Saturday, September 25, 2010

The first hint of fall

First, I want to say Happy Birthday, Jake! My grandson, Jake, is 8 years old today!

The first signs of fall are beginning to sprout up in Western New York. The days are slightly cooler and the leaves have just begun to change color.

Here are a few pictures I took just now as I took Molly for a walk.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

An "Oh, My God!" moment. . .

Get ready to laugh. I even laughed at myself, once I got over the shock.

My garage door opener has not worked properly for months. It would always open, whether I used the car remote or the wall switch inside the garage. But closing it was another matter. It would never close using the remote. Instead, I would need to get out of the car, use the keypad on the outside of the garage. . . punch in my passcode and then hold the key down until the door was all the way closed.

I have this thing about calling repairmen. And not just for the expense. "We can come tomorrow between 8 am and noon." So you disrupt your plans, take time off from work to sit home until they arrive.

Finally this morning I called a garage door repair company. The man, sounding like a true good ole' boy asked me what the garage door was doing. So I explained. "Okay, ma' um, this what I wancha ta do. . . you know how there are these two sensors on either side of the door down near the bottom?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Okay, I wancha to monkey with 'em a bit and see if that helps."

After a brief pause, I said, "Okay. Thank you" and that was the end of the conversation. Would someone explain to me what "monkey" means in that sentence???

So I went home for lunch today. Uhmm. . . do you know what the problem was???

One of those two sensors had fallen off the metal post it was attached to. I picked it up, dusted the cobwebs and dirt off it, snapped it back on the post. . . it didn't even require screws!

And guess what! My garage door works like new!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A really good day!

I took a day of vacation today from work. I had a very intense weekend taking a two day class - that I wanted to take, but still it was mentally draining. So I arranged to take today off. I used it to catch up on the things I usually do on weekends. And I shopped for Kevin and Jake's birthday presents and actually got Jake's in the mail. Have you ever tried to find a box suitable to mail a 30 inch skateboard??? It ain't gonna happen!

Later in the day I called Debbie, my cousin in Pensacola, my hometown.

Sometimes a day off just doing "nothing" is the best kind of vacation. It was good therapy for me.

Backyard shrubs

A month or so back I posted pictures of these shrubs when they were covered in white blooms. Now they've turned pink. I actually prefer the white blooms. The process between white and pink makes them look dirty! I like the way they have grown rapidly and given me an attractive privacy wall. When the sun is shining on these - white or pink - they are truly breathtaking.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Here is Jake, my "middle" grandson! Jake will be 8 years old before this month is over.

Jake plays soccer and basketball and can be quite convincing when he is trying to get his point across! He will be a very successful trial lawyer or corporate CEO someday.

Let's take a look at Jake up to this point in his life.

Jake at one day old.

If I could get Gramma to let go of me, I could really move.

My innocent look. Works on Gramma everytime.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can this really be Kevin???

My daughter-in-law, Jen, sent this picture of Kevin, my oldest grandson, taken this week on the first day of school. He is in the fourth grade this year. I just stared at the picture. I just saw these boys in July, folks. Kevin was not this big then, honest!

Here are pictures of Kevin through the years.

This is a picture of Jen and Kevin at the zoo here in Rochester, "a few years back!"

This is Kevin with his Great-granddad, my father, probably around 2002.

Kevin is an avid golfer. He inherited that from both his grandfathers, his dad, and his Uncle Michael.

I loved watching my own two sons grow up, but there is really something special about being a grandmother!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Today is Andrew's first day of kindergarten!

Today is a very special day! My youngest grandson, Andrew, begins kindergarten today. The elementary school now has three Bennett brothers attending classes.

He will have the same teacher that Jake had when he was in kindergarten.

Have a great day, Andrew!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Range Safety Officer Training

Whew! I survived all ten hours of RSO training yesterday. It was exhausting but I am so very glad I took the training.

Range Safety Officers serve at shooting events. Their role is to "possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to organizing, conducting, and supervising safe shooting activities and range operations." (Taken right out of the textbook!)

There was a lot of role playing in the class. . . how to respond to emergencies on the range. What do you do when someone holding a loaded firearm suddenly starts to collapse with a possible heart attack? How do you safely take a loaded firearm from someone who has a misfire or hangfire and doesn't know how to correct it on their own? And so much more.

There were lighter moments! The location where the class was held is a club that has skeet and trap shooting. Now I know what skeet is but I had never heard the term "trap shooting". So I asked. Immediately, one of the club members spoke up and said, "Skeet is for sissies. Trap is for real men!"

The rest of my three-day weekend will be spent with working around the house. Tomorrow I have to go into work for awhile. . . yes, on a holiday!. . . to prepare for a meeting on Tuesday afternoon. I'm still waiting for everyone to send me the data I need to put together for the meeting.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Look how far I've come!

It was one of those moments that grab you and make you pause and reflect. . . I'm taking a class tomorrow to become a Range Safety Officer for shooting events.

The day began like any other day. I was busy at work, trying to do the usual ten things at once. An e-mail found its way to my work inbox. It was from Dave Jenkins, from Rochester Personal Defense, inquiring if I'd considered taking the Range Safety Officer class tomorrow. I was stunned and a lot of feelings ran through my brain at once. Mention the chance to get on the range and shoot guns and I'm all ears! But am I really ready to be a Range Safety Officer? Just then another e-mail came across my screen. This was a work related e-mail and I had to take care of it right then. Awhile later I sent Dave a quick e-mail stating I'd think about it. I would have to arrange for someone to look in on Molly as I would be gone most of the day. Geez, I'd planned this holiday weekend to be a work weekend around the house. A lot of things need to get done here.

By the middle of the day I decided sometimes opportunity only knocks once. Being a firearms instructor and/or a Range Safety Officer were things I looked forward to in the future. But now?

Once I made the decision to take the class, I came home and started gathering up the things I needed to bring with me tomorrow. One item was a one inch 3-ring binder. I went to my cabinet in my computer room. I reached to a top shelf a pulled down a binder.

The cover had a sheet enclosed that said, "Job Search 2003". Oh, my God, did that send a bolt of lightning through my body. Could I really open this binder and read what was there? You see, back in 2003, I decided to leave real estate. I loved being a realtor and I had a lot of loyal clients. I had been in real estate for seven years. It is one of those occupations where sometimes you make a lot of money and then there are months when you barely scrape by. Being a single person and solely responsible for my well being, I found I just could not survive in the business and it would be necessary to find a "real" job. . . one that paid a regular paycheck and one with benefits.

Those months of looking for a job were brutal. And as I thumbed through this binder showing all the steps I had taken to find an appropriate job, I remembered the feelings of pain and humiliation at what seemed like an eternity finding a job. To make matters worse, my father died unexpectedly during this time and I had to drop everything and go to Florida to bury him and settle his affairs.

It was definitely a very low point in my life and this binder, with all its notes, just really hit me in my soul like I could not have imagined.

I looked up and Molly was staring at my with her innocent look as if she were thinking, "What's your problem?" Dogs have a way of doing that!

Then it hit me! Instead of opening up those old wounds, why not look how far I had come. I have been an employee at the University of Rochester for 7 years. I wouldn't exactly rate the UofR and their ridiculous form of office politics the most desireable place to work. But on the other hand. . . I have job security, good benefits, and I can pay my bills. In this economy, that is something to be thankful for.

Yes, there have been rough spots over the years. But I only need to look around me and see there are a lot of people much worse off than I am. I own my home. I have financial security. I have family and friends that care about me. What more do I need???

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy September!

Can it really be September already? Why is it that winter drags on forever but summer is here and gone before you realize it???

Anyway. . . my sermon for today is on Why-can't-things-last-like-they-used-to?

I have an alarm clock, quality brand, it was never dropped or abused. It still keeps good time but the alarm stopped working. My first thought was the battery needed to be changed. It wasn't a battery issue! I don't remember how long I've had it but definitely less than ten years.

So now I'm in the market for a new alarm clock. In the meantime, I'm fortunate that I seem to wake up at the same time everyday. And if that fails, there is always my Labrador Retriever, Molly, who sleeps on the floor next to my bed and believes it is her duty not to let me sleep too long! Nothing like waking up being slapped by a Black Lab or feel a cold nose on your hand or face, followed by a big wet tongue and hearing a tail wag!