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Monday, December 31, 2012

A 'NEW YEAR' OF SNOW

We didn't have a white Christmas this year. It snowed a little the day after Christmas, but this week we got hit with two rounds of heavy snow. The first round was mainly ice since the temperature went up just a little, and then back down to freeze everything.

Some guys came to shovel after the freeze, but didn't do a very good job, because the driveway was not clear and I was sliding on the ice just to get to the truck. But I had to get to a store.

We had a heavy snow Friday, and Saturday it snowed again. The guys who shovel don't work on the weekends, so I've been stuck inside since Friday. I can hint about the snow, but no one takes the hint. I am hoping the guys show up Monday and shovel me out. Approximately five driveways on my street are shoveled clean, but the three single senior ladies driveways are still snow covered and we are home-bound.

The New Year is going to have a white start. I just hope it's not a sign of a bad winter to come for 2013. At this rate, even with snow hints and requests for shoveling help, I'll be hibernating a lot in the next couple months. My yard will continue to look like this:



Sunday, December 30, 2012

FORMER BIKER CHICK

Someone recently told me he joined a motorcycle club in the area. Why, I asked. He doesn't own a bike, and to my knowledge, hasn't owned a bike ever, or in many, many years. Motorcycle enthusiasts and owners usually join clubs to share biking experiences and ride together.

I would have been a better candidate for a motorcycle club, because of my past personal experiences, but, hey, I wasn't asked.

My first motorcycle was a Honda 175 that I used to ride back and forth to work in Charleston, South Carolina. My second bike (shown here) was a Honda 400 and I loved to "dress it out" with saddle bags, windshield, and a sign on the side that said "Motorcycle Mama."


Once I moved back to Ohio, I owned a Honda 650, later sold it and bought a Virago 650 (shown here), which I loved, but it had gas tank leakage problems that the dealer couldn't seem to solve. The dealer bought it back from me and I went to a Suzuki dealer and bought a new Suzuki 650 (shown below). It was a beautiful thing to ride. It was somewhat heavier than any of the others and harder to hold up straight after my two knee surgeries. That's when someone told me I needed to give up riding because of my knees. I figured his ulterior motive was because of my age. I don't think there's an age limit on motorcycle riding. Safety is the issue.

I loved riding and now I'm sorry I gave it up. But I do have many good memories of my riding days and photos to remind me of the 'good ole days.'
Me and my Virago.

Friday, December 28, 2012

SCARY THOUGHT


I read an article today about the Los Angeles gun buyback program held recently. I was surprised to learn they took in two rocket launchers from people giving up their bad weapons. The LAPD had so many guns turned in, they were running short of the gift cards for the exchange. The owners could remain anonymous.

They also collected 75 assault weapons. Handguns were exchanged for $100 gift cards; $200 for assault weapons. A total of 901 handguns, 698 rifles, and 363 shotguns will be destroyed as a result of this buyback, according to the article.

Why in the world would a private citizen have a military rocket launcher in their possession? A scary thought, for sure.

I wish more cities would hold these buyback programs and get all or most of the assault weapons off the streets of this country. No one hunts deer or squirrel with an assault weapon. Only people are killed by such terrible weapons in the hands of non-military personnel. Only the military should be allowed to possess assault weapons of any kind.

I am not an NRA member, I believe in the Second Amendment, but I do believe in banning assault weapons for the average citizen, and large magazine clips. A small clip for a regular handgun will do whatever damage the shooter intends. I support the assault weapons ban and large clip ban that is being brought before Congress soon - and as the article said, so do most law abiding Americans!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

MY OLD TREE

During my trip down memory lane recently, I went to the house where I was born and raised. I'll write about the house itself in a future blog. From where I parked on the street, I could see the huge tree in the backyard. That tree brought back many memories of my childhood.


My father planted that tree (little at the time) when I was born. It was in the center of the rear of the yard near the garage. As a young teen, I remember the tree very well - I grew up with it. Here's how I remembered it many years ago, in this photo.

Today, after many years of growth, it was almost unrecognizable. The base is huge in circumference and it is so tall now. It has grown as I have aged. It is not the same tree that was planted when I was born, and I am not the same person I was as a kid growing up with that familiar tree in my yard.


Times change - people change, and trees grow and change as well. Nothing ever stays the same, and we might as well get used to that fact of life.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

FROM FIRE TO POLICE

On my recent trip down the memory lane of home, I learned some history of a familiar place.

In 1925, the city administration of Cleveland Heights recognized the need to increase the number of personnel in the local fire department. Six firemen were added to the department in 1925, and four firemen were added in 1926, bringing the personnel to one chief, one assistant chief, one captain, one lieutenant, and twenty-one firemen.


In March of 1928, the city contracted for a new fire station to be built on the northeast corner of Monticello Blvd and Noble Road. It was designed in the English Tudor revival style. The basement for the new structure had to be blasted out of solid rock. Fire Station No. 2, located at 2595 Noble Road (seen here), was dedicated and opened with one 1000 gpm American La France combination chemical pumper and hose apparatus. Six new firemen were also hired at that time.

For over fifty years the building housed firefighters and increasingly sophisticated engines until the reorganization of the Cleveland Heights Fire Department in 1982. The building was then closed.


In 1990, the building was reopened as a Class A Police Academy. Three complete courses are offered each year, each one involving 380 hours of classroom training by Cleveland Heights police in cooperation with the Cuyahoga Community College. The Academy now has a national reputation.

To prepare the building for the school, instead of a fire house, members of the police department undertook an extensive restoration program, doing most of the work themselves except for the new boiler and roof. With the original architectural plans in hand, they worked to the 1928 specification, plastering ceilings, rather than using drywall.

The living room was restored to the original look with a beamed ceiling, chandelier, and working fireplace. One of the classrooms was originally a garage for fire engines.


On February 16, 1959, Martin G. Lentz was hired as a police officer in Cleveland Heights. He had a 51 year career with the police department, 36 years as the city's police chief. On December 2, 2010, Lentz retired as a revered and distinguished officer. At his retirement celebration at City Hall, it was announced that the Cleveland Heights Police Academy was being renamed the Martin G. Lentz Police Academy. The new name can be seen on the sign above the old fire engine doors (in the picture above).

Thus, the fire department that I knew from my school days in 1959, became a police academy in 1990. Things sure do change as time marches on.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NOSTALGIC DRIVE

For my mental health day, I decided to visit the past. We all came from somewhere and I wanted to revisit my memories.

On Tuesday, I drove to Willoughby, Ohio to visit an old high school friend. Then today, Wednesday, was my nostalgic drive to my early life. Of course, my ever present companion and side-kick, my dog, came along with me, as she always does. The cat had to stay home!

I drove by many places from my old stomping grounds, but today I will just mention my schools and church.


I attended Noble Road Elementary School, and it still stands today, with a new addition off the back of the school, with a playground added. I remember walking to school every day - we didn't have school buses in those days, unless you lived over a mile or so away. Rain - shine - or snow - we walked!


The church where my family went for a while is just a block away from the elementary school. The library was next door, then the church on Noble Road - Noble Road Presbyterian Church still stands.


Then I drove about the same distance on the south side of the house where I grew up to visit my junior high school. Now Monticello Junior High School is known as Monticello Middle School. I remember walking there every day when I started seventh grade.


My drive brought back memories of the 'good ole days' gone by that will never be seen again. The area has changed somewhat, but those same buildings remain, gathering memories for the students who walk those halls today, getting a different kind of education than we did in the past. The past will forever be - the past.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

BREAK TIME

I'm taking a break - I needed a 'mental health' day or two. This is a rough time of the year. Be back soon.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

THE ROOF IS FIXED

When a roof leaks, it must be fixed. Buckets and trash cans can be placed around the kitchen, but that only buys time, not a new roof.


As in the living room ceiling blog a few days ago, it took four attempts to find a local company that would do responsible work. The roof repair day finally arrived. It is a small kitchen area, and since it's flat, roll roofing will work well for the fix.


Two men put the new roof on the kitchen and the leaks stopped. However, one mishap was encountered during the repair work. The helper-worker stepped on an area that had not yet been secured and his foot went through the roofing, thus busting out the tile above the basement stairway. The repair on that "foot work" will be the responsibility of the restoration company!

The company called in his dry wall repairman and patched the hole and the repair was done - inside and out, so the kitchen is now dry and safe. Another accomplished goal to make John's house better - inside and out.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

HEAVY FOOT


I was at John's house some time ago and, while sitting in the living room, I noticed something caught my eye from the ceiling. I looked up and saw a hole in the ceiling the size of a foot. Of course, I HAD to ask.

The explanation was simple - he went into the attic, the foot slipped off the beam, and the heavy foot went through the attic floor and came through the living room ceiling.


Oh boy, that will be a fun repair. I searched for a drywall repairman and after four tries, I finally found someone who could fix it.


The area was cut out, new drywall was installed, the ceiling was re-textured around the area, and now looks like normal again.

I have also told John - no more attic ventures! He can't afford it (and neither can I now).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

ANOTHER CHARLIE BROWN TREE


Wednesday I stopped by a friend's house and noticed garland and lights on the front porch railing decorated for the holidays. But what really caught my eye was the sad, lonely tree in the front yard.

Since I am a big Charlie Brown fan, I immediately thought of Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree. I thought - if only that sad little bare tree had a string of lights or a couple ornaments to adorn it, it could be loved more.

I can only hope the little tree gets some attention before the snow falls.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

VEGGIE SOUP


Saturday I had the urge to make some homemade vegetable soup. I used to cook more, but found that just for myself, it's easier to fix light smaller meals. I use my crockpot more now for single or two-day meals.

I was at the grocery Thursday and picked up a few things I needed for my soup. At the last minute, I had to change the name to Chicken Vegetable Soup. I decided to add two cans of chicken breast meat to the veggies.

My soup had fresh broccoli, cauliflower, pearl onions, carrots, and peas, with added Swanson Chicken Broth and water. It simmered on the stove for about three hours before the aroma woke my hunger pains. It was good soup and now I have enough for the next couple days.

I was going to share with someone, but since I am no longer in the loop of information as in the past, the person was not available to share with. His loss for sure, because when I do cook, IT'S GOOD!

Monday, December 10, 2012

KID RUSSELL

I acquired this statue of C.M. Russell at an auction and began to research it. I learned it was half of a set so will now look for other piece; maybe it will show up at some auction. The other piece is called "I Rode Him" (bull with horns in the picture below).


Charles M. Russell (March 19, 1864-October 24, 1926) was known as “Kid Russell” and an artist of the Old American West. He created more than 2000 paintings of cowboys, Indians, and landscapes of the old west. He was known as a cowboy artist and also did bronze sculptures.

The C.M. Russell Museum is located in Great Falls, Montana. Russell grew up in Missouri, but at the age of 16, left school and moved to Montana to work on a sheep ranch with a deep love of the West and art. He spent the rest of his life in Montana painting and sculpting.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

WHAT'S IMPORTANT?

This is a funny video. It says it all about how the public thinks. Watching this is worth your while.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

OZ LIVES


This evening The Great Oz granted audience, by sending the Ozzie-Munchkin - who appeared to solve the Valley of Hose's tears.

I am greatful to The Great Oz, after being silent for three days, for showing mercy upon the closed water closet room.

In other words, my son showed up after work and put the new hose on the water tank and FIXED THE DAMN THING! I can now use my main bathroom and all is grand in OZ.

No more walking through the fields of flowers (my kitchen) to the Worker Room to utilize the spare (see yesterday's blog for more meaning).

I'm thankful that job is now done and we can move on to other busy work. The next household project to be tackled is the repair of my ice maker in the freezer. Yesterday I found the book (manual) that came with the old refrigerator, and the installation instructions for the ice maker. Therefore, I now know the part number and name for the item I need to order from Sears. AND, I now have someone who knows how to put the part in - so next month the repair will be done! (This repair item is something Santa was asked last year, but, the wish he was unable to grant.)

I look forward to getting ice and cold water out of the freezer door dispenser once again. Maybe my New Year is looking up afterall! I'll KEEP SMILING!




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

MY FABLE OF OZ


Once upon a time a young gal lived in a place called Plumberville (a place where real plumbers are expensive). A lot of Munchkins (workers) also live in Plumberville. A few Munchkins were so talented and smart, they were elevated to the level of Ozzie-Munchkins (so knighted by The Great Oz). These Ozzies handled all the tasks that the younger and less experienced Munchkins couldn't do.

One day the gal had a problem and called one of the Munchkins to fix the water valve in her closet (water closet to you seadogs). An Ozzie-Munchkin appeared at her door and, with one hand tied behind his back, attempted to replace the valve.

This particular Ozzie-Munchkin was such a busy, talented urchin that his time is always limited because he wears so many hats. He was foretold to be a communication-Ozzie, but sometimes forgets to be communicative. He used to be a fire-Ozzie, but that hat has been put on the back of the shelf for a more technical hat of late.

After the gal's closet was checked, she later found the drips of tears running down the Valley of Hose. If you've never been to the Valley of Hose, she can tell you it's a place of a white road with a grey celestial sky and a silver tip (the hose that connects the water outlet to the tank). It's not a place she can go by herself, because doing so causes pancake-itis (flattened boob lying across the seat to reach the tank bottom). She learned this once and won't return.

While the gal waits patiently for the Ozzie to control and prioritize the six lives within himself right now, the tears no longer drip because she was smart enough to seal the closet from all comers and seers. She banished herself to the Workers (laundry) Room awaiting a sign from above that the Great Oz has granted her audience – that she might witness the transformation of tears to the sounds of gentle smiles and cool running lakes (the toilet flushing again).

She can but dream, and dream she does, because time is precious and pancake-itis will be no more.

The moral of this fable be: Oh Great Son Oz, FIX THE DAMN THING!

(P.S. For all who wonder: The laundry room also has the spare toilet in the house.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

JUST FOR YOU

The Beatles are on my mind tonight. The following two songs are for one special person. You know who you are. For all my other readers, just enjoy the songs and ride the wave with me. I'm enjoying the smile on my face!



Monday, December 3, 2012

BO MUST APPROVE

First Dog, Bo Obama, made the news and YouTube when he inspected the holiday decorations at the White House recently. Watch one of my favorite dogs check out the trees, decorations, and large likeness of himself. The music fits the video so well!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

HEALTH MYTHS


I have my cholesterol checked every three to six months, when I see my doctor. After reading a health website today, I learned that cholesterol isn't all bad. I learned that cholesterol is not important to insurance companies, and the following myths I've listed are just not true.

"Life insurance companies know a surprising secret about cholesterol that most doctors never tell patients: When it comes to rating your risk for a fatal heart attack, the least important cholesterol number is your level of LDL (bad) cholesterol. In fact, life insurance actuaries don’t even look at LDL levels, because large studies show it’s the worst predictor of heart attack risk.

Instead, life insurance companies use a simple math formula to rate your heart attack risk: They divide your total cholesterol by the level of HDL (good) cholesterol.

If the ratio is below three, and there’s no inflammation in your arteries, you’re practically bulletproof against heart attacks and strokes, even if your LDL is high.

Myths:

1. Cholesterol is evil

You couldn’t survive without cholesterol, since this waxy substance produced by the liver plays many essential roles in our body, from waterproofing cell membranes to helping produce vitamin D, bile acids that help you digest fat, and sex hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.

2. Low cholesterol is a sign of good health

Although low levels of LDL cholesterol are usually healthy, a new study reports that people who develop cancer typically have lower LDL in the years prior to diagnosis than those who don’t get cancer.

3. High LDL leads to heart attacks

Nearly 75 percent of people hospitalized for a heart attack have LDL (bad) cholesterol levels that fall within current recommended targets, and close to half have “optimal” levels, according to a national study. The researchers also reported that levels of protective HDL (good) cholesterol have dropped in heart attack patients over the last several years, probably due to the rise in obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance. Only 2 percent of the patients studied had ideal levels of both LDL and HDL.

4. Triglycerides trigger heart disease

Triglycerides, a type of blood fat, don’t invade the artery wall and form plaque, the study says. However, high triglycerides mark another huge problem: insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic condition that is the root cause of 70 percent of heart attacks. High triglycerides are also one of the warning signs of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of abnormalities that multiply risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

5. Eggs clog arteries

It’s true that eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, mainly in the yolk. Research shows, however, that eating three or more eggs a day boosts blood concentrations of both good and bad cholesterol. Most people’s bodies handle cholesterol from eggs in a way that’s unlikely to harm the heart."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A SPECIAL DAY


Today is Saturday, December 1st, and a very special day for John. And for me. It's John birthday. Happy birthday to a special son.

The story is different, the story is unusual, but to me a very heartwarming circumstance.

John and I have been close since before the year 2000. That year he became my mentor and teacher as I took my EMT training with the Fayette County Life Squad. I passed the State test, and held my EMT license for six years. He was my support system, along with the woman who encouraged me to get into the training - Connie. Connie is a paramedic and still works for the FCLS.

John lost his mother, then his father, over the past several years, and went through some trying times. I was there for him all the way. Then in 2008, at Christmas, my life took a drastic and devastating turn. I lost my biological son. That was a very hard time for me and John stepped in and filled the shoes that I thought were gone forever. He has been the most special person ever in my life.

John stepped in and took care of me, saw me through many difficult times these past few years. We bonded even more. I adopted him as my son, and he adopted me as Mom. I am there for him; he is there for me; anytime; anywhere. For example, in 2004 and 2006, I had two knee surgeries and John took me to the hospital (and back home) both times, and was there for me, when my family was not.

Since most of my family is gone now, (except a cousin, a niece, and a nephew) John IS my family. I couldn't ask for a smarter, more talented, special person to fill that important void in my life, lost to me forever a few years ago.

So a special HAPPY BIRTHDAY to JOHN today. I may not get to see him today, because his girlfriend called "dibs" on him for the day, before I had a chance to say anything. And, also because he will be in the scheduled Christmas Parade, which also takes place this evening at 6pm, since he is a member of the local fire department. The lineup starts early, and all the local departments and law enforcement vehicles must be gathered up - and he plays traffic director and more. His girlfriend will be riding in the big fire truck in the parade, so I'm sure things will be fine without me.

I won't be going to the parade this year; it's a photographer's nightmare again. When the parade was held at 2pm and 4pm in the past, spectators could SEE the participants and take good photos. However, at 6pm, it's dark and all you can see is bright lights, NO people, and one can hardly see the floats. I tried last year, but found the time and darkness to be a hindrance. Therefore, I will stay home and send my birthday vibes to him the best I can.

Have a special day today my son, I know you will be a very busy person with all the things on your schedule today. Just know that I am thinking of you and loving you.