Sunday, July 27, 2008

Getting Back Into The Groove Of Things

Well yesterday my mother-in-law was rushed to the hospital and has been admitted.  They say she has pneumonia.  So prayers are needed please.

Thanks to all the Spacey gals who have been so supportive and understanding over my mystery "troll".  I've still got lots of things to update, but hopefully we're past that now.

Now on to "happier" things (don't want you to think that my entire life is one crisis after another):

Last weekend was "Crab Fest" weekend.  Every year the Hagerstown Jaycee's hold a crab feed.  My one sister and my two nieces and I have gone the past 2 years.  This is last year's photo:

That's Me, Kelly, Jamie (nieces) and Beth (sister).  Yeah, there's more alcohol drinking then crab eating (though I *do* love those crabs).

This is this year's photo (minus Jamie who was late getting there and then Beth was gone by the time she did):

                                                                                Still lots of fun!!

This past Friday at work Lt. Terri Blair retired  (she's my age and gets to retire-go figure).  So we had an in-house party:

That's Me, Terri (the retiree), Evelyn and Kathy (no we didn't plan the color coordinating).

Here she is goofing off with her husband Rick (our Administrative Captain).

                                                       The Warden, Rick, Terri and the Sheriff.

Not allot of work got done in the office area on Friday, obviously!!!


Many posts ago hubby and I had tore up the carpet in the bathroom and laid a floor (okay who am I kidding - he did it all).  This week we got a new sink and toilet.  Both were leaking plus the toilet really needed replaced and the sink (because it had a cabinet around it) took up more space then it should have in such a small bathroom.  Anyway:

                     BEFORE                                                                               AFTER

                       BEFORE                                                                               AFTER

Of course, this leaves us with a gold colored bathtub.  The plumber gave us the name of a guy that can spray it with a special paint to make it white and look like new.  There's also the option of Bathfitters too - though I'm not sure of their pricing.  With the sink we had the issue of the pipes coming up from the floor rather than behind the wall, so we have exposed pipes there.  So we're going to shine them up and paint them to match the chrome on the spigots and such. 

The bathroom also has gold colored tile (which we hate), and the top portion of the walls is covered with an ugly flowered wallpapered paneling.  I don't mean that they wallpapered over wood apparently is wallpaper on boards that you put up like you would paneling.  Anyway it's outdated, so we're either going to paint over or see what's behind it!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Some Chit Chat

First things first.....look over at the sidebar and visit "Stratsville"; it only takes a click and that's all you need to do!!  We were almost at a population of 100 and now we're back at 88.  The only way to move up the levels is to increase the population and the only way to do that is for everyone to visit once a day!!!

I've opted to stay with stratcat as my online identity and change some other things around.  Though I created a new email, I'm thinking it may be too obvious, so I may rethink that one, but I will only be using "free" email accounts for my online boards from here on out.  That way my personal space doesn't get invaded by an unknown person.  Though I know some may think I over reacted too quickly by canceling out my accounts and such...I beg to differ.  If you read back through some of the older posts you'll notice a few months back I was dealing with some computer problems that involved either a hacker or virus and that my normal everyday life isn't going the smoothest either.  There's that John Hopkins appointment still hanging out there and well I'm stressed and scared!  Plus there's the fact that I respect others opinions even when they differ from mine, is it too much to ask the same????  Online, it apparently is.  Though I rejoined back up at one board, I'm not sure I will at the other.

As my last post states I went to see "Mamma Mia" and loved it.  You really have to like musicals and ABBA music to enjoy this, but it's just a fun movie.  We sang with the songs (my co-worker Polt was there as well and he and his friend Steph sat behind us) and such, only to realize when leaving that there were people sitting further behind us - oh well - it was a nice ending to what was a rather disturbing day.  Though I still stand by that Pierce Brosnan should not sing - don't get me wrong, I like him as an actor.....but I hope he has no plans for a singing career. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Did You Ever Have One Of THOSE Days....

Our air conditioning is broken at work.  It happens every time the weather hits 90 or above and the humidity is at 100%.  It's so bad my cactus in my office has killed over.

It's been a weird day, course the AC is out and the inmate population is up - which means there is lots of paperwork.  One of the gals in the office leaves for 1-1/2 weeks of vacation tomorrow (so I have her work as well) and well, things are just backed up and it's hot......

So I pop online to one of the online groups I belong to and posted a little personal, funny type story from the weekend.  I then popped over to another to see what was going on.  I had several PM's there, all from someone I was unfamiliar with who apparently didn't like some comments I made on one of the threads.  That was okay, online life is some times like that.  I was able to PM back, tell them we could agree to disagree and leave it at that.  But they wouldn't let it, but the next time I tried to PM it claimed the account didn't exist.  Then the PM's came in with a different identity and would again disappear.  It was weird and I unsubscribed from the group and felt I could subscribe back later. 

But this particular troll wouldn't let me be (guess I never should of reacted to their PM's).  Now the emails started - right into one of my main email accounts, I then tried to reply from there only to get something back saying the account didn't exist.  The emails coming in were from the "free" email sites and the user names were just a bunch of letter, symbols and numbers.  Someone was going through allot of trouble by signing up for accounts and then deleting them to cover their tracks.  Eventually, the comments were to my personal, funny type story I had posted at the first board.  That was hitting a little to close to home for me, not threatening but not nice.  Whomever this was apparently trolled at both the boards and had targeted me.  I had no choice but to close down that account as well for the time being.  By the afternoon it all had stopped, and I've received no more this evening.

Now I'm kind of I rejoin under my old screen name or a new one???  I've been "stratcat" ever since I've been online, what other possible identity could I be???  If I use something new...well it looks like I'm hiding.  I know the one group doesn't share email addresses and I'm sure I had mine hidden at the other...even if I didn't I usually don't use my "paid" accounts at these sites only the "free" ones.

Decisions, decisions........

On a happier note....saw "Mama Mia" tonight - LOVED it!!!   <except Pierce Brosnan shouldn't sing - who cast him????>

Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Everyday Gripe

There's a cemetery near where I live - Burns Hill Cemetery.  There are really some sick people out there with absolutely no respect.  But, of course, society won't allow anyone to discipline their children so should we really expect more???   This was the article in the newspaper this week:

Burns Hill Cemetery desecrated

Dozens of grave markers were damaged or destroyed early this week in Burns Hill Cemetery.
Sometime late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, a person or group wreaked “massive desecration” on headstones and monuments throughout the cemetery.  Waynesboro Police were alerted Wednesday morning after Butch Matthews, the cemetery’s caretaker, saw overturned headstones from the window of his house.

“I saw it around 7:30 a.m. and thought, ‘That’s not supposed to be like that,’” Matthews said.  He began counting broken, destroyed and overturned headstones and stopped at 67.  Police have estimated the total to be closer to 100 or 150, with more than $500,000 worth of damage done.

According to police, Matthews left the cemetery around 4 p.m. Tuesday and everything was still in order.  Matthews and John Gress, director of the cemetery board, both had family headstones knocked over.

Beyond repair

According to Gress, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

“This is out of control now. This has got to stop,” he said.  Gress explained that although people have occasionally turned over headstones before, the destruction has never been of this magnitude.

Police said the same thing happened within the past year in a Gettysburg cemetery just outside the battlefield.  “I wish someone could come up with an answer of what we’re supposed to do about this,” said Gress, listing the Clayton family monument as a total loss. “It’s beyond fixing. You can’t fix soft Italian marble.”

Another monument damaged beyond repair is of an angel overlooking graves belonging to the Philips family. The angel’s head was broken off along the base of the neck.

According to Gress and police, surrounding the cemetery with wrought-iron fencing would be costly and still wouldn’t prevent people from entering after dusk.

Gress said he will be calling friends to help put headstones back in place that were knocked over but not destroyed.

“It’ll be awhile,” said Matthews of the time it will take to clean up the mess.

The Waynesboro Police Department is asking for help from area residents in finding the culprits behind the cemetery destruction. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 762-2132.

Cemetery history

According to information from the Waynesboro Historical Society, Burns Hill Cemetery gets its name from Gen. James Burns, a captain with the Pennsylvania Militia during the War of 1812.

In addition to his service with the militia, Burns, a prominent Waynesboro resident, was a justice of the peace as well as the Franklin County Sheriff.

He owned the piece of land now known as Burns Hill Cemetery and was the first person buried there.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

This, That & Then Some

Well hubby's appointment at John Hopkins is August 18th.  So we're in waiting mode.

Mickey came home tonight.  He once again was at the old house.  He ran from us last night and tonight.  But the new house owners were able to catch him in a crate for us.  He seems to love them and sees us as the enemies now.  We're getting to know these people very well and are so glad that they don't seem annoyed by his re-appearances.  Though they say they don't want him, we're pretty sure at some point, he'll belong to them (we've already got the teenage daughter hooked).   They've done lots of outside improvements around that house (ones we had hoped to do) and apparently have done some work in the kitchen.  They offered a tour, but we opted out for now.  We just both kind of still see that as our house and we're not ready to see someone else's things in it!!  But they are very nice people and if anything we've made some new friends.

The gentleman that lived across the street from us there recently died, so hubby kind of has suggested we keep an eye for a for sale sign on that house.  We really do miss that neighborhood.  But I'm leary with the market the way it is....we can't afford 2 house payments, but yet we don't want to see opportunities pass us by either.  Guess we'll have to wait and see.  I can see us back in that neighborhood eventually, maybe within the next 5 years.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sometimes Life Is Just Funny

My step-daughter has been driving my old car for quite a number of years now. Since she just bought a house, is having a baby and getting was finally time to sign the car over for her. We went to do that this evening. She picks me up and we're gabbing on our way to AAA for the titling and tag transfer service. This is like a 1/2 hour drive.

We get there and approach an employee who couldn't wait on us because she was getting off, we moved to the next window and this is a brand new person and she didn't know what to do, we moved down to the next window to have "Pat" wait on us. "Pat" really lacks personality, and in reality she was kind of scary.

We seemed to be bothering her. She was none to happy that my Title was in my maiden name (actually it's not, it was changed but I chose not to spend the $22.50 to have them send me a new one); fortunately I had brought my marriage license with me. She was none to happy that Lauren had just moved and hadn't bothered to have her address changed on her license yet (she did that for us though). She was none to happy that no money was changing hands for the car and slapped down the Gift Affidavit to be signed. She didn't seem to care that I was a AAA Member (there's a discount for those services for members), she viewed it as this service was being offered to my step-daughter and I wasn't really there. Of course, this gave her an opportunity to sell a membership.

Once everything was signed, I kind of became invisible. She then talked directly to Lauren telling her the cost for the AAA services. After that, she again told her she now had to write another check to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the titling and tag transfers. I jumped in and said I would be paying that. This seemed to annoy "Pat" but she took my check. After copying the paperwork and such, "Pat" proceeded to explain the entire AAA membership packet to Lauren, in a very mundane, could care less attitude. During the whole procedure, Lauren and I could not look at each other because if we did, we knew we would laugh and laughing was apparently something "Pat" doesn't do often. When we got to the parking lot I said "Has it been a long day for her or do you think that's her normal self?" Lauren agreed "She really loves her job, huh?" But things were about to get funnier.......

The car is now officially Lauren's. We get into the car and I ask her to drive over to the Wendy's drive-thru so I can get a drink. But the car won't start. The key will not turn the ignition. I mean, it won't turn at all!!!

Now it's joke time:
"Whew, I'm glad this car ain't mine anymore!" "Well, you get what you pay for!" "I wonder if that AAA membership covers this." "Run in there and asked Pat if they can help."

I called hubby and he agreed to come help us (and he has the spare key - Lauren's key is very worn). So we walked over to the Wendy's and got something to drink until he got there. He hops right out of his car, into her's and  uses the spare key - and it works!!! He agrees the other key is just worn.

Moral of the Story:
Cost of chit-chat during the drive                                     
$ 0.00
Cost of AAA Basic Membership and Motor Vehicle Fees     
Cost of MVA Transfer Fees                                              
Cost of finally owning the car free & clear and it won't start in the AAA Parking Lot:

Saturday, July 12, 2008

This and That

Well, hubby's MRI and other test results were sent to John Hopkins and we're waiting on their opinion.  So everything is at a standstill with his surgery.  He's now trying to get all this stuff done around the house he's been putting off....I personally think he shouldn't be doing any of it - but hey, who am I???

Work has been so-so...I've been working on paperwork for a yearly grant and it of course, having a deadline, had to be front burner while the rest of my work just sat around.  I think I may have to go into work tomorrow to get caught up.  And the commissary clerk is on vacation AGAIN, so I have his job all this week as well.

I'm beginning to think Petsmart's Dog Obedience Classes participate in the "No Dog Left Behind" program.  Keyser is anything but obedient and he's destroyed 3 pairs of my shoes this week in addition to some other things.  GRRRR......

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Okay, first off my online Mini-City "Stratsville" (over there on the sidebar) is failing miserably - I'm losing population there. The only way to make it successful is to get hits on the website. So everyone that visits today must click this link:

Trust me it won't require you to sign-up, or put in your email address or anything. All you have to do is click the link and visit. Once there, you need do can move on to another site.

The neurologist has decided to send hubby to John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland for a second opinion. She totally agrees he needs the surgery but would like to have another doctor view the MRI results to make sure we aren't missing anything else. Hubby has lost quite a bit of weight in the past 3 years with no changes in his eating habits. They've run tests on several occasion for all kinds of things that could cause this with all tests coming up normal. Now, she feels that the problem in his neck could be causing the nerves from that area affect the body from that area down. And since this is a condition that has been going on for sometime, the weight loss could be a result of that. But she can't guarantee it. The surgery will need to be done regardless.

IMO, while in her office observing her, as hubby explained what the neurosurgeon told us...I got the impression that it somewhat bothered her that the surgeon doesn't have him on a priority list (they told us the earliest they could schedule surgery will be in August) and that he told us he could do it as out-patient (and I have read on the internet that a 36-48 hours hospital stay is the norm). Though I'm not doubting the surgeons skills (he's one of the best in the area)....John Hopkins has the best in the country, and well though it means traveling down the could be the better option. We're now just waiting to hear when the appointment is. But in case you're wondering, hubby is finally at a point that he wants the surgery done sooner rather than waiting.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion

That title is the name of the surgery hubby must have.  You can read more about it here:

The only different in his compared to what the link says is that rather than obtaining bone from his hip, they will insert a screen instead.

Though it looks scary (and let's face it any tampering with the spine is serious) it seems to be a very common surgery.  The one lady at work said her husband had it last year.  And it seems that everyone that has had it gets the same paralyzing scenario.  So I feel a little better.

I'm thinking if we can schedule the first week in August, hubby will be half way through post-op by vacation.  If they can't do it until the end of August, then there is no reason it can't be pushed back to September.  He really wants vacation and doesn't want anything to interfere with that.

***Mickey update:  Yep, that cat is gone again!!!***

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Alrighty Then....

So we're being told that it's good news that hubby does not have some type of disabling disease.  HOWEVER, we received the results of the MRI he had done this past Saturday.....

Apparently he has bone spurs in the neck, which in turn is causing pressure on the spinal cord, which in turn is causing the spinal fluid not to run thoroughly through the area, which in turn means he needs to have surgery.  No other options.  It'll continue to get worse and is in such a condition that if he would suddenly be "jolted" (car accident, fall, etc..) may lead to him being paralyzed.

He wants to wait until September for surgery, I want him to have it ASAP.  So we've decided to discuss it with the neurologist at Monday's appointment.

Prayers please.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 8th Year Anniversary!!!!   

I'm guest blogging at today.  C'mon over!!!