found from some article.  I don't even remember what website it came from because it's been awhile since I've read it and I didn't keep track of it.

Warning:  If you are easily offended, this is not the website for you!

Yes, it really is about what you think it is!  Have you ever used a public restroom and found a witty poem or saying etched into the paint inside the stall?  Usually you just get in and out as quickly as you can but sometimes while you're doing your business, you might take a slight moment to look at your surroundings and find yourself having a chuckle or two at the scribblings on the wall.

The site was created by Jonathan Horak, a janitor at the University of Texas.  One particular musing drew his attention and started it all!  He began to think not so much about what he'd just read but more about what stalls can reflect about society in general -- a whole lot! 

I'm not sure how often this site is updated as the entries aren't dated and I don't check it daily.  As of this writing, there are currently 359 posts.  They each include the first name of the person who submitted it and the general area where they found it (ie:  Hotel Lobby Restroom)  along with the city and state/country.  There's a Facebook page as well.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's A Small World After All

On Thursday, one of the ladies I volunteer with asked if any of us wanted to have a yardsale with her on Friday.  She was going to hold it at her son's house as his street had a lot of traffic and she felt pretty confident we'd do well there.  There were 2 of us who agreed to join her.  The other lady never showed up.

I talked awhile back about admiring a cute landscaper from afar.  OMG, it turns out her son was that landscaper!!!  He's actually an incredibly nice guy, although a little hygenically challenged.  We talked for a little bit and he gave me a tour of his home.  I so wish I could be more like him.  He says he lives on social security.  His home is small and sparse.  He lives simply, yet he seems to be very proud of it.  You or I would likely be embarassed to show that house off because it's extremely shabby, yet he's just happy because all his basic needs are met.  He says he doesn't need anything else.  He does things to help other people and doesn't ask for any money in return.  If they want to give him money or something in return for his time, he'll take it but if they don't or aren't able to, he's ok with that because he has a roof over his head and food on the table. 

No matter how much I have, I always seem to want more.  As I spent the day there waiting for my junk and other people's treasures to sell, I thought about that.  I wish I could learn to be happy with what I have.

I only made about $6 from the yardsale.  Oh well, that's $6 more than I had when I started! 

On Saturday, my parents and I went to the annual Arts In The Park.  We haven't been in awhile because I have a bad hip and it's painful for me to walk long distances.  I'm not sure why we went this year but I'm soooooo glad we did!

We decided to park at the mall and take a shuttle bus to the event.  It would drop us off right in front and we wouldn't have to pay.  In the past, I usually sat with my mom and my dad sat with a stranger.  This time I told my parents they could sit together.  A woman asked if she could sit with me and I said sure.  My first impression is that she had on really ugly shoes so I wasn't going to talk to her.  But then I realized how superficial that was so I made myself say something.  I found out she's attending BSU!  She gave me a few ins and outs about financial aid and said that the school won't tell you these things, you have to dig in and figure it out for yourself.  She told me I needed to file for special circumstances which I really didn't understand what that meant before and she took the time to explain.  She then told me I also need to file for additional aid because I live more than 30 miles from the school.  (I actually live about 40 miles from the university.)  I had no idea I could do that!

She asked what degree(s) I'm considering and when I told her, I said I was hesitant because of the math.  I have to look into it a little further but I have a feeling there will be more than just a general math class.  She told me not the worry about that because they have a big math lab there specifically to help students learn and understand.  She says she doesn't do well in math usually either but that she found the math lab to be an enormous help and she didn't have a problem at all.  That was a huge relief!

She also told me they also have a type of scholarship called "Success Stories" offered for non-traditional students such as myself which pays for a tutor for 2 classes of their choice per semester.  If I could get that, I'd use it towards math!

Towards the end of the ride, she said, "I feel like you and I were meant to sit together today!"  I think she was right!  She was so nice and I'm so glad that I didn't hold her ugly shoes against her.        

Arts In The Park was fun but very crowded.  It was hard to see everything because of all the people in the way.  I doubt we saw even half of it before my parents decided they were ready to head for home.  I would've liked to stay a little longer but my hip was ready to give out by then, even though I sat twice and rested it so it's probably just as well. 

My favorite part of the day involved a certain dog rather than the art.  There were dogs everywhere but there was a pug I saw who was just so happy to be there with his family.  He just wiggled everywhere and I couldn't help but smile as I watched him.  I can actually say it was one of the happiest few seconds of my life because just looking at that pup was pure, unadulterated joy!  I hope to never forget that moment in time.

In honor of Arts In The Park, I offer you this lovely butterfly as I suppose it can be considered art as well.
Source:  bing

Friday, September 10, 2010

Half Full Friday And A Question!

It's already that's time of the week again!  I don't think Eyegirl is hosting Half Full Friday this week  as she's been posting all about her beautiful wedding but I'm still participating just because I can!  I'm thinking maybe she'll be back to her regular posting schedule next week?!
~I'm happy because...
My friend took me to see The Expendables and bought me some Coconut M&M's!

This same friend invited me over for pizza and s'mores two nights later!  Yum!!!

My first nephew was born on Wednesday!  Sadly, I'll probably never meet him.  (My family is kinda messed up.)

I got a college catalog for BSU this week showing degrees and classes offered!

My hip is finally feeling better!  I did a little too much walking this week and my hip let me know it.

I've decided to go trick or treating for Halloween this year!  I'm short so I can get away with it! 

If the weather cooperates, I'll be having another yardsale today!

If the weather cooperates, I'll be going to Arts In The Park tomorrow!

I thought my phone interview went really well last week so I was quite surprised to receive a rejection letter advising me that I would not be moving on to a face to face interview.  I asked why but didn't hear back.  I've only been getting about an interivew or so a month, even though I've been applying for several jobs a week.  Considering my unemployment runs out at the beginning of next month, I really felt like this interview was my final shot.  I still haven't figured out what to do from here. 

It's been a busy week and I really haven't been home very much at all.  As a result, I don't really have a Blog of the Week.  I do have several that I could choose from but I wanted to ask if anyone really reads them?!  I don't want to waste my time if no one is.  If you are reading them, which kinds of blogs do you like the best?  I try to include a variety of them so they aren't all the same each week.  If you have a blog you'd like to suggest I use, please feel free to recommend one - even if it's your own. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Award Season!

Tiffany @ Memoirs of a Munchkin Mommy gave me an award recently.  It's similar to the last one I received in that it's an award for being versatile.  I've posted about my chi's, my attempts to look for work, my plans to skydive (which didn't work out so well), etc.  So I guess maybe I am a versatile blogger!
To accept, I need to link back and thank the blogger that tagged me (done!), tell you 7 random things about myself and then tag 15 wonderful bloggers.  So here we go...

1.  Apparently I don't make much of an impression on people when I meet them.  People seem to forget me easily.

2.  I have no sense of direction.  I've learned that if I feel strongly in my heart that I should turn right, I should really turn left.  And never give me directions telling me to turn west or wherever.  I need you to tell me to turn right or left at specific landmarks.

3.  I always to eat my M&M's in a certain order - brown, orange, yellow, green, red and blue.

4.  I have a lifetime supply of various Bath & Body Works products and yet, I still want more!

5.  I have 6 piercings in my left ear, 3 in my right.

6.  My favorite author is Jodi Picoult.  My favorite book is My Sister's Keeper.

7.  I cannot stand country music!  I'm a rock 'n roll kinda girl!

Deciding on who to award is always so difficult.  So many people don't even acknowledge them which makes me sad.  After careful consideration, I'm passing this on to the following 15 bloggers:

~KS   Katie   Draco   George   Zuzana   Cara   Mommy Lisa   Smoochiefrog   Summer   Dip-Dip and the Bridge   Sarge   Melly   Hero   Cocorue   Booker

If you don't have this award and would like it for your collection, please don't hesitate to grab it, even if I didn't tag you.  I think you're all wonderful!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Half Full Friday and Blog of the Week

It's Friday and you know what that means - another addition of Half Full Friday is in order!  Join in the fun by heading over to Eyegirl's and spending a little quality time with Mr. Linky.
~I'm happy because...
I just an admittance letter from BSU!  WOO HOO!  Now I'm just waiting to hear back on the financial aid.

An old friend called me and we had a wonderful time catching up on all the gossip!

Another friend called and gave me all kinds of advice about financial aid!

I got an award from Tiffany!  I'll be posting it on Monday.

I had an interview yesterday!

I've discovered the joy that is Coconut M&M's!  Have you tried them yet?
I'd been at my parents house this past weekend when I saw a commercial on tv for those M&M's with pretzels.  I've seen it numerous times but hadn't tried them yet and wondered if they were as good as I imagined them to be.  I stopped at the store on the way home so I could pick up a few things and decided to try some.  I like M&M's but don't buy them all that often.  That commercial really stuck with me for some reason that evening though and I decided a small bag of them was necessary.  I went over to the candy aisle and that's when I saw this:
I HAD to have some; there was just no getting around it!  Can I just tell you that I am in L-O-V-E?  I did try the ones with pretzels and they were ok but nothing to rave over.  But these...I will rave all day and night!  These rival my love of McD's Fruit Smoothies!  My little bag didn't say that they were limited edition though.  I'm disappointed and am thinking I may need to stock up on some before they're all gone.  I haven't even seen these advertised anywhere.

Disclaimer:  I did not receive any compensation for this review.  I paid for them myself with my unemployment check which expires at the end of the month.  But if Mars wants to compensate me, I'd be more than happy to accept payment in the form of Coconut M&M's.
I skipped my volunteer duties yesterday for an interview instead.  The job is for a local bank just up the street from me.  I didn't even read the job description so I really have no idea what the position is for or what the duties would entail.  It was just a phone interview and I felt like it went really well except that when I get nervous, I tend to ramble.  And ramble, I did.  On and on and on.  Ok, probably not that bad.  But definitely more than I would've liked.  It'll be another week or so before they decide whether or not to do a face to face interview with me. 

As you all know, my boys were the recently the lucky recipients of a Paw It Forward from Draco!  My chi's were most impressed with all their goodies and Shiver has become absolutely obsessed with his new tennis balls now!  He thinks he needs to have one either in his mouth or in close proximity at all times now.  He's already chewed the squeakers out of them. (I got them away before he could choke on them!)   And because of this, Draco is this week's Blog of the Week!

Draco is a blonde chihauhua who looks a lot like Shiver, only smaller.  His blog is still relatively new, the first post was in July 2009.   In January of this year, he turned a year old.  He's a busy little guy, always going here and there.  He used to go to work with him mama even, before she got laid off!  I can only think of one other dog who has as many adventures.

(c) Copyright 2010 Zany Dezines. Premade Layout from Zany Dezines.