Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grateful

If you've been following my blog for even a little while, you know that I am blessed to be the Compassion sponsor of two precious girls, 15-year-old Dalia in El Salvador, and 9-yr-old Aduri in Bangladesh. Besides sending $32.00/mo to support them, we can also send up to $25.00 for birthday gifts and one other gift during the year as well as a Christmas gift, and up to a $300.00/yr family gift.

Aduri's birthday was in October, so I sent $10.00 for her, and I sent a $50.00 family gift about the same time, probably early September. Today I received these two letters from her, and they brought tears to my eyes. I want to share them with you just as they are written.

"Dear Sponsor Stephanie D_________-,
My love to you. Thank's God that he give me a sponsor like you. Thank you very much for sponsoring me. Thank you for your birthday gift. Our project staff bought for me dress, shoe with your gift money. Now I have many dress. I am very happy with your gifts. Now I go to the project with new shoe. I have 3 siblings. It is very difficult to my father to lead our family. My parents are very happy and thanked to you. I go to the project regularly and my study is going well. I like to study. I like to go the project. Please pray for me so that I may study well and be healthy. May God bless you. Your beloved Aduri."

"Dear Sponsor Stephanie D__________,
My greetings to you. I pray that you are well with God's grace with your family. Me and my family are well with your prayer. Thank you very much for praying for me and my family. Thank you very much for your gift. We are benefited a lot and very happy. Me, my dad M___, my mom F___, brother J___, and two sisters R____ and R____ live in a small house in a village name J_____. It is very difficult to stay in a small house. Beside the roof of house is made of straw so when it rains, rain water enter in the house. My father is a day labour so he can't bought tins for house. Our project staff bought for us 15 tins for our house with your gift money. My family thanked to you. We made our roof. We pray for you and your family. Please pray for me so that I may stay well. Your beloved Aduri."

We made our roof. This sentence just grabbed at my heart. For the price of a couple of meals out, we bought a roof for a family of 6!

We pray for you and your family.
The Compassion newsletters always say it makes such a difference to a child to know that someone across the world cares for them. What they couldn't impart is how much it would mean to me that a little girl I may never meet, and her family in a country so foreign to me that their writing is underneath the line, are praying for my family and me.

I am so humbled, and so grateful.


Saturday at the Movies

This week will be an open book quiz--you can look anywhere you want for the answers, because, if you're like me, the L-Tryptophan and sugar combo has numbed your brains, too!

We're going to play Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon.

First degree is Alan Alda. Now, you have to find 5 actors or actresses that link from Alan Alda to Kevin Bacon.

If you haven't played before, here's a short example:
Connect Julianne Moore to Don Knotts-- in 3 degrees.

Julianne Moore was in Boogie Nights with
Burt Reynolds, who was also in Cannonball Run II with
Tim Conway, who was also in The Apple Dumpling Gang with
Don Knotts.

Make sense?

I can't do it without IMDB, either.

Answer on Tuesday!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving Post

Catchy title, don't you think? (not)
I hope you all had a terrific day with family, friends, food and fun!

This year it was just the J-Man and me. DD is now living 7-8 hours away, and has had to do so much traveling this month, she just couldn't swing it. Besides, I have to work Fri. and Sat. nights, and she'd have to go home on Sun., so we wouldn't have much time together. Fortunately, one of her law school friends lives about a half hour away and she took Isabella the Chihuahua and is spending the night. Isabella is going to play with the boxers. Doesn't THAT sound like a Kodak moment! lol

I was all for going out to eat, because cooking is not high on my list of favorite ways to spend an off-day, and cleaning up afterwards is WAY down on the bottom, but J-Man really wanted to eat here, and he doesn't ask for much, so we did. It was only a mini-feast this year.

The dressing and sweet potatoes were frozen dishes that I heated, but we'd had them before and knew they were good. I brined a 3-lb turkey breast (first time ever) and it was so juicy and tender! J-Man likes the jellied cranberry sauce, but I made me a spiced cranberry sauce that was so yummy, I could almost have made a meal off that! I tried a new green bean recipe that I liked but hubby didn't, and picked up a pecan pie at the store.

However, I decided to try Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings, and let me tell you, we were both in a blissful sugar coma afterwards! Seriously, it was almost too rich for me, and that's saying something. I think next time, (oh, yeah, there WILL be a next time!) I'll use Splenda instead of sugar and maybe even diet Mountain Dew. I had to take a nap afterwards--after I took my belt off and unbuttoned my jeans, that is.

When Tandi and I woke up a couple of hours later, I worked on the Autumn wall-hanging I was going to give to my neighbor who mows my lawn, and his wife. All I lack now is hand-stitching down the binding, but I think, for all intents and purposes, autumn is over. Time for the Christmassy things. So I haven't quite decided whether to take it to them with an apology for not finishing it in time for Thanksgiving, or just keep it for myself and come up with a simpler Christmas wall-hanging for them. They have no idea I'm making them anything, so either option would be okay, I guess.

It's made from the same pattern as the one I made last year for the Fall 4 Seasons Swap, but with some different fabrics.



Whatever I decided to do, I am absolutely going to finish it before I take a nap for work. Too often I run out of steam and don't do the last little bits needed to complete it--such as the binding on my own summer tropical fish wall-hanging. That's all I lack, but then autumn came and I was over the summer colors, so it's still sitting out, just waiting to be picked up again. Does anyone else have this problem?


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Movie Trivia Answer 11/22

I see there is more than one John Candy fan out there. Look at the list you all came up with:

Home Alone
Splash
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Uncle Buck
STRIPES
Cool Runnings
Only the Lonely
The Great Outdoors
Spaceballs
Rookie of the Year

Here are some others you might or might not remember:
The Blues Brothers
1941
Little Shop of Horrors
JFK

I'm going to have to go back and watch some of these myself, because I either didn't know he was in them, or didn't notice at the time. And right after posting this--on Saturday night at work, actually--one of my patients was watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Good job, ladies!

New question on Saturday--and this one will be an open book question!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday at the Movies

Got a quickie for you this week:

One actor I really enjoyed, now deceased, was John Candy. Most people who knew him in Hollywood described him as a genuinely nice guy--and I'm not surprised. It just seemed to shine through in anything he did.

Can you name 5 movies John Candy was in?


Answers on Tuesday!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Maybe the birds would eat it.

In an effort to be more frugal, I have pulled the bread machine out of the cabinet and made 3 loaves of bread the last couple of days. The first, a potato bread, came out yummy.

So did the second, a raisin bread for breakfast, though it was a bit small. I used a different cookbook, and their guidelines for the size recipe to use were off.

I decided to make a garlic bread loaf to go with last night's spaghetti.

Here's how it turned out:



It looks like a science experiment gone bad, doesn't it? Should have tried it for Halloween--it would have been a perfect prop.

I think I should tweak it a little.....


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bear with me, this is long.

Did you know a "telemarketer" can send you pornographic photos on your cell phone without your permission? Guess how I know.

While sitting in my quilting group meeting this morning, I heard the tone that alerted me of a text message. Since my daughter is about the only person who does that, I flipped my phone open--to see an obscene picture on my screen. Shocked, I immediately erased it, but had difficulty keeping my mind on the meeting after that. (No, not because of the image!) I didn't recognize the number, nor could I think of anyone who would dare to send me that, but how did they get, or choose, my number? I only give my cell number out to family and close friends, my vet, and my doctor. My work doesn't even know I own a cell phone.

Within 2 hours, I had received two more photos. I was livid. Since the subject line had Fw: Fw: Fw: on it, and had no messages with my name on it, I assumed the person was just sending these out to random numbers. If he/she was sending it to an acquaintance, there would most likely have been a follow-up text or call to see if I'd received the photos. Wrong number? Who dials a wrong number 3 times in a row?

I called my carrier, Verizon, but the only suggestions they had were to block the number (for $5.00/month) or change my number.
Why should I pay to NOT have porn sent to my phone? I'm already being charged each time it's sent to me. And why should I go through all the trouble of changing my number? If it's being randomly chosen by the sender, what's to prevent this from happening again?

Verizon was no help.

I called the Sheriff's department, as I am in the county, and they sent a deputy out. Two of them, actually. In 2 different cars. The female deputy never said a word, never made eye contact, and everytime I looked at her, she looked away. The male deputy was professional and polite, but between them both, I felt like an idiot.

He asked me if I'd called the number back. No, I was treating it like spam--don't reply and they don't know it's a valid number. Had I tried asking Verizon to block the call? They can't do that. I told him I felt it was a random dialing, but had happened 3 times and I wanted to press charges if possible. He told me it was not against the law to send me porn photos on my phone, but he would call this number and give the person a warning. I told him if they could get my number, what was keeping them from sending these pictures to children?

About 10 minutes after they left, the deputy called me back. Seems it's a telemarketing ploy--they wanted to set him up with explicit chat lines. I asked if that was before or after they found out who he was. He wasn't amused. He again recommended I call Verizon to have them block the call.

So I went to a reverse phone lookup site, found out the city and the carrier. Guess who? Verizon. When I phoned them to notify them one of their customers is sending out pornographic photos to random numbers, and asked that his/her number be blocked from doing this, they stated they couldn't do that without the owner's permission. What idiot is going to consent to that??? Just cancel the account! Nope, not possible. They suggested the same 2 options. I suggested they are irresponsible.

Frustrated, I dialed the FCC, but their recorded message recommends using their internet addy to contact them. I went online, relisted my cell with the Do Not Call Registry, printed the form for reporting unwanted telemarketer calls, and will be mailing it in.

I also sent emails to two local television stations, suggesting this might be something they would want to further investigate and report to the public, but haven't heard anything back yet.

Tonight, I received another message. I texted the number back, informing the party I was reporting them to the FCC, and had already reported them to Verizon and the Sheriff's Department. He/She made a big joke about it, used profanity, and stated they would contact me "tomarrow". I texted back DO NOT CONTACT ME AGAIN.

J-Man suggested I contact our congressman, and I'm thinking of doing that. I can't believe this is permissible by law. How do these people get their numbers? What is to prevent these porno-marketers from sending their obscene and explicit photos to teenagers, or younger children? This number is registered--it's not a disposable cell phone. Why can't something be done about it?

Has anyone been the subject of unsolicited porn via your cell phone? What did you do?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Movie Trivia Answer 11/15

Well, most of you got it right off--Johnny Depp's first movie, first anything, was Nightmare on Elm Street.

I saw that movie again late one night before Halloween, and thought he looked familiar. Watching the credits, I was shocked to find out it was Johnny Depp. Looking him up on IMDB, I was even more amazed to find out just how many movies he'd been in that I never realized: Chocolat, The Astronaut's Wife, Platoon.

He's starting to remind me of Dustin Hoffman--a man of many talents and faces.

Here are a few of the faces of Johnny Depp:








New Question on Saturday!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quiltathon Report

This weekend was Judy L.'s November Quiltathon, and I was happy to be off so I could participate, but I got a late start both days.
However, I did make a little progress.

I've been wanting to make these since before Halloween, but couldn't get to it until yesterday, and today I sewed the stems in place:


They go nicely with the stuffed turkey I bought at last year's Quilters' Boutique, but I've gotten them out of my system now.

About 4-5 years ago, I made DD a flannel quilt for her bed. Like Topsy, it just grew and became double bedspread sized. There was so much I didn't know then--such as you don't need a batting when the top and backing are flannel. This is one heavy quilt! DD has to wash and dry it in a laundromat, because it is so big and heavy. And it really doesn't bother me, because I made that quilt to be used. The cats really love it!



But I put the binding on like borders, instead of one long continuous piece, and I didn't make it wide enough. So it has begun to pull apart in places. DD brought it to me to fix several months ago, so today I sat down to remove a few stitches, thinking I'd just need to secure the binding in a couple of places and that'd be in.

That's when I discovered how ignorant I'd been. Searching through my bins, I found more of the fabric I used for the borders, binding and backing, so I removed the old binding entirely. I need to trim the borders back, because the edges have frayed underneath, and then I'll just rebind it. I'm hoping I have enough fabric to do it right. If not, I'll have to figure out a Plan B.

That's it. That's all the sewing (or unsewing) I got done today, but I've felt guilty everytime I worked on something else, and it feels good to finally decide what needs to be done and get started on it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday at the Movies

I saw a movie the other night that I haven't seen in years--"What's Eating Gilbert Grape?".


The night before that, I watched "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End".


This must mean it's Johnny Depp week.

So, does anyone out there remember his first movie?


Answer on Tuesday!

Back in Action

On my 3-night stretches at work, it seems all I get done is work and sleep, work and sleep, much to Tandi's dismay. This week was so horrendously busy, I didn't even get to check Google Reader during the usual "quiet" hours of 2-4am. As a result, I had over 130 posts to peruse! You folks have been really chatty the last few days! So I'm trying hard to catch up, leave comments to let you know that yes, I'm still interested in what you do, and get ready to participate in Judy Laquidara's Quiltathon this weekend.

I need the therapy of fabric after the last few days. There has been a serious situation at work this week that may really change our workplace. No patient was harmed, but there was an inadvertent privacy violation involving a patient whose spouse is a physician and whose daughter works with the HIPPA folks--you know, the folks responsible for those privacy forms you have to fill out every time you go to a different physician or hospital or clinic, etc.

It was an innocent mistake; said daughter called to find out where her parent was, as no one was answering the phone in the room. The nurse told her the parent was downstairs having a procedure done. However, it was a chaotic day, they were short-handed as usual, and the nurse didn't stop to verify the daughter's identity. Said daughter was furious. She and her physician parent went to the HIPPA people as well as our administrator, and there was a big pow-wow. The gist of it is, the HIPPA people will probably be at the hospital door on Monday morning, and our unit manager might lose her job.

I know the nurse who made the mistake; she's a terrific gal and just got back from 6 weeks sick leave. I'm sure she was feeling overwhelmed and just didn't think. I also have a sneaking suspicion this was a set-up by the patient's daughter, as the family had not arranged a password, and all but one of them is involved in the medical field in some way, so they are aware of the advisability of setting up a password.

As for our unit manager, well, I believe she is just the sacrificial lamb. The-Powers-That-Be-Idiots have been riding her about budget, and we have been working terribly short the last few weeks. I've been put on call one of my shifts each week for the last 3 weeks--that's a 24-hr shortage, or one-third of my paycheck gone. My manager has worked until 7 or 8pm, then been back by 4am to help out--and has come in herself, rather than let someone come back in on overtime. She paid for our competency blitz at the lodge out of her own bonus. She's a terrific advocate of both her patients and her staff.

I think they've been looking for ways to get rid of her.

In all the years I've been a nurse (and that is 37 and counting, my friends) I have seen this over and over again. You get a good manager who really cares about his/her patients and his/her staff, works hard to promote quality care, education and team building, and Upper (mis)Management boots them out, because she doesn't play their games. The crappy managers cut corners, play the short staffing game, inspire rapid turnover, and hire any warm body to fill the holes, regardless of experience or qualifications. Morale plummets, and patient care suffers, but Upper (mis)Management loves these brown-nosers.

It's never going to change.

So I do my 12 hours the best I can, keep my head down, make waves only when I am too riled up to overlook things, don't volunteer for anything, and count the years to my retirement.

In the meantime, I kiss my husband, love my daughter long distance, hug that four-legged furbaby who is overjoyed to see me every morning, and soothe myself with little sharp objects that go in and out of colorful fabrics.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

THANK YOU
















Movie Trivia Answers 11/8

Well, I think you all listed every place Sloane, Cameron and Ferris went in Chicago in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Ritzy restaurant, Sears Tower, Chicago Board of Trade, Art Museum, baseball game, Parade, and Someone's pool/hot tub (Cameron's?)

Here are some odd bits of trivia courtesy of IMDB:

Sloane is named for Sloane Tanen, daughter of then-Paramount head Ned Tanen, but in earlier versions of the script, was named "Tandy".
(Of course, I found that VERY interesting)



"During the parade several of the people seen dancing (including the construction worker and the window washer) originally had nothing to do with the film. They were simply dancing to the music being played and John Hughes found it so humorous that he told the camera operators to record it."



"The bus scene that plays during the ending credits was a scene cut from the movie. It was meant to take place after Jeanie announced that she called the police, and Roonie had to find a place to hide. This explains why the sky isn't dark, and why a bus is taking students home at six o'clock in the evening."

"John Cusack, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr. and Michael J. Fox were all considered for the role of Ferris Bueller."

Okay, I could see Michael J. Fox, Jim Carrey, and John Cusack playing the role, but Tom Cruise? Johnny Depp?

New question on Saturday!



Sunday, November 09, 2008

Angie's Big Idea

Only a few weeks to go until the December countdown to Christmas. How do we make Christmas meaningful this year?

Angie, from Poppy Joy, has a terrific idea. Why don't you hop on over there and check it out? I'll just hum to myself while you're gone.











Back? Okay. I'm going to put my brain to work on this, as I don't have any small children, and see if I can figure out 25 different ways I personally can Take Christmas Back.

How about you?
Are you in?


Saturday, November 08, 2008

For Mighty Mom and Pinky

I sure hope you all can see this--it's hilarious!

Bad-A$$ Texas Rabbit

video

Saturday at the Movies

Okay, how about a little mindless trivia this week?



Can you name 5 places Ferris, Cameron and Sloane visited while skipping school?


Answers on Tuesday!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Only Political Post

I have stayed away from politics on this blog, because I think there is enough of that without my shoving it down anyone else's throat. In fact, I have unsubscribed to a couple of blogs because of this. I come to blogworld to have fun, to find new crafty goodness, to enjoy the new baby and grandbaby pics, to sympathize and empathize with losses, and rejoice with successes.

And this morning, Mighty Mom has made a good point. In frustration, I had unsubscribed from The Presidential Prayer Team, but I'm headed back to re-register. Thanks for the attitude adjustment, MM.

Edited to add: Oh, and to really put things back into perspective, I went to the Compassion Dominican Republic Blogger Team's entries. Big Mama's account was particularly moving.
Some days God just has to whop me upside the head. This was one of those days.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Compassion and the Dominican Republic

If you've followed my blog for more than a couple of months, you know I have two sponsored "daughters" from Compassion International--one in El Salvador and one in Bangladesh. What you might not know is that I signed up to be a Compassion blogger, which means I will post at least once a month about Compassion International and the work they do. It's a cause I believe in and support enthusiastically.

Yesterday, a group of bloggers left for the Dominican Republic to spend a week learning about the program, meeting the people, sharing their experiences with the rest of us through their blogs. Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer and Sophie at BooMama did this last winter, when they went to Uganda. Those were incredibly moving accounts and photos, and are actually what spurred me on to adding a second child.

This trip there will be children along, too, and I'm looking forward to reading from a child's perspective. You can follow along with me here: http://compassionbloggers.com/trips/2008-dominican-republic. They've already started their accounts and you don't want to miss a word of it!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

...and a side of Ibuprofen


Here are those photos of the "wallpaper" you wanted, Mighty Mom. I had cobwebs draped over part of it, but took those down first thing this morning, as Tandi is pretty freaked out by all the new additions to her territory. It's helped for her to see her Momma take some of it down.



I might take more down today, but I'm in no rush--not like I was to get it up! It actually looks pretty good even in broad daylight, and the weather is good, so it will probably stay up through today at least.

For now, I'm going to chillax, as the kids say. Time to catch up on blog-reading, watching a little TV, thumbing through the stack of catalogs that have started pouring in. I'll sip some more of that mulled cider that is still on "keep warm" setting on the crockpot, (I forgot and left it on all night), do some handwork because the sewing room was Halloween Central for a while and is in a state of disaster, and maybe take a nap, even though tonight is time change and we all get an extra hour to sleep. Definitely on the agenda is a hot shower, to wash out the purple and ease these aching muscles.

Maybe I'll even redo my blog page. I do kind of like that the counter reset itself, though.

Over, But Not Yet Done

Looonnnnggg day.

Surprisingly, we didn't have as many Trick-or-Treaters as last year, so I have boo-koodles of candy left.

But the kids seemed to like the decorations a lot--even the tiny ones. One family told me they've come here every year since we've been here! All the kids seemed to know it was a Mad Scientist's Laboratory, so I was pleased to get the concept across.

It's almost 1 am, and except for a few little tea lights stil burning in the pumpkins, all is dark. I'm finishing up a mug of hot mulled cider, Tandi is out like a light in her crate, and when I get the energy, I'm dragging my carcass to bed.

So here are a few pictures from the night:



















This is most of the main display after it got dark. It's lit by the green spotlights, and my friend is crouched down beside the table.


Puking Pumpkin and Friend:




Pinky, these are for you:



(Scroll down for my answers to the Trivia Stumpers)