Sunday, October 30, 2005

Snow Before Halloween

Yes, we had a smattering of snow yesterday. Unfortunately, none of my pictures came out as it never snowed heavy enough for my camera to pick up the flakes coming down.

The damp weather curtailed Steven's time down at Thompson Speedway yesterday, but the weather is cooperating today and off he went with our Canon 20D, a little cooler packed with food and his spectating racing gear. This is the last regular event of the season before the winter break. Suffice to say, he's excited about going. He's got a number of friends who also attend and they usually all hang out together watching the various racing events. It's what he loves to do and he's always very sad when the season ends and April always seems so far away for him.

Gratitudes for Sunday, October 30th:
- Steven gets to spend his time down at Thompson today
- J's utter delight at the old box of Legos we gave him this morning
- The shining sun today
- My family and my friends
- The smell of autumn being such a wonderful smell

Friday, October 28, 2005

Gratitudes for Friday 10/28/2005

part of my daily blog entry will be gratitudes. Feel free to add your own in the comment section.

Today I am grateful for:

- J's fever finally breaking in the middle of the night
- Mum bringing me a loaf of warm bread from the market to have sliced & buttered with my tea
- Steven for telling me we are stronger than we've ever been in the face of a huge marital breakup of friends of ours
- SIL & BIL's best friends, Jules and Michael who are getting married tonight
- Sudoku puzzles that help me wind my day down and I'm convinced help me fall asleep better
- That no one was hurt when a sinkhole opened up on a street near us

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

And it's you when I look in the mirror
And it's you that makes it hard to let go
Sometimes you can't make it on your own
Sometimes you can't make it
The best you can do is to fake it
Sometimes you can't make it on your own

I've seen U2 twenty times now. Yes, I am still going on about the U2 concert, over two weeks later I am still on about it. Their song, "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb has been haunting me since the show. The show itself, other than being bloody brilliant was a very emotional one for me on several levels. First we were able to get into the Ellipse just after the lights went down. Suffice to say I spent "City of Blinding Lights" bawling my eyes out, partially due to emotion and mostly due to adrenaline. We settled in and then Bono started talking about his father, who died a few years back. Then he launched into "Sometimes". He stood a mere few feet away from me on the Ellipse ramp, his emotion in the song was raw, he was so into the the words and emotions as he sang. It hit me like Big Papi hitting a homerun for my beloved Red Sox. Tears started coursing down my face and I found myself thinking back to six years ago this month. I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant and then devastated when I miscarried at the beginning of Week 8. Now granted, ten days after my miscarriage, I found out that I was still pregnant and J is our miracle. But I found myself missing our lost son or daughter. And my aunt Val-Val. She died just after I turned 19. That's a whole other blog entry for another day. My child and my aunt pervaded my soul like the song did. I felt their presence in my heart so heavily that night. I know that Val-Val was there to greet my child when he or she made her way to Heaven. Ironically, J was born on Val-Val's birthday, as Nana had said he would. I can't help but think that things happen for a reason. The song hit me so hard and has haunted me every day since. At first, I was sad; but now think that a song like that has so many meanings for so many people. What a blessing something like that is. To be able to reach so many people and so many emotions through a song. Yes, music is truly a blessing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thoughts and Prayers

Today my thoughts and prayers are with the citizens of Taunton, Massachusetts. Currently the whole downtown area is closed down, schools are closed and 2,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes. This in response to a dam that has the potential of failure. I've got the news on and the engineer who works for the private owner of the dam has said some pressure has been relieved because of an increase in the flow of water. Please keep the town of Taunton in your thoughts and prayers today that everyone, from citizens to National Guardsmen to city officials will be safe.

Monday, October 17, 2005

A Lovely Weekend

Saturday was spent with friends at an all day crop. I got there a little before 10AM in the POURING RAIN, unloaded all my gear with thanks to my friend Paula and her trusty umbrella. Sat my butt in a chair and continued to work on our Disney album from last year's trip. I say album, but when all is said and done, it will actually be 3 albums, one album for every 2 days. Yes, truly sad and pathetic. but it is all important to us, so that's that! By the time I left the crop, just before 9PM, I thought there was something wrong with my vision. What were those twinkly things and that big round bright thing in the sky? I remember seeing something about stars and the moon, on that show Cosmos I think a long time ago. Sidenote: Set my Tivo to record the rebroadcasts of Cosmos!.

Sunday was an odd day in that it vascillated between clear, bright and sunny to dark, cloudy and threatening rain. And the wind was blowing between those two something fierce. We took a little road trip over to A Time for Memories in Grafton to replace my copy of Simple Scrapbooks magazine that had been soaked with milk by accident a few nights ago. And was I ever excited when they told me my Designing with 2006 calendar had come in. Woo-hoo!

The rest of Sunday was low key and involved a home cooked meal, some end of weekend tidying up of the chaos a family of three can create and then a good night's sleep.

Today the weather is still quite lovely and it is wonderful to have windows open all over the house. I had the motivation to clean out the hall closet. Old expired medicines, empty packages, etc. tossed out. Reorganized the rest of it. I love a project like that. It gets worse before it gets better, but when done, you just keep going back to look at what you accomplished.

Today is also our 13th wedding anniversary. We celebrated it two weeks ago the night we went out to see U2. So tonight we'll celebrate with J as well as Steve's folks at our favorite Japanese restaurant here in town.

One final thing, Steven found a picture from the U2 concert and managed to find us in the picture. He labeled us and the band.

Yes, we were inside the Ellipse and yes, we were that close. The ramp just to the right of us is where Bono stood quite a few times that evening, just a mere 3 feet away from us. Suffice to say life was really good that night!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Local Scrapbook Stores

My cousin, Susie, lives in upper New York state. We get to see each other two, maybe three (if we're lucky), times a year. About a month and a half ago, we planned for her to come out and visit us for an overnight visit.

Like me, she is a scrapbooker and stamper. For some time she's been trying to turn her guest bedroom into a multi-purpose room; keep it as a guest bedroom, but also turn it into a space for scrapping and stamping so she can have easy access to her supplies and take advantage of being able to leave things out to steal a few minutes scrapping. She went to her local scrapbook store and looked at storage options. One thing she came up with was the Cropper Hopper Paper Tote and Cart. I've got one of these totes sitting on my floor. Admittedly more often than not, I pile project boxes on top of it, thus negating it's usability. We got talking about the Tote and Cart. She asked me if I had either and I said just the tote. She then suggested that she could give me the cart for my Christmas present this year if I wanted one. I jumped at the offer. Susie went back to her local scrapbook store and ordered one tote for her and two carts, one for each of us. This was back on September 10th. She was told, it would be in within 10 business days. She called on September 28th (more than 10 business days later) and was told, "Oh that didn't get ordered yet. We'll order it and put a rush on it." The day before her trip out, she called again and was told, "It's on order." She told them that didn't do her a lot of good for the recipient of one of the carts since she was travelling out of state to deliver it during a family visit. This morning she stopped in the store and was told that the owner was not available for at least a week and she handles all that. So my cousin asked if she could cancel the order because after 30 days of being brushed off, she felt it had never been ordered. Amazingly her money was instantly refunded. The woman working snapped at her, "I need to see your frequent buyer card." Now understandably, she shouldn't get the purchasing punches for something she's gotten refunded. The sensible thing would be to count off the punches, pull out a new card and punch for everything she had on the card except the tote & cart purchases. Nope, the employee ripped up the card and told my cousin to have a nice day in a snotty tone. So, my cousin went across the road to Michael's, bought one cart and tote for a lot less money. She said she went in not knowing if they even carried these products, found a helpful staff member who showed her what she wanted, offered to take it up to the register so she wouldn't have to carry it around while she shopped and pleasantly checked her out. She'll go online to order a cart for me and have it direct shipped to me.

Now another twist showing the disparity that some scrapbook stores do or don't get customer service. When Susie was here last week, we naturally hit the store near me. They keep their customer purchase cards on file. They remembered her from a visit well over a year ago, asked her if she had a card. Her reply, "No, I let Jennifer have it written on her card." So they asked her if she wanted to have a card for this visit, again my cousin said no thanks put it on Jennifer's card. Of course, when we went back the next morning for something she "had to" have they said the same thing, but were happy to put it on my card. This is my "home" store and they are good people there. They were happy to do whatever the customer wanted.

I am a firm believer in supporting the little guy. I hate Michael's and Wal-Mart because of their predatory business practices. My Michael's is horrible and I avoid it like the plague. As a result of attitude and mucking about, the store that my cousin tried to shop with has lost all her business. I just don't get it that they aren't bending over backwards in the fight against giant corporations like Michael's and Wally-World.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Today has been one of those days and that day started at 3:30 in the morning when we thought a wild animal had gotten into the house. A strange sound woke me up out of a dead sleep, who then woke Steven up out of a dead sleep. So we got J up and then we headed into our bedroom, closing the door to keep everyone in the bedroom and anything outside out of the bedroom. Steve got up at regular time with a big flashlight and investigated the basement, nothing there. Must have been something outside that we heard. Great! Then I can't get the TV setup to work in the living room. Not the end of the world that J has no TV, but aggravating nonetheless. Then I talk to Mum and her car is dead and she's waiting for AAA to come tow her car. This means me going and picking her up and us following the tow truck to the dealership. Not earth shattering, just aggravating and not how we planned to spend our day off from school. Oh and it's pouring down rain something fierce, which precludes doing something outside like going to the playground.

If' you've read my kvetch this far, thank you. It's Monday and like the Boomtown Rats, I hate Mondays.

Stupid Monday

AGGGGH!!! I give up.
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