Sunday, November 21, 2010

Senior Pictures in Gettysburg

Arielle is starting her search for a college. Her second trip was to a school 45 minutes from Gettysburg, so of course, we had to go there. She decided to have her senior photos taken there since I love it so much and it will make them even more memorable. For sure, none of the other seniors will have photos like hers.

We spent two days there taking photos of her around the battlefields. On Saturday, it was pretty cold, but there she was in her little red mini dress and black stilleto heels on Devil's Den, Little Round Top, the Pennsylvania Memorial and other sites. We had the photo gear all set up, just like we would at any other professional shoot. The looks people gave were a riot! Quite a few tourists began taking her photo, too. Probably wondering what famous model she was or who exactly this beautiful girl was. She had to be "somebody" to be dressed like that and have all that equipment to take her photos. Only makes sense, right? :)

There was a huge re-enactment this weekend, so hundreds were dressed in period costume. I took a photo of her with a few soldiers and they were saying she wouldn't be accepted dressed like that in 1863. Yeah, she would have been one of those who followed the wagons. Then one of the women dressed up took a series of shots with her, including one where she was "lecturing her" about appearing in public in her underware! Too funny!

We just need to put her name and graduation year on the corners and make it the right size and she'll be set to start giving them out. We'll always remember the blast of taking the photos and have those memories as well as the photos themselves. Why pay someone else hundreds of dollars when we're perfectly capable of doing them ourselves? Plus the fun of making her a minor celebrity at the same time!
We also got to meet an internet pal of mine along with her family. We've "talked" over the internet for years and she recently moved to this part of the country, only about an hour from Gettysburg, so we had to get together. We gabbed like we've known each other for ages. Hope to have more fun with Cari and her family next time.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Trevor!!!! (Plus an update on me)

Today is a huge milestone in my son's life. He turned 16! How did that happen? Those last years just seem to have flown by.

We went out to eat at Red Lobster with his grandparents. Of course, I slipped a note to the waitress that we were celebrating, so they came around and sang for him. He was turning red, but I know he loved it, even though he claimed that he didn't want that done. He should know better. I never let a special event go by without recognition. These are the little things he'll never forget. Who care if we don't have a mansion?

After dinner, we ran to the mall for a few minutes, then came home to open up his gifts. We got him a TV, Arielle gave him a lap blanket she designed and sewed herself, my parents gave him a video game and Randy's mom got him a laptop. That hasn't arrived yet, so he has to wait a bit for it. Yes, Trevor is a wee bit spoiled. I figure it this way, he's had a very rough life so far with his health, so if playing a few video games makes him happy when he's not able to be out, so be it. He's had over a dozen major surgeries done on both ears. On his left side, they've removed his mastoid bone and completely rebuilt his eardrum and two of three hearing bones. It's truly a miricle he's able to hear at all. There's significant hearing loss, but he can hear. That's all that matters in the long run. He doesn't want short hair because the scar is very noticable where his left ear was cut off to do the surgeries. It embarasses him when people ask about it. The right ear only had one main surgery when the eardrum had to be repaired after an IDIOT POS sucker punched him at school and broke this eardrum. All the kids know about his ear problems. It's a very small school district, so the brat did it delibertly. WHY? A girl, what else? The girl liked Trevor and not the POS. Trevor wouldn't hit back. He knows no fighting, but especially not in school. Obviously, the other kid wasn't taught the same. So typical! Not a thing was done to punish the kid. Makes me sick to think about it.
Anyhow, we hope he's done with all the ear surgeries, but nothing is guaranteed. He visits a specialist once a year to keep an eye on it. One little infection could cause huge problems.

Tomorrow, I have to go to the hospital for a CT scan with constrast and all that fun stuff. The pain has moved recently and it concerns the doctor. He said it sounds like it could be an aneurysm and wants the scan done ASAP. Am I scared? A little. I'd be lying if I said different, but I just want to know what's causing the pain. I know that little thing could cause a world of problems or just kill me, but at least then we'd know something. Will post when we're back from the hospital. I'm back on the strong pain pills for a few weeks until we know for sure what the scans say. They knock me out and I sound like a loon when talking after taking them, but keep the pain knocked down enough that I can be aware of life.

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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Erie Otters' and Owen Sound Attack Hockey Game

It was a pure fluke that I even knew there was a hockey game tonight. I saw a stack of pocket schedules when we checked into the hotel last night and grabbed one. Just threw it in my purse and never even looked at it til today. I originally figured it was for the next baseball season, for the Erie Seawolves. Turns out it was for hockey. I don't know much about the sport, really all I know I learned from the movie Slapshot. Anyone else seen it? It's quite the hilarious movie and I highly recommend it if you can add it to your Netflix que.

I ask my gang if they want to go to a game tonight, it's just something new to try and doesn't cost a million dollars. Rustin absolutely loves hockey, but had never been to a game, so he was all for it. Arielle was all for anything Rustin was all for. Randy and Trevor went along because I wanted to go, especially since I can't drive for the time being. I call the Otter's main office and order the tickets and happen to mention we're celebrating Trevor's Surley Sixteen to the ticket agent. She had asked about the ages of the kids we were bringing, then she asks how to spell his name. Trevor begins to worry at this point when he hears me spelling his name over the phone. "What's that for?" he demands to know. See? SURLEY! Oh nothing, honey. He refuses to believe me and knows I'm up to something.

We eat and head off to the arena. It's only about a 10 minute drive from our hotel. We get to the game just in time for the Canadian national anthem to begin. The American national anthem was next. The opponents were from Canada. Go figure! It was Erie (in white) taking on the Owen Sound Attack (in dark).

The game begins and I keep looking for the Hansen brothers. Anyone who has seen the movie I referenced in the first paragraph knows what I'm talking about. For the rest, expecially those under 30 (or is it 40 now?), there are three Hansen brothers who were "old school" hockey players. What does that mean? Well, they liked to fight -- a lot.

There was one pretty nice fight during tonight's game. Gloves off, punches thrown and a pretty good take down. The referees just let them go for it, until they got onto the ice. That's when they stopped them. At that point, I started looking for the stripping hockey player (another movie reference), but no such luck. SIGH!

The game continues and is very fast paced and lots of fun to watch. Randy went out after the second period and surprised me with a hockey puck and an Otters' rally flag. He takes good care of me! I had picked up one of each of the three pins they were selling on my way in. They're one of the things I can't pass up (purses and silver charms are two others). I have them on my new Steeler purse now. The announcer starts wishing all the people there a happy birthday and there's my big boy's name on the jumbo screen. Of course, we all start yelling and clapping for him. He's turning red and trying to hide in his coat. :) I know he appreciated it, but just doesn't want to admit it. We all know how teenage boys are.

I'm happily snapping away with my camera and by the time the game's over, I've taken 551 photos. I'll be deleting about 100 or so of them. If any professional photographer tries to tell you every image they take is perfect, don't believe it and keep looking for someone honest. We all get blurry images, shadows in the shot and lots more. It's hard to photograph through beat up glass. Anyone that's ever seen a hockey game or even replay knows, they tend to slam each other into the glass quite a bit. The fans were slamming on the other side. I've never experienced that sort of thing at a sporting event before. Learn something new every day!

I would definately go to another hockey game. Any time, any place. This was a college league (or minor league) game. My grandpa took me and my cousin to a couple of Pittsburgh Penguin games when we were about 7 or 8. There were bus trips back then that let us enjoy a day with the man we all loved so much for less than $20 each! You can't park at a Pittsburgh game for less than $20 now. One of hubby's friends takes his grandson to Pittsburgh Penguin games and says it's never less than $1,000 for a trip! That's way out of our league. So sad that only the rich can afford to enjoy live games.
The Otters lost 2-3, but they played well and should be proud of that. I can't even begin to imagine keeping on my feet while on iceskates. These young men are flying BACKWARDS, spinning around and so much more while passing a puck and trying to score points! I have such respect for all those athletes.
PS: Don't forget to fall back tonight and set your clocks back an hour! YEAH!!! We all can use a little more sleep. Night all!!

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Review on SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of SPOT. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have you ever been driving along a back road or late at night in an area with spotty or no cell service? My husband and I had that nightmare happen to us one night. We were on the Interstate coming home from a Phil Collins' concert (Yes, we're wild ones!) when our SUV started making a grinding noise, then stopped. NOW WHAT? I pulled out our cell phone to call 9-1-1. I got one bar and got far enough to say we were broke down, when we lost service. It was a scary hour before the State Police found us and called a tow truck and a family member to get us home.

If we had the SPOT Satellite GPS messenger, we would have been home much sooner and been warmer. We live in Pennsylvania, in a small town that doesn't have the greatest service out there. This GPS Messenger is also good for backpacking through the National Forest or when we're camping or canoeing. Using 100% satellite technology, SPOT works virtually anywhere in the world, even where cell phones don’t – all with the push of a button.  Pretty neat, huh? Prett

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Trevor's Birthday Weekend

My son Trevor turns Sweet 16 next week (do boys think of it as Sweet Sixteen? What do you call the milestone for them? Would Surly Sixteen be available?). We had a chance to get out of town this weekend, so we're celebrating early. Our daughter is checking out colleges in Erie, PA. We're also going to be near Gettysburg (!!!!!!!!!!) and State College for her to check out others.

After the college visit, we stopped at the mall. Imagine that, there's a HOT TOPIC store here. Hmmm ... how did that happen? :) I found way too much, as usual. I recently discovered a great new show - Sons of Anarchy and they had a tee shirt for it. Arielle found several Undead Hello Kitty purses, hoodies and keychains. Trevor picked out a new Halo hoodie and tee shirt. I also got my goddaughter a Christmas present, but she has to wait to find out what it is.

After that, we had dinner at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, then went to Trevor's favorite place in Erie - Lazartag. I don't play because it sets off violent headaches when the lazar hits my eyes, but I can take photos from the observation room. Taking photos through glass, into a darkened, fog-filled room isn't easy, so the shots aren't what I normally would share. Please forgive the roughness of them.

Today, we spent the day at Splash Lagoon. It's an indoor waterpark and lots of fun. Tonight, we're going to an Erie Otters' hockey game. Should be lots of fun. Never been to one before. Arielle's boyfriend loves hockey, so he's happy to be going.

Tomorrow, it will be another full day at the waterpark, then home for school and work on Monday. Always nice to get away. After a week filled with covering budget meetings, I was ready to crawl into a hole. I'll be ready to go back to finish up the last budget meeting on Monday night.

Time to run, we're going to Quaker Steak and Lube for dinner before the game. No wings for me, but a nice steak sure sounds good! Will post more photos tonight or when we get home tomorrow.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Meeting the new man in our daughter's life and election night

My daughter is a beautiful 18-year old, with long red hair and a smile that will light up the room when she uses it. She's had a few boyfriends over the past year or two, but nothing serious. She's now a legal adult, but still a high school senior.

She met a new guy and is really happy with him. We finally got to meet him last night and took him out to dinner to grill ... er ... terrorize ... er ... get to know him better. Yeah, that's what I meant.

He's a nice, polite guy and we seem to have a lot in common with him. His father worked with hubby's mother for many years, so at least we have a connection to the family. The more we talked, the more we know he'll fit in just fine. He's encouraging our daughter to go to college and get her education. "I'll be waiting," is what he said. I like him already!

After dinner, we went to the after-election party to watch the results come in and let him meet the people we spend a lot of time with. He needs to get use to politics and politicians if he's going to hang around with us. Arielle registered to vote soon after turning 18 and she even volunteered to help out a local State Representative candidate's campaign this year. She's really grown into a special young woman. Of course, she voted. I couldn't be prouder of her. She can talk to anyone of any level of education and has friends in both parties. She's been around politicians since the third grade when I homeschooled her and took her to government meetings, press conferences, etc.. I can still see this little tiny girl following around our newest State Senator that year. Joe Scarnatti would stop and pose where she pointed since she also had a camera and he treated her like a person and not just an annoying little kid. When she went back to public school, he would make it a point to stop and see her when he was in the area. He's now our State's acting Lt. Governor as well as President Pro Tempe of our State Senate and still makes time for her. She was able to job shadow with him in Harrisburg and would love to work for him again.
There were more than a few tears after the final results were tabulated, but with the mood of the electorate, there was no chance for many well qualified candidates. In two years, the mood will have shifted because people will be sick of the non-stop bickering and the grid-lock. I truly hope that Republicans and Democrats will be able to learn to lean across the aisle and work together and not just play one-upmanship. The election is over, lets forget where we are different and remember that we are all Americans and deserve a political body that will work for us. OK, off my soap box and back to watching Stormchasers (my deep secret dream is to join them some day. Yes, little me out chasing tornadoes!)

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Ode to the mighty McDonald's McRib

Yes, it is once again that season when McDonalds around the nation bring back their most popular sandwich. I'm talking about, of course, the mighty McRib!! Yes, the yummy goodness that is the pork-shaped mystery meat is once again available to tempt our palettes.

After covering a meeting tonight, Arielle and I decided to treat hubby and Trevor to their first taste in a couple years. It hasn't been available in our region for entirely too long. After repeating the order 4 times and a five-minute wait, we are handed the bags and off we go. The manager chases us to the door, they gave us the wrong ones. We don't want the onions and I don't eat pickles. OK. Glad she stopped us because not only was one covered in onions, they were one sandwich short and it was MY SANDWICH.

We get to the car and I can't wait to tear open the box. The smell is overwhelming our senses. First bite is simply nirvona. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Yes, I will pay for eating that half sandwich, but it will be worth it in the long run. Life is too short to deny yourself the little pleasures in life simply because it might not be the best choice in life. I look at it as all things in moderation. Well, most things, I suppose. I can't advocate some things - hagus springs to mind. Shudder.

I hope I've inspired you to run right out to your nearest McD's. We don't even have one in our town, so it's a 20+ minute drive to get these sandwiches.

No, I have no connection to the store, I'm just a fan, but McD's if you want to sponsor a few blog posts, you can pay me in McRibs!! :)

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The Halloween Witch

Each year they parade her about ... the traditional Halloween witch. Misshapen green face, stringy scraps of hair and a toothless mouth beneath her disfigured nose. Gnarled, knobby fingers twisted into a claw, protracting from a bent and twisted torso that lurches about on wobbly legs.

Most think this abject image to be the creation of a prejudiced mind or merely a Halloween caricature. I disagree. I believe this to be how witches were really seen.

Consider that most witches: were women, were abducted in the night and smuggled into dungeons or prisons under the secrecy of darkness, to be presented by the light of day as a confessed witch.

Few, if any, saw a frightened, normal looking woman being dragged into a secret room filled with instruments of torture. To be questioned until she confessed to anything that was suggested to her and to give names or whatever would stop the questions. Crowds saw the aberration denounced to the world as a self-proclaimed witch.

As the witch was paraded through the town, en route to be burned, hanged, drowned, stoned, or disposed of in various other forms of Christian love ... all created to free and save her soul from her depraved body. The jeering crowds viewed the results of hours of torture. The face, bruised and broken by countless blows, bore a hue of sickly green. The once warm and loving smile gone. Replaced by a grimace of broken teeth and torn gums that leers beneath a battered, disfigured nose. The disheveled hair conceals bleeding gaps of torn scalp from whence cruel hands had torn away the lovely tresses. Broken, twisted hands clutched the wagon for support. Fractured fingers locked like groping claws to steady her broken body. All semblance of humanity gone. This was truly a demon, a bride of Satan, a witch.

I revere this Halloween crone and hold her sacred above all. I honor her courage and listen to her warnings of the dark side of humanity. Each year I shed tears of respect and remember her involuntary sacrifice in the name of religion.

Written by Angel, 6/99

This poem that reminds us of those who were persecuted as witches, though many were healers and midwives, women who owned land, and those who spoke out against the rules of the time. I don't know the name of the author, other than the name Angel. Other places may credit it to anonymous. If anyone who reads this happens to know who the author is I would love to know.

This poem is not in any way intended to "bash" Christianity, it is simply a reference to the history that is fact based.

With these things in mind I hope you will remember the Halloween Witch, along with all of the others who have gone before you.

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