Thursday, December 31, 2009

Seafood and Pregnancy

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

Sometimes it's just so confusing trying to figure out what foods are good for you and what foods aren't. First there's a study saying a particular food causes cancer or some other unwanted disease or side effect, and the next week another study says that that same food is beneficial in all kinds of ways. One food I'm sure you've heard differing opinions about is seafood. First you hear that seafood, and particularly fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, is essential for good health and should be eaten at least 3 times a week. Then you hear that some seafood contains high levels of mercury and should be avoided, especially by pregnant women. It's hard to know what to do. Is eating fish really dangerous to unborn babies?

I personally love tuna, and we all love salmon. Since it's been so many years since I was pregnant (my baby is 17), I honestly don't remember how much tuna I ate when I was pregnant. I've been reading some of the scientific studies on the healthy tuna website, and I really wish I had made a point of eating tuna or salmon more while I was pregnant. There are all kinds of benefits to both the mother and the baby when a pregnant woman eats seafood at least 3 times a week. Marine foods like fish are the only naturally rich source of a special omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, which is needed for the very best possible brain and eye development in babies. Seafood is a great source of lean protein and is high in Vitamin D and Calcium which are very important for a healthy pregnancy.

The Featured Study mentions research that shows pregnant women who ate fish at least 3 times per week were 50% less likely to develop symptoms of depression than those who ate no seafood. The study says:
Depression during pregnancy can have serious effects on a woman's health and that of her baby; emerging science suggests that depression during pregnancy may increase the risk of:
  • Having a caesarian section
  • Delivering a premature or low-birth-weight baby
  • Lowering cognitive test scores and babies' brain and behavior development
  • Having depression after pregnancy
I'm not the only one who didn't realize what benefits could be gained by eating more fish, because the study also says that, on average, American women eat one sixth of the recommended amount.

All the health benefits sound great, don't they? But what about the mercury we've heard about? Isn't it dangerous for pregnant women to eat seafood? Do the benefits really outweigh the risks? There's a nice report called Seafood Choices: Balancing Risks and Benefits that really helps with that. There's a nice chart that shows how much mercury is in a 3-ounce serving of different types of seafoods consumed in the U.S. along with the estimated EPA/DHA (omega-3 fatty acids) intake for each. The recommendation seems to be that women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding should avoid large predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, or king mackerel - because the mercury content is high while the benefits are fairly low, comparatively. Fish like salmon and light tuna are high in EPA/DPA and very low in mercury content - as well as being affordable and convenient when you buy canned.

After reading some of the health benefits of eating fish, I'm thinking I need to make more of an effort to include it in our diet. 3 times a week? No, I'm not pregnant, but I'm thinking I need to get more Vitamin D and Calcium in my diet, and eating seafood is also supposed to reduce the risk of future cardiovascular disease.

What about you? Do you eat seafood? What are some good ways to include enough of it in your diet?

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Looking at the Sky on Friday - 39


I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

I’m shocked that I haven’t participated in Looking at the Sky on Friday for two weeks.  Last week we were out of town, so I know what my reason for missing it was, but I can’t remember what I was doing the week before that – looking for online life insurance maybe?  

Anyway, on our way to Lexington, Kentucky I took a few pictures as we drove through Louisville.  We’ve driven through a couple times before, both times at night with the lights of the city reflecting off the water and looking so pretty, and both times I did not have my camera out.  This time, I was prepared.  No lights, but a sunset and some nice reflections in the water.

After the first couple shots, it got a little difficult, trying to shoot without catching parts of the bridge, too.

Then, a little further down the road I kind of liked the power lines that got in my way:

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Book List 2009

All the books I read in 2009, by month I finished them.


Cover via Amazon

  1. Salvation in Death - J. D. Robb
  2. The Watchman: A Joe Pike Novel (Joe Pike Novels) - Robert Crais (audio)
  3. The Paper Marriage - Susan Kay Law
  4. Brisingr - Christopher Paolini
  5. The Devil and Miss Prym: A Novel of Temptation - Paulo Coelho
  1. Last Night (Restoration Series #1) - Terri Blackstock (audio)
  2. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel - David Wroblewski
  3. Just After Sunset: Stories - Stephen King

Cover of Cover of Promises in Death

  1. Your Heart Belongs to Me - Dean Koontz
  2. The 39 Clues (The Maze of Bones, Book 1) - Rick Riordan
  3. Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)- Stephenie Meyer (audio)
  4. The Tin Collectors: A Novel (Shane Scully Novels) - Stephen J. Cannell (audio)
  5. Promises in Death - J.D. Robb
  1. Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak
  2. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
  3. 39 Clues: One False Note - Gordon Korman
  1. Interview With the Vampire - Anne Rice (audio)

Cover via Amazon

  1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Jazz Age Stories - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Suite Scarlett - Maureen Johnson
  3. The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief - Peter Lerangis
  4. State of Fear - Michael Crichton (audio)
  1. The Book of Love (The Magdalene Line) - Kathleen McGowan
  2. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack Adventures) - L. A. Meyer (audio)
  3. Finger Lickin' Fifteen (Stephanie Plum Novels) - Janet Evanovich
  4. From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By - Robin Roberts
  5. The 39 Clues: Beyond the Grave - Jude Watson
  6. Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady (Bloody Jack Adventures) - L. A. Meyer (audio)

Cover via Amazon

  1. The Orange Houses - Paul Griffin
  2. Plum Spooky (A Between-the-Numbers Novel) - Janet Evanovich
  3. The Quilter's Apprentice (Elm Creek Quilts Series #1) - Jennifer Chiaverini
  4. The Book of Names: A Novel - Jill Gregory (audio)
  5. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
  1. The Last Summer (of You and Me) - Ann Brashares
  2. Table For Five - Susan Wiggs
  3. sTORI Telling - Tori Spelling
  1. Until Proven Guilty - J.A. Jance (audio)
  2. The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  1. People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks
  2. You've Been Warned - Howard Roughan, James Patterson (audio)
  3. Kindred in Death - J.D. Robb
  1. Hope, Faith and Charlie: An Inspirational Journey of a Child's Courageous Battle with Cancer, His Family's Fight to Save His Life, and the Blessings That Happened Along the Way - Deirdre Carey
  2. Armageddon's Children (Genesis of Shannara 1) - Terry Brooks (audio)
  3. Take One (Above the Line Series #1) - Karen Kingsbury
  4. Take Two (Above the Line Series) - Karen Kingsbury
  5. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World - Vicky Myron
I really wish I had thought to start keeping track of the books I've read a lot earlier, like way back when I first started reading. I also wish I could read faster or had more time to read or something, so I could read more than 45 books in an entire year, but at least I'm reading. Unfortunately there are people who never read. For the life of me I can't imagine that. I always feel lost without at least one book going - even if I don't really have time to read it, I at least have to have it started. Which reminds me, I just finished Dewey - what next?

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Where'd the Fuzz Go?

We were only gone for about a week, but I know Weasley grew. He just looks bigger. See what happens when we're not watching him? I know he would grow anyway, even if we were here, but I don't know that it would be so noticeable - but not seeing him for a few days, and Wow! I didn't realize until he crawled under the covers with us early this morning and I was petting him that he also lost his kitten fuzz. Before we left he was this soft, fuzzy little furball, and now he's more sleek than fuzzy.

I have to wonder - where did the fuzz go? How can he be all fuzzy and then suddenly not be? I guess I'll never know. All I know is that my little baby boy is growing up. It's about time I send him out looking for IT Jobs or modeling jobs, or something to earn his keep and pay for all that cat food and cat litter he goes through.

I think he missed us a bit. He's been exceptionally sweet, snuggly, and purry today - but then again, he's usually like that, such a sweetheart! He can lose the kitten fuzz, but I hope he doesn't lose that.

Miss Me?

We got home last night after being gone for about a week - we left last Wednesday morning and drove to Kentucky. We had a long weekend full of activities in Lexington, the Winter Family Weekend sponsored by Church of God Cincinnati & Lexington. We stayed in a really nice hotel, but they wanted us to pay for Internet in the room, which no one was willing to do. There was free wireless in the lobby, but we were too busy to mess with it much anyway.

We spent most of the day Thursday and Friday at the KBA, which is basically a huge gym with multiple courts available. There was basketball for anyone who wanted to play, volleyball, table tennis, dodge ball, games for the kids, and some amazing concessions put together by the organizers. Jeffrey played basketball. I played volleyball, and Cory played volleyball, too - I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of that. What was I thinking? I'm still sore from the volleyball, and my arms are bruised from hitting the ball, but it was a lot of fun. We also got to go next door and roller skate on Thursday, which Cory did while I was playing one of my volleyball games so I missed it, and he played laser tag, too. I skated for about an hour and realized that I hadn't been on skates in ages. I'm probably sore from that, too.

Besides all the sports and activities, there were seminars, a family dance, Sabbath services, a pizza party, some interesting activities Saturday night involving huge inflatable things, and lots of fellowship with old friends and new. The teenagers didn't get much sleep, and some of us adults didn't either!

It was hard to leave, but Sunday morning we got packed up, said a long good-bye to everyone who was left, and headed out to visit my parents. They only live a couple hours from Lexington, so we had to visit them, being so close. We got there not too much past noon and spent the rest of Sunday with them and all day Monday, then left for home Tuesday morning. Luckily, thankfully, the weather was beautiful and the traffic was not so bad - of course, anything would be an improvement over our last trip home from Kentucky - after Thanksgiving last year when the traffic was just horrendous, and the trip took us a whole lot longer than it should have. But, that was last year - yesterday we got home in a reasonable amount of time, considering the parents have to live so far away. It was nice to get home and to sleep in my own bed again!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heads or Tails – Show ‘N Tell

Heads Or Tails
The theme/prompt for THIS week, December 22, is:

TAILS - "Show 'N Tell"
Remember playing Show 'N Tell back in school? This is pretty much the same. Post something you want to "show" and then "tell" about it.
Here’s something I’ve been meaning to show you for a while now:
The new tile in my kitchen and dining room! I mentioned we were getting this done, back when we finally picked the tile and then when we were having it installed. Unfortunately, I neglected to post any pictures of the finished floor – until now. It took a while to get things put back in place and looking decent enough for pictures, and then… well, never mind my excuses.
We’ve been enjoying our floor for a few months now, and we really love it. Besides the kitchen and dining room, we also had it put in the front entryway and both bathrooms.

 Did I mention we love it? I’m really glad we finally got around to getting this done. It will be especially nice when spring and summer roll around again, and we’re in and out using our new deck – which is currently covered in snow:

We did get several days in a row above freezing, so some of that has melted since I took the picture, but it’s snowing again today.

Heads or Tails is a fun weekly meme created and hosted by Barb (aka Skittles) – feel free to join in!
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Amazing Performance

I just got this in an email, and I had to share.
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. THESE YOUNG GIRLS WERE PHENOMENAL! Watch as the reaction of the guys in the audience escalates. In the beginning, they were just OK, but as the girls performed.....the audience went WILD with cheers.

Wow - the energy, the coordination, the skill! How do they do that?

They Should Have to Buy Condoms

Last week the Milwaukee school board decided that they would make free condoms available in the schools. Some people worry that making condoms available will encourage teenagers to have sex. Others argue that teenagers are going to have sex, so the most important thing is to make sure they're safe. I personally hate that attitude and the whole idea that we really can't expect teenagers to have any standards or values. That attitude may actually be what encourages teens to have sex, because after all, if everyone thinks they're already doing it, and clearly everyone else is already doing it, then they might as well go ahead and do it, right?

I suppose the ones who are going to have sex are going to have it, so giving them condoms isn't going to change anything there. It just seems that if we're going to be all accepting (which I'm really not) of teenagers engaging in an adult activity, that they should be expected to step up, be responsible, and actually buy condoms instead of having someone hand them out for FREE. Handing out free condoms may or may not encourage teenagers to have sex, but it seems to encourage them to expect something for nothing and really doesn't encourage responsibility.

At least the taxpayers won't be paying.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Buying Jeans Online

My most recent online purchases were jeans. Yes, jeans. I never really thought about buying jeans online - I mean, you can't try them on or anything, and since all jeans seem to fit differently regardless of the size, it seems like buying jeans online is kind of a gamble.

size 3 LevisI was going to do an entire post about jeans a couple weeks ago, but I never got around to it. Basically, the gist of the whole thing was that I wonder who they make these jeans for anyway. If I get jeans to fit me in the hips, then they gap in the waist - they'll fit fine in the front, but gap way out in the back. Are there women who are actually built that way? So that those jeans fit? There must be, right? Otherwise they wouldn't make and sell them. They just don't fit me. And if I buy a pair of jeans with a little extra room in the legs and hips, then they're way too big in the waist, and I feel like I constantly have to pull them up - or wear a belt, which I don't usually do. I have an old pair of Cory's jeans I wear around the house, and they fit me better than a lot of these jeans that are supposedly designed for women. I don't think I'm built like a guy, but it was enough to make me think maybe I should start buying guy's jeans. Even when I've been wearing them for a couple days, and they stretch out a little, they stay put on my hips and aren't constantly falling down.

Last Sunday we went out to find Cory some black jeans, so I took the opportunity to try some jeans on, too. I tried some guy's jeans on - Levi's 501s, which didn't fit properly, and some 550s which I liked. Cory wasn't completely convinced, so I tried some women's Levi's on too and decided that the 550s in a size 6M are pretty much perfect. So, I found a pair on ebay, paid $12.59, including shipping, which is less than half what they would have cost me in the store, and got them on Friday. They're perfect. They key to buying jeans online is to first know what style and size you need, so you know they'll fit even though you can't try them on. Then you can buy them online and save a lot of money. I am amazed at how many pairs of jeans are available on ebay.

I won another pair later in the week that I haven't received yet, and I'm hoping those are just as good. I already have a pair of Levi's 519s in a size 3L that I grabbed when Beth was getting rid of them (the ones I'm wearing in the pic) - but I'd like them to be just a little bigger, especially in the legs, and shorter - so I bought a pair of black ones in a size 5M. I'm hoping they'll be perfect, too. Remind me to update when I get them. (Update: I got the black jeans, and they fit really well. I was hoping they'd be a little bigger, but I can't tell much difference between the 3s and the 5s - maybe in the thighs)

Related: How to Find Jeans that Fit (though it still seems pretty much trial and error to me)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'd Rather Shop from Home

I'm not much of a shopper. I don't think I ever was, but working in retail for several years really ruined shopping for me. I honestly do not understand the phrase 'Retail Therapy' because it's just something to get over and done with, not something to do for fun or relaxation. We do look through the ads that come in the paper every Sunday, just in case we need something, but more often than not, there really isn't anything worth running out for.

I can get myself in a little trouble with easy online shopping, though - because I don't have to leave the comfort of my own home. Not only that, but I don't have to deal with people - especially the crowds at this time of year - and the long lines. For instance, on Black Friday while my husband and brother were insane enough to get up and actually go to the stores, I stayed in bed, got up a little later, and then did my shopping online - buying several $3 and $3.50 DVDs, all of them with free shipping. I'm also regularly tempted by those emails I get from telling me about their deals on electronics and computer-related things. I have a hard time resisting a good deal on an SD card!

I never really thought about it before, but I'm thinking I can get some good deals on pet supplies by shopping online, too. It's definitely worth looking at. I hear it's supposed to be much cheaper to order pet prescriptions online, and maybe even cheaper if I can find some coupon codes for free shipping or something. Not that either one of the kitties needs a prescription, but just in case. If nothing else, checking online first will give me a good idea of whether I'm getting a good deal on something or not.

Camera Critters (#89)


Weasley loves everybody, but I think he’s decided that he’s Jeffrey’s kitty.  He’ll hang out on Cory’s bed, and he’ll curl up on my lap, but when Jeffrey comes home he wants to be with him.  Even if Jeffrey is busy, Weasley still likes to be close.  I call him the little foot stool kitty, because he’ll curl up on the foot stool by Jeffrey’s feet – or between his feet, or on his legs...

The other night I looked over to see this:

Jeffrey on the computer, and Weasley completely zonked out.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, December 18, 2009

How Wheat Works

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Wheat Food Council. All opinions are 100% mine.

Unless you grew up on a farm, you probably don't understand how most of our food makes it into the grocery stores and onto our tables. One of the most important grains in our country is wheat, and there's a new interactive multimedia program called How Wheat Works that aims to help people understand all the phases wheat goes through before finally making it onto our tables. You can sign up for free and plant your own virtual wheat field. There are four phases to go through, growth, harvest, milling/baking and the grocer’s aisle, and each one takes just a few minutes to complete. You get to choose things like what type of wheat to plant and what kind of flour to mill. When you complete a phase, they'll email you in about a day to remind you to come back and complete the next one, so it takes 4 days to get through the whole thing.

Now I grew up in Central Illinois around lots and lots of corn and bean fields, though I can't really tell you what all the farmers go through to get their crops ready for market. I definitely don't know anything about wheat, so I'm going to sign up for this and see what I can learn. Not only that, but for every person who participates, the Wheat Foods Council will donate 2 pounds of flour, up to 90,000 pounds, to Operation Homefront (, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to needy U.S. troops and their families. Wouldn't it be great if they could reach that 90,000 pound mark? Donations are made possible by Council members at ADM and ConAgra, two of the world’s largest millers.

There are additional activities and recipes on the site as well as a special page for the youth at - click the 'Just for Kids' link. All this was put together by the Wheat Food Council because they believe that teaching people how a whole or enriched grain food comes to be can shed new light on wheat nutrition, resulting in informed food choices. It is good to think about what we eat and to know where our food comes from, don't you think?

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

What is that Smell?

Febreze logo.Image via Wikipedia

I want to say a big Thank You to Febreze for sending me their Febreze Sport to try. I got the Extreme Odor Eliminator, along with a nifty Febreze sport bag and a water bottle. All they asked was that I share my opinion - and fill out that little survey card (which I have to find) and mail it back to them.

I jumped at the chance to try this stuff - not because we're big on sports around here, though Jeffrey does play basketball with the guys in the winter. I thought it would be handy for that, but I was really thinking it would come in handy controlling the odors found in tennis shoes worn by a certain teenage boy. Febreze Sport is designed to be used on things you can't really wash, like shoes, gym bags, and other sports equipment. Febreze says it 'penetrates deep into fabrics and contains scientifically designed X-Sweat™ Technology to neutralize sports odors at the source.' All I know is that it works.

I was putting my own shoes on one day, getting ready to leave the house when I noticed a particularly unpleasant smell. I finally tracked it down to a pair of shoes belonging to that teenage boy I mentioned before. So, I sprayed them with the Febreze Sport, which has a very fresh, pleasant smell, by the way. It's not some perfumey smell that attempts to cover up the offending odor, because I'd hate that. Of course, since it's designed to be used by athletes, many of whom are guys, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't appreciate that either. Anyway, very neutral fresh smell, and it took care of that teenage guy feet odor really well. (teenage guy feet odor? did I really say that?)

I'm really glad I got a chance to try this out on Cory's shoes, because if I hadn't I might have had to mention the smell my shoes gave off this summer. Sweaty feet, no socks - not a good idea. But now I won't have to mention that and let you all know that my feet sometimes stink, too. I'm so relieved. And you can't prove it anyway, because I sprayed Frebreze Sport in my shoes!

When Jeffrey starts back into playing basketball next month, we'll get a chance to try it on his sports equipment, too. I think this Febreze Sport is going to be handy to have around.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Free Cereal (Almost) and Expiring Coupons

I went shopping today. I was thinking I could put it off for a couple weeks, but I just couldn't resist the cereal they were practically giving away at Pick 'n Save. They had Kellogg's, Keebler, Sunshine products on sale for $2.50 each, and if you bought 8, you automatically saved $10, bringing them down to $1.25 each. That's a really good deal already - but add some coupons, and it's even better, especially on double coupon day. Actually, I didn't get all cereal, but I ended up with 16 boxes of cereal, crackers, cereal bars, and Pop Tarts for $2.50. Can't hardly beat that!

I had to go to the store twice to do it, but it's on my way, so I went there first, then went and got the oil changed, air filters and fluids checked, and whatever else they do, and got the van washed too. I almost hate to wash it this time of year because it's just going to get all messy again the next time it snows, but it was a clear, sunny, albeit cold day - so it was a good day to do it. After that I went to Walmart to grab some stuff, then went back to Walgreens where I earned a $5 Register Rewards certificate I didn't know I was getting, so I didn't plan my shopping to use it. And, for some reason, it expires on Sunday. Now I haven't been to Walgreens and gotten any of these Register Rewards for a while now, but didn't they used to give you 2 weeks to use them? Even that was stretching it for me because I don't always get there within 2 weeks, but this is ridiculous. Luckily Jeffrey has a Walgreens right across the street from work and passes another one on the way home, so I told him that he has $5 he has to spend in the next couple days. I'm sure he'll find something he wants.

Then after Walgreens back to Pick 'n Save to get more cereal and crackers for next to nothing, and other stuff, like potatoes, onions, cream cheese, tortillas, etc. I bought 4 Tombstone pizzas the first time so I could get a coupon for a free California Pizza Kitchen or Digiorno flatbread melt, so I grabbed that - and it's a good thing I did, because that coupon expired next week. Again, they used to give you two weeks to use them. I also used my coupon for free Silk Heart Healthy soy milk that I won from Pookie and the Boys. I'm pretty sure I'll get to enjoy that all by myself, along with that flatbread melt - I bought a really good-looking spinach one that no one will fight me for! Hopefully, though, they'll like the cereal and crackers I picked, because it would take me a year to eat all of that by myself.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heads or Tails – Gone Fishin’

Heads Or Tails

The theme/prompt for THIS week, December 15, is:

HEADS - Gone Fishin’

Make any kind of post about anything you might see, use or do while fishing.

The last time I went fishing was when I was a teenager, and honestly I didn’t do much fishin’ even then.  I went with a group of people from church for a weeklong fishing, camping, and canoeing trip in Minnesota, and I think I actually fished once.  The rest of the time was spent doing the fun stuff like swimming, hiking, canoeing, and just generally goofing off and enjoying the river and the woods.  There were plenty of other people along who really enjoyed the fishing, so we had plenty of fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner while we were there.  They didn’t need my help.

So it’s obvious that fishing really isn’t my idea of a good time.  I know some of you really enjoy it – you know who you are (Misty, Tammy, Jenn, for starters) – and as I was coming back from taking Cory to Jazz Band this morning I was wondering what kind of crazy people enjoy fishing so much that they’ll go out on the ice, in the bitter cold to fish.  Of course, the people I saw out on the ice this morning had a building to get inside out of the wind.  Still, it’s got to be darn cold out there – downright freezing.  At least I thought so, until I opened my email to find the following video:

The people I saw this morning must have been downright toasty compared to these Crazy Canadians.

Heads or Tails is a fun weekly meme created and hosted by Barb (aka Skittles) – feel free to join in!

Monday, December 14, 2009


OK, it's already time for bed, and I haven't had time to post about stainless steel drums or anything else for that matter. It seems that Mondays are always busy with laundry and catching up from the weekend, and today was no different. I worked on laundry, which I can actually finish in one day thanks to my wonderful husband fixing my dryer a while back. The vent wasn't working properly, and it took way longer to dry things than it should have. When we bought the washer and dryer, they said that the dryer was supposed to dry things in the same time it took the washer to wash. It's not quite that fast now, but it's pretty good - and now I can get all the laundry washed, dried, and folded in one day. And, I have decided that I really like the Purex Natural Elements laundry detergent in the Citrus & Aloe scent. It smells so good!

Besides laundry I organized coupons so I can go shopping this week, went through the mail, cut up a bunch of apples for the dehydrator, and... Well, there was more, but it's bed time, and my brain isn't working right now. I'm not even going to tell you how long I sat here trying to even start this post. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Son the T-Shirt Designer

I mentioned in my last post that Cory got a box of 60 t-shirts this week. Now, the boy loves his t-shirts, but there's no way he needed 60 t-shirts for himself. These t-shirts are for him and a whole bunch of his friends.

A while back Cory and one of his friends came up with an idea for a shirt - no, it wasn't "visit new york", I think that one's already been done. They wanted their shirt to say i'm pretty good at hugs. So Cory put together a design, tweaked the design, got everyone's opinion, and finally settled on the exact, perfect design. Then, he started taking orders - the more shirts he ordered the better the price was for everyone. Well, the orders and the checks started coming in, and before he knew it, he had 60 shirts ordered!

He ordered them from, and they turned out really nice. They make it really easy to design the shirts and get the exact look you want, and they have all kinds of products to choose from. Cory went with the Hanes tagless T. The price is determined not only by the product you choose, but also by the number of items you order, the more you order the better the price. With a 60 piece order, Cory got all these for around $10/shirt, which is really good. And shipping is FREE - gotta love that. Also, their customer service is top rate. If you have a group that needs custom designed shirts (or shorts or hats or bags or...) I'd suggest checking them out. (and, NO, they aren't paying me to say so)

Cory was so excited to get these, he had to wear his to school the next day - and came home with a list of 20 more people who want one. Me, I didn't order one or want one, because I'm not really a hugger. Cory, on the other hand, has always been a huge hugger - and apparently so are his friends.

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Camera Critters (#88)


Cory got a big box of t-shirts delivered this week. Apparently, if you buy 60 black t-shirts, you also get a white cat.

Tillie just can’t resist a box! I think this stare is her way of telling Weasley that it’s her box, and she wants him to stay out.

Weasley doesn’t really care about the box too much. He’s just wondering if Cory ordered him a shirt.

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Giveaway at Crazy Working Mom

Our wonderful Looking at the Sky on Friday hostess Tisha was on television this morning! It was on her local ABC affiliate, so I didn't get to see it - but I'm still pretty excited anyway. Hopefully the station will post a video clip or something so those of us who don't live in Arkansas can see her segment.

I'll tell you what else is exciting about her television debut. Tisha was talking about some really great items that would be great to own or get for someone you know, and she's giving away all those gifts on her blog! Check out her giveaway post to see what you could win. I'm really liking that garlic roaster, or the digital picture keychain.

Of course, if you or your friends live in mobile homes or small apartments, you'll want to leave the winning to the rest of us. We wouldn't want you to have more stuff than you need, now would we? (I personally don't live in a small place, but I resemble that remark. Regardless of how much stuff we manage to accumulate, it's still fun to win something new.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 38


I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

This is the view out my back door yesterday, in the middle of a snowstorm:

The sky was completely gray. Then, today – as blue as blue can be!

I love that intense winter blue that comes after the snow! And now when I glance up from my kitchen sink, I see winter! I like the snow when I'm safe and warm inside, looking out at it, even if it does mean I'm taking my sky pictures through the window instead of actually going outside.

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

That Was Not a 12

It was supposed to be really cold this morning. They were calling for -20° windchills.

We've got a thermometer out on the deck with a remote unit in our bathroom so I can check the temperature in the mornings before I get ready to go out and walk. This morning I glanced at it and thought it was a lot warmer than they thought it was going to be. I thought it said 12° - cold, but not quite so cold as I'd expected.

So I got dressed and went out to clean off the driveway one more time. The driveway wasn't so bad, but that wind was COLD! It was about then that I realized I had forgotten to put anything under my wind pants. When the temperature is in the 20's or 30's I don't need or want anything under them, but when it really gets cold I need the extra layer - a thin pair of stretch pants or a thicker pair of sweats depending on how cold. So, since I wasn't walking and I was just out on the driveway, I came in, took my boots off, and added a layer. I was much warmer after that. (Note that this is where I could use those Long Janes I mentioned in my last post.)

Anyway, the driveway wasn't too bad, and I got it cleaned off in time to take Cory to Jazz Band. It wasn't until I got back home and went back into the bathroom later in the morning that I realized I had read the thermometer entirely wrong. That number was not a 12 - it was a - 1.2. Actually, I don't remember the exact numbers. I just know that I read it wrong. The light was low, I glanced at it quickly, and I forgot that the digital thermometer always records the temperature down to the tenth of a degree - so if it had been 12°, it would have read 12.0, or probably 12.1 or 12.3. I never even realized there was a missing digit - and a whole lot of missing degrees.

It really was that cold this morning, with that negative windchill. It never even got up to the temperature I thought I read this morning.

Re-Imagine Wool with Ramblers Way

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Ramblers Way. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was asked to pretend I had $500 to shop at Ramblers Way and asked what I would buy. So I visited the site and found out that they sell wool apparel. What do you think when you think about wool? I don't know about you, but I had this idea in my head that wool is warm, but itchy, and you can't wash it in the washing machine. So, needless to say, I haven't had any wool apparel in ages.

Well, Ramblers Way has me re-thinking wool, or re-imagining, as they say. According to their site, their wool garments are soft enough to wear next to your skin. They're also wrinkle, soil, and flame resistant, and fully washable. For those people who aren't ready to take their word for it, there's a form on the site you can fill out, and they'll mail you a sample of their fabric. I definitely want to feel this wool!

But, just saying I have $500 to spend and I believe these wool garments are as great as they say they are (before receiving my sample) - and durable, natural, and chemical free, too - what would I buy at Ramblers Way? The first thing that caught my eye was this Next-to-Skin Women’s Cross Neck top. It looks like the perfect top to wear under everything in all weather because the 'breathable fabric warms and cools effectively to maintain optimal personal temperature'. It would have been great for all that snow shoveling yesterday! So would the women's next-to-skin Long Jane - low-rise so I can wear them under whatever I want. Then with the rest of my $500, I'd grab some shirts for Cory Jeffrey, too - probably the long sleeve cross neck shirts for them, too.

That was fun! Oh, and I really like that Ramblers Way apparel is sustainably farmed and produced in America. You can even meet the sheep, and the guys who take care of them, on the website.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Snow Day Workout

SnowingImage by bcmom via Flickr

The annual December 1st snowstorm was a few days late this year. At least it seems like we're always supposed to have snow on December 1st, because we did for at least 3 years in a row (that I can verify by checking old posts - 2008 - 2007, which mentions 2006). This year we got the first real winter storm of the season today. Actually it came in last night and snowed all night long. Because the snow was forecast and already falling, school for today was already canceled by about 9:30 last night. So Cory slept in.

Jeffrey and I got up at (about) regular time and went out to shovel the driveway, so he could leave for work. The snow was deep, wet, and heavy - worst of all was the end of the driveway where it was twice as deep and packed because that's where the plow went through. There are times when people in the neighborhood just drive through the snow without shoveling their driveways, but that wasn't an option for anyone this morning. I'm not sure exactly how much snow we got overnight because I didn't take anything out to measure it, but it had me wondering why there isn't some kind of ruler on a snow shovel. Just stick it in the snow and you can see how many inches you got. That would be really handy. Instead I just stuck the handle of the shovel next to the snow and noted where it hit. I just have to remember to get a measuring tape out and measure that later.

Anyway, It took the two of us quite a while to get the driveway cleaned off. All the while wet snow continued to come down, so that the driveway was already white by the time we finished, and we were both soaked. And that was just the beginning - later after Cory got up, we went out and shoveled again. It was about half as deep as it was before, and it wasn't quite as wet and heavy, so it went quicker. Cory got to clean out in front of the mailbox, which was still that deep, heavy wet stuff pushed there by the plow. It was only fair since he slept through the first shoveling of the day, right?

Then I went out again this evening and shoveled again - by myself this time because it wasn't really that deep - except for the end of the driveway where the plow had gone through again. I know the snow plow has to do its thing, but I hate shoveling that off the driveway. It's deep and heavy, and the sides of the driveway where I need to throw the snow are piled higher than everywhere else so that it's almost impossible to throw the snow up and off the driveway.

I'm thinking I seriously got a workout or two today - and it's still snowing so I'll probably have to clean the driveway off again in the morning. And tomorrow morning it's going to be a lot colder than it was this morning.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

We Need to Do This

We keep getting calls from our life insurance agent. Every once in a while he likes to sit down with us and reassess our coverage. It's a good idea - just to make sure we have the coverage we need and that everything looks good. We have some term life insurance and some whole life, or whatever they call the other kind, the kind that is supposedly an investment. However, we recently talked to someone who said that the investment kind is not really a good deal. We only bought it at the time because I knew we'd never save any money otherwise. Now I'm wondering if we can actually ever get our hands on that money.

I guess that's why we're supposed to sit down with our agent and go over things - except that we never actually get around to scheduling a time to sit down and do it. It seems there's always something else we have to do, like the choir concert tonight, or Jeffrey's work schedule is crazy, or we just don't feel like actually doing something at the end of the day. I do need to get with Jeffrey and make him pick a time and get this over with. Really.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Camera Critters (#87)


The kitties get a break this week.  Let’s go back to the zoo and see the giraffe this time.  (and, so I remember and can find the pics easier next time – we went to the zoo on September 13th)

Camera Critters is a fun weekend meme hosted by Misty Dawn.Visit the Camera Critters headquarters and join in.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Delusions of Greatness

I've been cleaning and baking all day, and had plenty of things to say - until I sat down, that is. Why is it? All these great posts composed in my head and then nothing when I get to the computer? Probably so I'll never have to admit that they weren't really that great after all.

Cory just walked in the door from school, and I remembered one thing I was going to say - my baby is going to graduate this year! How can that be? We just had to order his cap and gown today - along with a Senior t-shirt and sweat pants, which he got today. $18.99 for a t-shirt and $24.99 for sweat pants isn't exactly cheap, but they're really nice. And we bought Beth the t-shirt and sweatshirt because she wanted them, and she didn't even like school, and was practically out of school by the time she got them. Cory at least likes school, and he has the rest of the school year to wear the Senior clothes.

I'm thinking there may have been something else about a dip bar, but that post probably wasn't all that great...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Looking at the Sky on Friday - 37


I’m so glad there’s a meme like Looking at the Sky on Friday, because it means all the time I spend looking at the sky, and taking pictures of it, has a purpose! Click the badge for more info.

These pictures were actually taken on a Friday.  Yes, I was looking at the sky on Friday, though I pretty much look at the sky every day.  But last Friday was Black Friday - the day crazy people all over the country get up at ungodly hours to go shopping.  Whatever are they thinking?

My husband and my brother decided to go shopping that morning – not at 4am, but way too early considering neither one of them had to get up and go to work.  Not me – I stayed warm in my bed, until about an hour and a half past my normal time.  Then I got up and went for my walk – and it wasn’t dark!  I really appreciate that this time of year.

Then, when I got home, I went out onto the deck and took some pictures of the morning sky and clouds.  I love that warm morning light.

If you enjoy skies as much as I do, be sure to check out Looking at the Sky on Friday.

Different Kitties

It's so funny to see how different these two cats, Tillie and Weasley, are. We've had Tillie since she was a tiny kitten, and no one has ever hurt her in any way, but she's such a timid thing. It doesn't take much to scare her - loud noises, sudden movements, and she disappears. Weasley, on the other hand, isn't scared of anything. Loud noises and sudden movements have him coming to check things out.

When Jeffrey leaves for work in the morning, Tillie might be in the kitchen playing with his shoestrings as he puts his shoes on, but as soon as he opens the door to the garage, she's out of there! She doesn't like it when he starts the car and doesn't want to be anywhere near. Weasley, on the other hand, likes to watch him leave. He sits there at the screen door and watches Jeffrey get in the car, start the car, and drive away. That big car doesn't scare him at all!

When it's time to clean the house, like yesterday, Tillie disappears as soon as I get the broom out or start dusting tv stands, book shelves, and other furniture. She knows the vacuum cleaner is sure to follow. Weasley, on the other hand, is right there in the middle of everything. It's hard to sweep the floor when I've got a little kitty chasing my broom and walking right through the pile of dirt. I never had that problem before. And when the vacuum cleaner comes out? It doesn't bother Weasley at all. He just sits and watches, or gets in the way again. Once when he knocked the plant in our bedroom over, I had to move everything, get out the vacuum cleaner, and clean up all the dirt he spilled. Weasley just curled up on the bed and watched me clean up his mess. Little brat!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I Should've Counted Those Ones

OnionsImage via Wikipedia

The Saturday before Thanksgiving was the annual Holiday Bazaar, which is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Band Boosters. We run the concessions and sell all the food, along with selling clothing and spiritwear. I usually make a bunch of cinnamon rolls for this, but we decided not to have any kind of bake sale this year. Instead I made a big pot of chili and chopped a bunch of onions.

Anyway, Jeffrey and I could only stay until about 12:30 - he was selling clothing, and I was working in the kitchen (kinda brings back memories of college) - so I didn't get the cash box back until the day before Thanksgiving. With all the cooking and eating and cleaning up involved with Thanksgiving, I didn't get to even looking at the money until Monday when I went through all the cash. Thankfully, the lady who always takes care of the money at the Bazaar had already counted everything and banded most of the bills. I started re-counting everything, but it was all coming out right, so I stopped after the bigger bills and didn't bother to count the ones.

I got all the checks and money from the clothing Monday night and got a deposit together and finally got to the bank this morning. Yes, it's a good thing we don't do these fundraiser all the time, because it takes me way more time than it probably should getting everything put together - but then maybe I'd get better at it if I did it more often. Anyway, I got to the bank and everything came out right - all the checks added up correctly, all the change added right, all the big bills, but then they got to the ones. One stack had an extra one, and another stack was missing 9 - so my total was $8 off. There were 3 or 4 ladies counting all that cash, so I know they got it right, and they seemed happy to have something to do. But still - I should've counted those ones.

I also just want to say that Zemanta is looking all new and spiffy today - and the 'related article' really isn't related, I just wanted to grab it for the recipe idea.
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