Friday, March 16, 2012


I know, I am late with this post, but it's been an interesting/exhausting week.

Aida was wonderful. I am constantly amazed at these talented teens an professionals. To Daela, Delaney, Bean and the cast, you were wonderful. And, Daela, I want your shoes.

Bean was ill...that darn flu...for the last performance. They had to drag someone else off the stage when she was stabbed. And immediately after that, Monkeyboy got the flu...FOR THE THIRD TIME!!!! Sprout remains healthy, I think! Bean goes right into rehersals for Jesus Christ, Superstar.

My pole lamp in the front yard went out. Yes, I changed the bulb. My friend, Ginger's husband, checked the switch and said it was ok. So, I called the electrician who was advertised in the phone book. Waldon's Electric. Keep that name in mind. Mike came to the house on Tuesday. I told him about the lamp, and his first question was "did you change the bulb?". Of course I did,you idiot. He came into the house and went immediately, without any words minced,to the breaker box. "Oh my, this is bad", said he. "Fire hazard". I just wanted the lamp pole fixed. He didn't even look at that, just quoted me a price for the breaker box. "$5975.00, and I don't know about the lamp, will have to look at that. You need to get the breaker box fixed hazard." I asked him to leave my house. "Wait, I'll call my boss." Texts someone, calls boss. "He'll offer you a deal if you will sign now." Me..."You need to leave, now." Walking him to front door. He turns to me and says "You need to install an alarm system so you have time to get out of your house." I say to him..."I have another electrician coming and if he tells me something differrent, I will report you to BBB."

Had some difficulty sleeping that night. Talked to my friend, Mark, who said his friend was an electirician and he would have him call me. Bottem line...his friend told me exactly what King Electric told me....$1900. Still a lot, but not $5975.

Monkeyboy went back to school today to take PSAA tests. Bean is back at rehersals.

Did I mention that my dishwasher rusted out and water was pouring into the garage? Yes, quite a mess. Oh, and did I mention that Allegheny County did a new assessment the property and it went up some #30,000? Yes, it's been that kind of week.

And positive thoughts for all...for Linda M. who is going thru radiation therapy, for Monkeyboy who has had the flu three times and really can't afford not to eat, and for my house...sorry, but that is foremost on my mind right now. Did I mention that the basement is damp? Wet, actually.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Okay, A Day Late.....

A friend of mine from high school and I recently connected again after years apart. So, for Marse, I am Mia. And those times in high school were good and bad, but it's very nice to re-connect. Marse is a talented artist and I love looking at her work. I always admire talent, especially when I have none in drawing or painting at all! I don't remember Marse having this talent in school, but that could be because I have lost much of my memory!!!! Are we encouraged as children to pursue some passion we have...or are we told other things are more important? With all of the cuts in education, do we rob children of the ability to explore their passion in music or art? Is education just about reading, writing and arithmetic? There are those that say it should be...drop art, drop music, drop shop, cooking, sewing. I know, I am showing my age by using those terms. I was listening to the girls when I picked them up from rehersal last week talk about a class that I would have called cooking, and I don't even remember what they called it. Does anyone sew anymore? Does anyone make their own clothes? How about cooking? Mippy cooks Sunday dinner for everyone. I love it. Not just for the food, but for the laughter and sharing that occurs at the table. Arguments, stories, jokes, and yes, even some food fights. But it's about everyone in the kitchen, tripping over the dog, filling the water glasses, keeping the food safe from the animals. It's about clearing the table, washing dishes, Bean whipping that towel around her head which brings me to gales of laughter. It's about Sprout and Monkeyboy tearing around the living room or playing quietly...finally getting past the stage of arguing all the time.

Last winter was bad because of all the snow. This winter is bad because of all the bugs going around. It seems everyday someone has a sinus infection, the flu, a cold or intestinal bug. Enough already. I think we have run the gamet. Monkeyboy had a flu over the weekend and had to miss tournament hockey. We are all keeping fingers crossed that Bean doesn't get it for her performance this weekend. Sprout seems to have been the healthiest of the crew.

I was working yesterday. I love, love, love to see these little ones at Phipps. It is such a joy to see them excited to come and see the trains and flowers. The trains are coming down today, but will return next fall. Butterflies will begin in April and the Spring Show is two weeks away. Came home last night in a mini-blizzard. A white out if you will. I was glad to get home safely. My heart goes out to all who suffered from the horrible weather in the south and mid west. How terribly devistating to lose all that you have, your house, your belongings and most of all, those that you love.

Haven't been to the shelter yet this week, but I plan to go tomorrow, so I'll try to get some more pictures. Ben, I understand that Justice is in a good home. Keep looking on line, and you will find another wonderful dog to keep company with yours.

That's it for now! Have a wonderful week and see you next weekend!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Beautiful, Sunny Sunday

Woke up this morning to sunshine and I love it!
I again decided to take Justice for a walk. There are a lot of new dogs at the shelter, and most of them have blue collars. Blue collars mean that they have either just come to the shelter and are being evaluated, or that they require a more experienced handler to walk them, perhaps because they are agressive or have special medical problems. Green are the most gentle to walk and yellow are the middle level. Justice has a yellow collar.
When I go into the cage to put him on the leash, he wags his butt, sits and waits patiently. I am pretty sure he is saying to himself "I'll fool her". So, I feel fairly confident and I open the door to the cage and it begins. Snarling, growling, baring his teeth to every dog we pass. We get outside and Justice again becomes a docile, sweet boy. We pass other dogs, he wags his tail in greeting and we move on down the path. We get to the pen and he catches ball, releases them after some coaxing and greets another dog in the pen next to ours. After a half hour of tossing the ball, the frisbee and other assorted toys, I am exhausted, and Justice looks a tiny bit tired. Again..."I'll fool her". I put the leash on and open the gate to the pen. We begin our sojourn back to the kennel and it begins. He grabs his leash and begins playing "tug of war". Justice weighs 93 pounds. I weigh 121. It is not an easy task and Justice thinks it is great fun to try to pull me back to the pen. By the way, we are not allowed to pull the dogs. Nothing is said about the dogs pulling us. I want to laugh, because he really seems intent on this mission. And he keeps moving his mouth closer to the end of the leash. He isn't being mean, it is a game to him. BUT I WON! Back in his cage, he goes to lie on his cot and promptly falls asleep. He is the neatest dog, and I have fun walking him, even though he is a puller at times.
Monkeyboy had his hockey playoff this Sunday. What a game it was. Hard fought right to the end. They lost 2-1. It is the best of three and next Saturday is the next game. These kids play their hearts out. No shame for either team, they both played really well, and congrats to the winners.
Bean has rehersals, rehersals, rehersals. Lots of manuvering of schedules and ride sharing for Mippy and the others, but it is Bean's passion and she really loves doing it. For those in Pittsburgh, go to see Aida and Jesus Christ, Superstar. They promise to be really good.
Snow here yesterday, and some really bad accidents here in western PA. Not too bad here in Pittsburgh, but north got it really badly. Not so much the snow, but the wind and the blowing snow made visibility really poor.
Phipps has its orchid and bonsai show, and it really is a beautiful show. The garden railroad comes down next week, which makes many people very sad. But the spring show should be pretty spectacular.
Taxes on Tuesday...yuk! Meeting with Abby, the dietician who will help me figure out what I can and cannot eat. And I think it is time I start thinking about cleaning the house from the attic down to the basement. Does anyone actually call it spring cleaning anymore? I think I have to, I just throw things about this time of the year...either to the attic or the basement.
Hope it is sunny in your world and that you have a wonderful day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday Night, or Monday Morning

Poker kills me. I finished 40/985 or something like that. When I finish, I log off quickly so as to not see comments about my stupid play. Thought I could bluff, but that person with high pairs called me. They have their nerve.
What a wonderful weekend! Work yesterday for a short time, but then dinner at Natilli's. Apricot glazed chicken...mmmm.
Hockey this morning and Monkeyboy's team moves on in tournament. A good game. Then some relaxing time trying to figure out how to put movies on a disc. Dinner tonight was fabulous. We had such fun, and I think I was the brightest, although Sprout answered some of the questions before I did. Just because she and Monkeyboy learned the answers in science this wekk....geesh.
I love Sundays. It is a time to wake up when I feel like it, read the paper, have breakfast whenever I feel like it. It's just kicking back and taking time to relax.
I am going to the shelter tomorrow. Cannot wait, they got lots of dogs in there that I can visit with and have some paytime. I listen to Jackie and how she trains her Madigan, and I listen to Sandy and how she enjoys pics of Bella. I love dog owners. Well, most of them. Jackie should train dogs. She has a lot of patience and common sense. And Sandy should take the dogs, just cause she loves them.
My friend, Michele, came to visit us at Phipps. She is headed for Vegas. I was going to give her money to play for me, but given my luck at poker, I decide against it.
Bean is in rehersal for Aida, and soon will start with Jesus Christ, Superstar. It's going to be a busy time for her.
I sold calendars this year which had pictures of the city. I am trying to take more, with the collaborations of Mark. Mark is a tough critic, but it is helpful to have his input. Hopefully, I will double my sales this year.
I cannot believe the time. This is what happens when Mippy and Bird cook an excellent dinner that makes me fall asleep as soon as I sit down to watch TV. Then I have to wake up and it is morning at 9:30 PM.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Winter Has Arrived

Wow, it's been awhile, hasn't it? Hopefully, my blog friends will return and become a cheerful group once again.
It has been snowing here in the burgh...only the third measurable snow of the season. I've had enough. I don't even think it's pretty anymore, just annoying. But it is winter, and spring will follow!
It's been an odd few months here. Road trip was wonderful! Mary Rose came with Sprout, Bean and Monkeyboy to the beach. We went to the farm first and were honored when Mrs. Miller invited us into the private quarters of the farm. We met Mary Rose at the hotel at the beach. I can honestly say that this was the best road trip ever. Each of the kids prepared a meal, and it was a blast. Monkeyboy served as sous chef for several meals and he and Sprout were hysterical making the pizza and mac and cheese. They took their dinners very seriously, and they were actually quite tasty. A safe trip and loads of fun.
Bean, Monkeyboy and parents went to North Carolina for Thanksgiving and I watched the sick fish, sick dog and sick cat. Of course, with my care, all were healthy again before the homecoming. Well, the fish (whose name I can never remember) was living in very cloudy water, but he made it! Who knew...they told me to feed him twice a day. And the fish floats belly up, which did freak me out, but he survives even today.
Our Steelers didn't do so well, made it to the playoffs, but lost to Denver. Much to my surprise, the Denver contingency of the family sent me a bronco's shirt (notice, I did not capitalize their name). I was so glad the Patriots lost the superbowl. We, here in Pittsburgh, don't much like Tom Brady and the team.
Sprout and Monkeyboy have become quite the skaters and go skating most Friday nights with friends from school. Monkeyboy is also playing inline hockey, and doing quite well at it.
Bean got a part in the professional production of "Jesus Christ, Superstar" at the end of March. Rehersals start this week. Very exciting.
Christmas was a blast. Of course,all fought over my gift. It was a deck of cards with my picture on them. Oh, and Mark from Phipps, pasted my picture on a bottle of Pepsi to add to my gift. I was doing something against Phipps policy and he wanted to be sure that I knew he took a picture of me doing it. That Mark, such a prankster.
My brother and his wife got a Great Dane. Yes, that's right. Her name is Bella and she is beautiful. Getting bigger every day. I will see if it is okay to put pictures of her on the blog.
I am still working with the dogs at the shelter. Love them. They are just such fun. As soon as I begin to walk them and train them, they are adopted, which is a very good thing. There is one dog, however, who has not quite settled down enough. She is a puller, if you will. Jackie at Phipps tells me I should stand with her and make her stay in place until she stops. The problem is that as soon as she gets out of her cage she is through the kennels and around the pathway in the woods. What should be a 15 minute walk becomes a 5 minute walk/run. We go to the cages for her to run, and she picks up the toys and shakes them so hard I think she must be getting brain damage. But I love her, she is funny, and I will continue to work with her.
My friends, Becky and Tom, took me to see the dog whisperer last Friday in Akron. What a treat that was. First, the venue was spectacular. As was he. Funny, but very serious. He had his dog, Junior, with him.
We lost Sandy, our supervisor, at work. She was promoted and now has her weekends off with her husband. I have never seen a bigger smile on any one's face! We miss her, but have a new supervisor, Katie. She has quite a job ahead, and I hope she enjoys the challenge!
Well, that's it for now. I will put some pictures up and hopefully a movie of Monkeyboy playing hockey. Hope to see all of you back again! It's been too long.