Apparently no one was seriously injured, but I wonder if anyone got fired.
Friday, October 31, 2008
What are the odds?
Apparently no one was seriously injured, but I wonder if anyone got fired.
Are you Handy?
We moved into our house a little over 5 years ago and my husband decided that since there wasn't cable in the master bedroom, instead of having the cable company run the cable when they set us up, he would save the money and do it himself. This is something he can do, but he hasn't. We purchased a new computer that following February and got one of those put-it-together-yourself computer desks and while I started the project, he decided to surprise me while I was at work and finished it. There is no handle on the cabinet as he used those screws on another part and was just going to pick up some small screws at the hardware store...still waiting for that.
We had water leaking from our downstairs faucet 4 years ago and Hubby and FIL (father in law) took a look at it and decided to just turn the hot water off until a new faucet could be purchased. FIL bought faucets and 6 months later I requested to take them home. He said to have Hubby call after work and he would come over to help install. The job was complete 30 minutes after I came home. I wasn't going to wait another 6 months.
When we were remodeling the extra room before Puddin' Pop was born, I asked him to switch the ceiling fans in the kids rooms. I waited 3 months, and then at 8 months pregnant, did it myself. I've also fixed the water line to the ice box in the freezer, and am about to install the new vanity if it is not done this weekend.
Trick-or-treat recipes (for the chapperones)
I must go get some of the bubbly for the "Curly Toed" Witches brew. My neighbor and I were just trying to figure out yesterday what we were taking for our Trick-or-Treating beverages and I think I'll suprise her with this.
"Curly Toed" Witches Brew Ingredients
2 bottles of Barefoot Bubbly Brut
1 bottle of Virgin Cosmopolitan mix
1/2 gallon Orange Sherbet
1 bunch, peeled black grapes (eye-balls)
1 bottle lemon-lime soda
Combine Barefoot Bubbly Brut and Cosmopolitan mix in large punch bowl. Scoop Sherbet into the bowl, add lemon-lime soda, and float peeled grapes. To make a non-alcoholic version, leave the Bubbly out.
...and here's another recipe that sounds pretty tasty
Sparkling Green Goblin
Pour ingredients into a glass:
2 oz spiced apple
1 1/2 oz Barefoot Moscato (adds a nice sweet flavor)
1 1/2 oz Bubbly Brut
For the glass rim, mix sugar with green food color and apply on rim and then garnish with lime wedge
Free Stuff, with Purchase
If your wondering what to get the sports enthusiast, Hunter, or bird watcher in your life, check out the Nikon ATB Promotion. Right now and through December 31st, if you purchase the Monarch ATB binoculars, you can register, after purchase, for a $50 gift card for Nikon Pro Gear. They have other models of binoculars as well that will yield you a $25 Nikon gift card with your purchase.
Nikon Pro Gear has a variety of outdoor and casual wear for both men and women, as well as optic accessories for field recon and hunting. If someone on your Christmas has any of these interests, I encourage you to check it out. Nothing beats free gift cards.
Happy Halloween...Did I offend you?
I just got back from the grocery store. I went to pick up some white frosting (to dye orange) for the pumpkin cookies the girls and I are making. I thought we could bake them and then when the big kids get home from school, the 4 kids (my 2, plus the Friday rent-a-kid, plus the neighbor) could all decorate them. Something to keep them occupied until "it's time".
Anyway, one of the stores employees came over and asked a) if we celebrated Halloween (yes, we do) and b) if the girls could have some candy (yes, they can).
So at what point did Halloween become such an awful holiday? I understand that some people are offended by what it represents and choose not to be a part of it. They are completely entitled to their opinions, I guess.
When I was a kid, Halloween was the holiday we got to dress in a costume, participate in a parade at school, get lots of special treats, go home, eat dinner, hit the pavement to show off our costumes to our neighbors and get more treats. Period. We didn't learn about the history behind and it didn't matter.
Now it's offensive to some and the kids can't dress up for school. More and more people do not have their porch lights on and it is getting less and less fun for the kids. I have all ideas it will soon be a forgotten tradition...how sad.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
How I Lost My Swiss Army Knife
Anyway, I'm about half a mile from my starting point and I realize a car is following, slowly behind me. I reach in my purse for my adorable pink Swiss Army knife (all inch and half of it) and proceed to look straight ahead, head held high, walking with confidence (and probably NOT in a straight line). I hear someone call "Miss". I walk a little faster. "Miss, please stop." I don't look, I ignore, and keep on moving. There is other traffic on the road so I know if they try something, I can make enough of a stink to get noticed and get help. "Miss, it's the police. Please stop and turn around." Crap, drunk walking.
I stop, walk back to the police car and explain that I am doing the right thing. I am not driving. They explained the dangers and offered me a ride. I tried to decline, apparently it wasn't a request.
I climbed into the back seat and told them where I lived and off we went. On the drive, one of the officers asked if I had any "weapons"? I quickly reached out my hand, pink army knife with blade extended and said "Just this."
You would have thought I had produced some Swiss Army luggage full of contraband, trying to cross some border. The officer quickly removed the knife from my hand, continued to drive me home, and never gave the knife back. I loved that knife. It was useful, cute, pink,and I have never seen one like it. Anyone know where I can get another?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Just say No to Bread Boogers
Darling Puddin’ Pop,
Up until a couple months ago, you would not even eat bread. Not toast, not a sandwich, a roll or anything. Then we took you and Boogie to feed the ducks and you decided if it was good enough for them, you would try it. The ducks didn’t get much bread from you on your first duck feed outing, but you ate 2.5 hamburger buns.
Now you have a bread fetish. Every night, just before bed time, you want a piece of bread. Nothing on it. Just a plain piece of bread. This hasn’t really been an issue, until this last week.
The boys are already in bed or upstairs trying to go to sleep. I’m dropping EC’s or chatting with my Mommy’s group, and you are watching “Wonder Pets”, enjoying your bread. Then you ask for help.
me: “Help with what sweetie?”
you: “The Bread.”
me: “What’s wrong with the bread?”
you: “It’s stuck.”
me: “It’s stuck? You mean it’s stuck to the plate?”
you: (with your finger wedged up your nose) “No, it’s stuck here.”
Yes, my precious Angel. On two occasions this week you have stuffed bread up your nose. And I’m talking STUFFED!
I pinch your opposite nostril and tell you to “blow”, after three or four tries a large, slimy bread booger comes flying out and lands across the room. Mommy says “Please don’t do that anymore, it’s dangerous and icky.” You smile and say “There’s more.”
We repeat the step above and launch the second bread booger that was so far up I couldn’t even see it
Two days later you apparently needed to check out the size of the other nostril, because you stuffed IT!
I love you. Please stop stuffing bread up your nose, it grosses mommy out!
I torture my children while Mooning my Neighbors
This morning Puddin' Pop decided to use the bathroom and then refused to put her pants back on. I chased her around for a while and then just gave up. She would just run and giggle and I figured if she got cold she would come find me.
Fifteen minutes later she was trying to get out the front door, still with nothing on her bottom half. I explained that it was cold, but we all know that Mommy's don't know anything. She finally managed to get the door open and I picked her up and to show her how cold it was I pressed her little bottom to the freezing glass of the storm door...just as my neighbor was driving by. The neighbor stopped, I smiled and waved, and Puddin Pop squealed "Do it again!"
Where do You Blog?
It allows me to get some work done while Puddin' Pop watches Monsters Inc. for the gazillionth time, and we can chat while she watches. I'm thinking of getting a small table or desk and setting up a cozy spot in our bedroom in the hope that on the weekends or at night, I can sneak in an hour or 2 in peace and quiet.
Where do you blog?
Surveys for Cash and Prizes
My favorite was the crystal light peach tea trial. They sent 2 full containers (3 packs each) of crystal light and wanted to know which I preferred. I am now hooked and ALWAYS have peach tea on hand.
If you are interested in making a little extra money and testing products, let me know and I will get you a list of the top companies I have worked for.
Driving and Cell Phones
So my friend, AM, calls as Puddin' Pop and I are driving home from dance class, we chat for a little and then AM gets a little panicky, says something about a problem with her car and hangs up.
This is why you should not talk while driving. I was concerned about my friend and called her an hour later to make sure she was okay. She had been out running errands and her car started acting up.
She was fortunate enough to find a repair shop close to where she was and after having her car checked out and finding that she needed a timing belt replacement, she inquired about her auto repair estimate as well as how long the shop would have to keep the car.
The shop was open until 10:00pm so she left the car, took a bus home and was lucky to get her car back later last night.
She was leery about riding the bus as it had been more than 20 years since she had had to do so. I had to chuckle listening to her ask the bus driver how much a ride would cost. I would have had to do the same thing, but probably would have called a friend for a ride instead. I would have picked up this friend too, except she's in Michigan and I'm in Virginia.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
What's up with Google?
So imagine my surprise today when I noticed my previously ranked 3 blog is now N/A. How does that happen? Yes, I do have sponsored posts, and they are mostly from Social Spark so they have in post disclosure which I know Google frowns on, but how did I go to N/A?
Anyone with any insight who could shed some light on the situation should. I'm perplexed.
I need a pick me up
Maybe I'll just stop for coffee with an extra espresso (or three) shot. I've got to do something, and fast, I want the teacher to know where my kid gets his smarts from, and I'm afraid she's going to think it's from his father.
I got spanked by Google and I didn't even know they were giving spankings out.
Up until the latest Google update I really didn't pay much attention to their rankings. I read a lot about how having sponsored posts have really hurt some people, but since my blogs are young (4 months), I always had a 0 and wasn't really concerned. In the last update this blog was given a 3. I took a lot of sponsored posts with Social Spark since then, which I knew would hurt me in the next update, but as of today, this blog in ranked N/A by Google. I didn't realize an update was being done. Does Google just strip your ranking whenever?
No worries, the sponsored posts were nice for a little extra income, and when I was having a mental block about what to write about,it was nice to have an idea and get the creative juices flowing. This blog is more about helping others so I will not get discouraged and I will march on with my intended content and new ideas on how and who to help.
Kids with Character
MONDAY: Good Character, Good Choice
Wear RED clothing (that's nice but the memo came home Monday, so we didn't
TUESDAY: Show Your "Drug-Free" School Spirit
Wear School colors (green and white) Michigan State sweatshirt (Go
WEDNESDAY: Living A Drug-Free Lifestyle is "No Sweat"
Wear sweat pants, jackets, shirts, etc. (will update tomorrow)
THURSDAY: "Hugs Not Drugs"
Bring your favorite stuffed animal to school
FRIDAY: "Respect Yourself and Others- "stay Drug-Free"
Wear something yellow to show that your character counts!
Of course Friday is also Halloween, which the school does NOT celebrate, however, apparently the Kindergartners can dress up as their favorite story book character, Boog ran right for his Spiderman book. They must bring the book their character is in. So Spidey with a yellow ribbon?
Monday, October 27, 2008
Holiday Hell Avoided
He is my brother and I love him, but I will not miss him at Thanksgiving or Christmas. I hope he can get himself clean for his kids, but will not subject mine to his behavior.
No, you may NOT flash the neighbors with me
She was naked, in her wicker laundry basket, in her rocking chair. She had put the basket in the chair and climbed in. Looked like a baby in a bassinet a wee bit too small, but cute none the less. My first instinct was to run for my camera, but then I realized that her curtains were open and I may possibly by flashing 3 different sets of neighbors.
I got her out of the basket and proceeded to my room to get dressed while telling her "Mommy needs to get dressed. I'm Flashing the neighbors." to which she replied "Can I come?" I was confused and asked "Come Where?" she replied "With You, to flash the neighbors." I had to laugh. My darling aspiring Flasher is 2.5 today!
Big Boy Toys
Last year he had to have one of those mini rc helicopters. The one he was looking at was $150 (ouch) but I ended up getting an email from a company that had them for $50. Yes, I opened my spam e-mail and actually ordered what they were selling. Hubby had no idea it cost a third the price of the ones he was looking at and everyone was happy.
So what is it this year? I really like the USB Turntable thingy over there in the side bar, but Hubby doesn't have any albums, that I know of, so I guess, even though it's a gadget, and he'd love to play with it, it would really be for me...Hmmm, that could be an option.
If you hear or see anything else, please let me know. Hubby loves tech toys and anything remote control.
How to get rid of Monsters
Save Lives instead of Pounds
I'll admit I've been intrigued by some of the claims these "wonder" diets boast about. I really wish all I had to do was buy Phentermine and the last 20 pounds I'd like to lose would just fall off. But alas, in reality, we all know it takes more than that.
I just have to wonder with all the time and energy that goes into developing these "wonder" pills, teas and beverages to reduce weight if there isn't something more productive or life saving these doctors could produce.
Getting people to the Polls
I received an email the other day that is worth sharing. The message is pretty simple and much more creative than a phone call. Click the link below and watch. This is one of the best campaigns I have seen to get people to vote.
Wasn't that clever?
Sorry, I couldn't find one for the other candidate.
Now personalize it and send it to all your friends.
See you at the polls!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Too much Pee
Puddin'Pop will be 2.5 tomorrow and wer'e in the process of potty training. I'm of the low stress, do it when your ready school of training. She's been wearing pull ups only (and sometimes "big girl" panties when we're at home) and likes to use the potty. The problem is that she goes every 30-35 minutes. How am I supposed to get anything done when I am in the bathroom all day?
I thought I could leave her alone, per her request, but she either unrolls the entire roll of toilet paper (and tries to get it all in the toilet) or she's playing in the water. The other day she decided to turn around on the seat and I found her with both feet (shoes still on) in the toilet like she was dangling her toes in a pool on a hot summer's day.
I guess I'll quit giving her beverages. I applaud her for being a big girl, but a little bladder control (and the ability to "hold it") would be really nice right about now.
Use cookie cutters to cut the cheese into festive shapes and add different veggies to make the face.
Hide and Seek
I'm using the EC toolbar, and in some cases it is showing the amount of EC's to advertise, but I still can't find the widget.
I'm not a fanatical dropper, but do try to drop 50 cards each for my 3 blogs. I enjoy looking around the blogs too and enjoy others perspectives, so 300 drops would be next to impossible.
My other thought is: What is the purpose of advertising on your own page? Is this due to no other ads being placed or approved for your blog? Someone please fill me in on the game, I feel so lost.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Thought of the Day
Insurance, in law and economics, is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for a premium, and can be thought of a guaranteed small loss to prevent a large, possibly devastating large loss.
Is there anything we can not buy insurance for? Anything we shouldn't buy insurance for?
We have homeowners insurance, car insurance, life insurance and medical insurance. We can insure our credit card purchases for (in my opinion) a very steep fee. There's travel insurance, liability, casualty and disability insurance.
Did you know?
If you live in, or operate a business in a High risk location such as Columbia or Peru, you may even obtain Kidnapping and Ransom Insurance?
K&R policies are typically for the purpose of recovering losses due to kidnap, extortion, hijacking and wrongful detention. Really? Why would anyone want to live in a place where this is even available?
I grew something completely by accident
I continued to let it grow and after awhile, figured out what it was and how it got there.
The leaves are gone now, and it has fallen off it's stem.
Last year one of the kids dropped a pumpkin off the porch and it split. It was still before Halloween so I put it on the meter cover (to get it to stand up). The seeds must've "planted" and we grew a pumpkin. I'm leaving it where it grew, and hope I can grow another next year.
You're hearing it here first. I have just found my new dream car. The new Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class will be available January 2009 and I want one. It's a little (okay, a lot) out of my price range, but at a starting price of $43,000, for a Mercedes, it's not an unreasonably priced car. And we all have to have dreams.
If you saw the Sex and the City movie, it was Samantha's ride of choice.
A 5 person small SUV, built with luxury in mind and for those with an active lifestyle. We are a family of 4 and I think we'll fit just fine.
If the people at Mercedes want one on the streets for people to envy before January... call me!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Candy Apple Centerpiece
So now I have to ask...How the heck do you eat these? Is the coating supposed to be sucker hard and crack when you bite it? Or hard and yet almost super hard taffy like, like mine are?
All I know is that they will probably end up as part of a centerpiece because even the neighbor kid who can chomp through a tootsie roll pop in under 5 seconds, worked on the apple for 30 minutes and never even got close to the apple.
On a side note: For those looking to get rid of dangling baby teeth your kid won't let you pull, e-mail me your address and I can send your one (limited to first 8 responders).
Pepperjam Search and YOU
Partnered with Google's DoubleClick, Pepperjam Search uses the most innovative technology to optimize Quality Score Indexes. Their advertisers get a distinct benefit over their competitors. Click fraud protection, 24 hour ROI based bit automation, and detailed reporting are just some of the attributes offered by Pepperjam Search,
If you are trying to market your website, Pepperjam should be your next stop. They offer a free analysis of your site and will come up with a proposal to suit your needs.
Do not work before Coffee
Then I had my coffee. Got Boog off to school. Dropped some EC's. Had some more coffee, and set out to find the information I was looking for. I checked the sites TOS and FAQ pages and finally decided to look at their TOS and FAQ's for the advertisers. Nowhere did it say that they could decline ads. In fact it said just the opposite...
and the light bulb went off!
The "declined by user" posts I was looking at were the tasks I had declined...oops. I sent an apologetic "I'm an Idiot" message to the company, and hopefully they will get a good laugh and continue to allow me to write for them.
No more working before coffee!
(most declined offers were from companies I had already posted for, thus the reason for declining and the confusion.)
Shopping for Me!
I am Awful
I totally forgot!
Actually, I thought it was next week, had the memo on the fridge and everything. I didn't know of my error until he came home.
I asked what he did. He said since he was wearing a gray shirt, he decided he was dressed as a runner, and that's what he told everyone.
First of all, I applaud his creativity. Secondly, this is a kid who does not like to get up in front of people, so good for him to do it when he wasn't even dressed for the part.
He was upset I didn't remember, and told my what he had wanted to wear. I tried to explain that he couldn't be Spiderman when he grows up but that he could do other "super hero" jobs to help people. He really just wanted to be Spiderman.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Custom Holiday Cards
Our neighbor is a professional photographer and has offered to take some family pictures, were thinking at the park or the beach. I love the family pictures with everyone in jeans or khakis and white shirts. I think they always look really nice. I'm also leaning towards black and white, but we'll see once the pictures are actually taken.
VistaPrint has fantastic prices on Custom Holiday Cards. Their selection is top notch, with over a hundred different options, and the ability to have a personal message printed on the front and inside makes sending out cards easier than ever.
I've procrastinated in the past, and the cards didn't go out. This year, with the help of VistaPrint, I will not only have fabulous looking cards, they will just need to be stuffed in their envelopes, addressed, and mailed.
I look forward, every year, to getting the Christmas cards from all my friends out of state. It is usually the only family picture I see of them each year. They usually send the kids school pictures, and e-mail candids of the kids. but it's nice to see the whole family together.
From our Family to Yours...try VistaPrint.
Learning the Ropes
Two weeks ago progress reports came out and there was a spot to check a box on the form for whether or not we wanted we wanted a conference with the teacher. We were happy with the report and didn't see any need for a conference. I checked the NO box, signed on the Parent signature line, and returned the form. It came back in his folder with a note that I was to retain it at home. What? Why was there a box to check and a place to sign if I was supposed to keep it?
Today I got a note home from the teacher requesting a conference next week. I of course freaked out, concerned my child has done something to cause this conference.
I called my neighbor whose daughter is in second grade at the same school, and who substitutes at the school for reassurance. She informed me that all the teachers are required to have conferences with the parents twice a year.
I have so much to learn.
Press Release for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10
In this YouTube video, you can see a blogger using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Preferred to write a blog article with in WordPress.
The author of The Love You Make, is using this voice recognition software after having the software for just a few days. She writes this great little article that's about 280 words long in about two minutes and 45 seconds. That translates into about 165 seconds of typing, or 1.7 words per second. That means she's typing a little over 102 words per minute with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Plus, she's just getting started with the software!
Dragon NaturallySpeaking has come a long way over the last decade, and now can enable people to type at 150 words per minute. I myself, have clocked version 9 at 167 words per minute, and I'm seeing even better results out of version 10. The software is extremely accurate, and can make many of your typing chores exceptionally easy.
As a blogger myself, I am able to write longer articles, with more complete thoughts on a subject in a significantly reduced amount of time. I have been working to challenge bloggers to try Dragon NaturallySpeaking and see if they can use it to help improve their writing. I think bloggers have an enormous amount of potential, and I always look for tools that will help them unleash that potential.
I think that Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a great tool that can definitely help bloggers increase the value that they offer their readers. I can envision a blogosphere where bloggers are able to take the time and provide insights into their wisdom and experience and ideas easier and faster because they can get their thoughts out quickly and completely using Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
I hope you will consider using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It has a price point that starts at about $99. This is the version that you would use if you only use the software with your computer. If you intend to use the software with a pocket voice recorder, which could enable you to have your MP3 files of your voice transcribed into text, then you may also want to consider opting for the Preferred version of the software. The Preferred Version starts at about $199 and has many options.
I personally recommend the preferred version, but I do understand that times are a little tough financially for many people including myself. I still recommend it, because I do believe that you will see a significant return on your investment. Spending $100 or even $199 on Dragon NaturallySpeaking will enable you to type at 100 to 150 words per minute. It has been my experience that you will not get as tired from typing, you will not suffer from eye strain as much and as a result will experience fewer migraines or headaches, and you will be able to move around your office, your home, or your work environment because you will not be locked in front of your computer sitting in a chair typing and mousing around with your fingers.
I do believe that Dragon NaturallySpeaking can help you to be a better writer, to write as a more in-depth blogger, to produce better content, and to produce more content. I believe this because I have seen it myself. :-)
Please consider watching this Dragon NaturallySpeaking video so that you can see for yourself just how well Dragon actually speaking works.
PS I wrote this 575 word article using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10. It took me about three minutes to write and about three minutes to edit. :-) Even with editing time, that's 95 words a minute!
Wouldn't this be a fantastic Christmas gift for the blogger in your life, or you? Start dropping hints now and maybe you'll get lucky.
I can't imagine how much time I would free up with a tool like this. I am not a fantastic typist and I spend a ton of time editing posts before posting them. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is going to be on the top of my Christmas list.
What will I do in all my spare time? I'll have to come up with something while procrastinating cleaning the house.
To my Doctor
Childbirth is a miracle, and what you do to support us up to the event as well as during is miraculous as well. Technology has come so far in the past 40 years. My MIL wasn’t even awake during the birth of her only child. I couldn’t't imagine not being a part of that process. Pregnancy tests now come with a digital readout, although for those that get that one because they can’t figure out the +/- or the double -, I really hope the digital reads “negative”, just my opinion though. We have all sorts of great “drugs” to numb the pain, and I am truly grateful for those. We now have birthing “rooms”, fully equipped with a bed for hubby (or mom, or friend), TV, and a jacuzzi tub. We are now encouraged to bring all sorts of relaxing things such as music, candles, and “focus” items. We can get 3 and 4D imaging of our baby while still in the womb, to see exactly what they look like. Every possible test is available to “prepare” us in the event that out child is not born “perfect”, although, I’m sure even the ones that aren’t, are perfect in their parents hearts.
With all this technology, and more to come, I have but one question…Is anything being done to update the method in which a women’s “dilation” is checked? I mean, seriously, there has to be something better than the current test that every member of the staff performs every 15 minutes. Please, while I do not plan on having any more children myself, for the others who will, lets spend a wee bit of time and thought, and a little cash, to develop some type of “gadget” to test this.
Remodel - Phase 2
I'm not a fan of washing my hands over dirty dishes, hence the dishes get done after every meal. I do not use the dishwasher, since developing an aversion to emptying it while pregnant with Puddin' Pop. So I spend a lot of time washing dishes, and drying them, and putting them away.
On to phase 2 of our remodel/redecoration project. We have discussed repainting the kitchen, or actually removing the wallpaper and painting it. I just can't decide on a color. We have a huge bay window that I love, but it needs some covering. The dining room faces south and the sunlight coming in the window raises the temperature in that room and the den by at least 10 degrees. We've been looking at window treatments but I'm undecided between curtains and
bamboo blinds. I also want to finally get a 3 piece bench with a cushion in the middle to sit on. I think the kids would enjoy sitting on a booth like seat while eating dinner.
Teddy Bear Picnic
Let it Snow!
I moved from Michigan to Virginia 15 years ago to get away from the super cold Winter and now I want snow. It doesn't happen very often, but I hope for it anyway. I think it's gotten worse since having kids. I really want them to have all the fun I did as a child in the winter. I'm seriously trying to plan a trip to either Michigan or Chicago this winter to show them what a real Winter looks like.
I must also admit, that when it does snow, I'm often caught off guard and unprepared. In Michigan we always kept our cars in the garage or under carports and it minimized the amount of snow we had to scrape or sweep off the car each morning. Our garage now is merely storage and on the few times it has snowed, I've had to use a broom to sweep off the snow, as I do not own a scraper or snow brush. I'm sure I've purchased some over the years of living here, but they never seem to be around 3 years later when it snows again.
I will vow to be prepared this year. I will get appropriate tools to remove snow from my car and make a wish that I'll get to use them.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We decided to take Hubby off our car insurance until after the first of the year. It wasn't a huge savings, but why pay for a driver who can't drive?
Hubby is tolerating the situation pretty well. I know it would kill me to be on other people's schedules. Work is pretty much the same every day, but a couple times he has wanted to leave early, and still had to wait 30 minutes for me to get the kids together so we could come get him. He also enjoys "hanging out" at the pet store his friend owns, talking endlessly about fish. I am just not interested in keeping track of 2 kids while he chats and looks around, so he doesn't get to do that as much as he would if he was driving.
On a bright note, he comes home when he says (because we pick him up) and he's getting to spend more time with the kids since he currently can not do any of his weekend DJ gigs. I think they are really enjoying staying up late with Daddy on the weekends.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Wine Spotlight 10/20
This light to medium bodied wine has nuances of pomegranate and black cherry with a smooth finish
Another Virginia Winery. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Unicorn Winery produces a variety of Virginia wines. Open Daily for vineyard tours, tastings and shopping. Unicorn also has a nice spot on the Rappahannock River for you to enjoy a family (or romantic) picnic.
Their wine shop offers unique and hard to find wine accessories as well as their wines by the bottle or by the case.
If you are new to wine, or want to try something out of your comfort zone a wine of the month club is the way to go. I've purchased clubs for my parents as well as my best friend and both have been very satisfied with the selections they received. I only wish someone would give one to me as a gift. hint hint
It's Red Kettle and Bell Time
It's an all too familiar picture. We will soon be out doing our holiday shopping and at every store there will be someone ringing a bell and holding a red kettle. Do you drop in your change, or look the other way and walk on by? Before you walk on by, think about what this kettle represents.
The tradition started in 1891 when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was trying to raise enough money to feed 1000 of San Francisco's poorest citizens a Christmas Dinner. He set a kettle at the Oakland Ferry Landing with a sign that read "Keep the pot Boiling." He soon had the money he needed to provide the Cristmas Dinner.
Currently the kettles are used across the US as well as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries. Just a few cents can help. Each year, in the US alone, these funds assist with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for over four and a half million people who otherwise would be without.
Can you spaare some change?
I like to use the opportunity to teach my kids that there are some less fortunate than us, and that part of being a nice person is doing what we can to help. I always have loose change and allow the kids to put the money in the kettles. I really think it makes them feel good, even if they do not yet fully understand the magnitude of the need they are contributing to.
Address and Cookies and Blast, Oh My
I may have over volunteered with the PTA. I've had several calls in the last 2 weeks about sub comittee meetings and when and where they'll be held. It is very frustrating when looking for residences to not have the houses properly marked. Having the address on the mailbox is my favorite, and the easiest for me to spot (afterall, it is about me right?).
If you have your mailbox on your porch, or live in a community where the resident's mailboxes are together at the end of the road, then a nice address plaque works well as long as it is in a well lit area like the porch or garage. Okay, that's my two cents on labeling your house, back to my PTA agenda.
I have to make teddy bear biscuits for the Teddy bear picnic on Friday. I need to be at the school on the 2nd of November from 1:30 -4:00 for the "Big Blast", a party for all the children who sold at least 5 items in the fundraiser last month. I have to bake something on the 3rd and have it to the school by 4:00 for the bake sale the following day that I'll also need to spend some time working at.
Is this the norm? Kindergarten parents wanting to get involved, having no clue what is involved, signing their life, or at least a year of it, away to the PTA?
Customer Service and the Economy
small business franchise that suited my needs. I basically filled out a survey with my expectations, qualities I do and do not possess, and the amount of money and time I was willing to invest. They are supposed to have a counselor call me, but I haven't heard anything. Either my expectations are too high, I do not possess the qualities necessary, or the amount of money I have to invest is not enough. A courtesy call to explain would have been nice.
In this day and age where all businesses are suffering due to the economy, customer service has to be top notch or "shoppers" will take their business elsewhere. I know a lot of us look for the best prices for all purchases, but at what cost? Would you shop somewhere if the staff was unknowledgeable? How about if they are downright rude? I do not desire to be helped when I am shopping, an occasional "Are you finding everything you need?" is fine, but do not hound me. I will leave.
I prefer to do a lot of business on line, such as banking and bill paying. If I want to upgrade or change a service, I do this on line as well. I find it quicker, the information more detailed, and it prevents me from sitting on hold for half my day.
I have a friend who has a toddler and prefers to carry all her stuff in a back pack instead of a diaper bag and purse. She was doing her regular grocery shopping at her regular store and was informed, after 2.5 years, that she would have to leave her back pack at the courtesy desk. I understand that the store has to protect itself from theft, but why should my friend trust all her possessions with the staff of the store? She is currently banning the entire chain, going out of her way, and in some cases, paying more, to avoid changing her habits and leaving the backpack behind.
What would, or has, caused you to stop frequenting a store, restaurant or other service provider?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
After having grey skies and drizzle for the past 2 days, waking up and seeing the sun do the same was a very welcome suprise. We got breakfast and showers and got the kids and ourselves dressed. We packed a lunch and headed to Busch Gardens. The temperature was in the 60's and it was a beautiful Fall day.
When we got to the park, our original plan was to find a grassy area in the parking lot and eat lunch before heading in. We coudn't find a grassy area that wasn't also a steep hill, so we taught the kids what a tailgate is. We opened the back of the SUV, laid out a sheet, put the kiddies in the back, and hubby and I sat on the tailgate and we all enjoyed lunch.
We went into the park, the kiddies rode the lil clydes, the carousel, the airplanes, and the bumper cars. Boog rode the BIG swings for the first time and loved it. With all the rides to ride and things to look at and do, the kids spent the most of their time plaing on and in a stack of eggs in Dragon Land. We ran into a friend from My Mommy's group and my 2 munchkins and her one, climbed in and out of these eggs for about 30 minutes. I really need to get a set for my back yard.
Addicted to PC
Once it gets to be mid morning, Puddin' Pop and I set out to do our errands and whatever "activity" she may have on that day and usually get home at lunch time. We eat lunch, she sometimes takes a nap, and I'm back on. She gets up, we get Boog from the bus stop, and come home and do homework. I start dinner, help with homework and we spend 30 -45 minutes playing or reading before dinner time. After dinner, Hubby usually get the kids a bath, I clean up kitchen, do another load of laundry and I'm right back in my chair, with my lap top, dropping more cards, doing sponsored posts, or just checking every one's blogs for some funny stuff.
Yesterday I dropped cards and did a little picking up/cleaning around the house and sat down to play a game. I haven't played a game on line since I don't know when, but I pretty much did it in all my free time yesterday, so when everyone gets up today I'm going to shut this bad boy down and not open it until tomorrow (or tonight, after everyone goes to bed.)
Friday, October 17, 2008
Here are a few of the other candies I enjoyed as a kid.
We called these Ju Ju Be candy, or Jujubes. They were like the gummy dots (not the ones above) all dried out. Kinda chewy, kinda not.
Candy Cigarettes. Right? Who thought this was a good idea? They had the candy stick version or the bubble gum variety.
I don't know what it is about me that screams "give me all your old lamps." But apparently, everyone can hear it but me. We really need to clean out our garage, it ends up being the dumping ground for all our unused items as well as Holiday decorations. I was getting out the Halloween decorations and noticed I have a ton of lamps.
I do not care to shop for lamps. I don't find anything all that exciting about them, and yet I have 6 in my garage. I can think of 4 lamps I have purchased for our house. A snoopy one that matched Boogie's baby room (still in his "big boy" room.) Puddin' Pop got the one that matched her bedroom set. The lamp on my nightstand, that I bought at Target because it was "reduced" ( I think I may have paid $7), and the Torchiere I bought to replace the old one that stood on a constant lean. My Step Mom was visiting a couple years ago and couldn't stand looking at it. She pulled $20 out of her purse and insisted I go right then to get a new one. I did, and gave her back almost $12 in change.
2 of the lamps in the garage are huge table lamps that my In laws gave us when they remodeled their den. There is also a rocking horse lamp from Step Mommy, who thought the kids might like it. I'm saving it in case one of them goes into a horse phase. I have no idea where the other 3 came from. I think I need to get better at saying "Thanks, but No Thanks
Who's your Host?
Not long ago, when I started my first blog, I decided to go with Bravenet, sort of. I can't even tell you how I came across Bravenet. I really knew nothing about web hosting and was just looking for somewhere to start a blog.
My second blog, this one, was a Blogspot blog, but I bought the domain. I also have a third blog through Today.com and found that program from someone else's blog. I read a lot about webhosting on different blogs and the information is overwhelming and at times confusing. I'm not super tech savvy and some of the lingo goes over my head. Everyone has their favorites and keeping the information straight is down right impossible... until now.
Webhostingrating.com has a list of hosts ranked in categories such as Best Blog Hosting, Best Budget Hosting, and Best Forum Hosting. It breaks down the "plans" of each host in easy to understand terms and lists pricing information as well.
I think the most beneficial part of the site is it's articles. I've found great information on Linux hosting, the benefits of sub domains, as well as the benefits of dedicated server hosting.
If you are new, like me, this site may be a very useful tool to get you started.
Show and Tell
Boog is very competitive and always has been. He always wants to race the neighbors, either on bike or foot. We thought signing him up for a soccer league would be a good idea when he turned 3. It wasn't. Hubby and I signed on to co-coach the team. Practices were fun, the kids were so cute and loved to run and kick the ball. At the first game of the season, right after the initial kick-off, Boog kicked the ball down the field and into the goal, in like the first 10 seconds of the game. I was so proud and just knew we had a super star on our hands...but then it happened. The crowd went wild with cheers and Boog stopped like a deer in headlights. All that noise, all that attention, he came over to me and sat, and refused to play... the rest of the season.
So he took his bakugan to school for show and tell. I asked what he was going to tell the class about it and he told me he would let me know when he gets home. I guess he just wants to be excited about taking the toy and not think about the "tell" part. I can't wait to hear how it goes.
You've been Boo'd
Target had cute bags and baskets already made up with the "you've been Boo'd" phrase on them, so others must be getting into the spirit as well. Boogie wanted to "Boo" his friends in the cul de sac, but he also wanted to "Boo" his cousins in North Carolina and some friends of ours in Michigan. Since mailing something would require a return address, we instead decided to send a goody basket and a halloween flower arrangement (for the Mommy's) from a flower service with a simple note that read, "You've been Boo'd." Why should the kids get to have all the fun?
Blind to Adsense
Am I doing myself a disservice by not looking at these? If adsense ads are set up to be relevant to blogs and specific posts, depending on placement, and I'm reading a post I find relevant to me, with information I am interested in, then why wouldn't I seek out more information by clicking on a relevant ad? Because I just don't see it. I am completely blind to the ads and am merely looking to see what the writer had to say. Do you find that you have this problem too?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Take the Test!
Take the Real Age Test! It's a comprehensive test of all the things you do, or don't do, and it calculates the information you give into a neat little Real Age broken into categories such as: Fitness, Diet,Relationships, Habits, and Health. It is quite interesting and gets you thinking about stuff you know you should, and should not doing be doing.
Factors that lowered my age were things like No family history of Ovarian Cancer, avoiding second hand smoke, driving phone free ( I rarely use my cell while driving), and owning a dog.
Factors that increased my Real Age were not knowing my blood pressure or cholesterol levels, not flossing enough, not eating breakfast every day, and not doing enough strength training.
So what are you waiting for? Go take the test. Then come back and give me your results.
New Dinner Game
Boogie has been a grazer since birth, and allowing him to take his time is the easiest way to get him to eat his whole meal. We do do dinner together at the table, but some nights Hubby and I will eat together after the kids go to bed. Every once in a while, I like to sit and eat without several trips to the kitchen for coveted utensils and refills.
Dinner was running a little late the other night and I wanted the kids to eat in under an hour and a half (like 20 minutes) so they could get their baths and be in bed on time. I turned off the TV, put their dinner on the dining room table (just the 2 of them, so they weren't to happy about not being able to watch Sponge Bob) and had them sit. I had a plan, and it worked.
You remember the old college game of quarters? Well this was even easier. One kid pick heads, the other gets tails, and I sat with them and flipped the quarter. Which ever side it landed on, that kid had to take a bite. Puddin' Pop was upset when it came up heads 3 times in a row (she was tails) but it evened up after that. I even let them flip the quarter a couple times.
Dinner was complete in 20 minutes and no one complained. It was a great night!
I'll admit it. I'm directionally challenged. While my little brother has always been able to get any where on memory, I am the opposite. I do not pay attention to where I am going if I am not driving, unless I'm navigating. I like to know specifically where I am going and want specific instructions. Every time I drive home to Michigan, I print directions from an on line source, every time. It's just useless information to me, keeping directions in my head. Plus it doesn't interest me, so there's no retention.
When hubby and I first met I had lived in Virginia for 6 months and had pretty much spent most my time at home or at work (and an occassional visit to a nearby after hours bar). When he wanted me to meet him after work, he would give me directions like "Go down Warwick to the McDonalds, make a left, go to the 7-11, take a right...". I wanted street names. Do you know how many McDonalds and 7-11's there are around here? Even on the same street? I quickly started getting local directions on line as well and I couldn't
live drive without them. When my Mom's group has a play date, I just ask for the address and print my directions. I've tried a GPS, but I couldn't stand the constant talking, especially if you make an "un planned" stop. I want to know that I have to go 10.5 miles on such and such street, turn left on the next and go 6.2 miles. Then I get to where I'm going, follow the directions in reverseto get home (if needed) and throw the directions out. if I have to go back to the same place a month later, there's a good chance I'll have to reprint the directions. Maybe I should start a file?
Dinner with the Girls
I wish I had taken pictures, but I didn't, so you'll just have to visualize.
4 of us "girls" in the cul de sac meet once a month for dinner. We missed last month due to busy schedules and not being able to find a day that worked for all of us. We almost had the same problem this month but decided to go with 3 out of 4 and fortunately the 4th made it after her other commitment.
I wanted to do the dinner (make everything) and was very excited to cook a "grown-up" meal that everyone would enjoy. Wednesdays are great for me because the kids go to choir practice with Mima and Papa at 5:00 and dinner is at 7:00. I should have had 2 hours to whip up my gourmet meal. As it turned out, Mima wasn't feeling well, so along with dinner for the group, I had to cook dinner for hubby and kids. Hubby and kids had baked chicken breasts, corn and mac and cheese.
For the other dinner I made brown rice with sauteed squash, zucchini and red onion, Garlic shrimp, and a salad with raspberry vinagrette dressing. We accompanied dinner with Margaritas and had a fabulous brownie cheesecake for desert that I swear put me into a sugar coma for about an hour. I'll try to remember to take pictures next time.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Hubby and Friend
It finally happened
I'll explain. Hubby likes to tell me stories about work stuff. That's fine, but he goes into such detail that the main story gets lost due to TMI. It sounds something like this:
Hubby: "Today Pat from HR came to my office, she's a heavyset woman with long gray hair and she was wearing a yellow pantsuit that didn't quite fit properly. She came to tell me that one of my employees had been rude to a customer. The customer is in blah, blah, blah..."
This is where I lose interest and he hasn't even told me the "story" yet.
Does it matter what Pat looks like or was wearing? Is it relevant? No.
He also recently got "into" fish. We have a 75 gallon tank and I couldn't tell you one thing about any of the fish, I respect that he enjoys this hobby, and I try to look enthused when he tells me about new fish, but again with the brain overload, I just don't have room for fish information with all the other stuff I want to fill my brain with, which gets me to my point.
I have Girls Night In (the ladies of the cul de sac get together for dinner and adult beverages) tonight and I wanted to make a shrimp dish, but my brain has lost all things familiar with shrimp. I usually just make something off the top of my head and nothing is coming. I've looked at recipes and nothing sounds good. Dinner is at 7. I have all the ingredients, I think, but I am drawing a blank, all I can think of is Pat' and her yellow pantsuit.
A letter to Puddin' Pop
Your brother started school last month and I was so excited to have this time to spend alone with you. We signed up for a Mommy and Me gymnastics class and a Dance class (without Mommy, thank goodness). I was also excited to be able to run errands and shop with just one kid, because I remember how much easier it was before you were born (no offense).
You, my dear, are much more independent than your brother was at 2 1/2 and I love that about you, especially because you get it from me, it does not, however, make for easier shopping like I thought it would. You do not like to sit in the cart, you would rather be pushing it. I appreciate the help, really I do, but sometimes Mommy is in a hurry and it's hard for me to go at your pace with so many other things that need to be done, but I do.
With the holidays coming up, and the fact that I refuse to shop at the mall or retail stores after Thanksgiving, I've come up with a better solution for our gift buying, because I could not stand to lose you in Target again.
I found a place on line called Shop.com that has the best prices from all the stores we love. They also have great coupons, and a special section of retailers offering free shipping. They offer products and services from mass retailers as well as smaller less known shops where we can find something special for Mima.
You and I can sit together and look at all the pictures of the stuff we want to buy for people, and I can read to you all about them. It will be our special Mommy/Daughter time. We can have popcorn and chocolate milk and we'll make a party of it. We will both be relaxed, and we don't even have to get out of our PJ's. Doesn't that sound good?
All My Love,
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Wine Spotlight 10/14
RASPBERRY - $15 Decadence defined! A perennial award winner and customer favorite, this sinfully good dessert fruit wine exhibits bold, fresh Raspberry aroma and taste. Serve chilled alone or with chocolate, fresh fruit, or cheesecake. Makes a wonderful gift paired with a one of the delicious Dagoba organic chocolate bars. Pure indulgence!
You know why I like this one. Good with chocolate. I was sold right there. I also love raspberry, and raspberry with chocolate. At $15, I may just have to order a bottle.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I entered this site and in a matter of minutes it told me my google rank, alexa rank, all the outbound links for the site as well as a chart of unique visitors. I haven't reviewed my site yet, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a good one.
If you want information about other blogs you enjoy reading, or any site, check it out. While your there, would you mind reviewing this site?
It's Me or Them
We repeated all methods and finally got rid of them that year and I vowed to not go through that again.
Now, every year as the weather starts to warm, I send Hubby out with his Antbuster spray to drench the entire perimeter of the house as well as underneath. It has worked and we have been ant free...until now!
The costruction must have stirred them and they are back with a vengence. I can not stand ants in the house. They are mostly contained to the counter space and around the refrigerator. I haven't seen any in the cabinets or near the food, but I want them gone. Hubby sprayed the perimeter yesterday and they were gone instantly, only to retun this morning. Someone's gotta go and it aint gonna be me!