Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Tragedy

They call it Black Friday. Well, today that name took on a whole new meaning. Three minutes after the Valley Stream, NY, WalMart opened it's doors this morning, chaos reined. No, I don't mean the chaos of shoppers rushing for the best deals in town. I mean people getting injured...and one man DYING! In the rush to get to ridiculously small quantities of low-priced items available for only a few hours, people knocked fellow shoppers to the ground and caused a 34-year-old TEMPORARY employee to die. Wow, now that's what I call "the Holiday Spirit".

Are you horrified yet? Well, gets better! After the incident, the store closed its doors to incoming shoppers. But, what about the customers already inside? Well, they were allowed to continue their shopping, make their purchases, and then were escorted out of the store! WHAT?!?!? People were getting injured and even DYING, and the store continued to conduct business?!?!? I have been a loyal WalMart customer for more years than I can remember, but I refuse to continue to be loyal to a corporation that places profits higher than someone's life on their list of priorities.

I sent WalMart's corporate office a nasty e-mail this morning, explaining to them that I understand that news stories can get things wrong, but the basic facts in this story are the same. I told them that I was disgusted at the way the store handled the situation and that I would no longer be a WalMart customer, but would take my business to Target from now on. I demanded that they do NOT reply with the canned "We are very sorry for this tragedy" bullshit they always spout off with whenever something terrible happens. I told them that their Valley Stream store's actions this morning spoke MUCH louder than words ever could.

If you are interested in sending WalMart's corporate office a message regarding your thoughts and feelings about this morning's tragedy, here is a link to their feedback web site:

Have a blessed day,


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lifehouse "Everything" Skit

This skit is one of the most powerful dramatizations I have ever seen of the love and protection God provides to us. I wanted to share it with you all. For more amazing videos, visit - the Christian answer to YouTube.

Murphy's Law?

I was SO ready to throw in the towel during the last few days. On Sunday, I had dinner cooking in the kitchen and had just thrown a load of laundry in the washing machine. The girls were playing a game in the dining area, being kind to one another for once, and I was sitting here at my computer working away. I suddenly realized the sound of water running into the machine was much louder than it should have been. As there is a wall between my desk and the area of the house where the washing machine is, I asked the girls if they could hear water running somewhere. They both sort of laughed and said, "DUH! It's the washing machine!" I told them that I realized that, but it sounded like the water was pouring into the machine funny. They just kept laughing until I told them it wasn't funny, because I needed to know if we were getting flooded. Suddenly the laughter stopped and they started shrieking, "The whole kitchen's flooded!!" I raced into the kitchen to discover that the washing machine had not stopped filling, so it was overflowing all over the floor. Ordinarily, this kind of thing would just be a nuisance and a mess to clean up, but we live in a mobile home. Mobile homes have pressed wood underneath the carpeting or linoleum...NOT a concrete foundation! After switching off the washing machine, we quickly grabbed the closest thing available to sop up all the water - the girls' blankets, which they had been sitting on while playing their game. When I called my dad for advice, he asked if I had a ShopVac. YES!! I DO!! We used that to suck up most of the water, but the carpet in the hallway was still extremely wet, so I set a fan to blow down the hallway on high. It took three days to dry it out and I am praying that the wood underneath isn't damaged so badly that one of these days we will end up falling through.

The next day, my dad came over to look at the washing machine and try to figure out what was wrong with it. While testing it out, he noticed that water was also leaking out of the bottom of the machine. NOT a good sign! Apparently, the water level regulator has gone bad, but also the seal at the bottom of the washtub is leaking. SO, it would not be cost effective to try to repair this washing machine. Two kids and no washing machine?!?! YIKES!! Fortunately, I was able to go to my parents' house the next day and wash the clothes that had been in the washer as well as washing the girls' blankets. I still had to figure out how I was going to afford a new washing machine, though.

Also on Monday, I noticed that my cell phone wasn't working properly. I rely on my cell phone for most of my telephone communications, as I only have very basic phone service on my landline. Being without my cell phone is not a good thing. It appeared that something was not right with the settings on the phone, because all of the functions were working properly EXCEPT text messaging and making phone calls. Text messages simply would not go through and when I attempted to make a phone call, I would either get a message that said "Emergency calls only" or the phone would appear to be dialing the number, but would disconnect the call before it started ringing. When I went back to my parents' house to collect our clean laundry on Monday evening, I put my SIM card into my dad's phone and it worked perfectly. Oh great. That meant the problem was with my phone and I would probably have to get a new one. I can't afford a new one! Thankfully, I do have an older phone that I can use, but I would still need to figure out how to purchase a new charger for it...not an easy thing to do when you have less than $1.00 in your pocket.

Things have a way of working out for the best when you least expect it, though. I was talking with a friend on Tuesday about my washing machine breaking and the fact that I couldn't afford a new one. She mentioned that she and her fiancee have a washing machine they are not using and that I could have it! Also on Tuesday, I went to the AT&T store to find out if there was anything that could be done to salvage my phone and discovered that they were having intermittent network outages in my area. WHAT??? I had spent 45 minutes on the phone with Customer Care, during which time they told me there were NOT any outages in my area! The salesperson at the AT&T store told me that she had been hearing that from customers that lived in my area all day long and had reported it to upper management at Customer Care. All's well that ends well, and the service seems to be working fine now.

So, as I breathe a huge sigh of relief at my two problems getting resolved and go make myself a cup of coffee, I wish you all a happy and healthy day.

God bless,


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kids and Kitten Update

Hello again family and friends. Thanks for stopping by! I just wanted to give a quick update on how things are going in our lives before starting my work day.

As some of you know, Theresa broke her elbow while playing in the Playplace at the mall in June this year. Well, for the past couple of weeks she has been complaining that her elbow was hurting right in the area where it had been broken, so I took her to the doctor to get it re-examined. They took more x-rays and discovered that she has what's called a "joint effusion", which basically means fluid in the joint that shouldn't be there. Because of that, there is a concern that perhaps the fracture didn't heal as well as they first thought, so they are referring her back to the orthopedist. We are a little worried about that, because the orthopedist had told us if the original casting didn't heal the fracture, we would be looking at surgery. We will be seeing the orthopedist tomorrow, so I will post an update as soon as I know more about what will be happening with Theresa.

The three of us are coping well with the loss of O.B. a couple of weeks ago. My dad kindly came over and helped me bury her in my flower bed and then he and my mom took us out to dinner to help take our minds off the loss. O.B.'s mate, Falon, still appears to be lonely for her, but at least he has started whistling and talking again. I was worried that he would pine for her so greatly that he, too, would die, but he seems to have snapped back and is returning to the happy personality we know and love.

Thumbelina is doing very good! Here is an updated picture of her. You can see she has grown quite a bit! I have had the hardest time getting an updated picture of her because she's so active. I finally caught her sleeping and gently laid a can of Campbell's Tomato soup next to her for size reference. She still has a little bit of infection in her eyes, but her skin condition has completely cleared up and the eyes are getting better every day. I tell you, this little kitten is quite the fighter.

Michaela is doing very well. She's enjoying school and has made lots of friends. Healthwise she's doing pretty good, but she has developed what I suspect is plantar fasciitis (an inflammation of the lining of the muscles and tendons on the bottom of her foot). I have the same problem myself. Ibuprofen is usually all that is needed to take care of the inflammation and, subsequently, the pain.

Well, dear family and friends, the time has come for me to sign off and get to work. I hope your days are pleasant and the Lord blesses you in everything you do!

Love 'n' stuff,


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sad morning

We woke up this morning to a sad discovery. Our beloved cockatiel, O.B. (short for "Other Bird" - long story - see below), who we have had since my 12-year-old daughter was a baby, passed away sometime in the early morning hours. We are devastated. I spent a full 15 minutes on my knees, clutching her lifeless body to my chest, rocking and crying. The tears are still flowing as I sit here typing. O.B. was truly a part of our family and we loved her very much. She will be missed dearly. We knew we were going to lose her soon because she was old, but the knowing doesn't make the losing any easier. Her much younger mate, Falon, is so confused. He keeps calling and calling for her...can't understand where she's gone. I know many people would say, "Get over it; it was just a bird.", but those are the people who have never experienced the personality, love, and friendship of one of these plucky little creatures.

I got O.B. almost 12 years ago. When I first saw her at the pet store, I was living in a place where I couldn't have any pets, but I would be moving to a new apartment in 2 weeks. I couldn't pass her up. She was the sweetest thing and kept following me from one side of the pet store cage to the other. I bought her and convinced my parents to babysit her for me until I moved. My dad had a parakeet at the time that was named Crazy Bird, or C.B. for short. Each morning, when my mom would go uncover the bird cages, she would say, "Good morning, Crazy Bird. Good morning, Other Bird", and so that's how O.B. got her name.

Our days will have a little less sunshine in them now that O.B. has left us, but I know that she is in a better place. The last several months have been difficult for her, because her age caused her to have health issues, including blindness. I know she is enjoying flying around the trees of Heaven and will be waiting to land on my shoulder when it's my turn to join her.

Rest In Peace, my precious friend.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthdays and other stuff's hard to believe my BABY just turned 9 years old yesterday! Time sure does fly, doesn't it? My mom and dad went away for the weekend, so we had a birthday dinner on Friday at their house, along with cake and presents. She got a new pair of jammies, a few outfits, some hair accessories, some undies and socks, and a really neat Littlest Pet Shop board game.

On Saturday my boyfriend, Dennis, and I took both of my daughters and one of the birthday girl's friends to do Cosmic bowling. It's the coolest thing. They turn out all the lights in the bowling alley and have strobes, blacklights, lasers, and smoke. It's also a really good deal. For only $9.99 per person, you get two hours of bowling including shoe rental. During regular "open bowl" times, that $9.99 would only get you shoe rental and one game, which equals about 15 minutes of bowling. After bowling, we went shopping and then took the kids to Souplantation for dinner, where we all stuffed ourselves way past the normal limits of human suffering (what else are buffets for???).

On Sunday, Dennis had to leave early so he could get home in time for work (did I mention he works with dead people?). I took my daughters out to Hometown Buffet for brunch to celebrate the actual birthday date. A word of advice - NEVER have two meals in a row at buffets. I felt like the ultimate hog and I will never do that again.

We have more celebrating coming up on Friday when my birthday rolls around. People used to ask me if I hated having my birthday so close to Halloween, because a lot of the time I would get Halloween related gifts. Anyone who knows me well enough now, though, knows that I LOVE to get Halloween things for my birthday. Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. I like it better than any other holiday...even Christmas.

What? Oh...the dead people thing! Dennis drives a van for a mortuary. He picks up bodies from the morgues and delivers them to the mortuary. He morbidly jokes that he likes his job because his passengers don't tell him how to drive and he still gets to use the carpool lane. I haven't checked that one out myself, but he tells me that he's had a police officer tell him it's true. "There's nothing in the law that says your passenger has to be breathing."

Thumbelina is doing pretty good! Her fur is starting to grow back in the places where she lost it due to the skin condition. She's gobbling down canned kitten food like a champ and bouncing all over the house, terrorizing the bigger cats. Her favorite place to be is either snuggled up with our youngest orange cat, Pixie (who's about 4 months old), in the kitty bed my dad gave her or else napping on my shoulder. I'm not sure how she's going to handle getting too big to perch on my shoulder. It seems to be one of her favorite places to be. I am going to introduce dry food softened with a little of her formula in the next couple of days. I'll try to get a more updated picture of her posted ASAP.

Well, dear family and friends, the time has come for me to end this babble and get back to work. I wish you a blessed day.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Endurance test

Wow...has it really been over a month since I've been here?!?! Time sure does fly. I guess when you're super busy, though, time just gets away from you.

I still have not heard anything back from the congressman regarding the letter I mailed to him. I have called his office a couple of times, though, just to keep my name fresh on their minds. You know what they say: "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." I'll be certain to post something here as soon as I receive any kind of response.'s the reason I've been super busy. I've been bottle raising this little tyke! My best friend's daughters found her at their apartment complex, where she almost got run over by a car! She was only about 1-2 weeks old. They couldn't keep her, because my friend's fiancee is very allergic to cats, so I agreed to take her. We've named her Thumbelina, because she's so tiny. She's just about the cutest thing you've ever seen, but she's having some major health challenges. She has a skin disorder that I'm working to cure, plus the formula I was originally feeding her just did not agree with her delicate little system. Three times now she has just about died on me...and each of those three times were about the most devastating 12 hours I have ever been through. The first time, I sat up holding her all night long, talking to her, stroking her face to simulate her mother licking her, and praying to God to either end her suffering or give her a miracle. About 3:00 a.m. she began to show signs of regaining her strength and by 6:45 a.m. she was just about back to "normal". She has repeated this pattern twice now, but the episode she had yesterday was the worst yet. I was truly convinced she wasn't going to make it this time. She's definitely a fighter, though, because she pulled through once again and today she's bouncing around the house as if nothing happened. This little one is the reason this post is titled "Endurance test". I am fairly convinced that God put this kitten on the earth to test the endurance of my faith. Let me tell you, dear friends, my faith nearly failed yesterday. Never fear, though; I do know who gets the credit for this baby recovering yet again. All the credit goes to God.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I had a horrid day yesterday. I have been excitedly looking forward to beginning online courses with The University of Phoenix so I can work on earning my Associates Degree in Business...a first step towards my dream of owning a catering business. Much to my chagrin, I was informed that I have a student loan in default. What?!? I had requested that my loan be put into deferrment, so of course I was completely taken by surprise with this tidbit of information. Apparently the financial aid representative at the completely worthless trade school I attended ( did NOT do as he promised and, therefore, my loan is now in Federal Default. What does that mean? It means that I cannot get another student loan as long as the default exists. It also means they will seize my tax refunds until the loan is no longer in default. I have only two options for getting the loan out of default:

1) Pay off the total amount, in excess of $8,000. YEAH RIGHT!!!
2) Set up automatic monthly payments in the amount of approximately $90. After NINE months of these monthly payments being made, the loan will no longer be in default and will be eligible for deferrment once again. Since I cannot afford an extra $90 a month, this is obviously not an option for me, either.

My dear mother, to whom I owe so very much, called me rather excited this evening when she got home from work. Her wonderful boss had come up with a genius of an idea - write a letter to my congressman!! It's an election year. They don't want ANY dissatisfied voters on their hands come November! I will spend Friday (my next day off) composing a letter that would make even a heart of stone weep at my plight. So, my dear family and friends, please pray that the letter I will place in the mail on Saturday touches the heart of a person who just may have the power to give this situation a happy ending.