Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Frogs, Frogs, Frogs!!

When I visited Cincinnati a year or so ago, I came across squirrels- real ones, yes, but also fake, painted ones like the one below spread across a small town.

n144901829_31225607_5927911
(in Glendale, Ohio. This one is outside an eye doctor’s office)

This past weekend I had an awesome girls’ weekend in Erie, PA. As my old college roomie Jess and I were beginning to explore while waiting for her sister Ali to finish school for the day, we came across something a little odd.

Frogs!

Over the next few days, between girl talk and movies and eating and the beach, we discovered frog after frog after frog. Now, Erie is not big, and supposedly there are/were 102 of these frogs in 2004. I found a blog online that documented a lot of the frogs’ locations, so we mapped them out the best we could. A few others we just found randomly. We’d be driving down a road on our way to another location, and one of us would yell, “Hey! There’s a frog!!”

Alas, I bring you…the Erie frogs!

IMG_6047IMG_6065

IMG_6067IMG_6068

IMG_6085IMG_6088

IMG_6101IMG_6102

IMG_6114IMG_6128

IMG_6150IMG_6152

IMG_6227

IMG_6232IMG_6236

IMG_6241

IMG_6320

IMG_6321IMG_6322

 

So, which one is your favorite? Have you ever been to a town that has a theme like this?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Waves



"Wait until you see the huge waves, Beth!!", my old college roommate Jess said to me on Friday afternoon. "They're huge!!"






- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 25, 2011

GWO!

See ya all later, friends! I’m heading out of town, and out of state for a girls’ weekend!! There’s been a lot of stress around here with car issues and new-car-hunting and job craziness and money/bank crap SO I am very excited to go see two of my college friends, who happen to be sisters. I’ll have to come back with the story of how we all met next week, it’s kind of a funny story.

Sadly, I’m heading North, where there is a chance of snow. I’m not entirely thrilled with that, but I am excited to see some gorgeous views, provided it’s sunny enough!

(This is probably the nicest pic you’ll see from the weekend, so enjoy!)



Anyone know where I’m going, without cheating? LOL

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things That Make Me Smile

Silly though they may be…
IMG_5774
- Gorgeous sunsets at Bug’s house
IMG_1081
- a pretty moon when I’m driving home from work
IMG_1069
- people who park on 4 ft. piles of snow to get a semi-good spot on at the theater
IMG_1067
- my “birthday cake” courtesy of Derek
IMG_1045
- green tile in Bug’s bathroom. I Red heart  it! It’s just gorgeous!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tell Me Lies

My roommate is good for lots of things. After a few years of crappy roommate situations, it’s nice to have a good friend to live with. We don’t see each other a lot during the week with our different work/class/meeting schedules but usually catch up for a few minutes at night. She’s always spouting off some random song and/or trivia knowledge.

Tonight, she began singing Fleetwood Mac’s “Tell Me Lies”…


She then added something about not being able to handle the truth at the end. I’m not sure if that’s part of the song or not, but I told her I’d keep that in mind and then began coming up with some lies for her, just for fun…cause that’s what we do!

I had a medical book lying on the couch so I told her that I’m entering medical school. (Total lie. If there had been a book on pigs, I’d have told her I was beginning a farm).

With that news, she popped her head in the living room and said, “Well, you can enter medical school if you want but it has to be here in Big City.”

Yea…she has a *little* fear that I’m going to move away and leave her roommate-less.

What can I say? My friends are fun Smile

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Moments


This evening I sat with an almost-8 year old on my lap as we watched a teenybopper Disney movie. Her two twin siblings, younger by just over a year and all former students of mine, cuddled next to us...4 amigos, movie watching on the couch.

A couple of weeknights spent with the same set of siblings, playing Hullabaloo and multi-player solitaire, then a few books being read before bed.

A trip to California in late September, time spent by the ocean thinking and relaxing. Dolphins jumping under the Golden Gate bridge during a rainy afternoon, such a rare sight.

Multiple day-long adventures with Bug, trips to the zoo and the park, exploring his new neighborhood.

These are the moments I want to remember. Yes, I may miss my former job and co-workers but if I still had that job, none of these would have been possible. :)


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Since I’m mostly Irish, I do love this day, even though it doesn’t really mean I’m doing anything special tonight.

The last week or so have been so wacko. It started with one of my bosses telling me they may go back to school in the Fall. I’m not sure what this means as far as my job goes yet.

Then last Tuesday my oldest charge, 5 year old Laney, had a major meltdown in the middle of the neighborhood on an afternoon bike ride. There was screaming, yelling, clutching of the bicycle, sitting on a sidewalk…it was just lovely. Two days before, my mom had informed me I was her hardest child to raise. Payback at its finest.

On Monday, none of my pottery pieces would form correctly. They kept collapsing. The same day, or maybe it was Tuesday, I found out my bank is charging money to me monthly for seemingly no reason.

Tuesday evening, I put my bike on my car. Wednesday morning, on my way to work, the bike and my bike rack fell off my car. Thankfully, I wasn’t on the highway and no one was hurt but STILL. Then last night, I went to get that issue fixed and ended up needing a new bike rack (the first one was not sturdy enough for my bike, apparently) and plus I bought my cheapo bike at Wally World and the bars on it are strange, so THEN I had to buy a bike bar to go across the top so it would actually fit in the bike rack.

Cue to today. My car’s been kind of hesitating, so it went in the shop before 10 am. It’s after three p.m. now and I just got it back. The possibilities seemed to be:

-catalytic converter
- fuel pump (or something)
- something to do with the engine

But oh no. After spending all day in the shop, they couldn’t even do anything for it right now. Likely the problem is likely something with the TRANSMISSION. Oh no. Sigh. Looks like I’m on the hunt for a “new” car…soon.

But you know what? It’s sunny, 60*, and I’m heading to get ice cream with a friend soon. I’ll likely end up at the park later.

All I have to say is, thank goodness for sunshine, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Step --> Two Steps <---


It figures.

I knew it was going to happen, since I paid off my family debt recently.

My car is having a problem, and it will cost pretty much all of my savings to repair it. It's not something I can ignore for much longer but with the any-minute arrival of Bug's sister, I haven't been babysitting. Add to that the cost of gas lately, and well, we'll just say that I'm screwed if ANYTHING else happens to need money soon. Oh wait, it does. I have to alter the dress for my sister's wedding, buy shoes and gift(s), save gas money...

I'm just bummed. Here we go. If I get through the next couple months without 1) using a credit card or 2) having to take a loan for a car, I'll be surprised.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 14, 2011

Grr


I woke up this morning and logged on to my bank account as I do frequently, checking that my weekend purchases went through and registered correctly. To my surprise, there was a $12 "service fee". Since I deposited my paycheck Friday, there was absolutely no reason any of my recent transactions should have had an issue. So, first thing this morning I called the bank.

Guess what? They are instituting a $12 MONTHLY fee. TWELVE DOLLARS A MONTH. $144 A YEAR. Just for letting them borrow my money? I don't think so! I have had a "free" checking account with Chase for years so I'm a bit pissed.

This monthly fee can be waived, if you have an average daily or monthly (or something) of $5K. Yea right. It also doesn't apply if you have some sort of direct deposit. Well I don't, nor do I have the option to with my current job...I didn't with the job before this, or the one before that....

So, seriously? I'm mad! I have all my bills auto-paid through Chase but I guess now I'll have to switch banks. Any suggestions?!

Grrrrr, indeed.




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

In The Dark


Good gosh, it sure was hard to get up this morning. It was so dark!

I think we should do away with the fall "fall behind" thing and just let the time be. I appreciate that the sun will still be up when I leave work, but must we go through this every year? You'd think with all the laws and legislature that gets passed in DC and around the world they would have changed this by now.

Oh, well. Maybe when I become president. Happy Monday, all. Don't fall asleep at work. ;)





- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 12, 2011

HAPPY Saturday


It's Saturday! I came south for the day and it's sunny and warm.


I had lunch at Sunken Lunken Airport with my Grandpa. It's always good to catch up with him.

Awesome day, though I'm a bit tired. Lyn came over last night and we watched "A Time To Kill" with young-looking Matthew McConaghey and Sandra Bullock. She didn't leave until close to 11:30 and by the time I got ready for my trip and showered, it was midnight. I had to be up before 6 this AM.

Some random snapshots I shot around the campus I was at today. Such a gorgeous day!




(Okay, so this was a cig container, but the pebbles up close were kinda cool)



(The answer is always, always wear blue!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

World As My Oyster

I’m not on the hunt for a new job, at least, not yet?

I’ve been going through a rough couple of weeks. I don’t know HOW to decide if I want to nanny for the rest of my life. I’m worn out taking care of other people’s kids in a daily way. Teaching was different, but I’m tired. I’m tired of having to make sure the house is clean by 5 pm, of telling parents that we’re going to the mall/library/etc. and then later, oh we’re back. If I have to take care of children, I’m to a point where I’d like them to be my own. Or not care for children at all. In fact, I’m at a place where I’m not even sure I WANT my own kids…and that’s never been the case before.

So, where does this leave me? It’s not that I don’t love kids. I adore taking care of Bug and seeing some of my old students for random babysitting gigs.

I just don’t know anymore. I’ve been asking around to see what other jobs people could see me having. Among the suggestions:

- flight attendant
- travel blogger/writer (love this, not sure how in the world that would work)
- travel agent
- cruise ship childcare (I love this idea as well, but I’m fairly certain it would mean a move to Florida and I don’t think I want to leave Big City!)
- children’s librarian
- tour director

I’m sure a lot of this stems from changes going on with my friends, as well. A good friend will possibly be moving away again. She moved before, came back, and if she moves I won’t blame her at all. Sometimes I feel like moving to a new city would be good, because it would give me a chance to start over, to leave the school completely behind. I’m holding on to a false hope that I’ll be called and welcomed back to the school next year, and I need to let it go.

Oh, the grieving process…not so fun. And who knew it could last so long just from a job!?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Dressed for the Gym

The other day I was racing to get Laney and Derek ready for their gymnastics class. There was the usual dawdling until Laney finally came downstairs.
When I saw how she had dressed herself at almost age 6, I had to laugh, and then pull out my camera…even though this isn’t that bad, the tutu hanging out just had me.
Img_10805
She reminded me of myself. My mom can attest to the fact that I was never the most fashionable dresser as a child (and who am I kidding, I’m not now, either!)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Blogging: A Yes/No Day


I've been re-evaluating my blogging lately. Why do I blog? It started out as a way to record the happenings of the kids I nannied for while I lived in Massachusetts. It's recorded my trip across the country, vacations, job changes, awesome days, horrible days, the loss of friendships and roommates, new friendships blossoming. I've chronicled the struggles I had with my job last year, the longing I have to go back to my old school. I love blogging, I do. But sometimes, I rethink things. Have I posted too much detail, though what I wrote was raw, my current thoughts?

I've thought about stopping the blog, stepping down for good. I do not feel the need to record everything that happens, every day. I blog when I feel like it and there are rarely drafts in my dashboard.

I've thought about making the blog private, which may not be a bad idea but it also x-es out any new networking connections I'd make. I thought of this last night when I was on my former students' mom's Facebook page. She added me after I left the school, and after a lot of thought I accepted but she has no access for now to my wall since I'm friends with my old coworkers, who are her daughter's current teachers. Nevertheless, through her page I was linked to another former student's mom's blog, and it turns out that she works/worked the local blogging/food circuit. She knows people I know, twitter and local friends of mine. That's close. Almost too close. I don't purposely broadcast where I live, but still!

Not many people read here, and that's okay. Through blogging I came across my good friend Sharon a few years ago. That in itself would have been worth the experience! I also like to think I helped lead my best friend to blogging about her sweet girls, who I love hearing more about!

I have chosen time with friends and books, making bowls in pottery and making strikes in bowling over endlessly trying to catch up on all the blogs I used to read. The days are sunnier and longer, the sun warmer, and I just can't justify sitting in front of a screen all day or night when I don't have to. My life will not end, or change, if I don't read every.single.post that my online buddies write, but it's taken me a long time to realize that.

Just the random ramblings on my mind this morning. Do you ever re-think blogging or the way you go about it?

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Mini Chocolatiers

I didn’t write about VD because, well, it’s never really been on my radar. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have some fun with the kids…
IMG_5722
We made chocolates! I picked up a few reusable molds & bags of meltable chocolate in red, blue, brown & sprinkled from Michael’s ahead of time and we just went to town! Smile
Laney was verrrrrrrrrry precise with her chocolate colors and mold. I’d estimate she worked on it for a good hour. She didn’t want to fill any flower with just one color/flavor but preferred three. She got it EVERYWHERE. Eventually I just had her take her shirt off and even then her belly was multi-colored chocolated!
IMG_5730

IMG_5746
Derek really enjoyed himself! Once I showed him how to fill the mold, he went for it and did an awesome job. His turned out really well!
IMG_5709

IMG_5714
IMG_5728
And I have to admit, I had a good time too- they didn’t last long!
IMG_5712
IMG_5735

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Birthday Recap

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! I haven’t had time to write or read blogs in the last couple days. I had to work late yesterday and on Tuesday…well, you’ll see.

I wasn’t expecting much for my birthday this year. I hadn’t planned anything. I was going to work and then on to enjoy my evening at pottery class. On my way to bowling on Sunday, I found out that said pottery class was canceled and posted on Facebook, knowing it was late notice but did anyone want to grab dinner or something on Monday? By the time I got home Sunday night a plan was in place.

I arrived at work as usual on Monday and discovered the family I work for had bought cupcakes for the kids & I to enjoy at lunch time. We had a little party at lunch time and I opened the gift they got me—to my absolute amazement it was a Nook! I’m still figuring out how to use it but WOW! I really wasn’t expecting anything from them so I was blown away!

 

I also got off work a tiny bit early and my roommate was still home when I got there. I showed her the Nook and as she walked out the door she told me there was a card on the table.

About 15 minutes before my friends came to get me for dinner, I opened the card, expecting it was from my roommate. Well, it WAS, but she had ALL my old co-workers sign it!!!!!! I started crying, no joke. Happy tears, but somehow Hope knew that I’d be missing being at school and with my co-workers on my birthday. She was spot on! The card was my favorite gift, hands down. Such a simple gift but from the heart Red heart- not a soft side of Hope we see often. Smile with tongue out

Well, I was able to have four friends come to dinner at my favorite Mexican place! One was my old coworker A, so it was good to catch up with her. I had delicious chicken fajitas and got a free dessert (sopapillas, YUM!). Once Hope and I both got home I thanked her over and over for that card. She can be thoughtful!

172722_550788679360_144901829_31958526_4327456_o

On Tuesday, my friend Stacy had invited me over for dinner. We had delicious chicken parmesan (sooo good, and what I’m having for my family bday dinner this weekend teehee) and she even got me to dance to Michael Jackson Wii. Anyone who knows me will know that’s an accomplishment! We ended the evening with Rita’s Italian Ice- I’m so glad that place is open again! Thank you so much, Stacy! Smile

~~



Here’s to a great year of being 26! Smile