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Tuesday, September 28, 2004


said    at 8:04 AM

Sunday, September 26, 2004


The Future of Our Church....

Our parish is in desperate financial trouble and if we, as a community, don't do something to change that, it won't be long before we will have to close. We've already experienced a 'merging' of five parishes (twelve years ago) and I don't think anyone really wants to go through that again. But one thing does trouble me... I feel that we are not ONE worshiping community, but FIVE who just happen to worship in the same building. Sad, isn't it? If only we could all pull together and work toward the same goal, maybe we could turn things around. Five years ago, the lady that used to chair our fall bazaar decided to give it up and offer the position to someone else. After three months of advertising in our bulletin, I finally decided to take on the challenge. And what a challenge it is....but instead of supporting our new ideas and offering helpful suggestions to the new committee, the women who used to run it could only find critical things to say about me, and the changes the new committee decided to make. I would hear, "But we've ALWAYS done it that way before." Oh really; and did it work??? Wasn't the bazaar going downhill for years??? Maybe it's time for a change, ya think??? The same thing with our spring card party; the old chairperson was 'burned out' and decided it was time she gave it up. (I just never learn) After much thought (but now I'm thinking it wasn't enough), I decided to chair that fundraising event as well. I got insulted and screamed at, in front of our card-playing crowd no less; and in the end, we made a much bigger profit than they had in years..... Must've done something right, eh? Ok, getting to the point: If only we could find ways to work WITH each other rather than AGAINST each other, we'd not be worrying about the future of our parish. Isn't that what Christianity is all about??? Why can't our priests do a homily on what 'community' really is and invite everyone to challenge themselves to just do ONE thing extra every week, for no reason at all except 'just because' and to help out someone in need. If that 'someone' happens to be your parish, so be it.

Why is it that it's so much easier to point out the bad in people than it is the good? I can only hope that our parishioners see how serious our situation is, decide to 'turn over a new leaf' and start acting like the Christians we're supposed to be. Am I dreaming? Maybe; maybe not. We've got a Town Hall meeting Tuesday evening; topic: 'The Future of SS. Simon & Jude' and I will be there....I guess we'll see how many parishioners are concerned enough to show up. (I'll keep ya posted) (As if you really want to be kept posted, eh?) =)

Enough of my rambling.....I've got questions to post for this week's Monday Madness. Later!

...and here is my submission for this week's theme at Photo Time; 'relaxation.' Posted by Hello

said    at 8:47 PM

Friday, September 24, 2004


Happy 49th Anniversary, Mom & Dad!!

~Love, Natalie~

Here's just a little somethin' I made for you...

said    at 6:15 PM


Since it's Friday, I thought I'd better get my Monday Madness answers up!

1. My computer chair (and my daughter's chair as well) is the most used piece of furniture in my house.
2. The one electronic 'gadget' that I use most often is my
3. My favorite appliance, and the one I absolutely cannot live without is the
coffee maker!!!
4. One thing that I thought I just HAD to have at one time, and I now barely ever use, is my
big 'Xyron Sticker, Laminator, Magnet Maker'.
5. I find it easiest to keep in touch with family and friends via
email, but the phone should be my number one mode of communication!.
6. I own more cd's (or other music media) than I do
software (and believe me, I own a lot of that!).
7. All my important addresses are stored in/on my
hard drive.
8. If I had to live without TWO keys on my keyboard, I would choose
'Pause/Break' and 'Fn' keys.
9. I probably own about
30 (or more) (and only because they are so old that they wouldn't even work on this computer) pieces of software that I haven't used in years.
10. There are a few food items that I try NEVER to run out of, and those would be
bread, margarine, potatoes, beans, cheese, and COFFEE.

Now I'm off to clean! Have a fabulous Friday!! =)

said    at 8:11 AM

Thursday, September 23, 2004


I thought this was cute; Found it at Bryn's........

Captain Quack Rubber Duck Quiz

said    at 5:47 PM


Yesterday, September 22, at 12:30 p.m. was the official start of autumn...

It will be 83 degrees tomorrow (today) and from there our temperatures are supposed to cool off and feel more like fall. Our summer was very cool so I guess we're getting the temps we should have gotten then. I actually had my air conditioner on today; I think the high temp was 86 degrees.

I want to thank everyone who offered suggestions regarding my problem (see previous post; if you so desire); but problem still not solved. Foggy called me tonight and tried to troubleshoot my problem; no luck. It is a mystery, for sure. She can solve almost any computer problem you may have, so I am a bit discouraged. (Now don't go bombarding her!) I also cannot right-click and 'view source' anymore. Do you think it's time I reformat my computer? I actually had planned to do just that about a month ago and was well on my way to saving all my files to cd's, but of course I got distracted and now I have to check which files I have saved and which ones I have not. What a long process it can be! I thought I was organized, but when it comes to something like this, I guess we find out how organized we really are, eh?

I took the day off and spent some time cleaning my house, throwing away some stuff that is no longer needed/used. At least my timing is right; trash day around here is Thursday. Normally, I'll get the itch to do something like this on Saturday and I have all these bags of garbage sitting around for 5 days. Yes I know; I should donate the stuff to Goodwill or somewhere, but I just want it out of here. We used to have a Goodwill dropbox just down the street from where I live, but they removed it some time ago. Maybe people were stealing from it; I don't know. I guess if they were 'stealing' from it, they must need it, so why bother removing it??? It was a shed-type building and usually when I was there to drop something off, it would be overflowing with bags of stuff, so you'd have to set the stuff outside near the little building. Rather than removing the building from the site, I think they should have put an addition on!!

I'll be pretty busy today, but hopefully before the clock strikes 12 on Friday, I'll have accomplished all my updating and such.....I can dream, can't I??

Meanwhile, enjoy YOUR Thursday and take it easy! =)

said    at 1:30 AM

Sunday, September 19, 2004


I wonder...

I wonder if anyone knows the answer to this question....
Why, when I try to access a website directly by typing the url in the address bar, does it show nothing but red x's where the images are supposed to be, but when I click on a link to the website, it shows up just fine?? I'm so confused. If you have any creative answers, please feel free to share them. I'm really baffled by this one. Thanks!

said    at 9:57 PM

Saturday, September 18, 2004


I have re-vamped my homepage once again...I know what you're thinking, but I believe I will keep this one for awhile. I've been meaning to add links to a lot of good sites on there, forever; never got around to it, but now that I don't have to worry about making a graphic for every one of my links when I change the look, I think I'm motivated to get going on adding those other links. I have them all saved somewhere on my computer, so I'll just be checking them to be sure I want to add them still. This might take a few days before I get them all gathered, but it'll get done.

It's absolutely gorgeous here today. The air feels like its fall, but there's still a hint of summer also. I should go out and take a walk...

Someone was just knocking on my door and I didn't answer it. I'm not fond of people trying to sell things; over the phone OR in person, so if I'm not expecting a visitor, and there is no vehicle in my driveway to recognize (or not), the door goes unanswered. Do you think that's weird? My kid does, but I don't's me. At least this time I didn't have some music playing or the television on. =)

Have a fabulous weekend!!

said    at 5:30 PM

Friday, September 17, 2004


I'm addicted to pixel drawing!!

Y'all have a great weekend! =)

said    at 5:49 PM


I am so glad it's Thursday night (technically Friday now). We're preparing for our parish fall bazaar, and tomorrow after I finish cleaning a house I will be at my church stuffing raffle tickets into envelopes, so hopefully every family in our parish will decide to buy at least 12. Hey, it will cost them a mere $10.00. Call it a donation if you wish; but a donation that may reap in $300.00 for one lucky person, $200.00 for another, $100.00 for another, and $50.00 for yet another. I'm not sure how much longer I can chair this event; it gets pretty discouraging. See, our parish is located in an 'undesirable' part of town and all I hear is that people don't want to venture out that way because they aren't comfortable in that area. Give me a break!! I attend church there every Sunday, go to almost every parish function we have (and most of these are in the evening), and I have never thought about feeling unsafe. If it weren't for the fact that we need the money to operate, I'm not sure I'd be so into these fundraising events, but currently we are operating at a deficit (for the umpteenth year in a row) and realistically, how many more years can we continue to do this and still remain open???

The first episode of 'Survivor' aired tonight...anyone watch it? Aside from 'The Amazing Race' which I watched for the very first time this week (and will probably watch the 2-hour finale next week), this is the only reality show I will allow myself to indulge in. There are just way too many reality shows on now, don't you think? Which ones do you watch? Do you find that even though they sometimes seem ridiculous, that you still have that burning desire to know what happens next?? I"d be interested in hearing your views on this.....

It's almost that time again; time to call it a night. I'm working on a new drawing right now; a house. I'm not sure what I'll do with it when I'm done, but I'm sure I'll be putting it somewhere...who knows? Maybe it'll show up here soon; afterall, I think I am due for a new look. That'll be on my 'things to do' list very soon. I suspect that within the next couple of weeks, my blog will have a whole new look to it. So, stay tuned!! Until tomorrow (or whenever I make it back here), sleep well and sweet dreams!! =)

said    at 12:42 AM

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


I'll be off to a meeting in a few minutes, but first things first, you know! I was just going around visiting a few of my favorite blogs and lo and behold, found a quiz I had to take....Found it at Bev's, who got it from Shirl, who saw it at Bryn's. Here 'tis...

Quark -- You are subtle and mysterious and people
know very little about you. You like hanging
out with small groups of friends (usually 3)
who you are very close to. You are usually
friends with other quarks like yourself.

What kind of subatomic particle are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

And while posting this, I came up with a really corny phrase for a blinkie..."A day without blogging is like a day without sunshine!"

Oh yeah; one more thing, then I gotta go; whoever is the owner of this IP address, you are one sick moron! So go be with your own kind and leave us good people alone now, will you?? IP Address to ban from anything and everything you have on the internet:

Thank you and have a fabulous evening!! =)

said    at 6:12 PM

Sunday, September 12, 2004


I don't think we'll be having another parish picnic of our own; not enough people want to stay. And we couldn't blame this one on the weather because it was sunny and 80 degrees. I have made the suggestion that next year we plan a picnic with our cluster parishes. We could always rotate between the four parishes as far as where it will take place. Our fall bazaar is also coming up in four weeks and I'm a bit concerned about how many people will sign up to sell their crafts. This may have to become a cluster event as well. We shall see....

This week I've decided to answer Monday Madness before reading ANY others' answers, and I want to thank my mom for this set of questions! Here goes....

1. You are given 1 million dollors. You must give it all away before the donor gives you $1 million. Who would you give it to? I would split it up equally between my family (i.e. daughter, parents and sisters).
2. If you had $1 million what would you do with it FIRST? Well, if I wasn't required to give it away, the first thing I'd do is invest a good portion of it. Wanna know what I'd do second?? Build a house. After that, help others get out of debt.
3. Do you participate in lotteries? I have only bought a couple of lottery tickets in my whole life. I guess that would be a 'no.' I'm not into gambling.
4. Name 3 of your best physical features. Oh my....eyes, smile, and legs. (??)
5. ..... 3 of your biggest virtues.Considerate of others, honest, and trustworthy.
6. ......3 of your biggest vices. Compulsiveness, pride, and love of junk food. (That one wasn't easy either, although I know I have many more vices; just don't want to give too much of me away, you know??)
7. ...... 3 of your favorite pleasures in life. The times I spend with my family, my 'alone' time, and my hobbies (computer, scrapbooking, digital photography, cross stitch, and the list goes on).
8. If you were a member of the opposite sex, what would you choose to do for your occupation? I'd build houses, and on the side, I'd do yard work for people. (I could still do that being a female, right?)
9. If you were to come back after death as another animal, what animal would you choose to be? Definitely a cat; they have the life! When they want attention, they get it; when they don't want anyone bothering them, no one does...Plus I never see them picking up after themselves, and they get to sleep all they want.
10. What kind of 'baby' are you... water, clouds, beach, garden? I'd have to say part water and part land. I love being on the water; there's something so peaceful about it. But I also love the land; anything nature.

Another work week begins in just a few short hours; where DO our weekends go??? Thankfully, I have a pretty normal schedule this week though, aside from a meeting one night and a house to clean. Should be a breeze! Let's get this week off to a positive start and make it a good one!! =)

said    at 11:25 PM


Ooops! I forgot to play monday madness this week! It was Labor Day, so the questions were all about work...

1. Please tell us a little bit about your job (or your classes). I work for a church. I'm the secretary and bookkeeper, and I also do bookkeeping for the church down the street. Since our diocese is short on priests, we've been practicing 'clustering' and with this means some job merging....I was lucky enough to be offered the bookkeeping job for our neighboring church, and for this I am grateful.
2. Do you enjoy your job? I do enjoy my job. I don't belong to the church I work for, but in my opinion, this is a good thing.
3. What would make your job more satisfying for you? I guess the only thing I can think of is working with people who all really care for this church. It's not just a dollar....
4. Name one thing you don't like about your job. The 'extra curricular' activities that go along with it. I don't like to be obligated to anything but my 'normal' hours. We often plan things outside of working hours and even though we are not required to go, it is just one of those unwritten rules, you know? I value my evenings and weekends too much, and I'd rather spend them with my kid/family; not co-workers.
5. Do you feel you are compensated adequately for what you do? Everything's relative; according to our diocesan pay scale, I'm on the high end. whoopee. The pay's alright, but could be better.
6. Any thoughts on social security and health benefits? Yeah; make sure your spouse gets excellent benefits, because where I work, at retirement, you pay for your own health care. Social Security? I'm not sure I'll see any of that by the time I retire.
7. What are your thoughts on the current minimum wage? It's pretty low, and you definitely cannot raise a family on this wage, but I guess this would encourage you to get an education and find employment in a field that requires skills. Unfortunately I believe there are far too many people trying to raise a family and make a living on this wage....
8. What kind of advice do you (or would you) give your children regarding their future and their career choices? Continue your education!! Also, it's important to do something that really interests you; something you actually like doing!
9. What is your 'dream job?' As I've said before, to open my own business.
10. At what age will you be (or were you) able to retire? I think age 72; do you think I'll actually be working at the church for that long??? NO. I plan to open my own business within the next 10 years.

Tomorrow is our church picnic...We really need to think of some ways to make people want to stay for it. A lot of people just leave right after Mass, and a lot just stay to eat and then leave. I'll be staying until the bitter end and help clean up. I hope it doesn't rain! I'm off to get some sleep now; enjoy your Sunday!! =)

said    at 1:46 AM

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Since I have nothing much to say tonight, but thought I'd better come here and say something, I will leave you with some interesting things to do/check out/play around with.......

26 things sept 2004: another photo scavenger hunt! Are you in???

link popularity check; see how many people are linking to you!

portrait illustration maker; can you draw a self-portrait?

jigzone; for the jigsaw puzzle lover!

tile machine; go ahead, try it... just for the fun of it!

tiny url; make a long url into a short one! and it works!

One more thing before I sign off for the evening; something to ponder...

"Nobody has things just as he/she would like them. The thing to do is to make a success with what material I have. It is a sheer waste of time and soul-power to imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different." ~Dr. F. Crane

And let us not forget that today marks the 3rd year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York; September 11, 2001. May we say a prayer for all those directly affected by this horrific event, and pray that we may never experience anything like that again. God Bless!

said    at 1:10 AM

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Wow! Wednesday already?? Lots of things to do this week, so I'll be glad when Friday afternoon is here. We're having the greatest weather this week so far. I could take this kind of weather all year 'round! 74 and sunny!! Just like San Diego, CA!

We went to my parents' house yesterday afternoon to do some yardwork and it's amazing how much 4 people can do in just a couple of hours....I love yardwork. Of course afterward, we all enjoyed a meal of meatloaf, potatoes, and cole slaw; yum!!! Then we viewed my pictures that I took in Chicago, on the television screen. Isn't technology grand?

We've got a couple more weekends away to plan this year yet, before the snow starts falling; one being to go back up to the cabin and enjoy the pontoon boat my parents just bought, and the other to visit my sister and her family for a couple of days. Then I guess it's 'home on the weekends' until next spring.

Well, gotta go to work in a few minutes. Y'all enjoy your day!! =)

5:40 p.m.
I was finally able to publish my post from this morning. No more to say, except enjoy your evening! =)

said    at 7:54 AM

Monday, September 06, 2004


My Vacation: The Condensed Version

7:00 a.m. Left Saginaw, southbound to Chicago
1:00 p.m. Arrived in Chicago
2:30 p.m. Brookfield Zoo (see photo gallery link below)
7:00 p.m. Picked up Step-son's fiancee and had dinner at a Mexican Restaurant (Yum!)
10:00 p.m. Back to the apartment to plan our next day
1:30 a.m. To bed we went (finally) after meeting several of the neighbors and visiting with them

7:30 a.m. Up and At 'Em!
8:45 a.m. Caught the morning train into downtown Chicago
9:30 a.m. Arrived downtown and walked toward the Sears Tower; after about a 45-minute wait, we were enjoying the view from the top of the tower (see pics in gallery)
11:00 a.m. Back on foot to the Millennium Park (see pics)
12:00 p.m. ...and on our way to get closer to the Buckingham Fountain (see pics)
1:30 p.m. Finally arrived at the Navy Pier (what a walk!!)
2:00 p.m. Found a little place to have lunch and rest our feet
3:00 p.m. On our way to see what time the next available boat tour was...
5:00 p.m. Decide we will take the Sunset Cruise that begins at 7:45 p.m. and in the meantime we just walked around town, visited some shops, enjoyed watching people perform in the streets (i.e. gymnasts, the silver-faced guy (see pics) and people playing instruments on any random street corner)
6:30 p.m. Start making our way back to where our cruise was to begin
7:00 p.m. Wait in line to board our boat for the Sunset Cruise (and we got some really great seats!)
9:45 p.m. Arrived back at the dock and hauled butt to the train station so we could catch the 10:40 p.m. train back to Roselle
10:40 p.m. Boarded the train on time
12:00 a.m. Back at the kids' apartment, with Taco Bell in hand
1:00 a.m. Hit the sack!

8:00 a.m. Up and ready for another day
10:00 a.m. Eating breakfast at I-Hop Restaurant (since we don't have one around here; and it was some good food!! 5 different kinds of syrup!)
11:30 a.m. Arrived at the Woodfield Mall, where there is over 200 stores. The kids wished we'd have had more time, but we had to keep in mind that it is one hour earlier in Chicago than Michigan, and considering the 6-hour drive we had ahead of us, we couldn't stay too long.
3:00 p.m. Back to the apartment to gather our luggage, etc.
3:30 p.m. Arrived at Fry's, a HUGE electronics store, and again couldn't spend as much time there as we'd have liked but was glad to browse through it...
5:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. Michigan time) On our way home to mid-Michigan
12:30 a.m. Arrived home, safe and sound, and very tired.

It was a great time; even better than my description above lets on... =) If you're interested in seeing my little gallery I put together, click Otto's Chicago Vacation: Just a Sampling....

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend! Now our weather is supposed to start cooling off some, after quite a few days of being hot & humid. There's a storm brewing up here pretty soon so I will be spending the rest of my evening inside; probably some of it on the computer, maybe see what's on television, and just relax! Have a great evening!! =)

said    at 6:30 PM


We're back!

We just got home from Chicago about 15 minutes ago; you know, the first thing I did was turn on my computer? I want to thank my mom for posting the monday madness questions for me tonight. I had a strong feeling we wouldn't be home early enough for me to get them up, so thanks Mom!!

We had a VERY full day on Saturday. We left my step-son's house at 8:45 a.m. and didn't return until midnight, and we packed a LOT of fun in!! We left Chicago around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, stopped a couple of times to stretch our legs, etc. and now here we are; safe and sound in our own little home.....I'll tell you all about our trip when I wake up Monday. Goodnight! =)

said    at 12:50 AM

Friday, September 03, 2004


Off to the Windy City!

In less than 7 hours we will be on the road traveling south to Chicago. Am I going to get any sleep tonight? Possibly a little...

Now for a little Monday Madness on a Thursday! Actually, 'madness' could describe just about my whole week! I was supposed to get 100 bussiness cards to a lady a couple of weeks ago and didn't, then she stopped into my office yesterday looking for them and I told her I'd drop them off to her today, and guess what?? I hadn't printed them out yet! So this morning I grabbed a floppy, put the file on it and rushed to work so I could print them out there. I cut them while at work and asked my boss if I could drop them off to this lady and of course she said yes; and the lady was very happy with them so didn't even notice how late I was getting them to her.....yay! We have this barter thing going on; she cuts my hair, I make business cards and gift certificates for her. It works out great! =)

Ok, here's my 'Monday Madness'

Name 3 of your favorite.......
1. Colors:
Blue, Mauve, Purple
2. Pizza Toppings: Pepperoni, Green Olives, Ham
3. Department Stores: Kohl's, Meijer, Circuit City(???) =)
4. Flavors of Candy: Wintergreen, Cinnamon, Butterscotch
5. Scents of Candles: Spiced Plum, Cinnamon, McIntosh Apple
6. Days of the Week: In order; Saturday, Sunday, Friday
7. Vegetables: Asparagus, Green Beans, Corn on the Cob!
8. Fruits: Raspberries, Plums, Peaches
9. Meals to cook: Tacos, Lasagna, Enchiladas
10. Kitchen Gadgets: Coffee Maker, Chopper Thingy, Can Opener
11. Olympic Sports: Gymnastics, Swimming, Skating

So have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be home on Sunday evening....Take care, and if you're driving anywhere, drive safe!!! =)

P.S. I did post my pictures for Photo Time!! =)

said    at 1:41 AM

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