PARASAILING WAS FUN!!!

I WONDER WHAT'S NEXT? ZIP LINING MAYBE???



Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year In Review

This has been quite a year!!  2010 was better than 2009 for sure.  I sure do hope 2011 is even better!


We had a LOT of snow in 2010!  If that doesn't happen this year, I'll be very happy!  At least I have 2 very eager brothers who are more than happy to shovel my driveway and make some money!  Now if I can just figure out how to teleport myself to work so I don't have to drive in the snow!


2010 brought continued good health for John.  His stem cell transplant seems to be doing the trick, and for the first time in 3 years, he is 15 months in remission!!!  We hope and pray it stays that way!


My son graduated Summa Cum Laude from college  in May with a degree in Business marketing and minor in Economics.  He's waiting tables until a real job comes along!  It's so tough for some of these new graduates to find work.  I'm not sure if he's being too fussy in where he's applying or what.  Hopefully he can begin his career very soon!


My oldest daughter got engaged and will be married in July 2011!  Her fiance' did it in the best way I've ever seen!  She threw him a surprise 30th birthday party.  He knew all about it.  He bought her an engagement ring while she was visiting her best friend in Ireland, and proposed to her in front of all their friends (and her sister, brother, Daddy Dearest, Maleficent and me)  at his party!!  She was so shocked!  He totally hijacked his own birthday party and turned it into an engagement party!


My youngest daughter finished her first year of college on the Deans List and announced that she really wanted to be a hair stylist.  So in September she started beauty school is very happy!  It was a good decision for her.


In 2010 I also broke down and agreed to meet Maleficent.  I found her to be very ordinary.  When it finally came down to it, I realized, finally, that I really didn't care.  This was huge for me!  At least I know that I can be at family function with her in attendance and not cause a scene!!!  Just in case, I probably should abstain from alcohol when I'm around her!  I told my sister-in-law (who was also smart enough to divorce my ex's brother) that maleficent was the trophy wife.  SIL said "Oh she is NO trophy!"  I love my SIL.


2010 was a time when I tried and failed to lose weight.  I quit smoking 19 years ago.  If I can do that, why can't I get this added weight off?  I am making yet another attempt on Monday.  


This past summer, John and I had a great time on vacation in Ocean City, MD.  I conquered my fear of heights by going parasailing!  I'm still afraid of heights, but I did something I've been avoiding since 1981 (the first time I chickened out)


It was the year of broken things.  My dryer, my hot water heater, my dishwasher (although it still runs), my bed (that was fun!!)  TMI??  Sorry!  Got my fingers crossed about my car!  It's 8 years old today and runs great!!  Knock wood!!)  


I'm sure there's more to add, and I probably will do a new post when I think of things.  In the meantime, I must get to work.


Happy New Year everyone!!!  I hope 2011 is better for all of us, in health, happiness and finances!

There are 2 more new posts below this one!  I was playing catch up!


This is the life!



This is Cameron, my grey tabby Siamese mix.  

He just looks soooo comfy!  

I Wish I could be doing this today, but I do have to work for a living.


There is another new post below this one!  I'm playing catch up!


*** This was my 500th post and I totally didn't realize it! ***

Dear So and So


Dear Me,
You posted something on your blog every blessed day in November and every blessed day in December until this past Wednesday!  What happened?  I wonder ... if I do 3 blog posts today, will it still count for Nablopomo?


Can't believe I blew it at the end of the month,
Me


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Daughter,
I love you.  I will miss you when you go back to Pittsburgh today.  I will NOT miss the trail of destruction that occurs every time you come home.  I'm glad I don't use my living room very often, since it has become your dressing room and storage facility this week.

Happy to be getting her house back,
Mutti

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear New Owners At My Job,
I look forward to meeting you in a few weeks when you take over our restaurant.  I do hope a few thing happen (or not happen as the case may be).  I do hope I still have my 8 years of seniority.  I do hope I still have my 3 weeks of paid vacation.  I do hope your arrival makes some employees look for other work.  I do hope you hire our present District Manager to oversee the Pennsylvania stores you are buying.  He's a good guy.  You should keep him.

Faithful employee,
Joanie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Trey,
Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you for installing my hot water heater this week!!  You are truly my hero!  I didn't realize how inconvenient it is to not have hot water for a week!  You saved me a ton of money this week and made some bucks, too, by helping me out.  I can run the dishwasher now and do all the other dishes that were piling up too!  Ah!  And to be able to shower whenever I want and for as long as I want is truly a wonderful thing!

So glad you married my niece,
"Aunt" Joanie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Readers,
Happy New Year!  Thank you so much for reading my blog and following me!I really do enjoy writing.  I know I"ll never do it professionally (and have no desire to do so), but it's fun to get my thoughts out.  

Your friend,
Joanie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Friends,
If you like Dear So and So, and want to give it a try, just pop over to Kat's Place on the other side of the pond, hook up with her Linky and add your own!  It's a great way to blow off steam, and you can read lots of other letters!

Love,
Joanie



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Good news/bad news




Today is Tuesday, so let's get random!!


I'ts been an interesting week to say the least and I've had a good news/bad news kind of week, so I thought I'd share with all of you!  Aren't you lucky!


Good news
I had the good fortune to have Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and December 26, aka my youngest child's 20th birthday, off from work.


Bad news
My hot water heater decided that  December 22 was a good day to die.  I discovered this on December 23.  Just what I need, 2 days before Christmas!  And with a car insurance payment due Dec. 27 and my cell phone bill overdue, this is NOT a good thing. Oh!  And I have an appointment to get an eye exam and new glasses on Wednesday (it's been 5 years people... it's time!)


Good news
Because we were so busy at work and people have been, for the most part, generous with their tips, and because Rich at work told me I could find a HWH for $244 at Lowe's, it wasn't the disaster I thought it was going to be.  I thought a new HWH was going to be about $1000.  I bought a 40 gallon tank.  The one I have now is a 50 gallon tank, but I didn't think spending another $100 or more for 10 gallons was necessary.


Bad news
Lowe's wants $298 to install the water heater.  Seriously?  Basically all you need to do is unhook the old one, and hook up the new one!  Should take an hour!


Good news
My niece, Patty told me that her husband, Trey could install the HWH for me and I could give him whatever amount I wanted.  He likes helping family out!  Yes!!  I can give him $100 for doing it.  He makes some extra money, I save $200!  I like it!  The plan is for Trey to come here on Dec 26, in the evening, to install it.


Bad news
Big snowstorm coming up the east coast from Christmas night until the morning of December 26.  And Patty and Trey are visiting family in Virginia Beach.  So they were stuck there until last night, when they finally got home.  Now Trey is sick.


Good news
I should have hot water fairly soon!  And I'm gonna take a long hot shower when I do!!


More good news
One of my favorite authors is a friend on Facebook.  Her name is Sarah Pekkanen.  She was recommended by Jennifer Weiner, also a favorite author of mine!  Sarah has a book out called The Opposite Of Me which i read in under 3 days.  I could not put it down!  Last week, a short story of hers was available for Kindle on Amazon and she was doing a 5 day giveaway for folks who bought her short story.  Each day another gift was added to the pile (a signed copy of her newest book, due out in February for example)  I got word last night that I won Day 5!!  This is so awesome!  Day 5 is a signed copy of her newest book, Skipping A Beat, a signed copy of The Opposite Of Me, a signed copy of Jennifer Weiner's newest book , Fly Away Home, Godiva chocolates, a $50 donation to a homeless or animal shelter of my choice and a brand new eReader!!
I was so excited!!  Since I already have a Kindle and I bought one for my son for Christmas and my daughter, Gina got a Nook for her birthday this summer, I told Dani that she can have it for her birthday.  She's excited!!!  I should be hearing from Sarah soon to get my address and other fun info!  When the loot arrives, I'll do a blog post with pictures!


Keely  is the host for Random Tuesday Thoughts.  Go check her out at The Un Mom for lots more fun Randomness!! 


Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday's Music Moves Me: Christmas Carols



Amanda at Bloggin’ with Amanda hosts Musical Monday – What Move’s You?. You can get the instructions by clicking here. 



Lorie at The Shrewbridges of Celebration, FL told me about Monday's Music Moves Me, so here's another cool music blog meme to do!


We're supposed to be doing Christmas Carols for each Monday in December.  This week, I thought I'd give you something different to listen to.  This is my very very favorite version of Beethoven's Ode To Joy.  It's my favorite classical piece, but the way it's done here is, well, very different, but modern and uplifting.  This video comes from the movie, Sister Act 2 and it's the school choir performing Joyful, Joyful as only they can do.  I find it very... joyful!  I hope you enjoy it.  I know I do.  It fills me up every time.



Joyful, Joyful
Lord, we adore Thee
God of glory
Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
Hail Thee as the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
Fill us with the light
Fill us with the light
Oh, fill us with the light of day......

Joyful, Joyful
Lord, we adore Thee
God of glory
Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
Hail Thee as the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin, sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Drive it away
Giver of immortal gladness
Fill us 
Fill us with the light of day
Light of day!

(Check the rhyme)
Joyful, Joyful
Lord we adore Thee
An' in my life
I put none before Thee
Cuz since I was a youngster
I came to know
That you was the only way to go

So I had to grow an' come to an understandin'
That I'm down with the King so now I'm demandin'
That you tell me who you down with, see
Cuz all I know is that I'm down with G-O-D
You down with G-O-D?
(Yeah, you know me)
You down with G-O-D?
(Yeah, you know me)
You down with G-O-D?
(Yeah, you know me)
Who's down with G-O-D?
(Everybody)

Come and join the chorus
The mighty, mighty chorus
Which the morning stars begun
The Father of love is reigning over us

Right away

What have you done for Him lately?
Ooh, ooh, ooh yeah
What have you done for Him lately?

He watches over everything
So we sing

Joyful, Joyful
Lord, we adore Thee
God of glory 
Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee
Hail Thee as the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin, sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Drive it away
Giver of immortal gladness ( won't you)
Fill us ( Fill us with the light of day, Lord, fill us)
Fill us ( oh we need You, yes we do, fill us)
Fill us ( yeah..., oh, oh yeah)
Fill us ( with the light of day, Lord)
Fill us (on the steps we pray, Lord)
Fill us (with the light of day, Lord)

( We need you, come right away, 
We need you, need you today, we need you, 
I'm here to say fill us, fill us, fill us, fill us...)

Fill us with the light of day ( oh, yeah)
Light of day!





Sunday, December 26, 2010

No more teenagers, but we do have snow, and no hot water

Today is my youngest child's birthday.  Dani is 20 today.  Hallelujah!!  I have survived the teen years of 3 children!


For the past 5 years or so, Dani's birthday gift is to go clothes shopping with me.  Our plan was to go to King of Prussia Mall.  Mother Nature had other ideas.


We were forecast to get a foot of snow today, starting at 7 am.  I was at John's overnight, Dani at her sister, Gina's place in Delaware.  I am, admittedly, a major chicken when it pertains to driving in snow.


So we compromised (which means I get to spend more money than planned).  We went to Kohl's in our local mall today and will go to KOP Mall on Wednesday, my day off.   A few pairs of jeans, leggings and gloves were purchased today.


The snow didn't start until around 1 pm (6 hours later than predicted), but when it did, it began to stick immediately.   We finished up our few  errands and I got my ass home!   I baked a cake and I'll make Chicken Parmesan with linguine in a little while.


I"m already planning to call out of work tomorrow.  The storm is not supposed to stop until noon or later.  I"m supposed to be at work at 11 am.  Not gonna happen if we get a lot of snow.  I don't even care if I get written up.  I've already texted one of my bosses and gave her a heads up that there is a good chance I won't be in work tomorrow.


My niece's husband was planning to drive up tonight to install my hot water heater.  It's a little over an hour drive in good, dry weather. I'll be very shocked if Trey shows up tonight! I hope we don't have to wait too much longer to get the new HWH installed!  It's been sitting in my garage since Christmas Eve! I'm glad it's winter and we can skip a day or so on the shower.  I'll be heating up a big pot of water to sponge bathe in!


Ah, well... at least my heat and electricity works!


As an added note, Dani celebrated her birthday with her father's family on Christmas.  Daddy Dearest provided the cake.  The nicest one he could find.  It has walnuts.  Dani is allergic to all tree nuts.  Why he can't remember this detail is beyond me.  This is not the first time he's bought her a birthday cake with nuts. Shaking my head.


Oh!  And he sent me a text on Christmas Eve to ask if Dani was going to be 20 this year.  I'm pretty sure he was in attendance at her conception AND her birth. Another small detail he can't seem to remember.  Again, I'm shaking my head.  If this keeps up I'm going to give myself a headache.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Six Word Saturday: Merry Christmas!!!



Merry Christmas to my blogging friends!




Want to try your own Six Word Saturday? Go see Cate at Show My Face and link up!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dear So and So




Dear Hot Water Heater,
Did you HAVE to break down 2 days before Christmas?  Seriously?  You couldn't wait to more lousy weeks, so I could get my car insurance paid first?   You really suck.


Driving very carefully for the next couple of weeks,
Joanie


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Trey,
You are the best!!!  It's so nice of you to install the hot water heater  (soon please!) when we get it.  I'm really glad my niece married you!! 

Loves giving business to family,
Aunt Joanie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Scott,
I can't believe you made the cruel remark to me at work yesterday.  You insinuated I was fat. (let me tell you something, asshole.  Fat people KNOW they're fat.  They don't need pricks like you to remind them).  Do I ask you in front of everyone we work with if your dick is still broken?  Why don't you hold your breath while you wait for me to run your food for you.

Hoping your dick never works properly again,
Joan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Dani,
Thanks so much for the facial when you got home from school this evening!  It was awesome!!!!

Love you lots!
Mom

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Christmas,
I'm ready for you!!!  Bring it on!

Fa-la-la-la-la,
Joanie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Friends,
If you like Dear So and So, and want to give it a try, just pop over to Kat's Place on the other side of the pond, hook up with her Linky and add your own!  It's a great way to blow off steam, and you can read lots of other letters!

Love,
Joanie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~






Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Day From Hell

I was hoping my last day of work before my little Christmas break was going to be a good one. 


Not so.


It started out okay.  


I stopped at home on my way to work (I was at John's overnight) to discover my hot water heater died.  Two days before Christmas.  I have a $600 car insurance payment due on Dec. 27.  Now I have to see about getting a new hot water heater.  shit.


I also had planned to get new glasses before mid-January.  Our company got sold and my current health insurance will be no good very soon.  They will cover my exam and 80% of my glasses up to $300.  But I have to pay for them and then get reimbursed.  I've been setting money aside for this.


My daughter turns 20 years old on the day after Christmas.  For the past 5 years, I've been taking her clothes shopping for her gift.  I have money set aside for that as well.   And for once, I actually have off from work on her birthday!


Then I arrived at my job and it was downhill from there.


I sold a $25 gift card to a couple, who, in turn, gave me $24 for it.  They SWEAR they gave me $25.  Fine.  Just go.  So I spent $1 so these ass wipes could buy a gift card.  I hope your wallet gets stolen.


My first 2 tables tipped me less than 10%.  I hope your wallets get stolen also.  I also hope you get jobs as servers and will see how lousy you tip.  


Guest-wise, the rest of the day was pretty good, with the exception of the 2 tables who did tip 10% and no more.  Um.... do you know that I make $2.83 an  hour and depend on my tips to pay bills?  I also have to tip out the bartenders, the bussers and the door people.  Today it was $24.  shit.


Speaking of bartenders... someone mentioned the trouble I was having today and Scott, asshole extraordinaire said "What?  Too many cookies?"  So he basically called me fat.  I went to my manager, told him what Scott said and told him I was not going to run any food to the bar.  If he wanted to write me up for it, that was fine.  The manager said he had no problem with that.  He's definitely a favorite of mine!


I was really down in the dumps... on the verge of tears.  This was turning into a really shitty day.


Then my day started to get better.


Then my tips got better.


And my daughter sent me a text saying she had a surprise for me when she got home (she's driving in from Pittsburgh as I type) and she hoped it would make me feel better.  She gave me a facial!  It was great!!
 
One of the fellows I work with said I could get a hot water heater for $244 at Lowe's, and my niece sent me a message saying her husband would install it for me!


Trey (the husband) might, and I say might, be able to do it tomorrow!  Or some time next week.


So it's not all bad now.  Dani and I might have to be very careful driving because that car insurance payment might be a little late.


And Dani just told me she could wait a bit for her birthday presents.  


So maybe today isn't ending so bad after all.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Gift FAIL!!!

I saw something on Facebook about what NOT to give as Christmas gifts.  It got me thinking about a few of the FAILS I'd received from my then-husband over the years.  The bad thing was, I had to pretend to really like any gifts I received.  And unless it was the wrong size, I didn't dare return it!  He would just get SO pissy!!!


There was the nightshirt I had gotten that had teddy bears all over it and teddy bear pockets.  It was like a big sweat shirt. This wouldn't be so bad but I hate cutesy pajamas with doggies and kitties and teddy bears on them.  Same goes for sweat shirts.   I still  have the nightshirt.  I wear it on really cold nights.  I can't wear it to bed because I'd probably want to kill someone by morning because I'd sweat so much, but it's great for watching TV on cold evenings.





Here it is!  This is not something I would ever buy for myself.  And NO!  I will not model it for you!


Over the years, I'd get a series of Christmas sweatshirts that always had cutesy stuff on them.  I don't have them any more.  


I did get a washer and dryer for Christmas the first year we were married, but I was going to the laundromat every week, so I liked that gift.


I got a dining table and chair set the year we moved into our first house.  We were going to get them anyway, so I felt cheated.  My daughter has that set in her house now.


I always wanted a new diamond ring, an anniversary band after we were married for some years.  My engagement ring was minuscule (1/10 of a carat).   This brings me to the diamond ring I did finally get .  It was  a "lab-created" diamond ring and a pair of earrings to go with it.  Can you say FAKE??   It was a one-carat diamond solitaire ring that was so obviously fake that I was embarrassed to wear it.  But I had to wear it and pretend to like it.  I got this the year before we split up.  I was completely insulted that he bought this. 
 *** Before anyone says anything.... my husband could afford to get me a real diamond ring.  He was a vice president of a company, with a company car and 5 weeks paid vacation and a hefty Christmas bonus every year.  He could well afford to buy me a real ring.  He was just cheap and is the king of ebay shopping.***
My daughter used to wrap his gifts for him.  She was shocked at how bad this ring looked (she told me later).  She didn't want to wrap it for him, but she did.  I wish I had a picture of it, so I could show you, but I put it in the drawer of his humidor that was in our bedroom along with the phony earrings.  He took the humidor on one of his weekend visits when he slept on the sofa.  I always hoped he'd give it to Maleficent, but I'm sure she'd never accept anything like that.  That chick likes to spend money (which is a good thing for my daughter because she's getting the wedding she deserves, thanks to Maleficent's penchant for spending).  


The year we split (Christmas 2004), Maleficent was already in the picture and we were still married.  I found her Christmas gifts.  He bought her a tool kit (I swear!) and this really ugly blue watch.  He also bought me a  new watch, a a two-toned gold Bulova watch.  Stupid ass kept her gifts in the trunk of his car and mine in his armoir.  Like I wasn't going to search his car every time I drove it.  If that ugly blue watch was in my stack of gifts instead of the nice watch, he was going to have a major dent in his head.  Lucky for his head he gave me the good one.  


I"m sure over 23 years of marriage, I got many more ugly stupid gifts, but these few come to mind right away.


OH!!  I know I had one Fail... the year I bought him one of those big red roll-away tool boxes.... and he bought me a silver fox jacket.   I think that leveled the field.  :)


Anyone want to share their Christmas gift Fails?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Merry Christmas. sigh.



So, is it bad that I didn't bother to put my Christmas tree up this year?   Only one of my kids will be here and she's not arriving until Christmas night and will be gone before the New Year.  sigh.


I am ready for Christmas, sort of.  Got everything bought, but nothing is wrapped yet.   I have to exchange one thing for size.  If my son responded to my text while I was in the store on Sunday, I wouldn't have to do that.  sigh.


I need to be on the road by 7 am on Christmas morning to make it to my daughter's house in Delaware to go to Mass with my family (the kids are staying at Gina's on Christmas Eve, since they'll be at their dad's in NJ and won't have to drive an hour and a half to my house, only to have to turn around and drive nearly an hour and a half to Gina's the next day.  Gina lives maybe 30 minutes from her Dad's).  I hope I wake up in time!  Otherwise, I'll see them after Mass.


There's a possibility it will snow on Christmas.  sigh.  If it does, there's a good chance I won't be driving to Delaware on Christmas morning.  And if I do make it to Gina's and it snows, there's no way in hell I'm going to my ex-in-laws with them!    I'd rather be alone than do that!


I really need to stop buying stuff for myself right before Christmas.  John bought me a Keurig for Christmas (I was with him when he did) and I bought a coffee pod carousel to go with it.  Guess what Tim got me?  Yup!  A pod carousel!  Guess I'm stopping at Target today to return mine!  sigh.


So guess what is the ONLY receipt I can't find?  Yup.  The one for the pod carousel.  sigh.


UPDATE:  Found the receipt!!  Woo hoo!!  

Keely  is the host for Random Tuesday Thoughts.  Go check her out at The Un Mom for lots more fun Randomness!!